Reports | October 27, 2012 0:51

Both games drawn in Hoogeveen on a day of surprises

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).

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)


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.

PGN string

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.

PGN string

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.

PGN file

Univé Tournament | Open group | Round 8 standings

Rank Name Score Fed. M/F Rating TPR W-We
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
26 Lindgren, Philip 4.5 SWE M 2265 2289 +0.32
27 FM Heemskerk, Wim 4.5 NED M 2254 2222 -0.22
28 Kerigan, Demre 4.5 TUR M 2238 2325 +1.07
29 FM Clemens, Adrian 4.5 NED M 2213 2264 +0.45
30 De Ruiter, Danny 4.5 NED M 2182 2387 +2.10
31 Schoehuijs, Erik 4.5 NED M 2123 2305 +1.94
32 Van Foreest, Lucas 4.5 NED M 1952 2328 +3.46
33 Majhi, Ankit 4.5 NED M 1923 2283 +3.41
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
36 Hopman, Pieter 4.0 NED M 2344 2318 -0.29
37 FM Van der Poel, Henk 4.0 NED M 2306 2101 -2.04
38 Johansson, Linus 4.0 SWE M 2287 2260 -0.26
39 Donker, Roel 4.0 NED M 2228 2276 +0.60
40 Grant, Jonathan 4.0 SCO M 2217 2160 -0.70
41 Kollen, Zyon 4.0 NED M 2174 2286 +1.10
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
45 Timmermans, Ivo 3.5 NED M 2254 2183 -0.82
46 WIM Padurariu, Ioana-Smaranda 3.5 ROU F 2236 2135 -1.05
47 Mellema, Andries 3.5 NED M 2181 2033 -1.52
48 Go, Benjamin 3.5 NED M 2175 2110 -0.80
49 Veinberg, Nimrod 3.5 ISR M 2170 2091 -0.87
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
53 Sadallah, Osama 3.5 NED M 2126 2159 +0.30
54 Baskin, Robert 3.5 GER M 2071 2183 +1.11
55 Henseler, Jorgen 3.5 NED M 2062 2166 +1.05
56 Vos, Tjark 3.5 AHO M 2003 2240 +2.06
57 FM Lorscheid, Gerhard 3.0 GER M 2267 2250 -0.19
58 Vroombout, Enrico 3.0 NED M 2243 2001 -2.56
59 Stavast, Dick 3.0 NED M 2125 1981 -1.38
60 Hendriks, Richard 3.0 NED M 2123 2063 -0.72
61 Klomp, Robert 3.0 NED M 2119 2047 -0.98
62 Lessmann, Francis 3.0 NED M 2100 2074 -0.36
63 Van Osch, Mees 3.0 NED M 2083 2133 +0.41
64 Ritsema, Ronald 3.0 NED M 2058 2001 -0.63
65 Klapwijk, Bram 3.0 NED M 2039 2061 +0.15
66 Haver, Daan 3.0 NED M 1985 2025 +0.33
67 WFM Kazarian, Anna-Maja 3.0 NED F 1864 2053 +1.65
68 Hovenga, Alje 2.5 NED M 2246 1934 -3.17
69 Potze, Rudolf 2.5 NED M 2124 2016 -1.11
70 WFM Slingerland, Caroline 2.5 NED F 2103 1981 -1.20
71 Haver, Bas 2.5 NED M 2044 2046 +0.00
72 Van Wageningen, Arie 2.5 NED M 2044 * 1977 1977
73 Voss, Herman 2.5 NED M 2015 2020 +0.06
74 Kolodkin, Daniil 2.5 NED M 1943 2005 +0.56
75 Hoffman, Ron 2.0 NED M 2107 1909 -2.20
76 Gieben, Stijn 2.0 NED M 2068 1947 -1.25
77 Van der Lende, Nathalie 1.0 NED F 1968 1776 -1.66
78 Djuric, Olgica 1.0 SRB F 1880 1777 -0.72

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

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.


arkan's picture

Well no disrespect, but that picture of Nakamura shaking hands.. i hope that was a lens distortion

Anonymous's picture

Me too, hoping that picture of Nakamura shaking hands was just a lens distortion. No disrespect intended.

Peter Doggers's picture

Hm, yes, it did look a bit strange. Changed the photo for a different one.

Anonymous's picture

I don't get it. Please clarify if you would.

RuralRob's picture

If Hou Yifan needed to give a demo on that demo board, could she even reach the 8th rank?

Casey Abell's picture

Nakamura won against Tiviakov in the final round to take the tournament. Just piled up pressure against Black's glaringly weak pawn on d6 until he finally confiscated it. Interesting positional game by Naka. At least he seems to be recovering from the disaster in London.

Giri and Hou Yifan drew. Very disappointing tournament for Anish and not really a very good outing for Hou Yifan, either.

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