Linus Johansson

“Fighting spirit is my biggest strength as a chess player

Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Interview by Ingemar Falk


You are hunting the GM title. Please tell us more about your progress when it comes to reaching your goal?
”Last year was a splendid year for me. I took my first GM norm in the Bundesliga, had a no loss streak of 23 games (Michael Adams took me down), and I placed shared third in the Nordic chess championship”.

How do you prepare to give the tough start field a surprise in TePe Sigeman Chess Tournament?
”I’ve started exercising a little bit more, and I will work a bit on my openings. Also, as always, I need to freshen and sharpen my tactical sight, since I don’t play regularly anymore”.

What are your biggest strengths as a chess player?
”I would say endgames and my fighting spirit”.

And maybe something to work more on?
”Definitely my openings, they could be much more consistent and form a better repertoire than I have now.

You are a member of the organizing club Limhamns SK. Tell us more about your history in the club.
”Well, I started when I was 7 years old and have been faithful to the club ever since. I really love the club, but it was not only just a club for me, it was like a second home. I loved visiting Limhamn’s playing hall every Tuesday and Friday around 6pm, every week. It was the best place to just hangout, and most often I didn’t even go there to play chess, but just to chill”.

Are you 100 % chess pro or do you have any occupation beside chess?
”I feel like I am not even close of being a chess pro, even though it was a dream when I was a kid. Today I am occupied studying computer science at Chalmers, and most of my chess ’training’ comes from blitz games online, at the tram or at home, but also from playing in the Swedish and German league”.

What is your greatest achievement so far?
”If I had to choose something from last year, it is definitely being unbeaten in 23 consecutive games. That made me feel that my chess and solidness improved a lot over the year”-

And what place in this year´s TePe Sigeman Chess Tournament would top that?
”1st place!”



What was your favourite chess opening when you were twelve years old?
”Might have been the nimzowitsch defense (1. e4 Nc6!)”

And your preferred chess opening nowadays?
”I don’t really think I have a preferred opening, but I like closed structures where you have to maneuver your pieces”.

What’s your best tip to more easily fall asleep at nights during a chess tournament?
”Start preparing in the morning.”

Do you have any superstitions when you sit down at the chess board before a tournament game?

Who was your first chess trainer?
”Conny Holst and/or Kamelia Taderbashi.”

How much chess do you study on an average day?

Who is your best chess fan?
”My grandfather.”

When you think of Sweden, which three things pop up first in your mind?
”Snow, IKEA and husmanskost.