In 2023, the tournament will be played from May 4 to May 10. This time too, eight players will be invited.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A solid Grünfeld indian with several early exchanges. Grandelius neutralised white’s small advantage and the draw was an obvious conclusion.
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.
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 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.
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, 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|
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 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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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, 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|