Group A

Tiviakov started the round half a point ahead of the field. As he was having white versus Gleizerov he had a nice opportunity to go into the last with a lead. Everything seemed to go according to plan. He Played a Tarrasch against the French and allowed Qxb2. Urban wisdom dictates: "never take on b2 even if it is good". Erik Hoeksema changed this to: "Always take on b2, even if it is bad!" The queen was trapped and white captured black's good bishop. White got the opportunity with 19.Rb3 to trap the queen completely and liquidate into a winning position. Sergei would probably not have that much difficulties converting that position.

However he opted to go into a different ending. He still had the far superior position. White had more active rooks, the bishop pair and the better pawn structure. For a long time it looked like it would be another day where Sergei would teach an endgame lesson. But according to commentator Ligterink a 'mistreatment' happened. Sergei traded the wrong pieces and he allowed the black pieces to become active. Suddenly black had a rook on b2 and a knight on c4. White had to be careful that he would not lose. In the longest game of today he did in the end hold the position but he would probably still be disappointed.

This gave Bai the opportunity to catch up in the standings. His game against Chigaev started with little excitement. That is why the game got little attention in the analysis room. Chigaev damaged his own pawn structure and he had difficulties to keep the position equal. Instead, White went full pull for a win but played way too actively. That means that Bai, like Tiviakov, has 6.5 points. Surely an interesting final round is in the making!

Gleizerov follows on 6 points, and guess who also pops up on the scoring sheet: Sipke Ernst. He is back from a holiday in a 'Swiss gambit' by winning five games in a row. His Chinese opponent sinned against all opening rules (don't move your queen too early, don't play with the same piece twice). Sipke realised that he had to play active to profit from this. All his pieces were steered towards the enemy king, and the move Qe1 instead of Qh5 was very precise. Winning in 22 moves must give a confidence boost for the last round.

Joining Sipke is Casper Schoppen, although it didn't look like that for a long time. With the black pieces Hugo ten Hertog had the better game. Why he didn't put his rook on the back rank with 22…Bxf3 23.Qxf3 Re1+ was a mystery to us. White fought back well with Ra3-d3 and Nh5. The move 28...Nxb2 is completely in the wrong direction. White takes over, and 30.Qc6 loses on the spot.

Top seed Krasenkow was having a holiday in the same Swiss gambit as Sipke, but got lost there a bit longer. But now he is back on track. His opponent gave him a freebie in the form of a piece which he accepted gladly. After that it was a matter of consolidating and forming the ideal placement of his pieces. White would kill to have a knight on d4, and he slowly made this plan happen to claim the full point. Krasenkow is now on 5.5 points; maybe he can still have a decisive impact on the tournament victory?

I'd love to write something nice about Jan Werle, but I can only state that he made a draw and that there's wasn't much to gain in that game.

Nico Zwirs was in dire straits in an almost symmetrical position which later was converted in him being two pawns down. Nico fought back commendably to a completely equal position. But a blunder under time pressure (32...Bd6) cost a painful full point.

Peter Ypma was a victim today of Lucas van Foreest's testosterone infused chess. Ypma, who is having a great tournament, now needs a win to fulfill his IM norm but keeps on playing his inferior 1...b6 and 2...Bb7. Lucas just knows how to deal with that, and when Peter doesn't execute his plans consistently and halfway adjusts them and on top of that makes some suicidal moves, Lucas just crashes through. A nice win in 27 moves.

Stefan Colijn seemed to think that playing for an initiative against a Russian GM is a good idea, because he gave away almost all of his pawns for some faint activity. Ulybin played with surgical precision and brought home the point.

An interesting game to look out for tomorrow is Max Warmerdam against Nico Zwirs. They are both still in the running to gain an IM norm, but for both only a win will suffice!

Games from the top ten boards:


Group B

Many turnarounds in the top this round. On the first board top seeds Bruno Jelic and Fons van Hamond finally met. A Steinitz gambit in a Dutch defence led to a rather closed game with a positional character. Bruno started getting the upperhand by planting his knight in Black's camp with 14.Ne6. White later won a pawn, and Black thought he could win it back with 20.Qxe6? But Bruno had a nice trick up his sleeve with 23.Rxd5! winning it back again. Fons then must have panicked, as he withdrew his rook from the bishop's diagonal, allowing an unfortunate mate in one!

Edwin Zuiderweg against Raymon Oord was a long and mostly balanced game. Edwin finally saw a way to get an advantage as he was able to convert a rook endgame into a queen plus pawn against queen endgame. But it was still a tough nut to crack, and the players settled on a draw in the end.

In Minko Pieters vs. Edim Salihbegovic the latter got seemingly well out of the opening, but Pieters deftly won a pawn with 18.Qg4! Later, Edim landed a pawn on d2 which caused Minko some problems. 27...Qe1 was an interesting try, but it was followed by the blitzed out blunder 28...Ne5? Instead, 28...Ka8 29.Re2 Rh1 would have led to a tricky but keepable double rook versus queen endgame.

On board four Onno Elgersma beat Arthur Maters, and youngest child of the Van Foreest clan Machteld drew against Joan Reinders on board five. Going into the final round Bruno Jelic now leads with 6.5 out of 8, being pursued by Edwin Zuiderweg, Minko Pieters and Onno Elgersma with 6 points. Pairings: Zuiderweg - Jelic, Pieters - Elgersma. Will Jelic win Group B again? Everything is still possible.

Some games from Group B (more will be available for download later):


Five players in a field of 170 on 100% at the start of round 4, let's see how many remained on this perfect score. In Compact A Belgian IM Stefan Beukema playing black defeated FM Adrian Clemens in a Dutch defense. After a somewhat dubious 17.b4?! White's pieces had to retreat and the a-pawn was soon lost. Not something you want against an IM. Adrian never got back in the game, and had to resign after 36 moves. Friends Alje and Arno made a quick draw and were joined in the group on half a point from Stefan by Roelof and Nikolas, who played one of the longest games of the round, and by a pair of Jaspers (Geurink and Beukema).

The first player on 100% to be found in the Compacts is Ardin Bosboom in the B section. He couldn't hold on to this score though, since Willem Sipkema got his thoughts in order after a positionally curious decision. He opted for a pawn chain from g2 – c6, but never got any activity as a result of that decision. Frisian stubbornness saved the day though. Ramon Middeljans did manage to win, which gives him the shared first place with one round to go.

In C we started the rounds with no less than three players on three points, but even in this group no one managed to get the fourth win in a row. Ron and Elmar made a draw, and Erwin barely managed to hold on versus Emma de Vries. Eight players can still win this group in the last round, let's see who comes out on top.

Group D can by all rights be called the ladies group, since once again there were four women on the first four boards. There's one gentleman who does not care about this at all; Daan Noordenbos is the one player who managed to make four out of four, and today's game was almost flawless. We'll see whether he can hold of Louise Beukema tomorrow to win the group, otherwise Louise, Famke or Joris on 3,5 out of 4 might overtake him.

Some games from Compact A: