Fressinet Wins Short Sigeman Event

Fressinet Wins Short Sigeman Event

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

Laurent Fressinet of France won the 22nd edition of the Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament in Malmö, Sweden. In an event that only lasted five rounds, three and a half point was enough for the 32-year-old French grandmaster to finish clear first and half a point ahead of IM Axel Smith.

All photos © Calle Erlandsson

From 15 till 19 May, 2014 the Limhamn Chess Club once again organized the annual Sigeman Chess Tournament, which still has lawyer and chess enthusiast Johan Sigeman as its main sponsor. It was the 22nd edition, and for the 17th time it was held at the classical Hipp Theater in central Malmö where GM Stellan Brynell provided commentary.

This year it was a single round robin with the following six participants: GM Laurent Fressinet (2709, France), GM Jon Ludvig Hammer (2647, Norway), GM Jan Timman (2626, Netherlands), GM Nils Grandelius (2600, Sweden), GM Erik Blomqvist (2497, Sweden) and IM Axel Smith (2473, Sweden).

The five rounds were played 15-19 May, so without a rest day. The time control was 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds increment for each move starting from the first.

Dutch chess legend Jan Timman played eleven times in Malmö, but not in recent years. He returned, and might have hoped for a fourth victory, but he woke up from that dream as early as round 1. In a double financhetto IM Axel Smith found a healthy piece setup and then dominated play on the queenside.

Tata Steel tournament director Jeroen van den Berg performed the first move in Timman-Smith

GM Jan Timman

Smith continued well with a draw against top seed Laurent Fressinet, who easily beat Erik Blomqvist in the first round. That didn't look good, and Blomqvist's opening wasn't great either against Jon Ludvig Hammer, but the Norwegian number two lost the thread after avoiding a move repetition.

GM Jon Ludvig Hammer
GM Erik Blomqvist

Fressinet then defeated Grandelius in a nice positional Sicilian that ended with a pretty breakthrough combination on the queenside.

GM Laurent Fressinet

Smith, the lowest rated player in the field, scored yet another win as Blomqvist self-trapped his queen:

IM Axel Smith

With one round to go, Smith was in fact shared first with Fressinet; both were on 3.0/4. But while the Frenchman drew his last-round game with Hammer, Smith lost his first game of the tournament. The move that decided the tournament was neat:

GM Nils Grandelius

Sigeman & Co 2014 | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Fressinet,Laurent 2711 2710 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 3.5/5
2 Smith,Axel 2478 2679 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 ½ 1 3.0/5
3 Timman,Jan H 2615 2582 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 2.5/5 6.00
4 Grandelius,Nils 2587 2587 0 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 2.5/5 5.50
5 Hammer,Jon Ludvig 2638 2507 ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 2.0/5
6 Blomqvist,Erik 2492 2459 0 0 ½ 0 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/5

Chess journalist Antti Parkkinen of Finland provided a few statistics about the Sigeman history. In these 22 round-robin tournaments (including one double round-robin tournament) 93 players have taken part over the years.

Year Format Year Format
1993 to 1999 10 players 2009 to 2011 6 players
2000 4 players (double round-robin) 2012 to 2013 8 players
2001 to 2008 10 players 2014 6 players

Year Winners (or shared first) Year Winners (or shared first)
1993 Ferdinand Hellers 2004 Curt Hansen, Peter Heine Nielsen
1994 Curt Hansen, Ferdinand Hellers 2005 Krishnan Sasikiran, Jan Timman
1995 Ivan Sokolov 2006 Jan Timman
1996 Viktor Korchnoi 2007 Ivan Cheparinov
1997 Ferdinand Hellers 2008 Tiger Hillarp Persson
1998 Joel Lautier, Igor Miladinovic 2009 Nigel Short
1999 Boris Gelfand 2010 Anish Giri
2000 Judit Polgar 2011 Anish Giri, Wesley So, Hans Tikkanen
2001 Boris Gulko, Jan Timman 2012 Fabiano Caruana
2002 Nigel Short 2013 Nils Grandelius, Richard Rapport, Nigel Short
2003 Vasily Ivanchuk 2014 Laurent Fressinet

Other notable participants
Oleg Romanishin Alexander Belyavsky
Ulf Andersson (4 times) Hikaru Nakamura
Anthony Miles Lajos Portisch
Vasily Smyslov Alexei Shirov
Boris Spassky Peter Leko
Teimour Radjabov Loek van Wely
Magnus Carlsen (3rd in 2004, way back then, at the age of 13) etc.

Most participations
Jonny Hector 17 times Nils Grandelius 6
Jan Timman 11 Ivan Sokolov 6
Tiger Hillarp Persson 9 Pia Cramling 5
Curt Hansen 8
Emanuel Berg 7 Nigel Short 3 (won or shared first at each participation)

Thanks to Antti Parkkinen

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