Limburg-Open Maastricht 2018

On the Pentecost weekend, the 12th edition of the Netherlands’ biggest weekend tournament, the Limburg Open in Maastricht, took place. Roughly 460 players participated in three separate tournaments, among them Martin Müller, Johannes Bertram and Thomas Jayes.

Martin took up a difficult task: with his rating of 2057, he had the choice of registering either for the A-tournament (>2050) or the B-tournament (1800-2100) where he would have been among the Elo favourites.

Instead, he chose to playwith the strong A players, but there as one of the lowest rated participants. His performance more than justified this choice. Already in the first round, he beat a player rated more than 2150, and in the second round he faced another Müller – FM Reinhold Müller. This was a very tough game, where the higher-rated FM put up a lot of pressure, but ultimately risked too much, so that Martin could cash in a second win. In Round 3 however, Martin did not stand a chance in against the very strong GM Alexander Donchenko (Germany, 2602). With another 1.5/2 against players of equal strength, while losing twice with Black against >2200 players, Martin reached an excellent score of 3.5/7 and a strong performance of 2226.

Martin Müller / photo: Limburg-Open

Johannes Bertram (supporting Eintracht Frankfurt, who went on to win the German Cup the same evening) / Photo: Limburg-Open

Johannes and Tom were only eligible for the B-tournament. As could be expected, this section was very unpredictable, with many of the top-seed losing points already early in the tournament and players rated around 1900 being totally competitive. Tom and Johannes had a good start. After draws in round 1, they had very different round 2 games: while Johannes won the queen against a rook after only 15 moves, Tom had a 120-moves game which he won by delivering the bishop+knight mate in extremis. After this, the two had to play each other. In a very tactical game, Tom showed better knowledge of the opening theory, but Johannes managed to gain an advantage with tactical motives in the middlegame, and won with a nice combination.

After another draw, Johannes had with 3/4 even chances to attack the tournament leaders. However, in round 5 he suffered the only really disappointing result. After outplaying his opponent in the opening, he had the choice between a winning and simple continuation, and an even stronger but complicated one. He chose the latter one and got lost in the complications, thereby throwing away the winning position. After another win in round 6, and a loss against one of the highest rated players, he finished with 4/7 and a performance slightly above 2000, which was precisely his objective.

Tom Jayes / Photo: Limburg-Open

Tom however continued with a rather bad series, taking only 0.5/3 out of rounds 4-6, although he had also promising if not winning positions in these games. With a win in the last round he managed to finish the tournament on a positive note, but all in all his performance of 1845 remained below his rating.

The tournament was again excellently organized. For the first time, it took place in the new Sporthal De Geusselt, just some metres away from the old playing venue. 9 grandmasters were among the participants, as well as a number of IMs and FMs. In the A-tournament, not less than eight players were in shared first place in the end (with 5.5/7), the tournament win going to the one with the highest performance, Dutch GM Sipke Ernst.


B- & C-tournaments

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