Saturday 12 June 1999
So Piket was second on 8 and the other scores were Reinderman, Van der Wiel and Van Wely 7, Ivan Sokolov a disastrous 5.5, Van den Doel and Van der Sterren 5, Cifuentes 4, Peng Zhaoqin 3.5, Nijboer - a worse catastrophe for him even than Sokolov's - 3, and Janssen 2.5.
6 Nce2 in the opening seems to be a new move, with 6 Na2 and 6 Nb1 having been played previously. Round about move 12, White had a lead in development but Black could take solace in his excellent structure. After the game, Van Wely suggested 18 ...h6 as an improvement when if 19 Bf4?! e5 20 Ngf5 exf4 21 e5 is probably unsound after 21 ...0-0-0, while if 19 Bc1 or 19 Be3 (when 19 ...Nxe4 also becomes a possibility) Black could continue as in the game with 19 ...g6.
White got a dangerous attack and after the game they felt that following the second pawn grab 25 ...Nxb2, White was probably winning so perhaps Black should have tried 25 ...Rfd8 - but not 25 ...Nxe5 26 Nxe5 Bxe5 27 Nc5! Nxc5 28 Qxe5.
26 Rxd7 might conceivably be a good move earlier, but in any case after 26 Rd4 if eg 26 ...Rfd8 27 Bxg7 Kxg7 28 Qb3 traps the knight, though Nxe5 29 Rxd8 Nxf3+ 30 gxf3 Rxd8 31 Qxb2+ Kg8 isn't over, and 28 Nf6!? continues the attack.
After 27 Rxd7! and 28 Nf6+ it was all over. Black had to jettison the queen, since if 31 ...Qc6 32 Bg7 Rfc8 33 Kh2! Qc1 34 Re3 (or even 34 Qxh5 gxh5 35 Rxh5) soon forces mate.
White: Predrag Nikolic
Black: Loek Van Wely
Queen's Gambit Slav
1 d4 d5
2 c4 c6
3 Nc3 dxc4
4 e4 b5
5 a4 b4
6 Nce2!? e6
7 Nf3 c5
8 Ng3 cxd4
9 Bxc4 Ba6
10 Qd3 Qc8
11 Bb5+ Bxb5
12 Qxb5+ Nd7
13 Nxd4 a6
14 Qe2 Nc5
15 0-0 Qb7
16 Re1 Nf6
17 Bg5 Nfd7
18 Rad1 g6
19 e5 Bg7
20 Nf3 h6
21 Bf4 a5
22 h4 h5
23 Qe3 Nxa4
24 Ne4 0-0
25 Bh6 Nxb2
26 Rd4 Na4 (see diagram)
27 Rxd7! Qxd7
28 Nf6+ Bxf6
29 exf6 Qa7
30 Qg5 Qc5
31 Re5 Rfc8
32 Rxc5 Rxc5
33 Ne5 Rxe5
34 Qxe5 b3
35 Bc1 Rc8
36 Qf4 1-0
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