Stockholm Chess Society celebrates 150th anniversary

by Albert Silver
5/5/2016 – The Stockholm Chess Society is the third oldest continuously running chess club in the world, first founded in 1866. Celebrating its 150th anniversary, the Hasselbacken Open has been organized, bringing players from all over the world, and the organizers have held nothing back with photos, GM video commentary, and more! See the report and don't miss the sacrificial masterpiece by Shirov.

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Photos by Lars AO Hedlund

Even if you have never been to Stockholm, or considered it on your bucket list of places to go, when you read that the capital of Sweden is an archipelago of fourteen islands connected by fifty-seven bridges, and see the gorgeous pictures of the city, you can only long to be present in this Scandinavian beauty. In some ways it is a time capsule in and of itself, with historic structures and razor-thin cobblestone streets, hosting the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall.

Panorama over Stockholm around 1868 as seen from a hot air balloon, around the time the
Stockholm Chess Society was founded. Lithography by Carl Johan Billmark made in 1868.
Click image for high-res vesion.

In fact, even the Stockholm metro, opened in 1950, is well-known for its decoration of the stations. Running 110km underground in Stockholm’s Tunnelbana (subway) is the world’s longest art exhibition, with paintings, sculptures, mosaics and installations created by 150 artists since the 1950s in more than 90 of the city’s 100 stations.

Above is the is the vibrantly coloured abstract harlequin design that engulfs the Kungsträdgården
Station along the Blå linjen (Blue line) in the centre of Stockholm. Painted by Ulrik Samuelson in
1977, with later additions made by the artist in 1987, this ceiling artwork can be found on the
Arsenalsgatan exit side of the station. (photo: Lola Akinmade Åkerström)

The venue

The tournament is being held in the prestigious Scandic Hasselbacken Hotel, who is also
the primary sponsor of this tournament

The hotel had humble beginnings in the form of a tavern called Dunderhyttan that emerged
in the mid-1700s! It was an establishment that housed five tables and twenty chairs. It was
only in the 1760s the name "Hasselbacken" was established and became a household named
in the Stockholm restaurant industry.

The playing venue is the stately Hazeliussalen (the Hazelius ballroom)

Players also have access to the large terrace with a view over the amusement park Gröna Lund,
the ABBA Museum, and the beautiful Stockholm waters.

150 years of the Stockholm Chess Society

The tournament commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Stockholm Chess Society, which is the oldest chess society in existence as well as the third oldest continuously running chess club in the world, running uninterrupted since 1866.

Video presentation of club and event

The club was first created in December 29, 1866 at Lagergrens Café in the old opera house. The society's first chairman was the famous explorer, Professor Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld. The club secretary was Johan Schultz, a well-known chess publisher with his own chess column in a weekly newspaper.

Painting by Georg von Rosen of famed Arctic explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld,
who led the Vega expedition, the first complete crossing of the Northeast Passage.

Current club president Stefan Lindh (left) and Ingemar Falk (right) are the event organizers

The tournament

The time control for the tournament — 40 moves/100 minutes, then 20 moves/50 min and then for the rest of the game, 10 minutes plus 30 seconds per move from move one. Added to this, Sofia rule is being used, not allowing draw offers before move 31.

The momentous celebration as well as the beautiful location and conditions have drawn in 305 players from 38 nations, including 34 grandmasters, 12 IMs, and 26 FMs.

Prior to the start of the hostilities, GM Samuel Sevian gave a simul

It was well enjoyed....

...and many children came to participate.

Former World Cup finalist Russian GM Dimitry Andreikin (2732) is the top
seed, but already in the third round, he was held to a draw by GM Axel Smith.

The second seed is the ever-popular Alexei Shirov who has been a part of many of the most
exciting battles in the tournament. See his incredible win over Ralf Akesson (2452) in which
he sacrificed all but the proverbial kitchen sink.

Alexei Shirov - Ralf Akesson (based on post-game analysis by Shirov)

[Event "Hasselbacken Open 2016"] [Site "Stockholm SWE"] [Date "2016.05.02"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Shirov, Alexei"] [Black "Akesson, Ralf"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C02"] [WhiteElo "2686"] [BlackElo "2452"] [Annotator "Alexei Shirov"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2016.04.30"] {The notes that follow are based on Shirov's post-game conference.} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bd7 6. Be2 Nge7 7. O-O Ng6 8. g3 Be7 9. h4 cxd4 10. cxd4 O-O 11. h5 Nh8 12. h6 g6 {More or less forced since Ng6 hxg7 would lead to a dangerous weakening of the king's position. Not exactly recommended against a player like Shirov!} 13. Nc3 f6 14. exf6 Bxf6 15. Bf4 Nf7 16. Qd2 g5 17. Be3 Kh8 ({Shirov spent nearly 20 minutes worrying about his move, fearing it might be a mistake due to} 17... Nxh6 {until he realized he had a trick in the line thanks to} 18. Nxg5 $1 Nxd4 19. Nxe6 $1 {and after} Nxe6 20. Bxh6 { the material may be equal, but White stands very well thanks to the king positions.}) 18. Kg2 Rg8 19. Rh1 Qe7 20. g4 Raf8 {Possibly not the most precise according to Shirov.} ({He had thought that} 20... Nd6 {was possibly a bit better.}) ({In the eventuality of} 20... Rad8 {with the idea of Bc8 (protecting d5), followed by ...e5! Shirov explained he had seen this idea, and had himself planned} 21. Rae1 Bc8 22. Bd1 $1 {with nasty discoveries against the queen should Black blindly play it.}) 21. Rh3 Nd6 22. Bd3 Be8 23. Re1 Qd8 24. Ne5 Qc7 25. Rf3 $2 Nxe5 26. dxe5 Bxe5 27. Bxa7 {Shirov explains that when analyzing this he felt confident the exchange sacrifice was very strong and he was satisfied with the concrete lines he saw.} ({In the analysis Shirov analyzes} 27. Rxf8 Rxf8 28. Bxg5 Nf7 29. Bh4 $1 {and if} Bf4 $2 30. Bf6+ Kg8 31. Bxh7+ $3 {is mate thanks to the cute} Kxh7 32. Qd3+ Kg8 (32... Kxh6 33. Rh1+) 33. h7#) 27... Rxf3 {More or less forced.} 28. Rxe5 $1 {White's idea all along and planning the deadly discovered check with Bd4.} Rf4 29. Rxe6 (29. Qxf4 {now does not work because of} gxf4 30. Bd4 Rxg4+ {check!}) 29... Bc6 ({ Some ideas with} 29... b6 {fail because of} 30. Qe2 {threatening Qe5 and mate, and after} Ne4 31. Bxb6 {and the bishop lives with deadly effect.}) ({Even here } 29... Rxg4+ 30. Kf1 Bh5 {allows a move such as} 31. Qe2 {just to illustrate how much trouble Black is in, since after} Rg1+ 32. Kxg1 Bxe2 {White tosses in} 33. Bd4+ {and it is game over.}) 30. Qxf4 {Spectacular and decisive.} d4+ ( 30... gxf4 {changed little.} 31. Bd4+ Rg7 32. hxg7+ Kg8 33. Rh6 $1 { threatening Bxh7+ therefore} Ne4 34. Nxe4 {If not taken, White has lines such as Rxh7 Kxh7 Ng5+} dxe4 35. Bc4+) 31. Kg1 gxf4 32. Bxd4+ Rg7 33. hxg7+ Kg8 34. Rxd6 1-0

The tournament's website is everything an event such as this deserves with top-notch video
coverage and commentary in English by the club's two strongest players, IM Jonathan Westerberg
and legendary GM Ulf Andersson.

 

Above is a sample of the live commentary. If you click on the video it will start directly at the point of Shirov's
post-game analysis, which begins exactly at 4:03:20.

Masterclass by Nils Grandelius analyzing his game against Magnus Carlsen

 

Nils Grandelius recounts his recent game against Magnus Carlsen at the Norway Chess, sharing his
impressions as well as a detailed look at the game itself. Great stuff. (The analysis starts at 9m10s)

The competition is in full swing and after five rounds of nine, the leaderboard is crowded with nine players sharing 4.5/5 with only elaboarte tiebreaks to tell them apart.

Ranked 16, French GM Sébastien Mazé is the no.1 of the nine with 2.5/3
against three grandmasters. In round six he will face ...

... Hungarian GM Zoltan Almasi (2682), the third seed.

Argentinian Sandro Mareco is certainly the player who is the furthest from
home with 12,553 km separating Buenos Aires and Stockholm. He has justified
the trip by sharing the top group with 4.5/5 and a 2726 performance. Last year
he took first in the American Continental Championship.

Indian GM S.P. Sethuruman is also among the leaders at 4.5/5

US prodigy Sam Sevian is one of two Americans in the event and has
had a great start with 4.5/5 as well, including a hair-raising win over
Alexei Shirov in round five.

Alexei Shirov - Sam Sevian

[Event "Hasselbacken Open 2016"] [Site "Stockholm SWE"] [Date "2016.05.04"] [Round "5.4"] [White "Shirov, Alexei"] [Black "Sevian, Samuel"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2686"] [BlackElo "2589"] [PlyCount "92"] [EventDate "2016.04.30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. Qe2 Bb4+ 7. c3 Be7 8. e5 Nd5 9. Qg4 Kf8 10. Qe4 d6 11. c4 Nb6 12. Qxc6 Rb8 13. Nc3 Bb7 14. Qb5 Nd7 15. exd6 Bxd6 16. Qg5 f6 17. Qh5 Qe7+ 18. Be2 Bxg2 19. Rg1 Be4 20. c5 Nxc5 21. Rxg7 Kxg7 22. Bh6+ Kg8 23. O-O-O Bg6 24. Bc4+ Ne6 25. Qh3 Kf7 26. Nd5 Rxb2 27. Kxb2 Rb8+ 28. Bb3 Be5+ 29. Nc3 c5 30. f4 c4 31. fxe5 cxb3 32. a4 Nc5 33. exf6 Qc7 34. Rd4 Rd8 35. Rxd8 Qxd8 36. Qe3 Qd6 37. Nb5 Nd3+ 38. Kb1 Ne5+ 39. Kb2 Nd3+ 40. Kb1 Nf2+ 41. Kc1 Qd1+ 42. Kb2 Nd3+ 43. Ka3 Qa1+ 44. Kxb3 Qb2+ 45. Kc4 Qb4+ 46. Kd5 Be4+ 0-1

Also representing the next generation is Dutch GM Jorden van Foreest
who has 4.0/5

11-year-old FM Nihal Sarin (2351 FIDE) has 3.0/5

Also of note are the large galleries of high-quality photos in which every single one is labeled, not just the occasional top player. Kudos to photographer Lars Hedlund, author of all the portraits seen here, for his diligence and effort that allow media to put a name to the many faces.

Local Swede Edvin Hoac, 15, will not soon forget this amazing event

The same is true of ten-year-old Solomia Truskavetska who seems to be
enjoying herself, and that is what it's all about after all.

Swedish player Jesper Thiborg has 3.0/5

The grass is always greener on the other side... of the board.

79-year-old Sten Dillen had a rough start, but stuck it out and scored his first win in round five

WIM Olena Zemlickova from Ukraine

Even the live coverage is not only shown on live boards, but you can even choose which site you prefer. For example if you want to watch the live video together with the top boards using ChessBase's replayer as often seen in the News page, they have a page for this. But the unique aspect is that if you prefer the presentation of one of the rivals, they have a page with video and replayer for them as well. One cannot argue their egalitarianism.

Standings after five rounds

Rk
SNo
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
 TB1 
1
16
GM
Sébastien Mazé
FRA
2617
4.5
11.5
2
3
GM
Almasi Zoltan
HUN
2682
4.5
11.0
3
12
GM
Mareco Sandro
ARG
2625
4.5
11.0
4
1
GM
Andreikin Dmitry
RUS
2736
4.5
10.5
 
5
GM
Smirin Ilia
ISR
2665
4.5
10.5
6
8
GM
S.P Sethuraman GM
IND
2658
4.5
10.5
7
15
GM
Landa Konstantin
RUS
2618
4.5
10.0
8
6
GM
Adhiban B.
IND
2663
4.5
10.0
9
19
GM
Sevian Samuel
USA
2589
4.5
9.0
10
13
GM
Bachmann Axel
PAR
2621
4.0
11.5
11
7
GM
Tkachiev Vladislav
FRA
2660
4.0
11.0
12
32
GM
Smith Axel
SWE
2503
4.0
10.0
13
4
GM
Postny Evgeny
ISR
2673
4.0
10.0
14
11
GM
Krishnan Sasikiran
IND
2643
4.0
9.5
 
25
GM
van Foreest Jorden
NED
2551
4.0
9.5
16
17
GM
Bok Benjamin
NED
2605
4.0
9.5
 
21
GM
Stefansson Hannes
ISL
2581
4.0
9.5
18
27
GM
Urkedal Frode
NOR
2549
4.0
9.5
19
29
GM
Libiszewski Fabien
FRA
2520
4.0
9.5
20
34
GM
Akesson Ralf
SWE
2452
4.0
9.0
21
9
GM
Predojevic Borki
BIH
2654
4.0
9.0
 
40
IM
Stark Lars
GER
2409
4.0
9.0
 
55
FM
Ölund Joar
SWE
2339
4.0
9.0
24
18
GM
Goganov Aleksey
RUS
2591
4.0
9.0
 
24
GM
Burmakin Vladimir
RUS
2554
4.0
9.0
26
10
GM
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi
IND
2648
4.0
9.0
 
14
GM
Onischuk Vladimir
UKR
2620
4.0
9.0
 
35
IM
Brunner Nicolas
FRA
2447
4.0
9.0
 
41
FM
Lindberg Bo Dr
SWE
2397
4.0
9.0
30
30
GM
Mikhalevski Victor
ISR
2516
4.0
8.5

Click for complete standings


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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Denix Denix 5/5/2016 01:36
Having Shirov participating in your tournament is more than enough for us chess fans, win or lose.
chessbibliophile chessbibliophile 5/5/2016 10:53
Candy for the eyes! What is more, Shirov in action.
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