Svidler wins TePe Sigeman & Co, as Gelfand beats Abhimanyu

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
5/11/2023 – Peter Svidler became the outright winner of the TePe Sigeman & Co tournament after collecting 4½/7 points. Svidler entered the final round sharing the lead with Abhimanyu Mishra. The 8-time Russian champion had black against top seed Gukesh, while Abhimanyu had white against an out-of-form Boris Gelfand. Svidler managed to hold a draw, while Gelfand won a tricky queen endgame — in a game lasting 125 moves! | Photo: David Llada

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


A great day for the veterans

Peter Svidler played a classical, rated game for the last time in October 2021, when he scored 5½ out of 11 at the Grand Swiss on the Isle of Man. Now, over a year and a half later, he has won the TePe Sigeman & Co tournament in Malmö. The multiple Russian champion collected two wins and five draws for a 4½/7 score that allowed him to become the outright winner following a favourable pair of results in the final round.

After round 3, Svidler and Abhimanyu Mishra were sharing the lead with +2 scores all the way until the start of the final day of action. In round 7, Svidler had the tough task of facing Dommaraju Gukesh with the black pieces, while Abhimanyu had white against Boris Gelfand, who entered the final round in the cellar of the standings with 1½/6 points.

But a player of Gelfand’s calibre should never be underestimated. The 54-year-old ended up getting a 125-move victory after making the most of a mistake by his 14-year-old opponent in a tricky queen endgame.

Despite Black being a pawn up, this position is a tablebase draw. Abhimanyu had been defending remarkably well with white, but faltered here by playing 121.Qd5 (the 121.Qc5+ check is the correct continuation).

Gelfand, who had missed a chance to win the game after a previous mistake by his young rival, found the winning plan and saw his opponent resigning the game four moves later.

Abhimanyu, the youngest GM in history, gracefully shared on Twitter (in an exchange with photographer David Llada):

David Llada: When you have to pass your final exam on endgame defensive technique, and the teacher looks as severe as [Gelfand]. 😅

Abhimanyu Mishra: Indeed the best teacher!! Glad to survive for 6+ hours. Great learning experience for me.

Llada attentively followed the players after their long-winded struggle, and captured a marvellous photo of the contenders leaving the playing hall.

Abhimanyu Mishra and Boris Gelfand (a player 40 years his senior!) probably discussing lines from their lengthy battle | Photo: David Llada

By that point, all three remaining games had all finished drawn, including the tense encounter between Gukesh and Svidler.

This is how the position looked after 24 moves — a typical Svidler game with black, emerging from a Grünfeld-turned-King’s-Indian structure. Accurate play by the two great calculators led to a 42-move draw.

Peter Svidler

Peter Svidler | Photo: David Llada

Thus, the oldest player in the field helped his 46-year-old colleague to obtain a remarkable victory. Svidler is an 8-time Russian champion and played in three editions of the Candidates Tournament (in 2013, 2014 and 2016).

As the round progressed, it seemed very likely that a blitz tiebreaker would decide the winner of the event. Svidler and Abhimanyu could not resist playing a couple of friendly quick games, despite the results of round 7. Chess is much more than just a sport! 

Final standings

All games

Middlegame Secrets Vol.1 + Vol.2

Let us learn together how to find the best spot for the queen in the early middlegame, how to navigate this piece around the board, how to time the queen attack, how to decide whether to exchange it or not, and much more!


Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.