Wijk aan Zee: Bad Luck Prevents Van Wely From Working a Miracle

Время публикации: 21.01.2015 04:25 | Последнее обновление: 21.01.2015 05:28

Dutch grandmaster Loek van Wely is the most frequent participant of the Wijk aan Zee festival, as he has been playing there almost each year since 1992, having missed the supertournament only once. As a rule, he stays afar from the top places, and this year is no exception, but his play is always interesting to watch, as Loek is the real fighter and also has the reputation of being unlucky. This description has found full confirmation in van Wely's round 9 game versus Ivan Saric.

For the most part of the encounter, it was the Croatian player who was playing for a win. He quite succeeded in it, but at some point refrained carelessly from exchanging a pair of rooks and allowed strong counterplay. As a result, the following 'completely drawish' ending has occurred:


In 99% cases, the quotation marks wouldn't be needed, as most of qualified players would just shake hands here. Van Wely, however, decided to play on and got a winning position in a little less than forty moves. As to how that was possible the question should be addressed to Ivan Saric, but anyway, the miracle has almost happened:

90...Kh3! wins for Black, as White doesn't have time to regroup his forces: 91.Kf2 Rg2+! 92.Kf1 g4 93.Rh7+ (other moves don't save either) 93...Kg3 94.Ra7 Rb2 95.Rg7 (95.Ra3+ Kh2) 95...Rb1+ 96.Ke2 Rg1, or 91.Rh7+ Rh4 92.Rg7 g4 93.Kf2 Rh8 94.Rg6 Rf8+ 95.Kg1 Ra8, etc., coming to a well-known theoretical win in both cases.
Instead, van Wely spoiled everything by playing 90...Rg3+? 91.Ke4 (the white king comes towards the pawn, while Black is being hindered by his own rook) 91...g4 92.Rg5! Maybe Black saw only 92.Rg8? Kf2 or 92.Kf4? Rf3+, but the text move (as well as 92.Rg6) draws at once. 1/2

The 9th round saw one more marathon - between Anish Giri and Ding Liren. It went according to a different scenario: Giri surpassed his opponent in home preparation and then in calculation as well, which resulted in an ending where White's win was only a matter of time. The Dutchman made everything to slow down the process of realization, but, as it was nearly impossible not to win, Black had to resign after all.

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.20"] [Round "9.1"] [White "Saric, Ivan"] [Black "Van Wely, Loek"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2667"] [ECO "B07"] [Opening "Pirc defence"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Be3 Bg7 5. Qd2 c6 6. Nf3 O-O 7. h3 b5 8. Bd3 Nbd7 9. O-O Qc7 10. Ne2 e5 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. Nxe5 dxe5 13. a4 Be6 14. axb5 cxb5 15. Qa5 Rfc8 16. Qxc7 Rxc7 17. Nc3 Bc4 18. Ra5 Bxd3 19. cxd3 b4 20. Na2 Bf8 21. Rc1 Rd7 22. Rc6 Nh5 23. Nc1 Ng7 24. Kf1 Ne6 25. Ke2 Bh6 26. Rc4 Bf8 27. g3 h5 28. b3 Bd6 29. Na2 Rad8 30. Nxb4 Bxb4 31. Rxb4 Rxd3 32. Rxe5 a6 33. Ra5 R3d6 34. Kf1 Kg7 35. Rb7 Nd4 36. Bf4 R6d7 37. Rb6 Nf3 38. g4 Rd1+ 39. Kg2 R8d3 40. Be3 Ne1+ 41. Kg3 h4+ 42. Kxh4 Ng2+ 43. Kg5 Nxe3 44. fxe3 Rxe3 45. e5 Rxh3 46. Rbxa6 Re1 47. Rf6 Rhe3 48. Kf4 Re4+ 49. Kf3 R1e3+ 50. Kf2 Rxb3 51. Ra7 Kh6 52. Raxf7 Rxe5 53. Rc6 Re4 54. g5+ Kh5 55. Rf3 Rb2+ 56. Kf1 Rh4 57. Rf2 Rh1+ 58. Kg2 Rbb1 59. Kg3 Rh4 60. Rc5 Rg1+ 61. Kf3 Rh3+ 62. Ke2 Ra1 63. Rc8 Rg3 64. Rc5 Kg4 65. Rd5 Rb3 66. Rg2+ Kh3 67. Rf2 Kg4 68. Rg2+ Kh3 69. Rf2 Kh4 70. Rf4+ Kh5 71. Rf2 Rg3 72. Rh2+ Kg4 73. Rf2 Rgg1 74. Ke3 Ra3+ 75. Ke2 Kg3 76. Rd2 Rh1 77. Rc2 Rh8 78. Kf1 Rh1+ 79. Ke2 Rh8 80. Kf1 Ra1+ 81. Ke2 Re8+ 82. Kd3 Rd1+ 83. Kc3 Rc8+ 84. Kb2 Rxc2+ 85. Kxc2 Rd5 86. Rf6 Rxg5 87. Kd3 Rg4 88. Ke3 g5 89. Rg6 Kg2 90. Rg7 Rg3+ 91. Ke4 g4 92. Rg5 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.20"] [Round "9.3"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Ding Liren"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2784"] [BlackElo "2732"] [ECO "E92"] [Opening "King's Indian"] [Variation "Petrosian system, Stein variation"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. c4 g6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. d5 a5 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bh4 Na6 10. Nd2 Bd7 11. O-O Qe8 12. b3 Nh7 13. f3 h5 14. a3 Bh6 15. Rb1 Nc5 16. Qc2 f5 17. b4 axb4 18. axb4 Na4 19. Nd1 g5 20. Bf2 g4 21. fxg4 Bxd2 22. Qxd2 f4 23. gxh5 Ng5 24. Bh4 Nxe4 25. Qc2 Bf5 26. g4 Ng3 27. gxf5 Nxf1 28. Kxf1 e4 29. f6 Kh8 30. Nf2 f3 31. Bd1 Qxh5 32. Qxe4 Nc3 33. Qd4 Rf7 34. Qxc3 Qxh4 35. Bxf3 Ra2 36. Rb2 Rxb2 37. Qxb2 Qxf6 38. Qxf6+ Rxf6 39. Kg2 Rf8 40. b5 Kg7 41. Ne4 b6 42. h4 Ra8 43. h5 Ra2+ 44. Kf1 Kh6 45. Be2 Ra8 46. Kf2 Rf8+ 47. Ke3 Rf7 48. Bf3 Rf8 49. Kf2 Ra8 50. Be2 Ra3 51. Nf6 Ra8 52. Ke3 Rf8 53. Ne4 Ra8 54. Kf4 Rf8+ 55. Kg3 Ra8 56. Nf2 Ra2 57. Bd1 Rb2 58. Ne4 Rb1 59. Be2 Rb2 60. Kf2 Ra2 61. Ke3 Ra8 62. Bg4 Ra4 63. Kf4 Rxc4 64. Bd7 Kxh5 65. Kf5 Kh6 66. Bc6 Kg7 67. Ng5 Rh4 68. Ke6 Kg6 69. Nf3 Rf4 70. Nd2 Kg5 71. Ke7 Rf5 72. Ne4+ Kf4 73. Nf6 Ke5 74. Nd7+ Kd4 75. Kd8 1-0

Let us remind you that the next, 10th round will start half-an-hour later than usual - at 13:00 GMT. The round will be played in The Hague instead of Wijk aan Zee.
The crosstable, schedule, all games, and other information about the A-tournament


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