The 19th annual Sigeman Chess Tournament, organized by the Limhamn Chess Club. took place at the classical Hipp Theater in central Malmo, for the fourteenth time. As in the previous year, six players played each other in a round-robin tournament.
The tournament banner
Last year's winner, 16-year-old Dutchman Anish Giri, was present to defend his title, but had to work hard to hold off one of the established top names within chess, 39-year-old Alexei Shirov, as well as the 17-year-old Philippine player, Wesley So, another rising star in chess.
Shirov with his wife
This year's home team consisted of Jonny Hector from host club Limhamns SK, who participated in the Sigeman Chess Tournament for the fifteenth time, and two newly promoted grandmasters, Nils Grandelius and Hans Tikkanen, both from neighboring city Lund. The home team had their work cut out for them and a top-three result for any of them had to be considered a good result.
Newly titled grandmaster Hans Tikkanen
In order to make it as exciting as possible, the organizers chose players they considered extremely attack-oriented. Shirov is known for always trying to win all games and none of the others are exactly known for playing quick draws.
At the opening ceremony, the audience and players were treated to the most physically
straining form of chess:
Lifesize blitz chess!
After every move they race to press the clock. Players with heart conditions should
consult their physician before attempting this.
Smiles of relief they are not the ones playing
In spite of the attempts to ensure fighting chess, none of the players was able to really stand out over the others. Defending champion, Anish Giri, and local GM Hans Tikkanen led the event with a modest +1, while Wesley So, who had started with a nice win over Alexei Shirov, got a little overconfident, and ended up losing to Nils Grandelius. In the final round, Giri and Tikkanen drew while So won after Hector botched a winning sacrificial attack. At the top it was a three-way share for first with 3.0/5 by Hans Tikkanen, Anish Giri, and Wesley So, though Tikkanen's result has to be considered the best as he was also the lowest rated in the lineup with 2541 and finished with a 2709 performance.
Here is Wesley So's win over Alexei Shirov in round two.
So,Wesley (2667) - Shirov,Alexei (2701) [D11]
19th Sigeman & Co Malmo SWE (2), 10.06.2011
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.b3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.Bb2 Qe7 8.Ne5 Bb4+ 9.Nd2 Nxe5 10.dxe5 Nd7 11.a3 11.0-0 is the usual continuation here. 11...Ba5 12.0-0 f6!? 13.Nf3 Bc7 14.exf6 Nxf6 15.Ne5 0-0 16.f4 Bd7 17.Rf3 Be8 18.Qc2 Bxe5 19.Bxe5 Ne4 20.Bxe4 dxe4
21.Rff1! White could perfectly well take the pawn with Qxe4. There is no hidden trap in case you are looking for one. However, while White's bishop is as domineering a pivot as Shaquille O'Neal, Black's counterpart is a homeless soldier in search of a place to stay. The e4 pawn imprisons Shirov's bishop so why help him? 21...Bg6 22.c5 Rfd8 23.Bd6 Qf7 24.Rad1 Bf5 25.Rd4 Rd7 26.h3 h5 27.Rfd1 Qg6 28.Kh2 h4 29.Qf2 Qh5 30.R1d2
30...Kh7? Black is obviously in a very uncomfortable position, however this move just gives away the only open file in the position. Black had to play 30...Rad8 to create greater resistance. 31.Be5 Rf7 32.Rd7 Raf8 33.R2d6 Kg8 34.Rxf7 Rxf7 35.Rd8+ Kh7 36.a4 a6 37.Qe1 Bg6
Black is so tied up he has nothing better to do than shuffle the pieces around and wait for the axman with his head on the chopping block. 38.Kg1 Bf5 39.Qf2 Bg6 40.Kf1 Rf5 41.Ke1 Be8 42.Qd2 Qg6 43.Rb8 Qg3+ 44.Qf2 Bh5 45.Rxb7 Rf7 46.Qxg3 hxg3 47.Rb6 Rd7 48.Bd6 e5 49.fxe5 Rf7 50.e6 Rf2 51.Bxg3 Rxg2 52.Bf4 g5 53.Kf1 Rc2 54.Bxg5 Rxc5 55.h4 Kg6 56.e7 Kf5 57.Rb8 Re5 58.Rf8+ Kg4 59.Kg2 1-0. [Click to replay]
The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.