Hein Meijer - Machiel Weistra 2-0
In the sixth round of the Brunssum open tournament grandmaster Hein Meijer won an important game against the talented Dutch junior champion Machiel Weistra. It was the basis for his victory in the tournament.
≡ 1.32-28 17-22 2.28x17 11x22 3.37-32 12-17 4.41-37 6-11 5.46-41 7-12 6.31-27 22x31 7.36x27 17-21 8.33-28 11-17 9.39-33 21-26 10.44-39 19-23 11.28x19 14x23 12.50-44 10-14 13.34-29 23x34 14.39x30 17-21 15.33-28
In this position Mark Podolski opted for a classical game against Vatutin in the Dutch team competition of 2007. After ≡ 14-19 16.44-39 5-10 17.38-33 20-24 18.40-34 10-14 19.30-25 18-23 the position was about equal. With his last move Weistra tries to avoid a classical game, but this turns out to be a difficult strategy against the solid white position.
This insignificant backward exchange leaves black with a passive position. But the alternative ≡ 7-11 certainly wasn't any better. For example after 19.28-22 17x28 20.32x12 21x32 21.38x27 8x17 22.37-32 17-22 23.27x18 13x22 24.41-37 22-27 25.32x21 26x17 26.33-29! it is white who controls the center of the board.
This is not a spectacular move, but from a tactical point of view it is well chosen. It accentuates the white advantage in the form of a strong piece on 27 against the two passive black corner pieces on 16 and 26. And perhaps more importantly, it leaves black very little hope to play for more than one point during the rest of the game.
Undoubtedly Meijer was pleasantly surprised by this exchange, since it leaves black with a weak cluster of pieces on 16, 21 and 26. This is a permanent weakness, since black has no way to chase white away from the strong square 27. Something like ≡ 5-10 30.43-39 14-19 followed by 18-23 would have made the white job much harder.
An alternative plan was to take control of square 24 using ≡ 13-19 35.38-33 19-24. But also in this case it would be black who has to be very careful, since he has to be constantly aware of the strong Ghestem attack 28-22.
The black plan to occupy 23 is very dangerous here, and it was probably based on a calculation error. As Kees Pippel pointed out on Toernooibase it was much safer to play ≡ 1-7 42.43-39 7-12. Then it shouldn't be too hard to make a draw, for example 43.41-37 14-20 44.42-38 20-25 45.39-34 13-19 46.34-29 19-23! 47.28x30 25x23 etc.
Note that black can't afford to play too passively. For instance after ≡ 14-20 42.43-39 20-25 43.39-34 1-7 44.34-29 7-12? 45.29x20 25x14 white gets a decisive advantage using 46.33-29! 14-20 (necessary to prevent white from occupying the strategic square 24) 47.42-37! 13-19 48.28-22 W+
The situation is critical for black. Only with the piece sacrifice ≡ 26-31! 44.27x36 followed by the waiting move 1-7!! he could make a draw: 45.42-37 (or ≡ 45.36-31? 24-29 46.33x13 14-19 47.13x24 21-26 48.28x19 26x48 with a draw) ≡ 7-12 46.32-27 (not ≡ 46.36-31? because of the combination 24-29 47.33x13 14-20 48.28x19 12-18 49.13x22 21-27 50.32x21 16x47) ≡ 23x32 47.27x38 19-23 and black has sufficient compensation for the piece loss. Of course it would take exceptional skills to find this escape.
With this move Meijer seals the victory. Most likely on the 41th move Weistra already considered this position. But he must have missed that after 25-30? 49.34x25 23-29 white can make a winning exchange using 50.28-23! 19x39 51.27-22 17x28 52.32x43 W+
© Wieger Wesselink http://10x10.org