Politiken Cup, part 1.

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:

The Stonewall Guru…

You might say that there are a few of those around; Moskalenko, Ulibin, Agdestein, Karlsson, to mention a few of the Dutch Stonewall’s active practitioners. However, today I will present you with a game by one of it’s most stubborn fans, Evgeny Gleizerov. I have happened to sit along him many a time at different tournaments and it seems to me that he always plays the Stonewall and… that he always wins. I like to learn chess through intense study of one player or one theme at a time. When I was striving to become a Grand Master I realized that my weakness was endgames and strategical play so I spent many months studying players like Rubinstein, Valery Salov and Epishin. I learned a lot. In the coming week I will give an example of how this kind of study might look, through the games of Gleizerov. Later this summer I will give a more thorough course on the Stonewall under “coaching”.

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