Round 2 Summary by GM Stellan Brynell

GM Stellan Brynell

Photo: Lars OA Hedlund.


With the white pieces in the Catalan, Maurizzi played an ambitious pawn sacrifice, with the idea of getting positional compensation. It looked promising for quite a while, but when Korobov was allowed advance his a-pawn all the way to a3, it was clear that black was better. In time trouble, the advantage grew bigger, and after move 40, Korobov could secure the whole point.


Svidler chose to meet Ju’s 1.d4 with a somewhat provocative d6, g6 and later e5. The position got very complicated, but when Ju could not find any better move than returning her queen to d1 on move 14, Svidler was allowed to seize the initiative. After some nice maneuvering, his pair of bishops dominated the board. He made no mistakes, and could break through white’s defences and secure the win.


After the game had started with 1.c4, the opening quickly turned into the Slav Defense. At move 10, Abdusattorov played the surprising move h4. This had the intended effect, since Erigaisi spent a lot of time calculating the following moves. However, he used his time well. It even looked like Erigaisi had some winning chances, with a strong knight versus white’s bishop, but Abdusattorov managed to break through on the h-file, and Erigaisi had to force a draw by repetition. An interesting game between the two top seeds of the tournament.


In an unusual variation in the Slav Defense, both players seemed to be very well prepared. The first 19 moves were played at lightning speed. Despite the computer evaluating the position as about even, it was obvious that the pressure was on black, who had to find the exact defense against the coming white attack. Grandelius rapidly lost his way. The unfortunate 22.- Qe7 let white advance his d-pawn, and this was all Keymer needed to start a decisive attack. He finished the game with impressive play in a very sharp position.

Round 1 Summary by GM Stellan Brynell

GM Stellan Brynell

Photo: Lars OA Hedlund.


Semi-Slav, Moscow variation. Maurizzi sacrificed a pawn and the game became very sharp, and Keymer used a lot of time. White then played 15.g4, which was a little over-optimistic. This allowed Keymer to open the long diagonal with 15.- c5. After this, black was clearly better. White continued his attack, but Keymer defended with impressive accuracy. Maurizzi resigned at move 30.


English opening. The position was long balanced. It looked like Abdusattorov had created some chances with his strong c-pawn, but at move 34, he lost the pawn on b6 when he tried to avoid a draw by repetition. Another mistake in time trouble made him lose the c-pawn as well. This allowed Korobov to safely secure the entire point.


Grunfeld fianchetto version. The game rapidly became very sharp, when Ju sacrificed the exchange with 12.- cxd4. This move has only been played once before, and then with Ju behind the white pieces! The first novelty move was 15.Qb3. (Ju herself played 15.Nc7.) Erigaisi looked to have a promising position for a long time, but it was not until 19.- exf6 that his advantage became big. Black would have had good chances of holding things together with 19.- Bxf6, for example 20.Nd5 Nc5 followed by Ne6. Erigaisi could now force a number of simplifications with Qb5, and after that, he had no problems winning the endgame.


With the black pieces in the Italian Opening, Grandelius soon had a good position. Through the maneuver Nf6-h7-g5, he got promising chances along the f-file. Svidler managed to exchange the dark-squared bishops, but instead, his queen ended up in awkward position on the queenside. Nils did not find any good way of exploiting this, and Svidler wiggled his way out of the grip, and after 40 moves, the players agreed to a draw.

Drawing of lots

The drawing of lots have taken place. In the first round, we have:

Maurizzi – Keymer
Korobov – Abdusattorov
Erigaisi – Ju
Svidler – Grandelius