Round 7 – comments by GM Stellan Brynell

Stellan Brynell
GM Stellan Brynell Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Grandelius-Shirov

Grandelius played his favorite move 6.d3 against the Ruy Lopez. His position looked promising but Shirov defended well and in the end the game fizzled out into a drawish rook ending.

Grandelius – Shirov. Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Van Foreest-Niemann

In a sharp Italian variation, Van Foreest sacrificed a pawn, which seemed to give a promising initiative. The critical position of the game was when Van Foreest chose to win back the pawn with 22.Nd2 instead of playing the sharper 22.Nd4.
Van Foreest-Niemann. Position after 21…Rxa7

In the game continuation, it was rather Niemann who was a little better, but the draw was still logical.

Adams-Salem

As white in Caro-Kann, Adams managed to prevent black castling. Salem’s solution to sacrifice a pawn to get the king to safety did not work, the black king was exposed anyway. With accurate play, Adams could decide with an attack against black king.

Navara-Erigaisi

Via a different move order, the players entered a calm variant of the queen’s gambit accepted where the queens were exchanged early. The game became really interesting when they reached a pawn ending where the king of Navara was slightly more active than Erigaisis. Despite ingenious maneuvering Navara could not break down the black defense and the game ended in a draw.

Grandmaster Hans Niemann wins Tepe Sigeman 2022

GM Hans Niemann, USA won this year’s tournament with 5 of 7 points. His good form continues, he came directly to Malmö from Cuba where he won a tournament convincingly.

GM Erwin l'Ami & GM Hans Niemann
This year’s winner, GM Hans Niemann, gives a victory interview to commentator GM Erwin l’Ami. photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Round 6 – comments by GM Stellan Brynell

Stellan Brynell
GM Stellan Brynell Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

The penultimate round gave us two more decisive games. Grandelius failed to close in on leader Niemann, who goes into round 7 a full point clear of Erigaisi and Grandelius.

Niemann-Grandelius

A solid Grünfeld indian with several early exchanges. Grandelius neutralised white’s small advantage and the draw was an obvious conclusion.

Erigaisi-Adams

Erigiasi unexpectedly chose Jobava’s London variation (d4, Nc3, Bf4). Adams developed in a sound and solid manner, equalising easily. Both players tried to make things happen through lengthy manoeuvring, but the position stayed evenly balanced.

Shirov-Navara

In a highly theoretical duel in the Ruy Lopez Navara proved to be the most well prepared. After Shirov’s 21.Ne2 black gained the upper hand and a few more inexact moves by white led to a won endgame Navara easily steered to a win.

Salem-Van Foreest

Salem gained a comfortable position as white in the Ruy Lopez. With the time control approaching Van Foreest almost got out of white’s grip, but eventually he succumbed to a beautiful piece sacrifice by Salem.

55. Nf6+!

Round 5 – comments by GM Stellan Brynell

Stellan Brynell
GM Stellan Brynell Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Adams-Navara

 
In an unusual variation of the Sicilian Navara found 22…g5, an interesting way to create counter-play. The resulting rook endgame was slightly better for black, but never offered any realistic winning chances. 
 
 
Grandelius-Salem
 
The game began as the Panov variation of the Caro-Kann, but after a while the Tarrasch variation of the QGD with colours reversed appeared. Grandelius held a slight advantage due to more active piece play and black’s c6-weakness. Salem chose the wrong square for his rook, and placing it on c7 allowed white to play Ba5 – winning a piece and the game.
 
 
Niemann-Shirov
 
Niemann’s opening as white in the Slav was below par and black managed to mount some serious pressure early on. Shirov used a lot of time to try and find a decisive blow, which led to time trouble and subsequently ending up in a lost endgame. Two light pieces versus black’s rook was won confidently by Niemann. 
 
 
Van Foreest-Erigaisi
 
Erigiasi’s sharp 4…d5 led to a very interesting position where Van Foreest had sacrificed a pawn for a powerful initiative. Black defended well and it seemed wise for Van Foreest to enter a draw by repetition with 31.Be6+, as the endgame was a bit dangerous for white. The chance came for black in the 47th move, but Erigiasi missed the opportunity to play Kc7 and the game ended in a draw. 

Pairings round 7

Pairings round 7, May 9, 12 p.m. CET

GM Nils Grandelius GM Alexei Shirov
GM Jorden Van Foreest GM Hans Niemann
GM Michael Adams GM Saleh Salem
GM David Navara GM Arjun Erigaisi

Pairings round 6

Pairings round 6, may 8, 3 pm CET

GM Alexei Shirov GM David Navara
GM Arjun Erigaisi GM Michael Adams
GM Saleh Salem GM Jorden Van Foreest
GM Hans Niemann GM Nils Grandelius

Round 4 – comments by GM Stellan Brynell

Stellan Brynell
GM Stellan Brynell Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

 

Erigaisi-Grandelius

Erigaisi surprised with the unusual 7.Bb5 in the Scotch game. Grandelius was under pressure until he was allowed to play 15…dxe4, followed by Nf5 and could safely steer the game towards a draw.

Navara-Van Foreest

Navara chose a surprisingly timid line against Van Foreest’s accepted queen’s gambit. Both players tried to create chances, but the balance was never shifted.

Shirov-Adams

Shirov chose 6.d3 in the Ruy Lopez and the typical manoeuvring ensued. 26.Qd3 was somewhat careless and offered black the chance for advantageous complications with 26…Nc2. But Adams discarded the move and it soon ended in a draw by repetition of moves.

GM Hans Niemann, USA
GM Hans Niemann, USA
Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Salem-Niemann

Salem played aggressively as white in the NImzo-indian. Niemann defended well and when Salem lost momentum, Niemann managed a beautiful exchange sacrifice with 29…Kf6! With his remaining rook, knight and a handful of pawns he went hunting for white’s king and there was no way out for Salem. Another impressive game by Niemann.

Round 3 – comments by GM Stellan Brynell

Stellan Brynell
GM Stellan Brynell Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Grandelius-Navara

Navara used the Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez and Grandelius managed to mount some pressure as white. Careful handling of the endgame on Navara’s part secured the draw.

Salem-Shirov

Salem got a promising position early on in a fianchetto Grünfeld and Shirov’s queen seemed to be in trouble on the queenside. While white launched an ambitious kingside attack with h2-h4-h5, black found counterplay with this own flank pawn advance. Exchanges en masse followed and the endgame was drawn.

Van Foreest-Adams

Van Foreest played the very unusual 11.a4 in the exchange variation of the QGD. At almost exactly the same time in Rumania world no 4 Caruana executed the exact same plan against Firouzia! Only a coincidence? White gained the upper hand in both games but couldn’t find a breakthrough.

GM Hans Niemann - GM Arjun Eirigaisi photo: Lars O Hedlund
GM Hans Niemann – GM Arjun Eirigaisi
photo: Lars O Hedlund

Niemann-Erigaisi

Erigaisi was on the verge of equalizing as black in the Slav, when he allowed his pawn structure to be weakened through an exchange of queens on c6. Niemann’s manoeuvring to exploit the weakness was impressive and Erigiasi’s defence crumbled in the end. A very well played game!

Pairings round 4

Pairings round 4, may 6, 3 pm CET:

GM Alexei Shirov GM Michael Adams
GM David Navara GM Jorden Van Forest
GM Arjun Erigaisi GM Nils Grandelius
GM Salem Saleh GM Hans Niemann

Round 2 – comments by GM Stellan Brynell

Stellan Brynell
GM Stellan Brynell Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Only one win but plenty of action in round 2! Erigiasi is now in the lead with a 100% start to the tournament.

Adams-Grandelius

Grandelius equalised comfortably against Adams’ Najdorf Sicilian. Exchanges resulted in an opposite coloured bishop ending and a subsequent draw.

Navara-Niemann

Niemann’s opening preparation seemed to lack somewhat as Navara quickly gained the upper hand in an Italian game. Navara played very ambitiously and swooped in for a risky pawn grab with 21.Qxb7. A few moves later he followed up with queen sacrifice and the game became very complicated. In the end Niemann forced a draw by perpetual checks.

Shirov-Van Foreest

The game began in the advance variation of the Caro-Kann but soon departed from the more well known theory. Everything looked balanced until Van Foreest managed the interesting piece sacrifice 24…Be6 in white’s time trouble. Under pressure Shirov found the best defence and managed to steer the play into a drawn rook ending.

Erigaisi-Salem

Erigaisi played the Fantansy variation against Salem’s Caro-Kann. 19…c4 by black was probably a mistake and with a closed centre Erigaisi could mount a forceful attack on the kingside. No breakthrough could be found, but instead white simplified into a endgame with a clear advantage that led to the win.