Shirov the boss in Lund

by André Schulz
8/7/2019 – Alexei Shirov showed he can still play, at the 5th CellaVison Cup in Lund, Sweden. He won the tournament with 7 of 8 thanks to better tiebreak score ahead of Kryakvin and Külaots. Pia Cramling took the women's prize with 6 points. The tournament also featured paintings by Mariya Yugina, wife of GM Mihail Marin. | Photos: Lars OA Hedlund

And Action! - How to crown positional play by tactics And Action! - How to crown positional play by tactics

There are few names which, like that of Alexei Shirov, can be associated with fantastically imaginative and tactically influenced play. Now the Latvian grandmaster is presenting a DVD on precisely that element of the game of chess. And one that is completely based on his own games.


Art and Fire to start August

Mariya Yugina

The Cellavision Cup in Lund was held for the fifth time this year in the first weekend of August and in an interesting format. On Friday four rapid games were be played, while on Saturday and Sunday two games each day at classical time control. In the end, you played eight rounds over three days. The organizer of the tournament is the "Lunds Akademiska Schackklubb" (Lund Academic Chess Club). 

The format seems to be very popular and not only among players from Scandinavia area — nearly 200 players travelled to participate including those from other European countries, Russia and Israel.

In addition to the main Cellavision Cup, a scholastic tournament was held in the schedule. 

The organisers arranged for visual accents provided by an exhibition of the work of painter Mariya Yugina (pictured), wife of Grandmaster Mihail Marin, who scored 6½/8, tied for fourth place after losing to the tournament winner, Alexei Shirov.

Mihail Marin and Mariya Yugina

Mihail Marin and Mariya Yugina

Former FIDE World Championship runner-up Alexey Shirov, who was born in Latvia but currently plays under the Spanish flag, was the defending champion and won the tournament again this year. He faced competition from Dmitry Kryakvin and this year's Aeroflot Open winner Kaido Külaots, however, two players who could keep up his pace. All three reached 7 points in the 8-round schedule and remained unbeaten. But a better tiebreak score decided the event in favour of Shirov.

On the way to the tournament win, Shirov defeated and Twan Burg, among others. The Dutch grandmaster was overrun in familiar Shirov style:


After 33.d3+ the white queen made a decisive invasion: 33...c7 34.e7 c8 35.e8+ and White is heading for mate.

The best woman in the field was once again Pia Cramling who finished with 6.0/8.

Pia Cramling

Pia Cramling

Update: Mihail Marin sent us his own reflections:

Grandmasters know the standard procedure: If one wants to play in a certain tournament, he or she has to write an email to the organizers, with the hope of receiving an invitation. After marrying Mariya, things surprisingly turned smoother for us: We started receiving excellent invitations to beautiful places without the need of undertaking the preliminary steps. Things turned even more pleasantly unexpected before the tournament in Lund. The organizer, Calle Erlandsson, invited us for an art exhibition with Mariya's chess related paintings. "It would be nice if you will play, too" he added. For once, Mariya ceased to be "the grandmaster's wife"; it felt more as though I was the painter's husband!

Even though Sweden has a Northern climate, we could not dream of a warmer welcome. The organizers prepared a wide area for the exhibition, located on the second floor, where the tournament took part, and having optimal lighting for the paintings to look ideal.

Apart from having chess themes in all the paintings, Mariya also tried to dedicate some of them specifically to this tournament. In one, the colours of the Swedish flag can be seen in the background, and in another a charming blonde girl examines an endgame masterpiece by Shirov, who had won the tournament the two previous years (and, although we did not yet know it, again in 2019)!

Much to our joy, the exhibition was a success. Several paintings were pre-purchased even before the varnishing and many players addressed personal thanks to Mariya for the exhibition.

And Calle was right: it was nice, indeed, that we also played in the tournament. After reaching the low point by losing to Shirov with White in just 20 moves, I managed to come back into the first ranks with two hard fought wins with Black on the final day.

All in all, a wonderful (double!) experience, for which we are grateful to the organizers and which we are ready and willing to repeat in the future! 

All available games


Final standings

  Name Club n + = - Pts.   TB
1 GM Alexei Shirov Wasa SK 8 6 2 0 7.0   42.00
2 GM Dmitry Kryakvin Russia 8 6 2 0 7.0   41.00
3 GM Kaido Külaots Lunds ASK 8 6 2 0 7.0   39.50
4 GM Twan Burg Netherlands 8 6 1 1 6.5   40.00
5 GM Mihail Marin Romania 8 6 1 1 6.5   39.50
6 GM Jens Kristiansen Denmark 8 6 1 1 6.5   35.50
7 GM Jonny Hector Limhamns SK 8 5 2 1 6.0   42.50
8 GM Gil Popilski Israel 8 5 2 1 6.0   41.50
9 IM Bengt Lindberg Växjö SK 8 5 2 1 6.0   38.50
10 GM Torbjorn Ringdal Hansen Norway 8 5 2 1 6.0   38.00
11 GM Jonathan Dourerassou France 8 6 0 2 6.0   37.50
12 FM Erik Malmstig SK Rockaden Umeå 8 6 0 2 6.0   36.50
13 GM Ralf Åkesson Västerås SK 8 5 2 1 6.0   36.50
14 GM Erik Blomqvist SK Rockaden, Sthlm 8 6 0 2 6.0   36.00
15 GM Axel Smith Lunds ASK 8 5 2 1 6.0   36.00
16 GM Pia Cramling Wasa SK 8 5 2 1 6.0   36.00
17 FM Tobias Valentin Rostgaard Denmark 8 5 2 1 6.0   33.50
18 Lars Andersson SS Allians, Skänninge 8 6 0 2 6.0   31.50
19 FM Simon Silseth Säffle SK 8 5 1 2 5.5   39.50

...199 Players

Translation from German: Macauley Peterson


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


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