Reports | March 05, 2012 10:53

FM Illner wins 4th Batavia with round to spare, scores GM norm

FM Illner wins 4th Batavia with round to spare, scores GM norm

Achim Illner surprised everyone by winning the 4th Batavia tournament with a round to spare. In the 8th round the German FM beat English grandmaster Mark Hebden to reach 6.5/8, one and a half points more than the rest of the field. This was also enough to turn his already secured IM norm into a GM norm.

FM Achim Illner wins the 4th Batavia GM tournament

Event Batavia GM | PGN
Dates February 24th-March 4th, 2012
Location Amsterdam, The Netherlands
System 10-player round robin
GM Sipke Ernst (2606), GM Robin van Kampen (2566), GM Mark Hebden (2516), GM Keith Arkell (2429), IM Manuel Bosboom (2394), FM David Klein (2391), FM Achim Illner (2375), FM Thibaut Vandenbussche (2359), FM Hugo ten Hertog (2356) and FM Richard Vedder (2293)
Rate of play 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 1
Prize fund 1st € 1000, 2nd € 500, 3rd € 300, 4th € 200

After four rounds GMs and top seeds Sipke Ernst and Mark Hebden were leading the pack, as you might remember from our first report. But in the final five rounds someone else was stealing the show: Achim Illner of Germany.

He won against Dutch IM Manuel Bosboom in round 5, and then played a quick draw against GM Robin van Kampen on Wednesday, when the other players enjoyed a rest day. (Illner and Van Kampen had played in the German league during the third round on Sunday). The German then also beat Hugo ten Hertog and David Klein, mainly because of computer-accurate calculation:

PGN string

With this win Illner secured his third IM norm. So far so good - someone is having a good tournament! But Illner went even further:

PGN string

With this win Illner reached 6.5/8. Sipke Ernst, Robin van Kampen and Keith Arkell were on 5/8 so Illner had already won the tournament! And, 6.5 points was also the score he needed for a GM norm...

Achim Illner

No more norms were scored in the event - the other FMs needed 5/9 but didn't manage.

IM Manuel Bosboom wasn't exactly having his best tournament ever, but he always plays a few spectacular games. Here's his last-round win:

PGN string

4th Batavia GM tournament 2012 | Final standings


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.


Anonymous's picture

There are a few very talented FM's who just skip IM norms altogether! He must feel very good to get his first GM norm.

Thomas's picture

"skip IM norms altogether"
Actually this isn't the case for Illner: the round 8 report on the tournament homepage (also by Peter Doggers) says "Illner told us that he scored his second IM norm just a few weeks ago in Moscow, at the Aeroflot Open, while his first dates back from somewhere in the 90s. He said he worked hard on the game, and did training with GM Daniel Fridman before the tournament. “It’s not a coincidence!” (Illner) Congratz to the winner!"
With 14 points gained at Aeroflot (B) and some more at this event, he should now have Elo >2400 and soon become an official IM. BTW it seems that he recently took or found more time and motivation for chess: for many years, he played mostly German team events (in the second or lower leagues).

Achim's picture

Thomas, you are right in all aspects. In the last 1,5 years I did quite a lot for chess because I simply decided to take the time for improving fundamentally. I think its good news for all chessplayers that with serious invest you can become a lot better quite fast if you have a general good understanding of the chessgame. Achim

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