Roel Boomstra dealt a big blow to title holder Aleksandr Schwartzman in the match for the world title in drafts. The Dutch challenger won the eighth match in Eindhoven with black and now leads 11-7.
Boomstra played a variant that had only appeared on the board four times before at grandmaster level and which is also not known to be favorable for black. On move 6, he hit with 12×21, where 11×22 is the usual continuation.
Schwartzman was surprised, but at first reacted coolly, until the Muscovite made a major mistake on the 15th, move 41-37.
That paved the way for Boomstra for a breakthrough combination. “I was very surprised and very happy right away. I didn’t really expect him to play the move, but he did it anyway.”
Schwartzman did take a king away from Boomstra, but he finished it off resolutely with a disc lead.
Last week we were at the World Drafts Championships in Eindhoven and we made the report below.
The first seven games in Eindhoven had only resulted in draws. Boomstra managed to win a tiebreak after the sixth match and therefore already took the lead.
Four more regular games
The player with the most points after twelve matches wins the world title, provided he has won at least three times.
Boomstra, world champion in 2016 and 2018, is in the best position with two victories under his belt. There are now four regular matches on the program, followed by tiebreaks if necessary.