Jobava & Grandelius win Sigeman 2017

by Srinath Narayanan
5/15/2017 – Tepe Sigeman & Co concluded yesterday, with all the final round games ending in draws. But this was a tournament of missed opportunities for the top seed Pavel Eljanov and also Nigel Short. Swedish grandmaster Nils Grandelius and Georgia's Baadur Jobava scored 3.0/5 each making them joint winners of the tournament. Erik Blomqvist and Pavel Eljanov shared the third and fourth places with 2½/5. Indian star Dronavalli Harika shared the last place with Nigel Short. Report with grandmaster analysis

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Jobava & Grandelius win #TePeSigeman 2017

Round 3

Top seed Eljanov’s bad form continued as he remained winless after three rounds. In the third round, he displayed his strength to outplay Jobava and get a won position, but failed to find the concrete continuation during the key moments.

See if you can find what Eljanov missed? Hint: Reti-Alekhine, 1925, Carlsen-Adhiban, 2017.


[Event "23rd Sigeman & Co 2017"] [Site "Malmo SWE"] [Date "2017.05.12"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Jobava, Baadur"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2755"] [BlackElo "2713"] [Annotator "Srinath,Narayanan"] [PlyCount "116"] [EventDate "2017.05.10"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 g6 7. Be3 Bg7 8. Qd2 Nbd7 9. g4 d5 10. exd5 Nb6 11. O-O-O Bxg4 12. f3 Bd7 13. Nb3 Nc8 14. Ne4 Nd6 15. Nbc5 O-O 16. Nxf6+ Bxf6 17. Ne4 Bg7 18. Bd4 Rc8 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. h4 Qb6 21. Kb1 h5 22. Rhg1 Nf5 23. Bd3 Bb5 24. Bxb5 axb5 25. Qg5 Qc7 26. c3 Nd6 27. Rd4 Kh7 28. Nxd6 Qxd6 29. Re4 Rc7 30. f4 (30. Re6 $142 $1 Qh2 (30... fxe6 31. Qxg6+ Kh8 32. Qh6#) 31. Rxg6 Qxg1+ 32. Qxg1 fxg6 33. Qb6 Rd7 34. Qxb5 Rc7 35. c4 Rxf3 36. b3 $18) 30... Rg8 31. Rge1 Rg7 32. f5 Rc5 33. fxg6+ fxg6 34. Re5 Qf6 35. Qg3 Rc4 36. Rg5 b4 37. cxb4 Rxb4 38. b3 Rd4 39. Rg1 Rd2 40. Qe5 Qa6 41. Rxh5+ Kg8 42. Qb8+ Kf7 43. Qf4+ Qf6 44. Qxd2 gxh5 45. Rxg7+ Kxg7 46. Qe1 Qf5+ 47. Kb2 Kf7 48. Qh1 Qf6+ 49. Kc2 Qf2+ 50. Kc3 Qc5+ 51. Kd3 Qb5+ 52. Ke4 Qb4+ 53. Kf5 Qd4 54. a4 b6 55. Qf3 Qxh4 56. b4 Ke8 57. a5 Qxb4 58. axb6 Qxb6 1/2-1/2

Grandelius employed the super safe Marshall Gambit against Short’s Spanish. But chess theory is deep and hard to remember. After managing to catch Grandelius off preparation, Short was better for the most part of the game until he missed a mate in 16 at one point.

White logically must play Re1 and seal the win.


Harika just had a bad day in the office as she made an obvious blunder with 29.Rd4. Black got an exchange up for no compensation and the conversion was all too easy. Black to play.

[Event "23rd Sigeman & Co 2017"] [Site "Malmo SWE"] [Date "2017.05.12"] [Round "3.3"] [White "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Black "Blomqvist, Erik"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B65"] [WhiteElo "2531"] [BlackElo "2546"] [Annotator "Srinath,Narayanan"] [PlyCount "100"] [EventDate "2017.05.10"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f4 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 Qa5 11. Bc4 h6 12. Bh4 Qh5 13. Bg3 Rd8 14. Rhe1 Bd7 15. e5 dxe5 16. Rxe5 Bc6 17. Qg1 Rxd1+ 18. Nxd1 Qg6 19. Nc3 Nd7 20. Bd3 Qf6 21. Ne4 Bxe4 22. Rxe4 Rc8 23. Kb1 Nc5 24. Rd4 Bd8 25. Qe3 Bb6 26. Rc4 Rc6 27. Be2 Qd8 28. Rd4 $4 Nd7 $1 29. Bb5 Bxd4 30. Qxd4 Qb6 31. Qxb6 Rxb6 32. c4 Rd6 33. f5 e5 34. Kc2 a6 35. Bxd7 Rxd7 36. Bxe5 Re7 37. Bg3 Re2+ 38. Kc3 Rxg2 39. a4 Kf8 40. b4 Ke7 41. b5 a5 42. c5 Kd7 43. Kc4 Ra2 44. c6+ bxc6 45. Kc5 Rxa4 46. bxc6+ Kc8 47. Kb5 Ra2 48. Bd6 a4 49. h4 a3 50. Ka4 Rf2 0-1

Round 4

Eljanov finally managed to break the rut and score his first win. Short played an unorthodox variation against Eljanov’s Caro Kann.

After 10 moves, Black had a clear advantage. Short tried to muddy the waters and almost succeeded after 24…Ka6. However, with just one minute remaining, he was unable to capitalize on his opportunity.

White to play and you’ve one minute remaining. What do you think?

[Event "23rd Sigeman & Co 2017"] [Site "Malmo SWE"] [Date "2017.05.13"] [Round "4.3"] [White "Short, Nigel D"] [Black "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B10"] [WhiteElo "2688"] [BlackElo "2755"] [Annotator "Srinath,Narayanan"] [PlyCount "100"] [EventDate "2017.05.10"] 1. e4 c6 {After the failed experiment with French, Eljanov goes back to his trusted weapons.} 2. f4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. d4 Nh6 6. Nc3 Bg4 7. Bd3 $6 ( 7. h3 $142 Bxf3 8. Qxf3 Nf5 9. Be3 {was probably better. White would be happy to exchange off the dark square bishop and try for f5.}) 7... Nf5 8. Bxf5 Bxf5 9. O-O Be7 {Already after 9 moves, Black has an edge.} 10. a4 c5 $1 {typical response against a4. Black prepares to gain space on the queenside and the light squares.} 11. Be3 c4 12. Ne2 h5 {prepares to secure f5.} 13. Ng3 Bg6 14. Ne1 Qd7 15. Qf3 (15. f5 Bxf5 16. Nxh5 (16. Nxf5 exf5 17. Qf3 g6 {is simply a pawn up.}) 16... Rg8 {is a comfortable edge for Black.}) 15... h4 16. f5 { White has to complicate things somehow.} hxg3 17. fxg6 gxh2+ 18. Kh1 f5 19. g4 f4 $1 20. Ng2 {White has to turn to desperate measures, as strategically his position is just worse.} fxe3 21. Qf7+ Kd8 22. Nf4 Kc7 23. Nxe6+ Kb6 24. a5+ Ka6 $4 {The king appears safe and well protected by White's pawn,however, this allows White deadly tacical threats. One pattern is the mate with Nc7#. Another is Nc5+ whenever the b8 knight moves. White plays Nxg7 and then comes back to e6. Black finds it hard to improve his position without moving the knight from b8.} (24... Kc6 $142 25. Qxg7 Na6 26. Qf7 e2 27. Rf2 Nc7 $19) 25. b4 $2 {Short played this move with one minute remaining, so it's entirely understandable. Having stood worse for most part of the game, he would've also psychologically consdired his position worse.} (25. Nxg7 $142 {And White is almost winning here. For example:} Nc6 26. Ne6 Qc8 27. g7 Rg8 28. Qxg8 $1 $18) 25... cxb3 26. Rfb1 Rc8 27. Qf1+ Qb5 28. Qxb5+ Kxb5 29. Rxb3+ Ka6 {Now, White is just lost.} 30. Rxe3 Rc6 31. Nxg7 Rxg6 32. Ne8 Rc6 33. c3 Nd7 34. Ng7 Rac8 35. Nf5 Bg5 36. Rh3 Rxc3 37. Rxc3 Rxc3 38. e6 Nf6 39. e7 Rc1+ 40. Rxc1 Bxc1 41. Nd6 Bf4 42. e8=Q Nxe8 43. Nxe8 Kxa5 44. Nf6 Be3 45. Nxd5 Bxd4 46. g5 b5 47. Ne7 Bc3 48. g6 b4 49. Nc6+ Kb5 50. Nxa7+ Kc5 0-1


In the battle of Swedes, Erik achieved a pretty equal position, but blundered it all away in one move with 24…Rxc8. This left the 7th rank exposed, and Grandelius wasted no time in swiftly inserting his forces into the vulnerable area. The game ended 7 moves later.

[Event "23rd Sigeman & Co 2017"] [Site "Malmo SWE"] [Date "2017.05.13"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Grandelius, Nils"] [Black "Blomqvist, Erik"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A30"] [WhiteElo "2665"] [BlackElo "2546"] [Annotator "Srinath,Narayanan"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.05.10"] 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. g3 b6 5. Bg2 Bb7 6. O-O Be7 7. d4 cxd4 8. Qxd4 O-O 9. Bf4 Nc6 10. Qd2 Na5 11. b3 Bb4 12. Qb2 d5 13. cxd5 Bxc3 14. Qxc3 Nxd5 15. Qd2 Nxf4 16. Qxf4 Qe7 17. Rac1 Rac8 18. Ne5 f6 19. Nd3 e5 20. Qa4 Bxg2 21. Kxg2 Qb7+ 22. f3 Rfd8 23. Rfd1 h6 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 $2 (24... Qxc8 $142 25. Rc1 Qd7 26. Qxd7 Rxd7 $11) 25. Qg4 $1 Qa6 26. Kh3 $1 {reinforcing the threat.} Re8 27. Nf4 Nc6 28. Nh5 Re7 29. Nxf6+ Kh8 30. Rd6 Qb7 31. Qg6 1-0


Harika showed fine mental strength to come back after a disappointing day.

She didn’t give Jobava much chances and was firm with the Black pieces. White had a symbolic advantage throughout the game, but it wasn’t sufficient for more than half point.

Round 5

Eljanov went for the broke with the white pieces--he grabbed a pawn from Nils Grandelius but left his king exposed in the center. But Grandelius found no way to break through and a draw was a logical result.

Jobava played a Petroff Defense against Erik Blomqvist. Until move 13, they followed Jobava's earlier game with Vishy Anand, which is when Erik deviated with 13.Bb3. Jobava defended well, until 21...f6 allowed Erik a chance to swing the pendulum in his favour...

Nigel Short and Harika Dronavalli reached an endgame fairly quickly and settled for a draw as well. Thus, all games ended in draws. Jobava and Grandelius shared the first prize while Nigel Short and Harika Dronavalli finished last.

Final Standings

All games

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(Cover Photo by Lars OA Hedlund)

Srinath is a 23-year-old Indian Grandmaster. A former World Under 12 champion, at the age of fourteen he became an IM and had shown surprising and unswerving loyalty to the title ever since, until March 2017, when he crossed the 2500 mark and completed the requirements to become a grandmaster. He loves chess and likes to play in tournaments all around the globe.


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