With just 28 players over 200, the tail was extremely long, enabling the top players to build up a good head of steam before they had to meet each other. Indeed, a clear leader emerged only after round six: the Czech grandmaster Eduard Meduna on 5.5/6.
Meduna was defeated in the seventh of the nine rounds by Van der Weide (see below) but he bounced back with 1.5 from the final two rounds and this was sufficient to share first place on 7/9 (and indeed be declared first on tie-break) with Van der Weide, IM Andrey Orlov (Russia) and GM Milko Popchev (Bulgaria); ahead of seven players including Zakhartsov on 6.5.
In this splendidly messy battle, Van der Weide sacrificed much of his army to gain an enormous passed h pawn.
It's quite conceivable that after 16...Qxh4 17.Qxh8+ Kd7 18.Bg2 Black has enough play to force perpetual check but this would be extremely hard to gauge during a game and Meduna instead got his rooks co-ordinated and blockaded the pawn with his knight.
However, it was a real thorn in his side and eventually Van der Weide was able to win the knight for it and the game.
Karel Van der Weide
vs Eduard Meduna
Prague Open 2005 (round 7)
Caro Kann Advance Variation
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