Reports | October 24, 2012 10:21

Nakamura beats Hou Yifan, extends lead in Hoogeveen

Nakamura beats Hou Yifan, extends lead in Hoogeveen

On Tuesday Hikaru Nakamura extended his lead to a full point in the Univé Tournament's Crown Group. The American grandmaster beat Hou Yifan of China, while Dutch GMs Anish Giri and Sergey Tiviakov drew their game. Drawing his first three games, the latter is in second place with1.5 points.

Nakamura beats Hou Yifan in round 3 | Photo courtesy of the official website

Event Univé Tournament | PGN: Crown | Open via TWIC
Dates October 19th-27th, 2012
Location Hoogeveen, The Netherlands
System Crown Group: 4-player double round robin
Open: 9-round Swiss
Players Crown Group: Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, Hou Yifan, Sergei Tiviakov

Open: Erwin l'Ami, Nils Grandelius, Jan Timman, Robin van Kampen are the top GMs
Rate of play

40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes to finish the game with a 30-second increment starting at move 1 (in both Crown and Open)


It was tempting to write in the first paragraph that Nakamura is very close to winning the Univé tournament this year. He won two games so far, and all other games in the first half of the tournament were drawn. The American can enjoy the rest day with a comfortable one point lead. For Sergey Tiviakov, a fifty percent score is enough to be in clear second place. Nonetheless, in a tournament with just six rounds, nothing has been decided yet.

After his win in the first round, Nakamura tweeted, fully aware of his bad form lately:

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

Sometimes it's good to have a busy schedule – it seems that the American grandmaster has started to repair the damage of his lost rating points at previous events. And, apart from the points scored, it certainly seems like he has found back his form. A good win against Giri and a solid draw against Tiviakov were followed by an excellent victory over Hou Yifan.

The Chinese allowed the Keres Attack of the Scheveningen (many chess fans in the playing hall can tell her how to pronounce it!) and went for an early ...e5 push in a position where it isn't a regular move. Things went well for her, until Hou chose the horrible 19…Bxc2? which didn't give much compensation for the piece. Instead, the exchange sacrifice 19...Rah8 would have led to an unclear position.

PGN string

The fight between Giri and Tiviakov was quite entertaining, but there were some mistakes as well. The youngest of the two Dutch GMs missed a good chance right after the opening, and his opponent could have tried something at the very end.

PGN string

Univé Tournament | Crown group | Round 3 standings


In the Open section two Dutch GMs lost to two IMs. Sipke Ernst was defeated by Leonardo Valdes of Costa Rica, while Erwin l'Ami went down even quicker against Thomas Willemze. After a disappointing start of 1.5/3 Jan Timman is back on track. With a fine piece sac he won his game and now shares 7th place. Here are a few games from round 5.

PGN file

Univé Tournament | Open group | Round 5 standings

Rank Name Score Fed. M/F Rating TPR W-We
1 IM Valdes, Leonardo 4.5 CRC M 2414 2753 +1.85
2 IM Willemze, Thomas 4.5 NED M 2377 2708 +1.77
3 GM Van Kampen, Robin 4.0 NED M 2570 2531 -0.15
4 GM Nijboer, Friso 4.0 NED M 2525 2458 -0.25
5 IM Riemersma, Li 4.0 NED M 2420 2561 +0.87
6 IM Guramishvili, Sopiko 4.0 GEO F 2418 2450 +0.24
7 GM L'Ami, Erwin 3.5 NED M 2631 2498 -0.66
8 GM Grandelius, Nils 3.5 SWE M 2593 2484 -0.55
9 GM Timman, Jan 3.5 NED M 2578 2350 -1.03
10 GM Ernst, Sipke 3.5 NED M 2554 2473 -0.39
11 GM Brynell, Stellan 3.5 SWE M 2500 2458 -0.20
12 IM Hendriks, Willy 3.5 NED M 2437 2448 +0.11
13 IM Bosboom, Manuel 3.5 NED M 2402 2422 +0.10
14 WGM L'Ami, Alina 3.5 ROU F 2376 2518 +0.97
15 FM Bezemer, Arno 3.5 NED M 2329 2442 +0.74
16 Johansson, Linus 3.5 SWE M 2287 2326 +0.32
17 Van Foreest, Jorden 3.5 NED M 2225 2448 +1.54
18 Van Foreest, Lucas 3.5 NED M 1952 2394 +2.70
19 GM Kasparov, Sergey 3.0 BLR M 2476 2330 -0.86
20 IM De Jong, Migchiel 3.0 NED M 2369 2391 +0.19
21 IM Wiersma, Eelke 3.0 NED M 2367 2336 -0.11
22 FM Schoorl, Rob 3.0 NED M 2363 2400 +0.30
23 Hopman, Pieter 3.0 NED M 2344 2455 +0.76
24 IM Afek, Yochanan 3.0 ISR M 2312 2204 -0.68
25 FM Vedder, Richard 3.0 NED M 2267 2376 +0.55
26 Lindgren, Philip 3.0 SWE M 2265 2288 +0.19
27 FM Heemskerk, Wim 3.0 NED M 2254 2271 +0.16
28 Kerigan, Demre 3.0 TUR M 2238 2279 +0.40
29 Donker, Roel 3.0 NED M 2228 2302 +0.59
30 Van der Lende, Ilias 3.0 NED M 2169 2370 +1.29
31 Lee, Kai Jie Edward 3.0 SIN M 2132 2446 +1.94
32 IM Van Delft, Merijn 2.5 NED M 2395 2279 -0.74
33 IM Vedder, Henk 2.5 NED M 2378 2203 -1.13
34 FM Okkes, Menno 2.5 NED M 2368 2152 -1.24
35 FM Van der Poel, Henk 2.5 NED M 2306 2089 -1.32
36 IM Piasetski, Leon 2.5 CAN M 2298 2300 -0.04
37 Ben Artzi, Ido 2.5 ISR M 2286 2067 -1.39
38 Timmermans, Ivo 2.5 NED M 2254 2277 +0.14
39 WIM Padurariu, Ioana-Smaranda 2.5 ROU F 2236 2127 -0.67
40 De Ruiter, Danny 2.5 NED M 2182 2383 +1.22
41 Go, Benjamin 2.5 NED M 2175 2116 -0.44
42 Kollen, Zyon 2.5 NED M 2174 2258 +0.48
43 FM Vogel, Jaap 2.5 NED M 2158 2233 +0.45
44 CM Van 't Hof, Eric 2.5 NED M 2137 2114 -0.15
45 Sadallah, Osama 2.5 NED M 2126 2158 +0.20
46 Potze, Rudolf 2.5 NED M 2124 2126 +0.04
47 Schoehuijs, Erik 2.5 NED M 2123 2296 +1.11
48 Vos, Tjark 2.5 AHO M 2003 2313 +1.59
49 FM Lorscheid, Gerhard 2.0 GER M 2267 2202 -0.50
50 Hovenga, Alje 2.0 NED M 2246 2034 -1.34
51 Grant, Jonathan 2.0 SCO M 2217 2088 -0.97
52 FM Clemens, Adrian 2.0 NED M 2213 2175 -0.41
53 Mellema, Andries 2.0 NED M 2181 2094 -0.61
54 Veinberg, Nimrod 2.0 ISR M 2170 2039 -0.74
55 Van der Raaf, Erik 2.0 NED M 2163 1941 -1.20
56 WIM Kasparova, Tatiana 2.0 BLR F 2126 2175 +0.27
57 Hendriks, Richard 2.0 NED M 2123 2042 -0.57
58 Van Osch, Mees 2.0 NED M 2083 2196 +0.68
59 Baskin, Robert 2.0 GER M 2071 2188 +0.70
60 Henseler, Jorgen 2.0 NED M 2062 2164 +0.63
61 Voss, Herman 2.0 NED M 2015 2094 +0.50
62 Majhi, Ankit 2.0 NED M 1923 2176 +1.34
63 Vroombout, Enrico 1.5 NED M 2243 1984 -1.70
64 Klomp, Robert 1.5 NED M 2119 2017 -0.82
65 Lessmann, Francis 1.5 NED M 2100 2058 -0.30
66 Haver, Bas 1.5 NED M 2044 2057 +0.06
67 Klapwijk, Bram 1.5 NED M 2039 2046 +0.02
68 Kolodkin, Daniil 1.5 NED M 1943 1989 +0.25
69 Kazarian, Anna-Maja 1.5 NED F 1864 2008 +0.73
70 Stavast, Dick 1.0 NED M 2125 1863 -1.37
71 Hoffman, Ron 1.0 NED M 2107 1892 -1.47
72 WFM Slingerland, Caroline 1.0 NED F 2103 1957 -0.91
73 Gieben, Stijn 1.0 NED M 2068 1916 -0.92
74 Ritsema, Ronald 1.0 NED M 2058 1988 -0.45
75 Van Wageningen, Arie 1.0 NED M 2044 1941 1941
76 Haver, Daan 1.0 NED M 1985 1905 -0.45
77 Van der Lende, Nathalie 1.0 NED F 1968 1919 -0.28
78 Djuric, Olgica 0.0 SRB F 1880 1330 -0.98

For this report we used IM Gert Ligterink's Dutch round report on the tournament website.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


uahdnske's picture

As you always like to talk about Giri,Carlsen...You could comment something about the relation Giri-Guramishvili,and yes...i'm a bit jealous ;)

GMConsistent;)'s picture

After seeing people picking up rating points off of beating weaker players, I am convinced chess ratings should be weighted like in tennis.

sab's picture


Abbas's picture

Yeah, that will punish Carlsen since all the player are less rated than him.

Casey Abell's picture

That would be pretty rough on Magnus. Hey buddy, you're just too good!

Anyway, I was following the top games and didn't understand the piece sac by Hou Yifan. Then she got into horrendous time trouble. Nakamura missed a quicker win with Rc1. But for some reason he was blitzing out moves, too, even though he had plenty of time on the clock. Those old ICC habits are hard to break, I giess.

In the open tournament, what happens if the L'Amis get paired? In a chess game, I mean. They're both on 3.5 right now. Or will the organizers make sure that doesn't happen?

Remco G's picture

The organizers have to follow strict FIDE rules for the pairings, otherwise the tournament won't count for things like title norms.

A quick draw would be normal (like the Kosintseva sisters always do) but I wouldn't be surprised if they both tried their hardest as well.

Casey Abell's picture

Yeah, I figured that the organizers really couldn't do anything if the pairings just happened to fall out that way. If Erwin keeps underperforming his rating and Alina keps overperforming hers, hey, it could happen.

I kind of like Alina. Her stuff on Chessbase is funny and friendly. Nice to see her doing so well in the open tournament so far.

Thomas's picture

It wouldn't be the first husband vs. wife pairing: Daniel Fridman met his wife Anna Zatonskih at the chessboard at least twice. In Gibraltar 2010 Fridman did ("was allowed to"?) win, but once at the Politiken Cup they played the Kosintseva draw.

Casey Abell's picture

Think I saw a game at between Alexandra Kosteniuk and her (then future) husband. She won, as I recall.

Niima's picture

If my wife was into chess I wouldn't want to face her in a tournament. It would be my loss no matter what ;-)

Better to agree to a quick draw and go for a beer.

Thomas's picture

Your (Niima's) situation is different as your wife doesn't (yet) play chess. The l'Ami's and other chess couples met (probably during chess events) when both were already professional chess players. So if they play the same Swiss events - which is otherwise nice - they know that they can be paired against each other. It may be awkward, but it's simply part of their jobs.

Anonymous's picture

Well he won too - look who he married! ;-)

wtwz's picture

If I remember correctly, they have actually been paired before in the Reykjavik Open 2012, and Erwin won the game.

S3's picture

Not sure if it was Reykjavik Open but I remember a win as well.

Casey Abell's picture

It was Reykjavik 2012 and Erwin did win with Black in a Nimzo-Indian. Some tactics netted him bishop, knight and pawn for rook, and the rest was pretty easy...

Chessguy's picture

Nice "retweed" of the master's own wise words... :-)

Remco G's picture

It's funny how when a top GM plays in a weaker tournament, people talk about picking up easy rating points, but when they play elite six player round robins people talk about how they're protecting their ratings by only playing other top players...

Thomas's picture

True, but in the given case such comments seem to be a reaction to Nakamura in general, and his near-identical remarks about Caruana in particular.

I would say this event "is what it is" for Nakamura: weak enough that he is the clear favorite (only Giri could compete with him but isn't in top form to put it mildly), strong enough that a draw doesn't cost him too many rating points - unlike draws against sub-2500 players at the European Club Cup.
Doing well in Hoogeveen doesn't necessarily mean that he found back his form. Nor did losses against stronger players in London and Eilat necessarily imply bad form, at least not each loss taken individually. Fact is that he now regains some, but far from all rating points he recently lost - fact is also that the London Classics will be a more serious test on where he stands at the moment.

Septimus's picture

In the first annotated game:

"With a king like that on e7 the knight is stronger than the three pieces. "

Should probably read: three pawns.

Hard to see how the knight is equal to three pieces??

Peter Doggers's picture

Indeed, a typo. The mind follows strange paths sometimes. Thx, corrected.

Jambow's picture

Elo ratings are weighted as you go up you earn less for wins and lose more for losses.

B L's picture
jsy's picture

He also beat an 18 year old boy (rated 2730 not so long ago mind you.)

Casey Abell's picture

Afraid I jinxed Alina. She lost to Jan Timman. She played a Sicilian but the game simplified in a hurry. Timman then showed impeccable technique in a rook-and-pawn endgame.

Anonymous's picture

Nakamura's gotta get his rating back up somehow.

Septimus's picture

Can somebody point me to a reliable source of the ELO equation?

Casey Abell's picture

Okay, you asked for it...

Of course, nobody calculates all this by hand. The FIDE site actually has automated rating calculators...

RG13's picture

The equations are given here:

Also, the House of Staunton is selling a new copy of Professor Elo's book:

Latest articles