All Saints in Stockholm

11/13/2009 – Sweden is not really the most romantic place on earth in November. It is quite cold already and the days are getting shorter and shorter. Nevertheless, two brave chess players from Hamburg/Germany did not mind all the weather circumstances and came to Stockholm to play chess. Cheap flights and Swedish hospitality made it possible. Pictorial report by Andreas Albers.

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All Saints in Stockholm

By Andreas Alber

Thanks to the cheap airline era a roundtrip ticket only costs about 30 € nowadays, and the flight only takes a bit more than an hour. The summer sun obviously kept a low profile; that is the reason why the pictures are no postcard look-alikes. Despite that, however, one should get a grasp that there is something about this city that makes it special.


The palace


Stockholm at night

Right in the middle of downtown on the island of Södermalm is the venue of the Stockholm Chess Federation, the so-called Schack Salongerna. It has training rooms, a library and a big playing hall.


IKEA chairs are all over the place. Obviously!


The nice tournament hall

The tournament

Between October 29th and November 1st a small amateur event with the name “Stockholm All Saints Tournament” took place. The entrance fee was fairly high; however, at the same time the prize money was decent as well. Arne Bracker, who is currently doing a gap year at the biggest chess club in Hamburg – Hamburger SK von 1830 e.V. – was one of the hot candidates to claim the tournament victory. He still had decent chances before the last round, but he lost to the Belarusian player Oleg Ermoshuk in the last round.


Ermoshuk-Bracker, the last game of the whole tournament

Besides the author and Arne Bracker there was another German player participating: Birger Wenzel, who plays for the Schach Klub Johanneum Eppendorf (SKJE) in Germany and for Wasa SK in Sweden. This young man had invited us to visit him in his new hometown.


Birger Wenzel, a German based in Stockholm, Sweden, who is about to open the Edem Chess Academy in Nigeria in cooperation with the German Youth Chess Federation next summer.

However, not the Germans were setting the course, but rather the local youngsters, especially Joar Ölund, who played the tournament of his life, despite having a serious cold.


Joar Ölund: five points and 4th place in the final rankings


Sam Kassani won the youth prize, with the help of his Mac burger


The player who has picked up the most German is Nikita Smirnov. Perhaps all the newly learned German vocabulary prevented him from playing a decent game against Sam Kassani in the last round.

The winner of the tournament was Jörgen Erikson who claimed the victory with 5.5/7 points, and due to his better tiebreak in comparison with Ermoshuk and Vesa Heinola.


The tournament winner Jörgen Erikson


Final round: Vesal Heinola vs Gilbert Jansson

At the end of the day the game ended in a draw and both players picked up their prizes at the closing ceremony.

Toiletgate?

No, no cheating was involved. However, right from the beginning the doors of the toilets were eye-catching as they are covered with pictures of great chess players.


Former world champions in the tournament hall


The toilets are guarded by the great Anatoly Karpov and Bent Larsen...


... as well as by Bobby Fischer and Ulf Andersson

Swedish specialities

It was a nice little tournament which ended with a cozy little closing ceremony which also had a very delicious buffet. The famous smörebröd and a nice wine cooler helped the players to forget their losses.


Besides the British, the Swedes are probably the only other people who have no
problems with waiting lines. Here’s a proof!

The highlight of each chess season in Stockholm is the Rilton Cup which takes place between December 27th and January 5th annually. It is definitely one of the strongest tournaments in the world around New Year. For further information refer to www.rilton.se

Sightseeing


Arne Bracker and Andreas Albers checking out the tourist restaurants in the Old Town, Gamla Stan


NK – Sweden’s most famous department store


Besides the palace it is the alleys thar are a trademark of Gamla Stan


Tunnel entrances and streets


A lot of opportunities to spend one’s Swedish "Kronors"


Andreas Albers meets a real Swedish beauty. Note the “Please, don’t touch!” sign


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