Sigeman: Caruana beats Giri in clash of the young stars

5/10/2012 – This is the 20-year jubilee of the annual Sigeman Chess Tournament, one that pits top international chess stars against local Swedish players. This year it is taking place in the classical Hipp Theater in central Malmo, and with eight players. The stars and favourites are former World Champion challenger Peter Leko and the young GMs Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri. Round one report.

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The Limhamn Chess Club is staging the 20-year jubilee of the annual Sigeman Chess Tournament. It is taking place in the classical Hipp Theater in central Malmo, Sweden, and is an eight-player round robin. The rate of play is 40 moves/2hours + 20 moves/1 hour + 30 minutes for the rest of the game. The games start at 14:00h CEST, except the final round, which begins at 12:00 noon.

There are two young top players at the start: 19-year-old Italian-American grandmaster Fabiano Caruana and the tournament winner of 2010, 17-year-old Dutch grandmaster Anish Giri. The two youngsters face former world championship challenger Peter Leko from Hungary, one of China's best chess players, 22-year-old grandmaster Chao Li, and four of Sweden's best chess players.

This year's home team consists of Jonny Hector from hosting club Limhamns SK, who is participating in the Sigeman Chess Tournament for the sixteenth time, two newly promoted grandmasters, Nils Grandelius and Hans Tikkanen, both from neighboring town Lund, and finally one of Sweden's most successful chess players during the last five years, 30-year-old grandmaster Emanuel Berg.

The big favorites are Caruana and Leko, the former based on a number of very good recent results, and the latter based on 20 years among the best players in the world and a number of big tournament wins. Giri and Chao should be considered dangerous outsiders.


The first round was played at the Hipp Theatre on Wednesday, the 9th of May

In the first round there were two decided games. The first was the clash between the two young stars which was decided in favour of the older (by two years) and higher rated (by 77 points) player.

[Event "20th Sigeman & Co"] [Site "Malmo SWE"] [Date "2012.05.09"] [Round "1"] [White "Caruana, F."] [Black "Giri, A."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2770"] [BlackElo "2693"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2012.05.09"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. h3 Ne7 8. d4 Bb6 9. Re1 c6 10. Bd3 Ng6 11. Be3 Re8 12. Nbd2 h6 13. Qc2 Bd7 14. Rad1 Bc7 15. dxe5 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 dxe5 17. Bf1 Qe7 18. b4 Red8 19. a4 Be6 20. a5 Nd7 21. Ra1 b6 22. a6 Nf8 23. Nf3 Ng6 24. g3 Bd6 25. Red1 Rac8 26. Rd2 Bc7 27. Rad1 Rxd2 28. Rxd2 Rd8 29. h4 Nf8 30. Rxd8 Qxd8 31. Nd2 Qc8 32. Qa4 Bd6 $6 {Not the best square for the bishop: d8 would have been preferrable.} 33. Nc4 Bxc4 $2 34. Bxc4 {The beginning of a combination that Fabiano Caruana has calculated to the end.} b5 35. Qd1 $1 {Attacking the unprotected bishop.} Be7 36. Bb3 Ne6 $2 {Black is falling apart.} 37. Qg4 Kf8 38. Qf5 Bf6 39. g4 Ke8 40. g5 hxg5 41. hxg5 (41. hxg5 Bxg5 42. Bxe6 Qxe6 43. Qxe6+ fxe6 44. Bxg5 {decides the game for White.}) 1-0

In the second it was the older and lower ranked (by six points) player who took the point – with the black pieces.

[Event "20th Sigeman & Co"] [Site "Malmo SWE"] [Date "2012.05.09"] [Round "1"] [White "Tikkanen, H."] [Black "Hector, J."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A09"] [WhiteElo "2566"] [BlackElo "2560"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2012.05.09"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 c6 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. b3 Bd6 6. Bb2 O-O 7. Be2 e5 8. cxd5 cxd5 9. Nb5 Nc6 10. Nxd6 Qxd6 11. d4 e4 12. Ne5 Ne7 13. Qc1 Be6 14. Ba3 Qd8 15. Qc5 Re8 16. Qb4 Nc6 17. Nxc6 bxc6 18. h3 a5 19. Qd6 Bd7 20. O-O Re6 21. Qf4 h6 22. Rfb1 Nh7 23. Bc5 Rf6 24. Qe5 Qc8 {White is doing fine, but is rightly worried about the attack that is brewing on the kingside. What to do about it? Well, not this:} 25. Bf1 $2 Bxh3 26. b4 (26. gxh3 Ng5 $1 {threatening the fork on f3.} 27. Bg2 Nxh3+ 28. Kh2 (28. Bxh3 Qxh3 {and Rg6 to follow.}) 28... Nxf2 { and Black has a clear advantage.}) 26... Ng5 27. bxa5 $2 {Your kingside is on fire, man!} Rg6 28. Kh2 Qg4 29. Rb8+ Rxb8 (29... Kh7 $1 {was faster.}) 30. Qxb8+ Kh7 31. Qg3 Qh5 32. gxh3 Nf3+ 33. Kg2 Rxg3+ 34. fxg3 {Black has a queen and knight for rook and two bishop, but also a sustained attack.} Ng5 35. Kh2 Qf3 36. Bg2 Qf2 37. Bd6 Nf3+ 38. Kh1 Ne1 39. a6 {and the game actually ends in mate:} Qxg2# 0-1

Peter Leko, former World Championship challenger, who has not been playing much at all lately, had a rough-and-tumble against new grandmaster Nils Grandelius – 167 points his inferiour on the rating scale, but the player with the longest dredlocks in chess.

[Event "20th Sigeman & Co"] [Site "Malmo SWE"] [Date "2012.05.09"] [Round "1"] [White "Leko, P."] [Black "Grandelius, N."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B78"] [WhiteElo "2723"] [BlackElo "2556"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2012.05.09"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 O-O 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Rc8 11. Bb3 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 b5 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. exd5 a5 16. a3 Kg8 17. Rhe1 Rc5 18. Re3 Qa8 19. Rxe7 Bf5 20. g4 a4 21. Bxa4 Qxa4 22. gxf5 Rfc8 23. c3 b4 24. axb4 Qa1+ 25. Kc2 Qa4+ 26. Kc1 Qa1+ 27. Kc2 Qa4+ 28. Kb1 $1 {Leko will not take the draw.} Rxc3 29. Ra7 ({If White takes it is a draw:} 29. bxc3 Qb3+ 30. Qb2 Qxd1+ 31. Qc1 Qb3+) 29... Qxb4 ( 29... Qxa7 30. bxc3 Ra8 {with a perpetual and draw.}) 30. f6 Qb3 31. Ra3 Qc2+ 32. Qxc2 Rxc2 33. h4 R2c4 34. Ra6 Rxh4 35. Rxd6 Rf4 36. Rd3 h5 37. Rc6 Rd8 38. b3 Rf5 39. d6 Rxf6 40. Kc2 h4 41. Rc4 Rdxd6 42. Rxd6 Rxd6 {and after these liquidations the game is a draw.} 43. Rxh4 Kg7 44. Rc4 g5 45. b4 Kg6 46. b5 Kh5 47. Rb4 Rb6 48. Kd3 f5 49. Ke2 g4 50. Kf2 gxf3 51. Kxf3 1/2-1/2

Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano was born in Florida, but early in his life he moved to New York, where he soon showed remarkable talent. When he was 11, his family moved to Europe, where they first lived in Madrid, but later on they moved on to Italy. Since he was both a US and an Italian citizen, he could chose which country he wanted to represent, and in 2005 he chose Italy. Since then, he has won the Italian championship four times.

His international breakthrough came at Wijk aan Zee, where he during the years 2008 and 2009 became the first to win Group C and Group B two years in sequence. In 2009, he also made it into the fourth round of the World Cup, where he got knocked out by Vugar Gashimov in the rapid chess tiebreak. Last year he also won the very strong AAI tournament in New Dehli, with 7 points in 10 rounds. He is currently the world's highest rated junior player and rated among the ten best chess players in the world.

Caruana makes his first start in the Sigeman Chess Tournament. With the highest rating and a number of impressive results he is, of course, one of the big favorites.

Jonny Hector

Local grandmaster Jonny Hector participates in the Sigeman Chess Tournament for the sixteenth time. This by far makes him the most frequent guest, but this should come as no surprise, since he was born and raised in Malmo and represents the hosting club, Limhamns SK. Yet another reason for Jonny to be invited year after year is that he is an ambitious and creative player who always plays to win. Hector lives with his family in Helsingor in Denmark, not very far from Malmo.

A couple of years ago he became a father and decided to play less. The last few years he has played less but has had very good results, and he has probably never played better. In 2010 Jonny for the first time had a rating over 2600, and at his present 2562 he is still close to this level. Hopefully the many games he has played in the Sigeman Chess Tournament have contributed to this, since playing games against very tough opponents give you an opportuinty to really test your skills and your opening repertoire.

In 2010, Jonny came to close to winning the Swedish Championship, but Emanuel Berg managed to squeeze past, after Jonny leading almost all the way. In last year's Swedish Championship, the same thing happened, but this time it was Hans Tikkanen who passed in the last round. Annoying to say the least... However, Jonny has been playing well and late in 2011, he won the traditional Malmö Open tournament.

Photos by Calle Erlandsson

Schedule and results

Round 1 – May 9th
GM Fabiano Caruana
1-0
GM Anish Giri
GM Hans Tikkanen
0-1
GM Jonny Hector
GM Peter Leko
1/2
GM Nils Grandelius
GM Emanuel Berg
1/2
GM Chao Li
Round 2 – May 10th
GM Fabiano Caruana
-
GM Hans Tikkanen
GM Jonny Hector
-
GM Peter Leko
GM Nils Grandelius
-
GM Emanuel Berg
GM Anish Giri
-
GM Chao Li
Round 3 – May 11th
GM Peter Leko
-
GM Fabiano Caruana
GM Hans Tikkanen
-
GM Anish Giri
GM Emanuel Berg
-
GM Jonny Hector
GM Chao Li
-
GM Nils Grandelius

Rest day – May 12th
 
Round 4 – May 13th
GM Fabiano Caruana
-
GM Emanuel Berg
GM Hans Tikkanen
-
GM Peter Leko
GM Jonny Hector
-
GM Chao Li
GM Anish Giri
-
GM Nils Grandelius
Round 5 – May 14th
GM Chao Li
-
GM Fabiano Caruana
GM Emanuel Berg
-
GM Hans Tikkanen
GM Peter Leko
-
GM Anish Giri
GM Nils Grandelius
-
GM Jonny Hector
Round 6 – May 15th
GM Fabiano Caruana
-
GM Nils Grandelius
GM Hans Tikkanen
-
GM Chao Li
GM Peter Leko
-
GM Emanuel Berg
GM Anish Giri
-
GM Jonny Hector
Round 7 – May 16th
GM Jonny Hector
-
GM Fabiano Caruana
GM Nils Grandelius
-
GM Hans Tikkanen
GM Chao Li
-
GM Peter Leko
GM Emanuel Berg
-
GM Anish Giri

Links

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.

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