Lucas van Foreest wins Kragero Resort International

by André Schulz
3/2/2022 – From 23rd to 27th February a strong international Open took place in Kragero, Norway. After nine rounds Dutch Grandmaster Lucas van Foreest and GM Boris Chatalbashev from Denmark shared first place but van Foreest won the tournament on tiebreak. | Photo: (from left to right) Geir Sune Tallaksen Ostmoe, Chatalbashev, van Foreest | Photos: Chess Club Kragero

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The tournament was a 9-round Swiss with a time-control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment per move. An Elo rating or more than 2000 was required to participate in the title tournament. Players below 2000 could participate in an Elo tournament (B tournament). The main organiser was FA Truls R. Jorgensen from the Kragero Chess Club.

Playing the tournament was possible because Norway had lifted all Covid 19 restrictions, allowing foreigners to enter Norway without hindrance. Proof of vaccination or PCR tests were not required. Face masks were also no longer required when moving around the country. However, masks were mandatory when moving around the tournament hall, but they could be taken off at the board. In case of corona symptoms, rapid tests were available.

Almost 100 players in the A-tournament, including about 15 strong Grandmasters and Women Grandmasters, were happy about the chance to play in a strong international Open again. The seedings were headed by the German Grandmasters Alexander Donchenko and Daniel Fridman. With Lucas van Foreest, Daniel Dardha and Szymon Gumularz, some younger talents took the opportunity to compete internationally.

After three rounds, 21-year-old Polish GM Szymon Gumularz was the only player with 3.0/3 but after a draw in round four against Evgeny Romanov, a number of players caught up to him, and after five rounds Dardha and Chatalbashev led the tournament. But in round six they drew against each other and van Foreest, Fridman and Turkish GM Vanap Sahal joined the leaders.

Daniel Fridman

In round seven Fridman and Dardha drew and van Foreest also had to concede half a point against Sebastian Bogner. This allowed Chatalbashev, who won against Sahal, to take the sole lead with 6.0/7.

In round eight Chatalbashev defended his lead with a draw against van Foreest, as the other top games also ended in a draw.

Alexander Donchenko (right)

In the ninth and final round Chatalbashev drew against Romanov which allowed van Foreest, who won against Donchenko, to catch up to Chatalbashev. But thanks to his better tiebreak van Foreest won the tournament. Bronze went to IM Geir Sune Tallaksen Østmoe.


Chances are about equal. Black can break through on the queenside, while White can create a passed pawn on the kingside.

56.Bg2 Rd6? This exchange favours White because the rook is needed to stop the white pawns.

Correct was 56...b4 57.g5 (57.axb4 Rxb4 is good for Black.) 57...hxg5+ 58.Kxg5 e4 and the endgame offers chances for both sides, e.g. 59.h6 bxa3 60.bxa3 Ke5 61.Kg6 etc.

57.Rxd6+ Kxd6 58.g5 hxg5+ 59.Kxg5 Suddenly, White's h-pawn is very dangerous and Black has to sacrifice his knight to stop it from queening.

59...Nxh5 60.Kxh5 b4


61.Be4 The bishop reaches the queenside just in time.

61...c3 62.bxc3 bxa3 63.Bb1 Kd5 64.Ba2+ Ke4 65.c4 Kf5 66.c5 Kf6 67.Kg4 1–0

Final table (on the tournament page)...



Translation from German: Johannes Fischer


Tournament page...

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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