Simen Agdestein wins Grand Prix Tournament in Kragerø

by Holger Blauhut
9/27/2021 – The Norwegian Grandmaster Simen Agdestein coached Magnus Carlsen, and at a chess school in the Norwegian town of Bærum he still coaches some of the most promising Norwegian talents. Agdestein regularly travels with his pupils to tournaments, and from the 3rd to the 5th of September, Agdestein and his students took part in the Grand Prix Tournament in Kragerø, which Agdestein won with 6.0/6. | Photo: The last round game between 12-year-old Martin Holten Fiskaaen and Agdestein. FM Ward Altarbosh in the background. | Photos: Tanja Cecilie Kveim

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Simen's School Trip

The secondary school for competitive sports in the Norwegian town of Bærum began to train chess players in 1998. Simen Agdestein has been overseeing the courses from the very beginning.

Sportell Kragerø (Image: Holger Blauhut)

The school allows no more than five chess players to join each new year. Well-known former students include Magnus Carlsen, Jon Ludvig Hammer and Aryan Tari. The school regularly organises trips to tournaments in Norway and abroad. At least, that used to be the case, until the pandemic made travel and tournaments impossible.

Students and former students

From the 3rd to the 5th of September, Simen Agdestein and his pupils took part in the Grand Prix Tournament in Kragerø. The tournament began on Friday evening with two games of rapid chess (15 minutes + 10 seconds per move). Saturday and Sunday featured two games each, played with a time control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move. Overall, 119 players took part in the Kragerø Grand Prix. 55 of them played in the A-Group, but none of them managed to beat Agdestein, who won with 6.0/6.

Agdestein versus his pupils

The greatest suprise came from 12-year-old Martin Holten Fiskaaen. Last year, he had finished second in the B-tournament for players with a rating below 1600. This year, he played in the A-group after improving his Elo from 1500 to 1700 over the course of the summer.

Before the last round, he was second with 4.5/5. However, he had to play against Agdestein who was (still) too strong for him. But with a performance of 2350, Martin gained no less than 100 Elo points, and in a few years he might end up joining Adgenstein's chess class in Bærum.

The tournament was organised in accordance with the Corona-rules of the Norwegian Chess Federation. There were no spectators, and consuming food at the venue was not allowed. However, nobody had to wear a mask, and hand sanitiser was not used as frequently as it had been last year. Overall, it practically felt like a normal tournament.

The nice weather contributed to an overall great experience. A warm sun shone on Kragerø, the gem of Norway's coastal towns, and compelled a few of the kids to take a swim in the North Sea during their lunch break. This is not recommended for people who lack the Norwegian resistance to cold.

Final standings

Group A                                        
1. GM Simen Agdestein       OSS            6.0/6
2. Jacob Templen Grave      Tønsberg       5.0
3. Shazil Shehzad           Sandnes        5.0
4. Martin Holten Fiskaaen   Stavanger      4.5
5. Alexander Øye-Strømberg  Hell           4.5
6. Bjørn Robert L. Unhjem   Molde          4.5
7. FM Daniel Nordquelle     Nordstrand     4.0
8. FM Ward Altarbosh        OSS            4.0
9. FM Elham Abdrlauf        Nordstrand     4.0
10.Sondre Lillestøl Melaa   OSS            4.0
(55 Teilnehmer)

Group B                                        
1. Benjamin Stenseng        Konnerud Tempo 5.5/6
2. Jacob Tollefsen          Nordstrand     5.0
3. Simen A. Hjortland       Kragerø        4.5
4. Christian Ågnes          Offerspill     4.5
5. Kim Andre Engvik         Kristiansund   4.5
(64 Teilnehmer)

Winners of the A-group: (from left to right):  Alexander Øye-Strømberg (5.), Jacob Templen Grave (2.), Simen Agdestein (1.), Shazil Shehzad (3.), Martin Holten Fiskaaen (4.)

Winners of the B-group: (from left to right): Jacob Tollefsen (2.), Benjamin Stenseng (1.), Christian Ågnes (4.), Kim Andre Engvik (5.). Missing is Simen A. Hjortland (3.).

Getting to the top was not easy in this tournament



Tournament report (Norwegian)...

- Translation from German by Hugo B. Janz

Author, publisher and office worker. Holger Blauhut lives in Fredrikstad in Norway.


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