Hammer victorious at Rilton Cup

by Albert Silver
1/7/2014 – Played at the same time as the Hasting Chess Congress, the Rilton Cup, Sweden’s biggest and most famous international chess tournament, was held in Stockholm, Sweden, from December 27th, 2013 to January 5th, 2014 and after a strong duel between Nils Grandelius and Jon Hammer, the Norwegian won his second tournament in a month, with a powerful performance, and earning a solid gold medal.

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Played at the same time as the Hasting Chess Congress, the Rilton Cup was held in Stockholm, Sweden, from December 27th, 2013 to January 5th, 2014, and much like its sibling tournament was an opportunity for players to usher in the new year while playing a nice chess tournament. The event was spread out over three tournaments, with the Rilton Elo for Nordic players with a national rating of 1800 and lower, the Rilton Open, for players under 2200, and finally the main event, the Rilton Cup, for players rated at least 2200, where the sky’s the limit.

The Rilton Cup is Sweden's largest and most famous chess tournament

The Rilton Cup brought numerous titled players, with plenty of opportunities for norms, with no fewer than seventeen grandmasters and thirteen international masters. The tournament was nine rounds 40 moves in 90 minutes, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move one.

Rilton Cup is Sweden’s biggest and most famous international chess tournament. It was initiated by a donation from Dr. Tore Rilton, and since 1985 the tournament is financially secure. The challenge prize, donated by SEB Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, is a Rilton-medal in solid gold.

The solid gold medal given to the winner

At the top of the pecking order were Bartosz Socko (2657), Ilya Smirin (2642), Michal Krasenkow (2633), Sergey Volkov (2623) and Jon Hammer (2612), while the top local player was Nils Grandelius at (2576).

After five rounds, two players showed who was in form: Swedish junior Nils Grandelius, and Norwegian Jon Hammer, both with 4.5/5 and playing very strong. They continued neck and neck this way and after Hammer pulled ahead in round six, the very next they were both at 6.0/7, trailed closely by several others waiting for the chance to break the hegemony. The turning point was round eight when Grandelius finally succumbed to Russian Sergey Volkov, while Jon Hammer followed the footsteps of his prestigious countryman Magnus Carlsen, and ground down Michal Krasenkov after the Polish grandmaster slipped in the endgame.

Round eight was crucial as Grandelius finally stumbled....

...while Hammer lived up to his name

This left only Volkov with a chance to change things in the final round as he was sole second with 6.5/8 and Hammer had 7.0/8. Volkov chose not to take any chances in the last round, a decision that was criticized by some, and opted for a quick draw by entering a well-known repetition after ten moves. It turned out well for him as the other results left him still in sole second, while Grandelius managed to take third on tiebreak.

The two other tournaments brought in players of all ages and strength

Whereas much was (deservedly) made of Polish GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek’s recent back-to-back victories in the last weeks, Norwegian Jon Hammer has done no less well, having won the London Chess Classic FIDE Open with 7.5/9 in mid-December, and now does the same at the Rilton Cup with the same 7.5/9 score, and a powerful 2795 performance. This is not the only point in common they share, as Wojtaszek had been a talented 2600 player before working as Anand’s second, and the result was a climb to 2700. Will Jon Hammer, who is Magnus Carlsen’s second, experience a similar spurt?

GM Jon Hammer displaying his (genuine) gold medal

Pictures by Lars Hedlund and Lennarth Eriksson

Final Ranking

Rk
SNo
Ti
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
 TB 
Perf
rtg+/-
1
5
GM
Hammer Jon Ludvig
NOR
2612
7.5
49.0
2795
19.9
2
4
GM
Volkov Sergey
RUS
2623
7.0
45.5
2686
6.9
3
7
GM
Grandelius Nils
SWE
2576
6.5
51.5
2718
18.0
4
3
GM
Krasenkow Michal
POL
2633
6.5
48.5
2662
4.5
5
2
GM
Smirin Ilya
ISR
2642
6.5
47.5
2662
2.3
6
1
GM
Socko Bartosz
POL
2657
6.5
47.0
2651
0.5
7
6
GM
Goganov Aleksey
RUS
2581
6.5
46.5
2645
8.7
8
9
GM
Hillarp-Persson Tiger
SWE
2551
6.5
43.5
2608
7.6
9
8
GM
Piorun Kacper
POL
2560
6.0
49.0
2632
9.5
10
11
GM
Lintchevski Daniil
RUS
2541
6.0
46.5
2602
8.2
11
14
IM
Urkedal Frode
NOR
2492
6.0
40.0
2493
0.8
12
15
IM
Semcesen Daniel
SWE
2488
5.5
42.0
2477
0.6
13
24
IM
Smirnov Artem
RUS
2418
5.5
42.0
2510
12.3
14
20
GM
Socko Monika
POL
2440
5.5
41.0
2486
6.2
15
22
GM
Yagupov Igor
RUS
2427
5.5
41.0
2432
2.1

Click here for complete standings


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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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