Sigeman & Co: Giri starts with 3/3

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Sigeman: Giri starts with 3/3At the Sigeman & Co tournament the young Dutch super talent Anish Giri started with a perfect score of 3 out of 3. With only two rounds to go he's chased by Jon Ludvig Hammer from Norway, who has 2.5 points.

The 18th Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament takes place at the classical Hipp Theater in central Malmo from May 26 till 30. The event is organized by the Limhamn Chess Club and just like last year, when Nigel Short won, six players face each other in a single round-robin. The time control is 40 moves in 2 hours, then 20 moves in 1 hour, then 30 minutes for the rest of the game.

The tournament website introduces the participants as follows:

This year's tournament is, to a large extent, a Nordic competition, with only one player from outside the Nordic region. Once again, the home team contains Tiger Hillarp Persson, one of Sweden's best chess players, and the most interesting young Swedish player, the 16-year-old Nils Grandelius. Add to that Pia Cramling, who has not played in the Sigeman Chess Tournament since 2001, and Jonny Hector, who probably has never been better than now.

The Swedish players face young Norwegian Jon Ludvig Hammer, who has made a name for himself, despite having to compete with his fellow countryman Magnus Carlsen, with a number of impressive results during the last two years. Last, but not least, we have Holland's latest chess star and the world's youngest grandmaster, 15-year-old Anish Giri, who, in addition to being the youngest, is the tournament's highest rated player.

Games rounds 1-3

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Round 1

Although there are only three games each round, last year's event and the first round this year showed good how interesting a tournament can be when there's good fighting spirit. In the first round Jonny Hector played the rare 6...Na6 of the Slav against Jon Ludvig Hammer, but it was the latter who came with an interesting novelty: 12.e4!?. Hector took the pawn but suffered from a lack of development in what followed.

Jon Ludvig Hammer

Jon Ludvig Hammer (2610), Norway's number 2, behind, well, you know who

In a QGA, Anish Giri easily equalized with Black against Pia Cramling, but then lost a pawn, as he had missed that after 16.Bxh7+ Kxh7 17.Rxd8 Nxf3+ White can play the strong 18.Qxf3!. However, Black obtained more and more compensation and in time trouble Cramling made several inaccuracies.

In the game between Nils Grandelius and Tiger Hillarp Persson a Semi-Slav turned into a Tarrasch with an extra Qc2 for White. Until the mistake 25.Rd1 it was about equal, but then Hillarp could win the bishop pair. However, he couldn't profit from it (GM Stellan Brynell criticizes his 31st and 32 move).

Round 2

Hammer had White again, and won again, this time versus Cramling. Black's knight manoeuvre Nd7-f8-g6 didn't bring the Swedish number one female player what she had hoped for, and soon after she was forced to sacrifice a pawn. After the nice exchange 25.Rxd5 Qxd5 26.Bc4, Hammer had no problems in securing the win.

As always, Hector played creatively against Hillarp Persson in a Bc4 Sicilian, but this time it backfired as Black was more than OK. However, Hillarp took a lot of time to find ways to obtain an advantage, and then in timetrouble he blundered, allowing the elegant 29.Ng4.


Johnny Hector (2609), Sweden's number 2 behind Emanuel Berg

Very interesting was Giri-Grandelius, where White sacrificed no less than three pawns in a hyper-sharp Catalan. To lighten the pressure, Black returned one pawn with 16...e5! and soon it became clear that White didn't have enough compensation. But Grandelius erred with 21...h4 and then the decisive error was 24...Nd8, which should definitely have been replaced by 24...0-0, according to Stellan Brynell.

Round 3

With two more decisive results today, the drawing percentage in Malmo over 9 games is as low as 23%. The point was split between the young Swede and the young Norwegian: Grandelius vs Hammer. In one of the Catalan main lines, 13.Nc3 deviated from Caruana-Short, Corus 2009, and 14...Nbd7 was the first new move. It looks like Hammer has done his homework well. since he obtained equality easily.

The men aren't exactly treating Cramling like a lady so far; she also lost her third game - against Hector. Today she got into a Slav ending that was only marginally better for Black, but Hector kept on pressing. With 51.Nec3! followed by taking on b4 Cramling could perhaps still have drawn this game.


Pia Cramling (2536), Sweden's number 1 and world's number 6

Giri also won his third game, with Black against Hillarp Persson. The Swedish GM played a very quiet version of the English and then grabbed the bishop pair with g4 and Nh4. It looked a bit shaky, and the reigning Dutch champ, in his last tournament before he'll defend his title in Eindhoven next week, decided to refute the white setup with a knight sac on f4. And indeed, White's position proved too difficult to defend.

Report based on Stellan Brynell's commentaries

Photos © Calle Erlandsson, who asked us to mention the Open Swedish Championship.

Sigeman & Co 2010 | Round 3 Standings
Sigeman & Co 2010 | Round 3 Standings

Pairings round 4, Saturday:

Hammer - Hillarp Persson Cramling - Grandelius Hector - Giri
Pairings round 5, Sunday:

Grandelius - Hector Hillarp Persson - Cramling Giri - Hammer


Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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