Limburg-Open 2019 in Maastricht

By admin

On Pentecost, six Europchess players travelled to Maastricht to play in the strong Limburg-Open, four of them in the A-tournament for players rated >2050, and two in the B-section for players rated <2100.


The best Europchess participant was FM Georgi Tomov with 4.5/7 points, and a performance around his rating. Frank Hoffmeister scored 50% and more or less confirmed as well his rating. Paula Gitu scored 3 points, among which a victory against team mate FM Tom Wiley, and gained some rating points. Tom recovered from his loss against Paula with a win against an IM, but performed somewhat below his rating.

Final results:


In the B-Open, Martin Müller was for a long time in the race for the top, but lost the decisive last round. In the end he finished with 4.5 points and a performance slightly below his rating. Kristian Frederiksen played a good tournament, with a performance slightly above his rating.

Final result:

Georgi shared one of his games:

Georgi Tomov – Erwin Kalle (Round 5)

Comments and notes by Georgi

My opponent has played extremely daring chess – despite all the dark clouds gathering on the King side, he has invested four moves in Queen side actions: a7-a5, Nb8-a6-b4 and Ra8-a7. If I choose to keep building up, he would bring the a7-Rook into the defence with … b7-b5. So I judged correctly that it is time to strike against Black’s King, but I completely misplayed the attack.

15. Rxh7! Kxh7

If 15… Bxf4, 16. Qxf4 Kxh7 17. Rh1+ Kg8 18. Qe5! White mates easily.

16. Rh1+?

Based on miscalculation. Instead I should have gone for 16. Qh3+:

1) after 16…Kg7 I quickly pick up the g6 pawn with checks and continue the attack: 17. Qh6+ Kf7 18. Qxg6+ Ke7 19. Rh1! Rf7 (In my calculations, I gave up on this line somewhere here) 20. Rh7! Qf8 (or 20… Rxh7 21. Qxh7+ Ke8 22. g6! and Black can’t stop the g-pawn without massive loss of material) 21. Qf6+ Ke8 22. Rxf7 Qxf7 23. Qxd6 White is winning;

2) after 16…Kg8 things are complicated as well: 17. Rh1 Qd7 18. Nxg6 (with three pieces in the attack it is hard to believe that Black can escape) 18… Qg7 19. Nxf8 Nxd3 (after 19… Bxf8, I make use of my Bishop by capturing the f5 pawn: 20. Bxf5 Bxf5 21. Qxf5. The engine says this is dead lost for Black, but you would need to trust your attacking capabilities to go for it) 20. Nh7! (a tough-to-find intermediate move) 20… Nxf2 21. Nf6+ Kf8 22. Qh5 +-

16…Kg7 17. Nxg6 Qxg5!

As simple as that. Somehow I missed this simple capture – I was only looking at 17… Qe8, when the g-pawn makes a big difference in the variations: for example, 18. Nxf8 Bxf8 19. Qh3 Qg6 20. Qh8+ Kf7 21. Rh7+ (21. Be2! was easier and very instructive) 21… Ke8 22. Qe5+ Qe6 23. Qb8 Nxd3 24.cxd3 Ra6 25. g6! and Black is busted.

18. Nxf8 Bxf8?

It is far from obvious, but Black had to insert 18… Nxd3! Killing the Bishop is the only defensive job that Black’s Knight can do, and this should be done as soon as possible. After 19. cxd3 Bxf8 20. Ne2! the game is double-edged, but objectively it should end in a draw.

19. Qh3?

The right move is 19. Ne2!, as suggested by Martin in the post-mortem. White should use the downside of the 17… Qxg5 move, which is the opening of the g-file, and bring his knight into the attack with tempo. After 19… Kf7 20. Rg1 the pawn on f5 is still hanging because White’s Bishop is still on the board. The attack rages on.

19… Nxd3 20. cxd3

White still has dangerous threats. Now Black cracks.

20… Kf6?

20… Kf7! was the only move when Black can cover a check on h7 with the f8-Bishop. White should play 21. Qh8!, but I saw that Black can now protect the important e5 square with 21… f4! To stay in the game, White needs to find 22. Rh7+ Ke8 23. e4! (keeping the White King relatively safe and putting pressure on Black’s centre). The game is unclear, with all three results possible.

21. Qh8+ Qg7 22. Rh6+ Kg5

22… Kf7 was more resilient, when 23. Rh7 wins the Black Queen. Black’s forces are uncoordinated, and he will lose more material in his attempts to build some defensive setup. My opponent just forgot about the f-pawn.

23. f4+

Black resigns, as he gets mated.

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