Exciting tactical joust in fifth game

04-01-2018  Auke Scholma for DVHN  /  translation Pascal Stil

GRONINGEN  For the fifth game in the world championship match between Schwarzman and Boomstra the entire entourage moved from Leeuwarden to Groningen, the hometown of the Dutch challenger. Boomstra clearly was in the right mood and challenged Schwarzman to play sharp. This did happen, but after an interesting tactical joust, it still resulted in a draw with nothing between the two combatants.


In the opening, Scharzman initially didn’t choose the sharpest variants, like he already has shown the entire match he wants to thwart Boomstra’s preparation. In a slightly calmer middle game, with Boomstra on the edges of the board, and Schwarzman solid in the centre, the tensions however still got high. Boomstra, playing white, forced the world champion to attack in order to avoid a fork lock. Due to this inventive lock, Schwarzman was unable to continue playing the most aggressive moves because of combinations to king. Both players were running low on time and Schwarzman opted for a long term break through at the cost of a piece. Boomstra still had a long way to go to get a king, and even though Schwarzman had to invest a second piece to get to the promotion line, he already offered a draw before it got that far.

Schwarzman hesitated for a few minutes, but then accepted the offer. Also analysis showed there was nothing more to achieve for either player. The many visitors got a nice dessert when both players came to the demonstration room to share their thoughts from the game on the large board. When former world champion Harm Wiersma asked Schwarzman why he didn’t opt for a more certain way to a draw, Schwarzman answered instantly “I saw so many spectators, that I wanted to retain the tensions a little longer.”

Tomorrow the sixth game in the Van Swinderen Huys. In case of another draw, a blitz session will be follow to force the first decision.