Pia Cramling leads the Swedish Championship

by André Schulz
7/8/2021 – For more than 40 years, Pia Cramling has regularly played in the Swedish Championships, but has never been able to win the title. In April, the best woman player in the country celebrated her 58th birthday. There is no sign of age fatigue. Cramling obtained an impressive win in round 4 and is now the sole leader in Helsingborg. | Photo: FIDE

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In the sole lead

The only female participant in the Swedish Individual Championship, Pia Cramling, is the sole leader after five rounds. Cramling has so far drawn Martin Lokander, Erik Blomqvist and Axel Smith. In round 2, she defeated Michael Wiedenkeller with black, while round 4, she obtained an impressive victory over Jung Min Seo.

In a sharp struggle, Cramling came out on top after profiting from the fact that her opponent did not exhaust his possibilities.


The position offers opportunities for both sides, and both players are playing for a win here.

36.Rf1?! [36.Rd3=]

36...Be6?! [After 36...Ba7+ 37.Kh1 Qb6 38.Nh4 Be6 Black has better chances.]

37.Rg5? The rook has been misplaced.

37...Bc4?! [37...Qd8 38.Qxd8 (38.Qc2 Ba7+ 39.Kh1 f6 40.Rh5 Bg4 41.Rh4 Qd7 and the h4-rook cannot move.) 38...Rxd8 with the threat of f6. The rook cannot escape to c5 due to Ba7.]

38.Re1 Rd8 [Better was 38...Qc6 planning f5.]

39.Nd5 Bxd5


40.Rxd5 Now White is out of the woods and gradually gets the upper hand.

40...Rxd5 41.exd5 Rd8 42.Kf1 Qf5 43.Rd1 Ba7 44.Qd3 Qf6 45.Rd2 Qb6 46.Qe4 g6 47.b4 [47.f5!?]


47...Qc7? [47...Rc8 offered good counterplay. 48.d6 Rc4 49.d7 Rxe4 50.d8Q+ Kg7=]

48.Rc2 [More convincing was 48.d6 Qc8 (48...Rxd6? 49.Qe8+ Kg7 50.Qe5+) 49.Qd5]

48...Qd6 49.Rc6 [49.Ng5!? intending to play 49...Qxd5 50.Qxd5 Rxd5 51.Rc8+ Kg7 52.Rc7]

49...Qxd5 50.Qxd5 Rxd5 51.Rxa6 White now has the better endgame with an extra pawn, but Black can still fight for a draw.



52.Ng5 Bg7? Too passive. [The best here was 52...Nc3 and, for example: 53.Nxh3 Rd1+ 54.Kg2 Rd2+ 55.Kf3 (55.Kg1 Ra2=) 55...Rxh2 56.Nf2 Bd4 57.Nd3 Kg7 and the matter is not yet decided.]

53.Ra8+ Bf8 54.Nxh3 Rd1+ 55.Ke2 Rh1 56.Nf2 Rxh2 57.Kf3 Kg7 58.Rd8 Rh5 59.g4 Rh2 60.Rd5 Be7


61.Rxb5 White is now clearly winning.

61...Bh4 62.Nd3 Ra2 63.Ra5 Bd8 64.Ra8 Be7 65.Ra7 Kf8 66.g5 f6 67.gxf6 Bxf6 68.Ne5 g5 69.Nd7+ 1–0

Swedish chess championships have been played since 1917. Pia Cramling first took part in 1981, when her brother Dan won the title. The sole leader of this year’s edition played regularly thereafter, but has never been able to win the title.

In the absence of Nils Grandelius and Hans Tikkanen, Tige Hillarp Persson is the rating favourite. However, he has lost two games until round 5.

Standings after round 5

  Name Club Rating W D L Pts TB
1 Pia Cramling Wasa SK 2459 2 3 0 8,5
2 Isak Storme SS Manhem 2397 2 2 1 3 7,75
3 Jung Min Seo Stockholms SS 2453 2 2 1 3 6,25
4 Erik Blomqvist SK Rockaden, Sthlm 2535 1 4 0 3 7
5 Axel Smith Lunds ASK 2453 1 4 0 3 6,5
6 Jonathan Westerberg Stockholms SS 2534 3 0 2 3 4
7 Tiger Hillarp Persson Lunds ASK 2542 2 1 2 6
8 Martin Lokander Stockholms SS 2437 1 1 3 3
9 Jonny Hector Limhamns SK 2479 1 1 3 4
10 Michael Wiedenkeller SK Rockaden, Sthlm 2445 0 2 3 1 3

All games



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


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