July 09, 2013 10:36

Spoelman & Schut lead Dutch Championships

Both on 3.5/4, GM Wouter Spoelman and WIM Lisa Schut are the leaders after four rounds at the Dutch Championships in Amsterdam. Spoelman is half a point ahead of Roeland Pruijssers, while rating favourites Ivan Sokolov, Erwin l'Ami and especially Jan Smeets are underperforming thus far. The same goes for the women's section, where WIM Arlette van Weersel is in second place while former champions Tea Lanchava (2/4) and Zhaoqin Peng (1.5/4) didn't have a great start.

The Dutch Championships under way | Photo: Ab Scheel, more here

The Dutch Championships are taking place 5-11 July in Sports Centre Universum at the Science Park complex in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Both the "open" and the women's sections are groups of eight players who play a single round robin. The rate of play is 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 1.

The "open" group has GMs Ivan Sokolov (2650), Jan Smeets (2643), Erwin l'Ami (2640), Robin van Kampen (2595), Sipke Ernst (2589), Wouter Spoelman (2557), Dimitri Reinderman (2575) and Roeland Pruijssers (2549). Having won the championship before, Sokolov and Smeets are the favourites but the rating differences are small this year. Pruijssers is making his debut at the highest level, but in the same playing hall he won the first edition of the open tournament (see below).

A photo at the opening ceremony; L-R host Hans Böhm, Spoelman, Smeets, Reinderman, Sokolov,
Pruijssers, Van Kampen, l'Ami and Deputy Director of the Sports Centre Rodrigo Coesel. Sipke Ernst arrived later. 

Ivan Sokolov seemed to be making his ambitious very clear with the following devastating win in the first round. Well, as it turned out it wasn't as devastating as it looked.

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Smeets had a horrible start, with three losses and a draw. In the first round he lost to Pruijssers, who is doing very well so far.

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The surprising leader after four rounds is Spoelman. His smooth victory against Ernst was impressive:

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Wouter Spoelman going for his first Dutch title

In fact the tournament has seen many great games in just four rounds. Only four out of sixteen ended in draws! That's why we give them all for replay:

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Dutch Championship 2013 | Rou​nd 4 standings


The women's championship has GM Peng Zhaoqin (2389), WIM Lisa Schut (2277), WIM Anne Haast (2277) , IM Tea Lanchava (2287), WIM Marlies Bensdorp (2263), WGM Iozefina Paulet (2228), WIM Arlette van Weersel (2176) and Martine Middelveld (2130). Lanchava is defending her title, while Peng Zhaoqin has won 13 women titles already! Two players are making their debut: Paulet, who will surely be helped by her boyfriend GM Jan Werle, and Lisa Schut, who finished second in the U18 World Championship last year.

L-R Paulet, Peng, Lanchava, Bensdorp, Haast, Middelveld, Schut, Van Weersel

After four rounds Schut is the proud leader with 3.5 points. In the second round she beat Peng:

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A day later she also won against Lanchava:

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Lisa Schut, making a strong debut

Van Weersel is in second place; here's one of her wins:

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Dutch Women Championship 2013 | Round 4 standings


For the third year the Sports Centre is hosting a big open tournament, the SPAchess Open. It's not too strong, with only three GMs, but the atmosphere is great. The reason? The tournament hall has a splendid terras with a good selection of drinks and food and with many hours of sunshine after the round finishes.

The perfect post-mortem with drinks and sunshine...

...and food and pointing fingers | Photos Lennart Ootes, more here

It was this terras that convinced me last year that I should be participating myself this year. It's not going too wel (1.5/3 against lower rated players) but my second round game was such a wonderful adventure! It reminded me once again what a great game chess can be. (I haven't analysed it yet. Just before move 40 I was in time trouble. Generally speaking this was a game where I had like ten positions in which I had four good moves! Exactly the thing Arne wrote about recently.)

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Bronkenstein's picture

That terras really looks perfect for post-mortems =)

Chess Fan's picture

Congratulations and best wishes on your chess adventures, Peter.
Nice to see you compete and publish your game that your enjoyed.
Yes, this place seems a nice place to play and enjoy chess - and additionally, as Brokenstein says, the terras for analyzing the games, after.

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