Tepe Sigeman Chess
May 10 - May 14

GM Stellan Brynell comments round 1

As a commentator, you are always worried that three games a day will not provide you with enough interesting variations to analyse or, even worse, that a couple of games will be drawn quickly. But perhaps that anxiety is unjustified. It almost seems as if the players are aware of this added responsibility and do their utmost to provide the spectators with some entertainment. Last year's tournament, as well as the first round of this year's event, seems to indicate this at least. Maybe we have to wait a couple of rounds before drawing any firm conclusions.

The game between Jon Ludvig Hammer and Jonny Hector was theoretically interesting. Hector played the somewhat odd 6...Na6 in a Slav opening, but Hammer was well prepared and came up with an interesting novelty in the twelfth move (12.e4). Black was forced to accept the pawn sacrifice and in return White obtained a huge lead in development. Even after the game, it looks quite tricky to find a way for Black to survive. In practice Hector didn't get any chances and quickly ended up in a hopeless position. The onus is now on the black players to find a suitable answer to Hammer's pawn sacrifice.

Anish Giri easily equalized with the black pieces against Pia Cramling. Perhaps it was a bit too easy because in the fifteenth move he played carelessly and was immediately punished when Cramling won a pawn by taking on h7. It wasn't the capture on h7 that Giri had missed, but rather that White after 16.Bxh7+ Kxh7 17.Rxd8 Nxf3+ can play the strong 18.Qxf3!. He obtained some compensation with his bishop pair and after the strong 24...b5 it became apparent that he was in no real danger. In fact, it was White who at this stage had the more difficult game and in time pressure, Cramling did not find the best defense and lost quickly. One possible improvement might be 32.Nc5 to force an exchange of Black's dark-squared bishop when taking back the pawn. With opposite-coloured bishops, it is difficult to imagine anything else than a draw.

The game between Nils Grandelius and Tiger Hillarp Persson ended up in something similar to the Tarrasch variation in the Queen's Gambit with White getting Qd1-c2 for free. Whether it actually mattered is another question and in the game he was later forced to play the queen to e2. The game was evenly balanced until Grandelius played poorly with 25.Rd1, allowing Hillarp to play the knight to c3 and exchange it for White's light-squared bishop. After this, Black had a superior position but he then played the rash 32...e5. Already earlier, 31...Kf7 seemed a bit strange and should perhaps have been replaced with 31...Qa8. It is difficult to see how White can save the e-pawn after this (e6-e5 is always a threat).

In the game, Hillarp kept the pressure but some smart maneouvring (Ne1-d3-e5) shortly after the time trouble allowed Grandelius to force a draw.

Round 1 results
GM Jon Ludvig Hammer 1-0 GM Jonny Hector
GM Pia Cramling 0-1 GM Anish Giri
IM Nils Grandelius ½-½ GM Tiger Hillarp Persson

Round 2 - May 27 14.00

GM Jon Ludvig Hammer vs. GM Pia Cramling
GM Anish Giri vs. IM Nils Grandelius
GM Jonny Hector vs. GM Tiger Hillarp Persson
First round pairings

Round 1 - May 26 14.00

GM Jon Ludvig Hammer vs. GM Jonny Hector
GM Pia Cramling vs. GM Anish Giri
IM Nils Grandelius vs. GM Tiger Hillarp Persson
Welcome to Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament 2010!

The Limhamn Chess Club is proud to invite the players, the chess audience, the media and the sponsors to the 18th annual Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament. The tournament will take place at the classical Hipp Theater in central Malmo, for the thirteenth time. As in the previous year, six players play each other in a round-robin tournament.

This year's tournament is, to a large extent, a Nordic competition, with only one player from outside the Nordic region. Once again, the home team contains Tiger Hillarp Persson, one of Sweden's best chess players, and the most interesting young Swedish player, the 16-year-old Nils Grandelius. Add to that Pia Cramling, who has not played in the Sigeman Chess Tournament since 2001, and Jonny Hector, who probably has never been better than now. The Swedish players face young Norwegian Jon Ludvig Hammer, who has made a name for himself, despite having to compete with his fellow countryman Magnus Carlsen, with a number of impressive results during the last two years. Last, but not least, we have Holland's latest chess star and the world's youngest grandmaster, 15-year-old Anish Giri, who, in addition to being the youngest, is the tournament's highest rated player.

However, the difference between all players' ratings is never more than 150 points and the outcome of the games will be very hard to predict. There is no obvious favorite and all of the players have a winning chance. This year's tournament might the most exiting ever, since it not only offers evenly matched players, but also players who have an aggressive approach to the game. It is great to guarantee our audience five exciting rounds of chess at the Hipp!

We would also like to thank the City of Malmö, the Swedish Chess Federation, the Swedish Chess Academy, the law firm Sigeman & Co, Sydsvenska Dagbladet, Bertil Rasmusson PA-Konsult, Kakel & Tegel i Veberöd, Serverhallen i Norden, Formo, and all others who have contributed to making this traditional chess event come true.

Once again, welcome to the 18th annual Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament!

Tournament Schedule

Round 1 Wednesday, May 26th 14.00-21.00  
Round 2 Thursday, May 27th 14.00-21.00  
Round 3 Friday, May 28th 14.00-21.00  
Round 4 Saturday, May 29th 14.00-21.00  
Round 5 Sunday, May 30th 12.00-19.00 (Note the time!)