It is not exactly raining big, annually arranged, International Opens in the Scandinavian Countries. In Sweden there is the Rilton Cup around New Year and in Denmark there is the Politiken Cup, which is now under way. For those of you who have never been to “LO-skolen”, in Helsingör (Elsinore, the city of “Hamlet”), where Politiken Cup is played, I can heartily recommend it. The playing hall is situated at a walking distance from the centre of the city, there is plenty of nature around the corner, and the food is excellent. Personally, I’m a great fan of the billiard tables in the basement. As is usual at these events, there is a lot of blood spilled in the early rounds and this year is no exception. However, I have chosen to comment on a game that fits with one of the themes I have promised to promote this summer; the Stonewall. The Black side is played by none less than the current World Champion for Seniors, Jens Kristiansen, who has a reputation for playing very sharp chess. Here is how he handles the Stonewall against an opponent who is much higher rated:
So, as I stared to write the second and last part about the Swedish Championship, my computer decided to have a little bit of a breakdown. And, you have to respect that. My computer had a lot to do lately. The get-yourself-together –speech did not bite and in the end I just had to do a lot of uploads, downloads and whatnots’. Now, we are back on track.
The Swedish Championship was won by Hans Tikkanen after a dramatic playoff with Nils Grandelius. What struck me during that playoff was the consistency shown by both players, as they persisted in playing the same line again and again, with Nils as White and Hans as Black. One might well say that this is the line that won Hans the championship:
Ari Ziegler has written an excellent article about the Championship on the Chessbase site.
Two rounds of the Swedish Championship played so far. I quite like the hosting city, Örebro and today I went for a long walk along “Svartån”, lost track of time and suddenly had to half run back to town. After that I had to defend a worse position against Stellan Brynell, so instead of commenting on that game, I prefer to show yesterdays scuffle. Not a perfect game, but a very interesting opening:
Tomorrow I am playing Hans Tikkanen, the winner from the two last years, with the White pieces. It should be possible to follow it here.
It is not every day that you encounter a new GM tournament in Sweden, but last week we witnessed a minor miracle. The Visma Chess Tournament, in Växjö, Sweden, not only featured a GM-group, but also two IM-groups. In the end the GM-group was won by the dangerous Finn, Vilka Sipilä, who managed to score a GM-norm with half a point to spare. What made me even happier was that the talented junior Linus Johansson scored an IM-norm and that my neighbor Daniel Semcesen scored his last GM-norm. In the fourth round Semcesen and Blomqvist produced a battle that I think is well worth looking closer at:
Now, all Daniel has to do is to cross the 2500 line, in order to be a fully fledged GM.