Hans Tikkanen is Swedish Champion 2018

by Klaus Besenthal
7/10/2018 – The Swedish championship ended Sunday, in Ronneby, a small town in the south of the country. The night before, Grandmasters Tiger Hillarp Persson had shared the lead with Tikkanen, but after Tiger made a tactical misjudgment against Nils Grandelius, the way was cleared for Tikkanen. The new (and old!) Swedish champions also won their last games with Black - the win against Oskar von Bahr was Tikkanen's sixth win in the nine-round tournament. The final score: Tikkanen 7.0 / 9, Hillarp Persson and Grandelius 6.0 / 9. | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

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Ronneby round-up

Hans Tikkanen led the tournament in Ronneby from the third round on, when he beat top seed Nils Grandelius. But it was far from a sure bet to the very end.

Tiger Hillarp Persson may have guessed that a draw in the final round against Grandelius would not be enough to win the title. However, his courageous and actually promising looking winning attempt failed, with the tournament on the line.

Grandelius

A win in the last round got Grandelius back to a second place tie | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

 

As it turned out, Hans Tikkanen would have needed only a draw to become Swedish national champion for the fifth time. But his opponent also made a mistake that allowed Tikkanen to score the full point.

von Bahr vs Tikkanen

One more hurdle for Hans | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

 

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Tikkanen said this in an interview with Jesper Hall right after the last round:

”My victory against Nils Grandelius was of course the key moment. That win in 3rd round established Hans Tikkanen’s super start in Swedish championships. But in the middle of the tournament one round was played much earlier. And that really disturbed me. Much more than I could have thought. I lost my rhythm. And it did not get better when Ronneby hade a noisy festival the whole night after...”

Tikkanen still managed to hold his lead right to the finish. His next big test will come at the Olympiad in Batumi.

”I am really glad that I managed to get one place in the team. I think Sweden will make a good result in the open section. We all played good chess here in Ronneby”, said the new champion.

Results of Round 9

 

Final standings

 

All games

 

Translation from German: Macauley Peterson

Ingemar Falk contributed reporting from Ronneby​

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Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.
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