World Title match 2016 round No 12 short notes

Today Roel Boomstra already from the opening attempted to lure Groenendijk into his well-analyzed opening scheme, in case Jan instead of what he chose in the game 6… 1217, had played 6… 2024, 7.29:20 15:24, 8.4338 1823, 9.4943 1015, 10.3127 1420, 11.2722 2429 and so on, which comprises rather forced variants, but having noticed how willingly Boomstra provokes his opponents to accept it, I presume he and his coach Rob Clerc had done much of a homework to prepare interesting deviations from the main known variants. Jan soundly avoided it all.

Groenendijk’s inclination was to play for surrounding, but probably it was worth to consider 11… 2127, instead of the continuation 11…0106, which he chose in the game.

I didn’t quite approve also of 19…. 2127, although outwardly it looks a very neat move: black loses 4 tempi and for a short time loses contact with corner 26, which is vital for surrounding strategies of this sort of positions. It was more practical to play 19…. 0611, and after white attack 3228, to keep exchange after …1116, still keeping corner 26 and losing less tempi. A subtle nuance, but important when hoping for surrounding strategies against such a prominent player as Roel Boomstra.

24… 1217, which is a move from the game, can already be considered a positional mistake: black is not able to simultaneously keep the structure 2,8,13 intact and minimize the disproportion of both wings. In my opinion black from this moment onward can only try to stabilize his position for safety, not to create some problems in surrounding strategy. It was more flexible to build Jan’s position by: 24…. 0611, 25…. 1117, 26…. 0308, thus staying mobile.

During the later stage of the game white was trying to obtain control over Jan’s short wing, but Groenendijk always kept control of square 26 with black. Finally when Roel managed to place himself on square 27, his left wing was already very weak, thus black easily forced simplifications for a draw.

Surely Jan has to change his psychology for future tournaments, because as we have seen throughout all the games of the match, even as he lost initiative in most of the games, the cause for the losses and crucial mistakes came out of his moves performed on his last minute and seconds. As we see from the games, in which Roel was not so strict in keeping Jan in his own favorite positional frames: Jan managed to gain some fight in fork-structure and in surrounding strategy, although there were some inexactitudes on his part, but not decisive ones. Jan Groenendijk is objectively one of the most perspective and talented young players of the last generation, and the fact that he lost quite heavily against an accomplished player doesn’t say that he is a bad player, but to me the following is clear: he has some positional schemes to work with yet; he has to consider on how it is best to build his time consumption during the game; one can’t come up for the match of the World title with no concept in his mind on how to build his game and what way to push his opponent off-balance, but he should have one, and he should play for result, play with provocations, but not believe his opponent in every aspect. There should be ways how the challenger provokes his opponent to be tempted into his favorite schemes effortlessly from the openings already. Alas! In this match we didn’t see much of the above said.