On Saturday the 18th of February the annual SSVN TdT winter tournament took place. Around 20 people showed up at multizaal 1 of the RSC sport center to fight for the Winter title. It was an overall very close tournament with many upsets and fun chess games!
The first round was very calm with no too many unexpected outcomes, except for the first draw of the tournament between Jonathan and Omar who were two favorites for the top 3 spots, with Jonathan being second place of the winter tournament last year. The other favorites, Levi, Michiel and Mick all won their games in the first round. In the second round two titans clashed with Mick, the top favorite and highest rated player of the tournament, squared up against Michiel, the winner of last year’s winter tourney. After some quick and technical opening prowess of Michiel he gained the advantage and managed to beat Mick. Omar lost in the second round to Tycho and third round to Mick and was already virtually out of the race for the top spots. Michiel, Levi and Jonathan won their games in the third round and took place in the top 3. Dark horse Ilie should also not be forgotten, being a relatively new player of TdT it was unknown how strong he was. And although he lost in the second round to Levi he managed to win his third round and gained sight of the top 3. Arriving at round 4 Michiel and Levi tied for first place faced off against each other. Levi gained the advantage and marched his pawns up the board but in his enthusiasm got his bishop stuck and lost the game. Jonathan lost to Björn when he couldn’t stop his past pawn and fell behind the top 3 and Björn, a bit of an underdog in this tournament, got sight of the top spots. Mick, Ilie and Jesse all managed to win their games also climbing the leaderboard. In round 5, it really became interesting with Jesse and Björn drawing by repetition after a time scramble and Jonathan got back to winning ways. Dark horse Ilie won against an until now unbeaten Michiel, after Michiel blundered his bishop. Mick drew swords with Levi, these two friends from the competition commitee know each other’s playstyle very well leading to an exciting game which Mick ended up winning, meaning that Mick, Michiel and Ilie all were on equal points by the end of round 5 and the 3 spots below being on one point reach. In round 6 all the built op tension splashed as Ilie lost his grip in the endgame after he managed to gain a winning position. Michiel got the win of Björn and Jesse managed to beat Jonathan in an exciting game. Going into the last round Mick and Michiel were tied for first place with 5 points, Jesse was in third place with 4.5 points and the 4th till 8th places were all one point of third, promising an exciting finish. In the last round Mick got the win off Jesse, Michiel won against Sjeng, Björn threw Ilie out of the top 3 placings and Jonathan beat Levi.
This all meant that Mick and Michiel tied for first place and Bjön and Jesse tied for third place. We couldn’t break the prizes in half so it all came down to tiebreakers. The game between Michiel and me was very close but Mick eventually won because Michiel ran out of time. The first game of the tiebreaker between Björn and Jesse ended in a draw, which meant they had to play again! The next game did have a result as Björn won the tiebreaker and became third.
The final results had Mick as our Winter 2023 champion, Michiel runner-up and Björn third.