Erik Blomqvist: Swedish Champion 2016

by Ari Ziegler
7/28/2016 – The Swedish Championships, which took place from 15th to 24th July in Uppsala, were a big chess festival with tournaments for players of all levels and all ages. The "Mästarklassen", the Master Class, a ten player round-robin event, was dominated by Erik Blomqvist. After starting with three draws he decided it was time for action and went on to win all of his six remaining games to become Swedish Champion 2016.

Erik Blomqvist is new Swedish Champion!

Text: IM Ari Ziegler
Photos: Lars O A Hedlund

An crucial encounter for this year's championship came in round five when Hans Tikkanen, three-times Swedish Champion, played Erik Blomqvist. We saw a modern game of chess. After an opening that looked innocent enough Tikkanen, who had White, threw in the gauntlet by sacrificing a pawn for the initiative. But Black was mentally prepared to defend and he defended well! White lost track and Black took over. Erik Blomqvist at his best!!

 

 

Three-times Swedish Champion Hans Tikkanen. He currently studies psychology

Pre-tournament favorite Nils Grandelius started with 3.0/4 but then lost his stride, which allowed Erik Blomqvist and IM Jonathan Westerberg to grab the lead.

Jonathan Westerberg is a great talent. The way he wins his games is not always straightforward, but it is amazing to see the resources he has. With a proper chess education he will most certainly become a GM and cross the 2600-barrier. He came third (!) and he will be given further chances to show his skills in September, in the Olympiad 2016 in Baku!

Jonathan Westerberg

But new Swedish Champion is Erik Blomqvist, a hard working chess professional, who throughout the championship had been playing solid and crisp chess. He started with three draws but his finish could not have been better: six out of six!

Erik Blomqvist

The 23-year old Blomqvist has a hard positional style. He likes to keep the games tense and takes good care of his pieces and pawns by always having an eye on material. He gladly grabs material and then very stubbornly holds on to it. He seems to follow the motto of Captain Jack Sparrow from "Pirates of the Caribbean": "Take all you can, give nothing back!"

After eight rounds Erik was certain to win the tournament and to become new champion but the players still showed marvellous fighting spirit in the last round, perhaps the best round of the championship. Pia Cramling won very effectively against Tikkanen's Albin Counter and Daniel Semcecen won a nice strategic game against Hector - don't miss them!

 

 

 

 

GM Ferdinand Hellers

In round five the Championship was attended by the great Ferdinand Hellers, a former European Junior Champion who chose to become a lawyer instead of a world class chess player. He attended the live broadcast and he was not overly impressed by the moves, but we could see that he was a bit rusty.

Analysis room with a view

Before the kids arrive...

The kids are in town, formidable noise...

Veteran Thomas Carnstam has played in 48 consecutive championships!

Nina Blazekovic

The happy people behind the live-broadcast

 

Games

 

 

Final standings after nine rounds

  Title Name Country ELO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts. TB
1 GM Erik Blomqvist
 
2526   ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 7.5 / 9  
2 GM Nils Grandelius
 
2649 ½   ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 5.5 / 9  
3 IM Jonathan Westerberg
 
2489 ½ ½   1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0 / 9 20.75
4 GM Axel Smith
 
2499 0 ½ 0   1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 5.0 / 9 18.00
5 GM Jonny Hector
 
2512 ½ 0 ½ 0   1 1 0 1 ½ 4.5 / 9 18.75
6 GM Hans Tikkanen
 
2525 0 ½ 1 ½ 0   1 ½ 0 1 4.5 / 9 18.00
7 GM Tiger Hillarp Persson
 
2518 0 1 ½ ½ 0 0   ½ 1 1 4.5 / 9 16.75
8 GM Daniel Semcesen
 
2450 0 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½   ½ 1 4.5 / 9 16.50
9 GM Pia Cramling
 
2471 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 0 ½   ½ 3.0 / 9  
10   Tom Rydström     0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½   1.0 / 9  

 

Photographer Lars O A Hedlund


Ari Ziegler is an International Master and former President of the Swedish Chess Federation.
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