De Ruiter strikes again

Open group round 2

Foto: Peter Doggers

In the second round of the Open, the six top grandmasters won according to plan. But on board 7 history repeated itself: class player Danny de Ruiter pulled off a stunt just like two years ago here. Also notable was that Sergey Kasparov wasn’t able to score more than a draw today after his loss in the first round.

At board 1, Michael Wunnink started quite well, but suddenly there was a devastating king attack by Ukraine grandmaster Andrey Vovk.

Wunnink - Vovk 

1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.c4 Bg7 5.Nc3 0–0 6.Nf3 d6 7.0–0 c6 8.Rb1 a5 9.Qb3 Kh8 10.Rd1 Na6 

Black has built a real ‘Malaniuk-Leningrad’ set-up, and according to commentator Delemarre he has to wait here until White commits an inaccuracy.
The alternative here is 11.Ng5!? in order after 11...h6 to continue with 12.Nh3 g5 13.f4.
11...dxc5 12.dxc5 Qe8 
Now White can no longer prevent the thematic push ...e7-e5.
13.Na4 e5 14.Nb6 
White could also first eye the e6-square with 14.Ng5!? Rb8 15.Nb6 Nxc5 16.Qa3, winning back the pawn on a5, with a slightly freer game.
14...Be6 15.Qa3 Rd8 16.Bg5 h6 17.Bd2 e4 

Now Black has everything he wants. He has to give the pawn on a5, but that is small potatoes.
18.Ne5 g5 19.Bxa5 Qh5 20.Rd6 
An exciting struggle starts: White controls the queenside and the centre, Black tries to attack on the kingside.
20...Nc7 21.Qa4 f4 22.Bxe4 
The steamroller can hardly be stopped anymore, for example 22.f3 g4! or 22.Rbd1 Rde8!.
22...Nxe4 23.Rxd8? 

Now things develop fast. White missed a good chance to hold with 23.Qxe4! Bf5 24.Qxf5! Rxf5 25.Rxd8+ Kh7 26.g4! Qh3 27.gxf5 Bxe5 28.Rbd1 and computer says it’s nearly equal.
23...fxg3!! 24.Rxf8+ Bxf8 25.Nf3 
Black also has a decisive attack after 25.hxg3 Nxg3! 26.fxg3 (26.Kg2 Qh3+) 26…Bxc5+.
25...gxf2+ 26.Kh1 Ng3+ 27.Kg2 f1Q+ 28.Rxf1 Qh3+ 29.Kf2 Bxc5+ 
Resigned. An attacking masterpiece, and a tasty morsel for Leningrad fans.

Danny de Ruiter pulled another stunt today. He defeated his third grandmaster. Two years ago he first took down Ivan Sokolov (if we remember well – this game is not even in our databases!), and then in this same Univé Tournament he beat Jan Timman. Today it was Vladimir Malaniuk’s turn – just watch this!

De Ruiter – Malaniuk 

With strong play White has completely surrounded Black and now he adroitly liquidates:
27.Qb6! Qxb6 28.cxb6 Ne8 
28...Rxb6 29.Rd8+ wasn’t worth considering. White is winning now, but he converts his advantage with a steady hand. How many of us would let the grandmaster off the hook after all?
29.Rd8 Rxd8 30.Bxd8 Bc8 31.Ne1 Nf4 32.Bg4 Bb7 33.g3 Ne6 34.Bxe6 fxe6 35.Nd3 Bf8

Impressive. Black has no reasonable remedy against the manoeuvre Nb1-d2-b3-a5. So he tries something unreasonable:
36...c5 37.Nxc5 Bxc5 38.bxc5 a5 
Or 38...Bxe4 39.Nd2 Bd5 40.Nb3, etc. What a display of power!
39.f3 Kf7 40.Kf2 Nf6 41.Bxf6 Kxf6 42.Na3 b4 43.Nc4 a4 44.Ke3 

And again the question arises: just how far could Danny de Ruiter’s talent reach??

Sharp play Vovk not rewarded »