Reports | July 23, 2012 15:38

Ivanchuk, Giri, Lanchava, Hungaski and Greenfeld are the winners in Amsterdam

The UvA Universum Sports Centre at Science Park

Vassily Ivanchuk won the ACP Golden Classic convincingly, finishing on +4 in the 7-round tournament. Anish Giri was in a class of his own at the Dutch Championship, scoring 6/7. The Women's Championship wasn't won, for a change, by Zhaoqin Peng but by Tea Lanchava. The SPA Open ended in a 2-way tie between IM Robert Hungaski and GM Alon Greenfeld.

Venue of four tournaments: the University of Amsterdam's Universum Sports Centre at Science Park, Amsterdam

Events Golden Classic | PGN
Dutch Ch | PGN
SPA Open | PGN via TWIC
Dates July 14-22, 2012
Location Amsterdam, Netherlands
System Golden Classic | 7-player round robin

Dutch Ch | 8-player round robin

SPA Open | Swiss
Players Golden Classic | Ivanchuk, Kamsky, Jobava, Sasikiran, Le Quang Liem, Sutovsky, Muzychuk

Dutch Ch | Giri, I.Sokolov, Smeets, l'Ami, Reinderman, Van Kampen, Ernst, Swinkels

SPA Open | Greenfeld, Haslinger, Pruijssers, Antal, etc.
Rate of play Golden Classic | 40 moves in 2.5 hours + adjourn

Dutch Ch & SPA Open | 90 minutes for 40 moves + 30 minutes to finish the game with 30 seconds increment from move 1

Golden Classic

We left this tournament after the fifth round on Thursday. At that point there were still two rounds to play, and four games had been adjourned: Le Quang Liem-Muzychuk and Sutovsky-Sasikiran of round 4, and Sasikiran-Kamsky and Jobava-Le Quang Liem of round 5.

The Golden Classic (during round 7) | Photo SPAchess

In Friday's sixth round Emil Sutovsky, the creator of the tournament, scored his first win. He showed that even after the many exchanges, the weak square on d6 meant trouble for Jobava.

PGN string

Ivanchuk moved to +3 with a relatively easy win over Sasikiran. The Indian went for a tactical sequence which was just good for White.

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In a game that went a bit up and down, the position in Kamsky-Muzychuk was adjourned after move 41. This meant that on Saturday four adjourned games would be resumed. The attentive reader counted five, but in fact in Sasikiran-Kamsky of round 5, the Indian had quickly resigned after checking the position with the computer.

Position after 41...Nc3
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In fact one could wonder if checking an engine was really necessary to evaluate this position as completely lost. :-)

And so on Saturday at 13:00, when the last round of the Dutch Championship and the penultimate round of the SPA Open started in the same venue, the positions of two games were waiting to be played on: the ones from Le Quang Liem-Muzychuk and Sutovsky-Sasikiran. The only player who was sitting at the board, however, was Sasikiran (who in fact had been under the impression that the whole thing started at 11:00).

Sasikiran arrived (very) early for the adjourned games session | Photo SPAchess

The other players arrived a few minutes late at the board, which led to further amusement because the arbiters weren't sure whether to start the clocks, or open the envelopes, or not!

As it turned out, one envelope showed that Anna Muzychuk had indeed exchanged rooks, which meant that while choosing the sealed move she had to evaluate a complicated pawn ending. In the hotel she only had to find the most accurate way to draw it, but Le quickly believed her.

Update: Because the position after 48.Rd2 was the one on the board for everyone to analyse (and the game as given by the organizers even says 'adjourned' after this move), we concluded that 48...Rxd2+ was Muzychuk's sealed move. However, as Thomas point out in the comments, in fact Le Quang Liem sealed the move 48.Rd2 "open for public" which means that Muzychuk could decide on 48...Rxd2+ based on home analysis.

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Kamsky watching the two resumed games

The other game was more eventful. In fact afterwards the players admitted that after only 3-5 moves of play into the adjournment session they had both left their home analysis already. What followed was a fascinating 2.5 hours of extra play!

PGN string

In the second adjournment session, Muzychuk and Kamsky agreed to a draw only few moves into their adjournment. Le Quang Liem defeated Jobava:

PGN string

As it turned out, Jobava did not analyse the adjourned position at all, "because the objective lines churned out by the computer would have disheartened him and inhibited him from trying out any single trick on the board", according to the tournament website. "Le Quang, to the contrary, had to carefully check every variation in order not to let the win slip away."

In the final round on Sunday Ivanchuk won quickly against Muzychuk to secure tournament victory.

PGN string

A fascinating game was the following. Afterwards Kamsky was analyzing the "ending" for a long time with spectators such as GM Jan Smeets, IM Robert Ris and GM Krishnan Sasikiran.

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And so Vassily Ivanchuk won the ACP Golden Classic very convincingly. The Ukrainian won five games and drew two, which resulted in a 2968 TPR. Interestingly, Ivanchuk was the only player who didn't need to resume an adjourned game!

Winner Vassily Ivanchuk received a new cap with the text "The city of Amsterdam" | Photo SPAchess

Emil Sutovsky told us that he was satisfied with the tournament.

Despite the longer time control of 2.5 hours for 40 moves obviously mistakes were made, but many games were very interesting.

Golden Classic 2012 | Final standings


Dutch Championships

Anish Giri won his third – and easiest – Dutch Championship, with five wins and two draws. Look how smooth he played the ending in the penultimate round.

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Here's an interview we did with Anish just after the last round:

Dutch Championship 2012 | Final standings


The Women's Championship only consisted of four players: GM Zhaoqin Peng, IM Tea Lanchava, WGM Anne Haast and Martine Middelburg. Everyone expected Peng to clinch her 14th (!) title but instead Lanchave won her first, scoring 4.5/6 which was half a point more than Peng.

Tea Lanchava wins her first Dutch title

SPA Open

The big open tournament, called SPAchess Open, was originally the main event. Later the Dutch Championship and the Golden Classic were added, in the same venue. The SPAchess Open was eventually won by American IM Robert Hungaski, who just edged out GM Alon Greenfeld on tiebreak. In the 8th round, Hungaski showed a lot of patience:

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One more player should be mentioned in this report: 2274 rated Dutchman Sjoerd Plukkel, who happens to be a former team member of the author of this report. He already played "Tata C" once, and in Amsterdam he confirmed his talent once more. After eight rounds Plukkel had already secured an IM norm with a score of 5.5 points and his opponent in the last round being GM Stewart Haslinger. But look what the underdog did to the GM:

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Plukkel finished with the highest TPR of all players, which was an even bigger achievement taken into account that Monday till Friday, in the mornings of rounds 3-7, he worked between 6 and 10 AM at his regular job, before taking the train to Amsterdam!

I was tired in rounds 6 and 7, so I lost on Thursday [against the eventual tournament winner - CV] and decided to just exchange everything on Friday [a draw against IM Li Riemersma - CV].

Sjoerd Plukkel, who also won 51 (!) rating points

SPA Open 2012 | Final standings (top 40)

Rank Name Score Fed. M/F Rating TPR W-We Mutual BH SB
1 IM Hungaski, Robert Andrew 7.0 USA M 2488 2539 +0.65 0.0 49.5 37.5
2 GM Greenfeld, Alon 7.0 ISR M 2556 2550 +0.01 0.0 48.0 37.25
3 FM Klein, David 6.5 NED M 2438 2506 +0.88 . 51.0 36.5
4 GM Sergeev, Vladimir 6.5 UKR M 2479 2484 +0.29 . 48.0 31.75
5 Plukkel, Sjoerd 6.5 NED M 2274 2561 +3.37 . 48.0 31.75
6 GM Antal, Gergely 6.5 HUN M 2511 2469 -0.28 . 47.5 33.5
7 FM Van Assendelft, Floris 6.0 NED M 2348 2538 +2.30 . 51.5 32.75
8 FM Lammens, Tim 6.0 NED M 2291 2458 +1.97 . 49.5 31.0
9 GM Bakre, Tejas 6.0 IND M 2482 2474 +0.01 . 48.5 30.5
10 GM Pruijssers, Roeland 6.0 NED M 2525 2414 -1.09 . 46.0 29.25
11 IM Riemersma, Li 6.0 NED M 2425 2357 -0.69 . 41.0 27.0
12 GM Haslinger, Stewart G 5.5 ENG M 2536 2416 -1.21 . 52.0 30.0
13 IM Gullaksen, Eirik 5.5 NOR M 2382 2386 +0.16 . 47.5 26.75
14 IM Bosboom, Manuel 5.5 NED M 2375 2431 +0.80 . 46.5 25.0
15 IM Van Oosterom, Chiel 5.5 NED M 2385 2371 -0.06 . 46.0 25.75
16 Schroer, Marcel 5.5 NED M 2088 2389 +3.45 . 45.5 26.0
17 IM Wiersma, Eelke 5.5 NED M 2375 2354 -0.19 . 45.0 25.25
18 IM Afek, Yochanan 5.5 ISR M 2293 2357 +0.79 . 45.0 24.75
19 Timmermans, Mark 5.5 NED M 2194 2342 +1.81 . 44.0 26.0
20 De Rover, Yong Hoon 5.5 NED M 2287 2318 +0.40 . 42.0 23.25
21 FM Duijker, Rick 5.5 NED M 2195 2329 +1.57 . 40.5 21.0
22 Hopman, Pieter 5.5 NED M 2326 2223 -1.10 . 37.5 22.75
23 WGM Schneider, Veronika 5.5 HUN F 2331 2218 -1.20 . 34.5 22.25
24 Zult, Daan 5.0 NED M 2252 2327 +0.84 . 45.0 22.5
25 FM Schoorl, Rob 5.0 NED M 2362 2239 -1.43 . 42.0 21.0
26 Vroombout, Enrico 5.0 NED M 2241 2259 +0.15 . 39.0 19.5
27 Visser, Henk Jan 5.0 NED M 2246 2289 +0.47 . 38.5 14.0
28 Mellema, Andries 5.0 NED M 2167 2232 +0.71 . 36.0 17.75
29 FM Vogel, Jaap 5.0 NED M 2179 2237 +0.58 . 35.5 17.75
30 Go, Benjamin 5.0 NED M 2164 2196 +0.33 . 33.5 15.5
31 FM Bezemer, Arno 4.5 NED M 2346 2252 -1.09 . 44.5 21.5
32 Kuling, Lody 4.5 NED M 2244 2223 -0.25 . 44.0 20.75
33 FM Kohler, Aran 4.5 NED M 2229 2290 +0.69 . 44.0 18.75
34 Prieto Aranguren, Alain 4.5 ESP M 2232 2222 -0.10 . 43.5 17.75
35 FM Ten Hertog, Hugo 4.5 NED M 2349 2251 -1.11 . 43.5 17.5
36 Gravemaker, Wim Laurens 4.5 NED M 2066 2201 +1.59 . 42.0 19.25
37 Bijlsma, Nick 4.5 NED M 2130 2255 +1.42 . 39.5 16.75
38 Jacobs, Florian 4.5 NED M 2130 2185 +0.62 . 38.5 16.5
39 De Saegher, Chris 4.5 NED M 2208 2147 -0.77 . 38.0 16.0
40 Van Dorp, Folke 4.5 NED M 2183 2152 -0.49 . 37.5 16.75

An example of the wonderful atmosphere in Amsterdam: four strong GMs playing bughouse after finishing their tournament!

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.


Septimus's picture

Looks like a nice relaxed and fun setting. Anna Muzychuk seems to have held her own against much higher rated opponents (except the demolition by Chucky).

Ed Dean's picture

What a great finish to Jobava-Kamsky. So much to watch out for on both sides.

Thomas's picture

According to the tournament homepage, the "sealed move" in Le Quang Liem-Muzychuk was 48.Rd2 - played out openly and thus immediately registered by the live transmission. This is consistent with what Muzychuk said in a video interview, also at the tournament homepage: "after analyzing I found that the pawn ending seems to be drawish, so I went for it" - hence this decision was made at home, not while sealing her move!?
BTW, Chessbomb still has many more moves of that game, with a draw only after move 79. Where do these moves come from? Hard to believe that it was a lengthy and "continuous" (no takebacks) postmortem, also taking into account that both players had to finish a second adjourned game the same afternoon.

Peter Doggers's picture

Thanks, did an update on the first part of your comment. About Chessbomb's extra moves, well, I don't know. The game as given by the official website (and, incidentally, TWIC) stops at 51...Kd5. Let's take the official website's version as the offical game score for now. :-)

Thomas's picture

I agree that the official website is the most official source :) - even if it is also a tiny bit strange that black played the last move. In such endgames, shouldn't white (the nominally stronger side) make a final move before offering/resigning himself to a draw?
I tried to do some detective work, but the live video stream which might show the final or intermittent positions on the board is no longer publicly available. A few people would know for sure: the players themselves, anyone who watched at the venue, and the arbiter who collected the score sheets.
It would also be funny and rather strange if someone at Chessbomb felt the need to demonstrate why the pawn ending is drawn - manually adding additional moves (gradually as far as I remember) after the game was already over.

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