Chess in Malmö and Medias

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Chess in Malmö (and Medias)We're currently in Malmö, Sweden where last Thursday the Sigeman Chess Tournament started. After two of the five rounds Anish Giri, Wesley So and Hans Tikkanen are sharing the lead with 1.5/2, followed by Alexei Shirov (1), Johnny Hector (0.5) and Nils Grandelius (0). In a few days we'll be travelling to the Kings Tournament, which starts today in Medias, Romania and has Ivanchuk-Radjabov, Carlsen-Nakamura and Nisipeanu-Karjakin in the first round.

Sigeman Chess Tournament

The 19th Sigeman Chess Tournament takes place June 9-13 in the City ('Hipp') Theater of Malmö, Sweden. It's organized by the Limhamn Chess Club and like last year, six players play each other in a single round-robin tournament.

Last year's winner, 16-year-old Dutchman Anish Giri, is defending his title against Alexei Shirov, Wesley So, Jonny Hector, Nils Grandelius and Hans Tikkanen. We tend to agree with the note on the official website that says:

What makes this year's tournament extra interesting is that all players are extremely attack oriented. Shirov is known for always trying to win all games but none of the others are exactly known for playing quick draws.

On Friday the author of this report travelled to Malmö together with co-editor Arne Moll, to enjoy a bit of chess and a bit of Swedish culture over the weekend. Reading the weather reports of our home country and for example Romania, it seems we're two lucky dudes at the moment - Malmö has been wonderfully sunny and pleasant so far.

We had barely exited the central station of Malmö on Friday morning when we were welcomed by literally hundreds of students, the boys in sailor suits and the girls in white dresses, and all wearing a sailor hat. They were screaming and blowing horns all day long, making a huge amount of noise throughout the city, walking or riding in open cars or even standing at the back of a truck.

Students in Malmö

Students celebrating in the centre of Malmö

The way they celebrated their graduation didn't seem to bother the rest of the citizens in the slightest - they had been there and done that, when they were young... More of this spectacle will be included in a video, to be posted later.

Just before the start of the second round we entered the playing hall - a beautiful room on the second floor of the city theatre that was used as a circus a century ago. Today's entertainment is provided by a mixture of young talents and experienced players, and both categories are represented by Swedish as well as international chess players.

The city theatre in Malmö

The city theatre with the venue on the second floor

Alexei Shirov, who played a disappointing match with Vishy Anand last week, shook off some of that negativity with a smooth win against Johnny Hector in the first round. The relatively unknown Hans Tikkanen, who we were told scored his three GM norms in just two monts, defeated compatriot Nils Grandelius. The game between top talents Wesley So and Anish Giri had ended in a draw.

On Friday we spent a few hours in the playing and we saw Anish Giri inflicting a second loss upon Nils Gradelius in what looked like a smooth game. However, in the post-mortem it became clear that White's advantage was just minimal in the early middlegame. Grandelius' 25...Rfd8? was clearly wrong - after 25...Rfe8 e6 is protected, c4 hangs and ...Ne4 is a threat.

The playing hall - don't worry; most spectators were enjoying the commentary at this moment

The beautiful playing hall - the organizers put up maybe a few too many chairs, but it wasn't that bad as most spectators were enjoying the commentary at this moment

Later Wesley So won his first game, and a very good one, against Alexei Shirov. In a middlegame with opposite-coloured bishops the Philippine had his opponent almost in a Zugzwang. Shirov had to try his luck in a worse endgame but to no avail. Hector spoilt a winning advantage (in both the middlegame and the rook ending) and allowed Tikkanen to escape with a draw.

It's a pleasant little tournament where GM Stellan Brynell gives commentary using a DGT board - the position is shown on a flatscreen, visible to the roughly thirty spectators each day, who can shout moves to be looked at. Chess is not big in Sweden, but it's good to see that this traditional tournament is still going strong.

The commentary with GM Stellan Brynell

The commentary with GM Stellan Brynell

Oh, and before we forget: don't miss the top clash Shirov-Giri today - live here.

Game viewer

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Sigeman Chess Tournament 2011 | Round 2 Standings


Kings Tournament 2011

Kings Tournament 2011Naturally the main focus this weekend will be on that other tournament. Today is the first round of the second Grand Slam event of 2011 (and the third in the 2010-2011 series, after Nanjing): The Kings Tournament in Romania. Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk, Sergey Karjakin, Hikaru Nakamura, Teimour Radjabov and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu play a double round-robin with one rest day after five rounds. Games start 15.30 local time (14.30 CET).

The players are staying in the Expro Romgaz resort in Bazna again, but the playing hall, part of the main office of the sponsor, is in Medias. It's called the Natural Gas Documentation and Information Centre. (Last year the first four rounds were also held there, but due to incessant rain and resulting leakage the tournament was transferred to the conference room of the hotel resort in Bazna.)

Here's the full schedule:

Kings Tournament 2011 - full schedule


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