Two days ago Nijboer, managed to make Eelke de Boer throw away his preparation by playing his maiden Caro-Kann. Today ofcourse, Eelke was ready for it. The best for white is not to play c2-c4 too soon, because black will have targets to manoeuvre to. However, two days of diving into Caro-Kann-territory proved too little, for Eelke was unable to refute Nijboer’s opening choice when it appeared on the board for the second time. After 18.Rd3
It went on 18…Bd6 19.Rh4 Rfe8 20.Qd1 Qf5 21. Ng1!? White really wants to play g2-g4, but 21.Nd2 seems more logical. 21..Nd5 22.Bc1 and Nijboer didn’t play 22…Qxf2, instead he played 22…e5!
A healthy charge in the centrum from Friso. After all it’s principal to open up the position when white plays backward moves like Ng1 and Lc1.
The weak f2-pawn proved fatal in the end; in the middle of a tactical move sequence the experienced GM from Amsterdam snatched the pawn, and this was too much to handle for Eelke in the resulting rookending.
Nijboer later explained there was more to the position than a superficial glance could reveal. Eelke de Boer had prepared himself well, and he surprised Friso with 18.Td3. ‘He wants to continue with Ne5 and maybe take on h6, followed by Rg3+ and mate. To block his intentions I found 18…Ld6 to take the punch out of any piece sacrifices.’
Taking with 28…Qxf2 Nijboer called a mistake: “I should have taken on h5 first. After 29.Rf4 I offered a draw, but Eelke wouldn’t take the half point.” Nijboer is expecting another tough battle in the final round: “Short draws, that’s just not in my system.”
That takes us to our young contender: how to cope with a dawning landslide? Ofcourse, there is no such thing as a clearcut recipe. Just try to play your game, and play it well. Forget about the results, and keep focussed on finding the next best move!