Predrag Nikolic wins 67th Noteboom

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Last weekend the 67th edition of the Noteboom tournament took place in Leiden and Chessvibes was there ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú a personal report. Three good reasons to play in the Noteboom tournament:

1. Toughness training. The Noteboom tournament is a weekender, which means six games with a maximum of four hours each (105 min/40 moves and 15 min/finish) in one weekend: Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon. The light version is taking a bye (a free round that counts for a draw), the heavy version is going out on Friday night and Saturday night. The tournament does not count for FIDE rating, so one can affort some experimenting. For the Dutch chess youth the circuit of weekenders is a good (tough) way to chess improvement.

2. Tradition. If I'm not mistaken the Noteboom tournament is the Dutch weekender with the biggest tradition. From 1936 onwards there has been a yearly tournament with four players, from 1979 on it is a weekender. Former winners include such big names as Euwe, Donner, Botwinnik en Timman. The organising chessclub LSG exits over 100 years and is currently one of the biggest and flourishing Dutch clubs with teams in every Dutch league. The Noteboom tournament was incredibly strong this year with almost 300 participants including more than a handful of Dutch topplayers: Nikolic, Nijboer, Van den Doel, Smeets, l'Ami and Van der Wiel.

3. Fantastic atmosphere. Did you visit Wijk aan Zee? We can't have the Corus Festival all year long, so try a Dutch weekender! Besides the ROC Aventus weekender in Apeldoorn (check report 1 and report 2) and the nice weekenders in the south of our little country, the Noteboom tournament in Leiden is my favourite. No tournament has such an impressive crew running the bar, including high-rated players, chess babes and other relaxed dudes sacrificing their weekend off to guarantee a great tournament.

The tournament was covered live on the tournament website and at, man it has been a battlefield! Since only 5 out of 6 is enough for a prize, draws are leading nowhere and all games are being played till the very end.

Round 1 The grandmasters did what they had to do, but my German friend Michael Hoffmann had a rough meeting with the concept of weekender:

Round 2 Same story as round one, but now I was the victim:

And what do you think about the ?¢‚Ǩ?ìtreament?جø¬?? Thesing got, after his tournament already hadn't been starting smoothly with a draw:

Round 3 No shocking results, Nikolic won convincingly with Black against Klenburg, Nijboer beat some little Polish boy whose name you can surely remember for the future (Drozdowski), Bitalzadeh-l'Ami was draw and Van der Wiel probably missed a win against Slingerland. Since the beautyprize simply hasn't been awarded this year because no good games have been sended in, maybe I should have tried with the following game:

Round 4 Nikolic won again, Van den Doel-Nijboer draw. Edwin van Haastert is definately a nice guy and a strong chessplayer, but the way he tried to make a draw against Smeets is not done:

For the euforic evening round the white pieces suited me well:

Round 5 And so did the black pieces on Sunday morning:

The tournament was practically decided in this round in Smeets-Nikolic. After a tough French battle the highly experienced Predrag Nikolic could decide the game in his favour. Unfortunately the notation of this game is incomplete on the otherwise high-qualitity tournament page, but who knows we can still include it lateron.

Round 6 Nikolic-Nijboer and Van den Doel-l'Ami were both drawn, but only after the players tried everything possible. So Nikolic unshared first with 5,5 from 6.

I managed to stay away from any sort of draw myself in the last round as well:

Neat results were accomplished by several youth players who performed hundreds of points above their ratings. Check for this and other statistics the final standings.

GM Nikolic - GM Nijboer

GM Van den Doel - GM l'Ami

GM Erwin l'Ami

Top boards with GM Erik van den Doel

GM Jan Smeets

IM Merijn van Delft



Organiser Sven Bakker, well-dressed as always

Analysing maybe just a beer at the cheerful bar

Playing hall

Playing hall 2

The venue

Once more: the winner

Photos: jerrel
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