Both games drawn in Hoogeveen on a day of surprises
The penultimate round of the Univé tournament in Hoogeveen saw two draws. Sergey Tiviakov built up a nice endgame advantage against Anish Giri, but then missed a good chance to catch Hikaru Nakamura in first place. The American kept his half point lead by drawing a slightly worse ending against Hou Yifan, where the presence of opposite-coloured bishops worked to his advantage. In the open section it's an all-Dutch affair at the top: Nijboer kept his half point lead and is followed by a group of four (l'Ami, Timman, Van Kampen and Ernst).
A chess set and giant pawns of glass are positioned between the two tables in the Crown Group
Friday was a day of surprises in Hoogeveen, at least for three of the four participants. Both of the games were drawn, but in both cases the white player got the advantage. The tournament leader got into trouble, while the runner-up missed a strong, maybe winning idea.
The first game to finish was the one between Giri and Tiviakov. When the oldest of the two Dutch GMs moved his king's pawn two squares at the start, Giri instantly responded with 1...c5. Tiviakov then thought for a few minutes before replying with the Alapin (2.c3), which surprised Giri a little.
I expected the Bb5 variation; I didn't spend much time on the Alapin. The last time I checked the line I played was a really long time ago, so I was just a bit worse after the opening.
Tiviakov was surprised himself that Giri went for the Sicilian, because
he had only played one game against the Alapin while I have played it all my life.
Giri about his choice of the Sicilian:
I wanted to play a bit more interesting. And... I want to win a game too, you know. I'm not saying that I play for a win from the start, because he's a very solid player, but I was looking for chances.
After their game Giri and Tiviakov analyzed the ending for more than an hour in the press room. While Giri assisted his girlfriend the day before during her post-mortem, this time Guramishvili, an IM herself, joined the top GMs and made some interesting suggestions.
Trying to find the truth in a difficult ending
Eventually the three players came to the conclusion that White shouldn't have allowed the poor knight on b7 to free itself. To keep control of the d6 square, the unnatural move 35.g5 was called for, so that Bxf6 can be answered by gxf6. It's kind of unnatural because normally you wouldn't want to close the kingside like that. Giri:
You have the illusion that there's still something on the kingside, some f5 or Kg5, so g4-g5 is very illogical but also very strong. I'm almost in Zugzwang.
Tiviakov fifty minutes on the clock in the ending, and made the wrong move 35.Ba6 because he missed the manoeuvre Nb7-d6-b5-a3. During the game both players felt that Ba6 was strong, and even when playing Bxf6 Giri hadn't seen the knight manoeuvre yet.
While the two Dutch GMs managed to surprise each other in the opening, Nakamura's preparation was in fact completely useless, at least for Friday's game. He had prepared for Tiviakov, and only when he arrived in the playing hall he saw that his opponent was Hou! (The pairings were not just mirrored, because in that case Giri would have had three whites in a row.)
I just assumed it would be the same pairings as the first half. Luckily I was a few minutes early so I could go outside and calm down and just play chess. I spent the whole morning preparing for Sergey and I was pretty much freaking out but I was able to calm down.
Hou Yifan waiting for her opponent to arrive after playing 1.e4
The next surprise came soon after, when the Chinese took on d4 with the queen at move 4. Nakamura decided to avoid the theory with 4...e5!?, a move he faced himself many times on ICC. It worked out well and Black was doing OK after the opening.
Somewhere in the middle I started to try too hard to win. I was a little bit too creative with this Bd7 and Kh7/g6/f5, which was really just uncalled for. Then Hou played quite well, she found this idea of Nd2, Qa7 and Nc4 and after that it's unpleasant for me for the rest of the game. I don't know if I was ever losing.
Hou Yifan-Nakamura just after the pawn sacrifice d6-d5 was played
To the question if he'll try to beat Nakamura and win the tournament outright, Tiviakov said:
No, I will try to save myself. I will have to fight for a draw.
At least now I have white against Sergey and now I won't have to prepare, I can just go and sleep and just relax. :-)
Univé Tournament | Crown group | Round 5 standings
In the Open section Dutch GM Friso Nijboer kept his half point lead; he beat IM Li Riemersma with Black. Despite losing his first round game, Jan Timman is one of three Dutch GMs who follows with half a point less. The others are Sipke Ernst and Robin van Kampen. In the last round the top pairings are Friso Nijboer-Erwin l'Ami, Robin van Kampen-Jan Timman and Sergey Kasparov vs Sipke Ernst.
Univé Tournament | Open group | Round 8 standings
|1||GM Nijboer, Friso||7.0||NED||M||2525||2629||+0.81|
|2||GM L'Ami, Erwin||6.0||NED||M||2631||2593||-0.24|
|3||GM Timman, Jan||6.0||NED||M||2578||2475||-0.66|
|4||GM Van Kampen, Robin||6.0||NED||M||2570||2518||-0.38|
|5||GM Ernst, Sipke||6.0||NED||M||2554||2590||+0.49|
|6||GM Kasparov, Sergey||5.5||BLR||M||2476||2414||-0.56|
|7||IM Riemersma, Li||5.5||NED||M||2420||2526||+1.15|
|8||IM Guramishvili, Sopiko||5.5||GEO||F||2418||2406||+0.01|
|9||IM Bosboom, Manuel||5.5||NED||M||2402||2452||+0.50|
|10||IM Willemze, Thomas||5.5||NED||M||2377||2531||+1.64|
|11||IM De Jong, Migchiel||5.5||NED||M||2369||2425||+0.72|
|12||GM Grandelius, Nils||5.0||SWE||M||2593||2453||-1.23|
|13||GM Brynell, Stellan||5.0||SWE||M||2500||2475||-0.18|
|14||IM Hendriks, Willy||5.0||NED||M||2437||2430||-0.04|
|15||IM Valdes, Leonardo||5.0||CRC||M||2414||2521||+1.16|
|16||IM Van Delft, Merijn||5.0||NED||M||2395||2370||-0.24|
|17||FM Okkes, Menno||5.0||NED||M||2368||2263||-0.93|
|18||FM Schoorl, Rob||5.0||NED||M||2363||2423||+0.67|
|19||IM Afek, Yochanan||5.0||ISR||M||2312||2294||-0.22|
|20||Van Foreest, Jorden||5.0||NED||M||2225||2421||+2.11|
|21||IM Wiersma, Eelke||4.5||NED||M||2367||2330||-0.28|
|22||FM Bezemer, Arno||4.5||NED||M||2329||2350||+0.22|
|23||IM Piasetski, Leon||4.5||CAN||M||2298||2283||-0.14|
|24||Ben Artzi, Ido||4.5||ISR||M||2286||2202||-0.77|
|25||FM Vedder, Richard||4.5||NED||M||2267||2287||+0.19|
|27||FM Heemskerk, Wim||4.5||NED||M||2254||2222||-0.22|
|29||FM Clemens, Adrian||4.5||NED||M||2213||2264||+0.45|
|30||De Ruiter, Danny||4.5||NED||M||2182||2387||+2.10|
|32||Van Foreest, Lucas||4.5||NED||M||1952||2328||+3.46|
|34||IM Vedder, Henk||4.0||NED||M||2378||2216||-1.69|
|35||WGM L'Ami, Alina||4.0||ROU||F||2376||2329||-0.38|
|37||FM Van der Poel, Henk||4.0||NED||M||2306||2101||-2.04|
|42||Van der Lende, Ilias||4.0||NED||M||2169||2293||+1.24|
|43||Van der Raaf, Erik||4.0||NED||M||2163||2043||-1.20|
|44||FM Vogel, Jaap||4.0||NED||M||2158||2204||+0.44|
|46||WIM Padurariu, Ioana-Smaranda||3.5||ROU||F||2236||2135||-1.05|
|50||CM Van 't Hof, Eric||3.5||NED||M||2137||2203||+0.57|
|51||Lee, Kai Jie Edward||3.5||SIN||M||2132||2295||+1.53|
|52||WIM Kasparova, Tatiana||3.5||BLR||F||2126||2159||+0.26|
|57||FM Lorscheid, Gerhard||3.0||GER||M||2267||2250||-0.19|
|63||Van Osch, Mees||3.0||NED||M||2083||2133||+0.41|
|67||WFM Kazarian, Anna-Maja||3.0||NED||F||1864||2053||+1.65|
|70||WFM Slingerland, Caroline||2.5||NED||F||2103||1981||-1.20|
|72||Van Wageningen, Arie||2.5||NED||M||2044 *||1977||1977|
|77||Van der Lende, Nathalie||1.0||NED||F||1968||1776||-1.66|
Friso Nijboer lost in the first round to 2100 player but then won seven games in a row
Jan Timman, in shared second place with one round to go
In the series "chess couples in Hoogeveen" there's also Erwin and Alina l'Ami....
...and WIM Ioana-Smaranda Padurariu who brought a strong second: her boyfriend Jan Smeets
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