Malcolm Pein on…The Dutch Delight


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Malcolm Pein returns to his coverage of the Tata Steel Masters in today’s Daily Telegraph chess column.

The tournament had a surprise winner and today’s game shows him in powerful action.

Malcolm Pein on…The Dutch Delight

Jorden van Foreest was the surprise star act at the Tata Steel Masters, becoming the first Dutch winner of their famous super-tournament at Wijk aan Zee for 36 years. The 21-year-old remained undefeated and picked the right opponents to target.

Against Aryan Tari, he eschewed the standard 5…b5 or 5…Nf6 for 5…Nge7!?, an unusual hybrid against the Ruy Lopez of the …Bc5 lines and the Cozio, 3…Nge7.

A. Tari – J. Van Foreest

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Bc5 5.0-0 Nge7!? 6.c3 (6.Nxe5 Nxe5 7.d4 b5 should be OK for Black, and if 8.Bb3 Bxd4! 9.Qxd4 d6 10.f4 c5) 6…Ba7 7.d4 Ng6 8.Bg5 f6 9.Be3 0-0 10.d5 (Tempting, but the restrained 10.Re1 d6 11.Nbd2 Kh8 12.h3 supplied an edge in Dominguez Perez-Nabaty, Netanya 2019) 10…Nce7 11.Bxa7 Rxa7 12.d6 (Otherwise Black would obtain attractive play on the kingside after …d6 and …f5) 12…cxd6 13.Qxd6 b5! 14.Bb3+ Kh8 15.a4 Rb7 16.axb5 Rb6 17.Qd1 axb5

A. Tari – J. Van Foreest

The opening has gone like a dream for Black. He is set to break with …d5 or …f5 and attack on the kingside, and even 18.Ra8!? Nf4 19.Nbd2 d5 20.exd5 Nexd5 leaves him actively placed. 18.Nbd2 Bb7 19.c4 f5 20.Bc2? (20.c5 Rbf6 21.Bc2 Nf4 22.g3 Nh3+ 23.Kg2 is how the computer wants to defend, but a human would be most worried about such a king position and 23…d5!? looks rather scary) 20…fxe4 21.Ng5 Nf5 22. Ngxe4 Nf4 (Storm clouds gather above the white king) 23.Nf3 bxc4 24.Nxe5 Nd4 (Exploiting the potential fork on e2. 24…Qh4 is also very tempting) 25.Re1 Nxc2 26.Qxc2 Re6!

Strong Pressure

Dutch Delight

The pressure down the e-file wins material, as if 27.Nxc4 d5 28.Rad1 Qh4 or 27.Nf3 Nd3 (27…Nxg2!? 28.Kxg2 Rg6+ is also on). 27.Qc3 Qe7 28.Ra5 d6 29.Ng5 Rxe5 30.Raxe5 dxe5 31.Rxe5 Qf6 32.Qc2 Nd3 0-1

While Van Foreest did have to ride his luck in the resulting play-off with Anish Giri, the tournament tie-break rules determined that only those two would have played off for the title even had Alireza Firouzja joined them on 8.5/13. Such knowledge cannot have helped the 17-year-old sensation and, in the end, he wasn’t able to finish off Radoslaw Wojtaszek.

Final scores: 1-2 Van Foreest, Giri 8.5, 3-5 Esipenko, Caruana, Firouzja 8, 6 Carlsen 7.5,
7 Harikrishna 6.5.

Time now to move on from the Dutch delight and to try and find the winning move in the position.

Test Your Strength

How did Black Force Resignation?

G. Flear – L. McShane
Caplin Hastings Online 2021

How did Black force resignation?

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

1…f5+! 0-1 Winning a piece, as if 2.Bxf5 h5+! 3.Kg5 f6+ 4.Kxh5 Nxf5.

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