Rising Stars widen gap with 3½-1½ win

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
|
0 | Chess Event Coverage
NH Chess Tournament 2010In the seventh round of the NH Chess Tournament the Rising Stars increased their lead over the Experience team to three points. Thursday the ambitious youngsters won 3½-1½. Hikaru Nakamura defeated Loek van Wely in a most remarkable miniature, while Fabiano Caruana ground down Peter Heine Nielsen.

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 7



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Videos



Round 7



Report by the official website

The shortest game of the day and easily the shortest win of this fifth NH Tournament so far was the one between Hikaru Nakamura and Loek van Wely. After 17 moves and less than one and a half hours the Dutch number one had to resign. Still, probably even more remarkable than the brevity of the game was the story behind it. In the Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Najdorf the players followed the game Smith-Laznicka from the recent World Open in Philadelphia. Obviously they both knew this game, but Van Wely had annotated it for the forthcoming issue of New In Chess. And in his comments he had indicated that on move 12 Black cannot play 12…Nd7 (the only move is 12…Ng4) because of the continuation 13.Nd5 Qc5 14.Nb3 Qc6 15.Na5 Qc5 16.Nxb7 ‘and Black is lost’. So, did this mean that he automatically went 12…Ng4 as he had advised himself? No, sadly for him it didn’t. For some inexplicable reason he played 12…Nd7 and only after 16.Nxb7 did he begin to think that something had gone seriously wrong. One move later he resigned. Obviously he was unhappy with what happened, but even here Van Wely managed to see a silver lining. As he had also lost in a rather dubious manner in Round 4 against Anish Giri, Nakamura’s main rival for the moment for the Amber ticket, he concluded: ‘Now at least I gave both guys a free point, they’re equal again.’

NH Chess Tournament 2010

Fabiano Caruana and Peter Heine Nielsen ended up in a double-edged position after the opening. Black had a bad bishop, but White had some worries about the safety of his king. After the game Caruana condemned Black’s exchange of the rooks with his 20th and 21st move, a plan he qualified as ‘too simple’. Indeed, White got an overwhelming position when he let his central pawns roll and once he got his f-pawn on f6 it looked as if Black would soon collapse. However, Caruana failed to find a concrete winning plan and when they reached the time-control and he had some extra time to delve into the position he still didn’t see a way to make progress. That was the point where he got his opponent’s help. If Nielsen had put his queen on b7 on move 41, there would have been no way for White to make any headway, but after his retreat to d8 he suddenly was in trouble, as he allowed White to push f4. Now White’s advantage was both serious and concrete and slowly but surely Caruana hauled in the point.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

Wesley So wasn’t too ambitious in his white game against Peter Svidler and mainly used the advantage of the first move to make a draw. Which he managed after 16 moves and slightly more than two hours of play. Svidler had hoped for something more exciting but as he commented after the game: ‘If White wants to make a draw in this position there is very little you can do to stop him.’ In the post-mortem So opined that in the final position he might even be slightly worse, but this Svidler called a clear case of seeing ghosts. White plays 17.f3 and now after 17…Nxe4 both 18.Qxe4 and 18.Nxe4 will lead to a position in which both sides will have little to hope for.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

After the first move (1.e4) in the game between Anish Giri and Boris Gelfand the question was if Black would defend with his pet Petroff or his pet Najdorf. Perhaps because of Giri’s expertise in that same Petroff, Gelfand returned to his old love the Najdorf. A tense struggle developed in which Gelfand sacrificed his third exchange in the tournament (a typical Sicilian sac on c3) and got full compensation but nothing more. At a certain point the Israeli grandmaster offered a draw, but Giri believed he still had chances and preferred to continue. The young Dutch grandmaster returned the exchange seeking his last chances, but shortly after the time-control the game ended in a draw.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

The game between David Howell and Ljubomir Ljubojevic was a slow affair. Particularly the Serbian grandmaster was burning a lot of time. After 18 moves he had only 20 minutes left for the remaining 22 moves till the time-control and for his last 15 moves he only had 3 minutes. His extravagant use of time made many fear that he might go under as he went under against the same opponent in Round 2 when running short of time he lost control. The worries didn’t concern the situation on the board he had, as in a Najdorf with 6.h3 he had reached a fully satisfactory position after the opening. After the game he blamed his lack of time for not exploiting his favourable position and was highly critical of his move 20…f6, as 20…h6 would have given him excellent winning chances. Now he gradually got into problems and on move 39 Howell could have dealt a decisive blow with 39.Re8 which wins on the spot because of the deadly threat Rh8+. But Howell let him off the hook with the hesitant 39.Re5 and once the time-control was reached the game ended in a draw by perpetual check.

NH Chess Tournament 2010

In the overall standings the Rising Stars are now leading 19-16. In the fight for the ticket to the Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament, Hikaru Nakamura joined Anish Giri in the lead. They both have 4½ from 7, half a point more than Fabiano Caruana.

NH Chess Tournament 2010 | Round 7 Standings
NH Chess Tournament 2010 | Round 7 Standings


Links

More from PeterDoggers
Young Guns Shine At Gibraltar Masters

Young Guns Shine At Gibraltar Masters

Caruana Finishes Tata Steel Chess In Style

Caruana Finishes Tata Steel Chess In Style