Smerdon wins 10th OGD-tournament

0 | Chess Event Coverage
David Smerdon in TurijnAustralian IM David Smerdon has won the tenth OGD rapidtournament convincingly. David, who is following university in the Netherlands for a couple of months and tries to play as much tournaments as possible in the meantime, only had to give away a draw in the last of seven rounds. Top seed GM Friso Nijboer was responsible for that. As always David's play was attractive.

Against Dutch IM Eelke Wiersma the following position was reached after 19. Re3: Smerdon-Wiersma

David threathens the easy Rh3 and inevitable mate. The following sequence is almost forced: 19...f5 20.gxf6 Rxf6 21. Rxf6 Nxf6 22.dxe5 Qd5 23.Rg3 Qe5? 23... Ng4 could have saved the day as White must exchange his powerful white squared bishop (Rxg4 Qxd3) because also Nxe5 is threathening which will give Black very pleasant play. 24.Lxg6 David is not a materialistic type, and sacrifices in almost any game but in this position the sacrifice is clearly winning. 24...Kh8 Capturing on g6 is not possible as it results in a quick mate. (24...hxg6 25.Rxg6 Kf7 26. Rg7 followed by Qh8) 25.Rg5 Qe2 26.Bc2 and resigned as nothing can stop the queen to mate on g7.

In the last round Nijboer had to defeat Smerdon as he already dropped a half point twice. Smerdon played his beloved Scandinavian Defence and quickly equalised. He missed a nice winning variation, had to watch out for a couple of moves, but equalised via a perpetual to capture the 750 euros first price. Nijboer-Smerdon White just played 19.Bf4 and David could have ended the game with a nice combination starting with 19...g6!!. The idea is that the rook on e1 is not covered anymore and black can take advantage of that. Eg: 20. Qd3 Re1x 21. Re1x Nb4! 22.cxb4 Qxb4 23. Kc1 23 Qxe1 +- or 20. Qxf7 Nxd4! 21. cxd4 Rxe1 22. Rxe1 Qb4+ and soon mate. In the game Nijboer got a slight advantage after 19...Qb5+ 20. Kc1 Rd7 21.Rxe6 fxe6 22.Qxe6 b6 23.Rd3 Na5 but nothing was left of the advantage after 24.Kd1 Nc4 25.Bc1 and David took the perpetual to take the first price unshared with 25...Qb1 (no defence against Nb2+ en Nc4+). In October Smerdon will play Hoogeveen to hunt for his second GM-norm.

>> replay the games?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†?Ǭ†"^Reports^"Combinations, Rapid chess"^^1158121326^1314790904^forest "Sympathetic and slightly naive"^"

Every Dutchman has heard of Roel van Duijn, and every Dutch chess player has heard of the Roel van Duijn Gambit, which starts after 1.e4 c5 2.a3!? It's not the first time someone has written about his gambit; Schaaknieuws wrote about it and early this year, Gert Ligterink wrote an article about the gambit on his chess blog. In Holland, there are a number of strong players who frequently play the gambit: GM Yge Visser is the most well-known (see Ligterink's article) and I also know that Eelco Kuijpers and Gertjan van der Hoeven sometimes move their a-pawn on move 2. Actually Van der Hoeven played the gambit against me last week.

Van der Hoeven-Moll Amsterdam 2006 Now what? White's second move definitely looks sympathetic, but also a little na?ɬØve - in fact exactly like the political ideas of Van Duijn himself. I vaguely knew that 2...g6 is supposed to be the theoretical continuation (played by Carlsen, amongst others), and that White gets dangerous chances after 2...e6 3.b4!. When confronted with a sharp gambit of which you don't know the exact details, it is usually a good idea to think of a way how to decline the gambit. In my case, I immediately wanted to play the move:

2...Nf6! -a move I also used to play against the 2.b3 system. Black's idea is perfectly logical and therefore can't be wrong . The logic behind the move is as follows: White must either protect e4, or play e4-e5. Protection is possible by Nc3, but this blocks the bishop that probably wants to go to b2 (after b2-b4), or by d2-d3, but this prevents the sharp move Bf1-c4 and also Bf1-b5. So it remains to push the pawn.

3. e5 Nd5 Now if White develops his bishop to b2, his e-pawn is blocking the sight of Black's kingside. On top of that, White will want to protect his pawn with d2-d4, but this really requires c2-c3. That's why 4.c4 (the most frequently played move) has some major drawbacks. To me the best move seems to be 4.Nf3, but clearly this is not in the style of the gambit: after all, White may just as well play Nf3 on the second move instead. Perhaps this is the reason why Van der Hoeven, like most White players, opted for:

4.d4?! cxd4 5.Qxd4 e6 6.c4 Nc6 7.Qe4 f5! 8.Qe2

It all really doesn't look very harmonic for White, but perhaps he's still OK. It won't come smooth, anyway. In this position I played 8...Nde7, actually not a bad move, until you turn on the computer. (The game ended in a draw after many adventures.) In fact, the Beast suggests the fantastic move

8...Qa5+!! and Black is almost winning. The most important point is 9.Bd2 Ndb4!! and wins, e.g. 10.Bc3 (10.Nf3 Nc2+ 11.Kd1 Qa4! 12.Nc3 Qb3 -+) 10...Nd4! 11.axb4 Qxa1 -/+. Also, after 9.Qd2 Ndb4! 10.Nc3 Nd4! Black wins a pawn in any case. All these lines look like a perfect justification of Black's second move. >> replay this analysis

Finally, being completely ignorant in these variations, I nevertheless would like to make a suggestion: I'm sure it must be provocative and fun to play a move like 2.a3, but perhaps 2.b4!? is still a better idea. If Black takes on b4, similar variations can arise as after 2.a3 and 3.b4, and if Black doesn't take on b4, White at least didn't lose any time with the perhaps superfluous a2-a3 - and can instead start his activities right away.

Action, no time to lose - I can think of no better a slogan that Roel van Duijn would support.

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