Rising Stars take the lead

0 | Chess Event Coverage
NH Chess Tournament 2010In the second round of the NH Chess Tournament the Rising Stars team took the lead over the Experience team thanks to a win by David Howell over the luckless Ljubomir Ljubojevic. The other four games were drawn, which resulted in a 3-2 win for the youngsters. The overall score after two rounds is 5½- 4½ in favour of the Rising Stars.

The NH Chess Tournament takes place August 12-22 in hotel Krasnapolsky, in the heart of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. As always, the tournament is a confrontation between a team of five young ‘Rising Stars’ and a team of five ‘Experienced’ grandmasters.

Table of players

The two teams play a ‘Scheveningen’ tournament, which means that each player of one team plays against each of the players of the other team. They do so twice, once with the white pieces and once with the black pieces. The team that collects most points wins the tournament. The best player of the 'Rising Stars' team will be invited to the 20th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament in March 2011 in Nice, provided he or she scores over 50% in the NH Chess Tournament in Amsterdam.

Games round 2

Game viewer by ChessTempo


Round 2

Report by the official website

Loek van Wely missed an excellent chance to defeat Rising Stars top-seed Hikaru Nakamura. The American grandmaster was deeply upset about his opening play and after he had missed White’s 16.Ng5, he described the next phase of the game as ‘going downhill in a hurry’. Van Wely reached a position that was completely winning, but Nakamura’s hopes were revived after White’s 42.Rg6. After the game Nakamura summed up his philosophy about rook endings as follows: ‘Unless you’re down a zillion pawns you always have chances, and I was only down two.’ How true this was, he proved when Van Wely didn’t find the winning plan and had to resign himself to a draw after 71 moves and five and a half hours of play.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

Thanks to an interesting opening novelty, Peter Heine Nielsen obtained a promising position against Fabiano Caruana. In an English Opening the Danish grandmaster played the new 10.d4 (where normally 10.Rd1 is played) with the idea of 10…exd4 11.Rd1 c5 12.e3 and White gets a nice initiative. After the game the players agreed that instead of 13.Be3, more accurate would have been 13.dxe5 dxe5 14.Be3 with white pressure against the black queenside. Now the position remained optically encouraging for White, but with precise defensive moves Caruana managed to keep the balance. In fact, Nielsen didn’t believe that there had been a point where he could have essentially improved on his play and concluded that a draw was the logical outcome.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

Peter Svidler and Wesley So kept the spectators on the edge of their seats with a lively fight in which both got and missed their chances. From a Caro-Kann, the young Philippine grandmaster got a fine position, which gradually slipped through his fingers due to a number of inaccurate moves. But once he was in clover it was Svidler’s turn to spoil his advantage. So got the chance to fight back and he could have made an immediate draw with the nice tactic 40…Rxf2+ 41.Ke3 Rf3+! 42.Kxf3 (or 42.Ke2 Rf8) 42…Nd2+. Once he missed this he had to hang on for a couple more moves, but after 50 moves the point was split. For a more detailed discussion we gladly refer to Wesley So’s commentary in one of today’s video’s.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

Boris Gelfand and Anish Giri conducted an interesting discussion in a sharp Catalan. Gelfand deviated from earlier games of his where he went 10.Bf4, but Giri was well-prepared for 10.Bg5. His main task was to remember the work he and his coach Vladimir Chuchelov had done and to put together the various pieces he found in his memory. What he retrieved was the strong plan with 15…Bxd4, 16…b5! and 17…Qf6. This gave Black a good position and he continued to play accurately, avoiding for instance 18…cxb5 19.exd4 Rc7 20.Rac1 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Qxd4 22.Qc3 when after 22…Qxc3 23.Rxc3 White has some pressure in the endgame. As it went the tension was released in a liquidation that led to a draw that Giri was rightly pleased with.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

The main theme of the encounter between Ljubomir Ljubojevic and David Howell was the time-trouble of the white player. Yesterday the Serbian grandmaster had already been using a lot of time with fatal consequences, but this time he was really overdoing it. After 12 moves he had only 28 moves left, whereas his opponent had one hour more. At that point Vlastimil Hort left the press room saying that he was going for a siesta and predicting that when he’d come back Ljubojevic would be in terrible time-trouble. In fact it was even worse. Before Hort returned Howell had taken over the initiative and once the English grandmaster opened up the position, Ljubojevic not only had very little time, but a problematic position to boot. On move 30, with his back against the wall, he lost on time.

NH Chess Tournament 2010


More from PeterDoggers
December FIDE Ratings: Firouzja #2, Aronian U.S., Nakamura Off The List

December FIDE Ratings: Firouzja #2, Aronian U.S., Nakamura Off The List

Nepo Holds Carlsen With Petroff In Game 4 FIDE World Chess Championship

Nepo Holds Carlsen With Petroff In Game 4 FIDE World Chess Championship