Norway is where it happens this summer. Magnus Carlsen just won his third World Championship in a row, there will be a Chess Olympiad in Tromsö in august and currently, in Oslo, Sveins 7. minneturnering has started. I will not publish any of the games played in the first round, instead here is one of the games that top rated junior Aryan Tari played last year:
In the end Aryan finished in sixth place. How far will he go this year? (Yes, I cheated a bit, since I really commented this game last year and didn’t find a use for it then. However, I’ll be back with new stuff shortly.)
This year’s top group of the Swedish Championship will be the strongest ever and I believe it will produce some exciting chess. My reason for thinking so is – apart from my own humble participation – a three part reason: There is Jonny Hector, who is well known for his aggressive style, Slavko Cicak, who knows of more quirky lines than anyone I have ever met, and there is Emanuel Berg, who in his best moments is the strongest 1.e4-player that is allowed to play in a Swedish Championship. Those three will make sure that the rest of us cannot stay within our comfort zones. Emanuel just finished a tournament in Maastricht, Limburg, where he had “to fight hard in order to win against the lower rated players”, but then was somewhat surprised at how easy he managed to win the last game against one the top seeds. Seems like Emanuel is fighting his way towards good shape…
I am looking forward to playing Emanuel in July and I believe he would say the same about me.
After sharing the first place in this weekend’s Deltalift Open in Tylösand I feel safe to say that I did indeed get over the debacle from Norrköping. However, my reason for saying this is not so much that I won, but rather because, as I got up the next morning, I discovered that I could have worn the same shirt for the second day in a row (which would clearly have been out of the question had I been nervous the day before). I did not think about what had happened in Norrköping.
When it comes to the quality of my game there were others who played more interesting and possibly better games. Both Pontus Sjödahl and Juan Bellon played several interesting games, but didn’t manage to score as much as they might have wished from them. In the end it was Emanuel Berg and I who stumbled into first and second place. I will show you what I mean with “stumbled”:
Not the most straight forward win and quite symptomatic of my play. Emanuel got away with something similar against Juan Bellon, although his final combination was impressive:
Had Bellon and Sjödahl held their ground in these games, we would have seen a different result in the end. Sjödahl played many good games, but made some simple tactical errors that ruined the result. Bellon gave the general impression of being on the way up and he played more strong players than anyone else in the tournament. Here is his game against Stellan Brynell:
Considering how few foreign players that found their way to the tournament I guess one might call Deltalift Open a well kept Swedish secret. It is held at a spa-hotel, by one of southern Sweden’s most beautiful beaches (although slightly off-season) and their team of competent organizers and arbiters make it a delight to play there, whatever the final result may be. I am reasonably sure there will be another tournament there next year. Don’t miss it.