Thomas Willemze qualifies for Corus C

0 | Chess Event Coverage
With a quick draw in the eighth round against Bianca Muhren, Thomas Willemze secured his sole victory at the Cultural Village Tournament today. By doing so, already before the last round he qualified for the C group of the Corus Chess Tournament. Jan Willem de Jong needs a draw against Michiel Abeln tomorrow for his second IM-norm, which will be no problem won't be that easy, because Abeln declined the pre-game draw offer by De Jong!

It's really an excellent achievement by Willemze, who started strongly with for wins, after which the victory was never in danger. Between the draws he won an easy game in the seventh round, yesterday:

Willemze-Abeln Cultural Village (07), 2006

Against Abeln's opening 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 Willemze simply went into the ending with 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Qxd8+ and he got an advantage in that ending quite easily, which confirms the good shape he's in. In this difficult position Black already made the decisive mistake: 24...Nd8?? 25.fxe5! Nxe5 26.Nxe5 Bxe5 27.Nf3! and White won after a few more moves.

Today's most interesting game was between Swinkels and Smerdon.

Swinkels-Smerdon Cultural Village (08), 2006

20...Bd4!? Of course Black plays for the attack. A bit better for him would have been 20...Bxa3 21. Rb3 (21. c5?! Qe2 22. Be3 Qc2) 21... Bc1 too. 21. Kf1?! Now Black can win already. A more healthy set-up 21. Bf3! Nxf2 22. Kg2. 21... Nxf2?! Most logical, but not the best. Suprisingly enough it's already over after 21... Qf6! 22. f3 (22. f4 Nc5! - the move Black missed in his calculations - 23. Qa5 Qf5 also wins) 22... Nc5 (the same pointe; Black can use the unfortunate positioning of the white pieces) 23. Qa5 Qf5 24. Ke2 Re8+ 25. Kd1 Qd3 and wins. 22. Nc2?! 22. Qb7! Rf8 and only then 23. Nc2 offered more chances. 22... Bc5 23. Re1 Qf6 24. Bf4 g5 With a huge advantage which Black coverted after a long ending.

>> replay the two games

Standings before the last round:

  1.  Willemze  2384  6.5
  2.  De Jong   2435  5
  3.  Milu      2430  5   
  4.  Smerdon   2473  4.5  
      Abeln     2380  4.0  
  6.  Swinkels  2379  3.5   
      Muhren    2336  3.5
  8.  Ruijgrok  2278  3.0
  9.  Afek      2372  2.5
 10.  Armas     2392  2.5

Pairings tomorrow:

Smerdon  - Armas
Ruijgrok - Swinkels
Willemze - Milu
Afek     - Muhren
De Jong  - Abeln

Update: the game De Jong-Abeln did end in a quick draw and De Jong did score his second IM norm!
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