Täby – biggest Women's Open in chess history

3/30/2008 – It was as bold as brass, the intention of the Swedish organizers enter the Guinness record book with the largest women's event ever. In attendance: 46 women grandmasters and 44 international masters (the Moscow Women Open 2008 in February had 26 WGMs and 12 WIMs). The winner in this and the Moscow Open: IM Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia. Illustrated report by Valery Golubenko.

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Täby – a place to remember

By Valery Golubenko


Opening ceremony, with the anthem of Sweden, of SCT, and the Trooping the Colours

The organizers of the Scandinavian Chess Tournament 2008 (SCT-2008) was staged as a Ladies Open and attracted chess beauties by giving them special conditions – free room with a breakfast in four-star Best Western Park Hotel near the Stockholm Airport Arlanda, plus a start money of SEK 3,000 (around EUR 300) for grandmasters and 2,000 for international masters. They collected 126 participants a total of 33 countries, among them 20 from Sweden, 18 from Russia, and 16 (!) from Georgia. In Moscow one month ago there were 136 participants from 16 countries – 111 from Russia, 6 from Ukraine and 4 from Georgia. In my opinion, just looking at these numbers proves that the Scandinavian Ladies Open 2008 was not only the strongest but also the biggest women open in history.

All the ladies were presented with plush toys and pretty-pretties provided by the Swedish company Pearls for Girls. Wally is made from semi-precious stones, crystals, pearls and silver.

The events was held in little town (60,000 inhabitants) of Täby situated between Stockholm and Arlanda Airport. In fact, this small town is famous thanks to its church with 1480-year chess ceiling fresco Man playing chess with Death.


The great Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman then used this motif in his famous drama The Seventh Seal, 1957.


Chess game with death: Ingmar Bergman's Seventh Seal

After six rounds the women grandmasters Jana Jackova (CZE), Harriet Hunt (ENG), Dana Reizniece (LAT) and Sopiko Khukhashvili (GEO) had five points each. After seven rounds Sopiko took the sole leadership and kept it before the decisive ninth round, as well.


Harriet Hunt (ENG) vs Julia Gromova (RUS) in round one (Harriet won)

Regrettably, not only for the great event, but more importantly for the players involved, who simply lost their chance to became the winner, the first board game Khukhashvili-Hunt ended with a five move anticlimactic draw: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3.

Despite this little masterpiece, English grand master played probably the best game of the event – in the 6th round versus the future tournament winner Anna Muzychuk (SLO):

Hunt,Harriet - Muzychuk,Anna [B01]
SCT Ladies Open 2008 Stockholm (6), 23.03.2008
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nxd5 4.d4 Bg4 5.Be2 Nc6 6.c3 e6 7.0–0 Be7 8.h3 Bh5 9.Re1 0–0 10.Nbd2 Qd7 11.Nc4 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Rad8 13.Qb3 b6 14.Bd2 Rfe8 15.Rad1 b5 16.Ne3 a6 17.Qc2 h6 18.Ng4 Qd6

19.Bxh6! First sacrifice. 19…f5. 19...gxh6 20.Nxh6+ Kg7 21.Nxf7 Qf4 (21...Kxf7 22.Qh7+ followed by mate) 22.Nxd8 Nxd8 and White wins. 20.Bxd5 Qxd5 21.Ne3 Qd6 22.d5 gxh6 23.dxc6 Qc5 24.Qb3 Bd6 25.Nc2 Kf7 26.Nd4 Qc4 27.Qc2 b4?

28.Rxe6. The second and decisive sac. 28.Nxe6 would have been even more davastating. 28…Rxe6 29.Qxf5+ Ke7 30.Qh7+ Ke8 31.Qg8+ Ke7 32.Nf5+ Kf6 33.Qg7+ Kxf5 34.g4+ Kf4 35.Qf7+

And it's mate in two. 1–0.

Will or will not the Ladies Open 2008 be regarded as greater than the Moscow Open 2008? This doesn’t really matter at least for one chess beauty, namely Anna Muzychuk, who managed to win both them both! She won the decisive game versus WGM Zeinab Mamedjarova (AZE) when her main opponents Sopiko Khukhashvili and Harriet Hunt kissed of the fight.


Anna Muzychuk (SLO), taking the second great event in a row!

Muzychuk,Anna - Mamedjarova,Zeinab [C41]
SCT Ladies Open 2008 Stockholm (9), 25.03.2008
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nd7 3.Nf3 e5 4.Bc4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Ngf6 6.Nc3 Nb6 7.Be2 Be7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Bf4 Re8 10.Qd3 Bf8 11.Rad1 c6 12.Rfe1 d5 13.exd5 Nfxd5 14.Nxd5 Nxd5 15.Bg3 Qa5 16.a3 Bg4 17.h3 Bxe2 18.Rxe2 Rxe2 19.Qxe2 Qb6 20.Nf5 h6 21.Be5 Re8 22.c4 Nf4 23.Qg4 Ng6 24.Bc3 Rd8 25.Re1 Qc7 26.g3 Kh7 27.h4 f6 28.Qe4 Qd7

29.h5 Ne5 30.Bxe5 fxe5 31.Nxh6+ Kh8 32.Qxe5 b6 33.Nf5 Kh7 34.Kg2 Qf7 35.Re4 Rd2 36.Rg4 Qf6 37.Qe4 Bc5 38.Rxg7+ Kh8 39.Qe8+ 1–0.

Finally, three players scored 7 points from 9 games, and shared 1-3 places. The Buhholz tiebreaker decided Anna Myzychuk (SLO) is the first, Sopiko Khukhashvili (GEO) is the second, and Elina Danielian (ARM) is the third.


Third: IM Elina Danielian, 2480, of Armenia

Final Ranking (after nine rounds)

Rk. Title Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2  Rp
1 IM Muzychuk Anna SLO 2460 7.0 49.0 54.0 2574
2 IM Khukhashvili Sopiko GEO 2387 7.0 47.5 51.5 2566
3 IM Danielian Elina ARM 2480 7.0 43.5 48.0 2540
4 IM Hunt Harriet ENG 2457 6.5 49.5 54.0 2513
5 IM Gaponenko Inna UKR 2422 6.5 48.5 53.0 2491
6 WIM Worek Joanna POL 2244 6.5 46.5 49.0 2371
7 IM Jackova Jana CZE 2375 6.5 45.0 49.5 2482
8 IM Vajda Szidonia HUN 2418 6.5 43.5 47.0 2439
WGM Sudakova Irina RUS 2333 6.5 43.5 47.0 2415
10 WIM Batsiashvili Nino GEO 2317 6.5 42.0 46.0 2428
11 WGM Reizniece Dana LAT 2309 6.5 42.0 45.5 2421
12 WGM Benderac Ana SRB 2324 6.5 41.5 45.0 2398
13 IM Lujan Carolina ARG 2365 6.0 45.0 49.0 2402
14 WGM Mamedjarova Zeinab AZE 2332 6.0 42.0 46.0 2416
15 IM Dzagnidze Nana GEO 2429 6.0 42.0 45.5 2392
16 WGM Shumiakina Tatiana RUS 2352 6.0 41.0 45.0 2370
WIM Nemcova Katerina CZE 2342 6.0 41.0 45.0 2322
18 IM Purtseladze Maka GEO 2267 6.0 41.0 44.5 2396
19 IM Zatonskih Anna USA 2458 6.0 39.0 42.5 2369

Täby Picture Gallery


Springtime in Sweden: the Täby Park Hotel, where all the participants stayed and played


Täby Centrum, one of the largest shopping centers in all of Sweden


Täby Lake


ET go home? The Täby UFO


Täby: modern Swedish architecture


An early Spring magpie


Täby folk party, with Swedish music and WIM Kristina Cherenkova (RUS)


Hnefatafl – or Viking Chess

All photos by Valery Golubenko


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