The winner is…

After 2 hours of play Gawain Jones secured tournament victory by drawing against Pentala Harikrishna who at least will get a shared 2nd prize half a point behind Gawain.

Gawain Jones
Gawain Jones,England wins Tepe Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament 2019. Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Round 6 report

Five days of hard and long games might have taken it’s toll as the play was untamed at times during round 6.

Nils Grandelius sacrificed a pawn for promising compensation in a Rossolimo Sicilian against Nihal Sarin. As Nils was trying to find a way through, Nihal got his queen tangled on the kingside and the Swede put it out of play with 23.Lg5. After that the win was straightforward.

Parham Maghsoodloo and Ivan Saric played a very sharp game that looked like it could swing either way at times. Surprisingly the exchange of blows led to an equal endgame that could only ever end in a draw.

Pentala Harikrishna got a promising position early on against Dieter Nisipeanu’s french defence. But the thematic manoeuvre Ld7-e8-h5 got black out of trouble and the game ended with a rook ending and a draw.

Gawain Jones took the chance break into the solo lead by beating Tiger Hillarp Persson. After a slow start to the game things soon got exciting as a miscalculation by Tiger allowed Gawain to sacrifice his queen for a decisive attack.

This opens up for a very tense final round! Pentala Harikrishna will need to defeat Gawain Jones as black to leapfrog him into 1st place.

Photos round 6

Yesterday Swedish Chess Federation official photographer, Lars OA Hedlund, arrived from Stockholm and was taking photos during the round. You find those photos here.

Nisipeanu & Harikrishna in the commentary room after there game. Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Round 5 report

Both leaders drew as Nihal Sarin won the battle of the youngsters against Parham Maghsoodloo. The two Swedes faced off with Nils Grandelius having to win twice to secure the whole point.

Dieter Nisipeanu tried something different (6.Qf3) in the opening and it misfired, with Gawain Jones gaining the upper hand. A black win looked likely during most of the game, but Dieter managed to secure a draw by repetition with some clever play at the end.

A very calm game between Ivan Saric and Pentala Harikrishna suddenly came to life in a very sharp endgame that had study-like twists. Ivan held the draw with a piece down through very exact play.

Nihal held his cool when Parham launched a kingside attack, opting for a breakthrough in the centre. The lone queen dominated against the two rooks and snatched pawn after pawn until black had to resign.

Tiger Hillarp Persson played the Hedgehog against fellow Swede Nils Grandelius. Nils dictated the game and had the opportunity to secure an early win. Tiger defended with vigour and survived into an endgame, only for Nils to force himself into a winning position again and this time claiming the point.

Round 4 report

The two Indian players faced each other and Nihal Sarin, the young underdog, defended well as black against the tournament leader Pentala Harikrishna. A seemingly drawish endgame was reached, but Pentala managed to squeeze out every drop of play – winning through a beautiful bishop sacrifice in an opposite-coloured bishop position.

“The luckiest day of my life!” stated Parham Maghsoodloo after his game with Nils Grandelius. The Swede missed several opportunities to gain a big advantage in the middlegame and had to settle for a draw in the end.

Dieter Nisipeanu equalized quickly as black against Tiger Hillarp Persson. As it looked like Dieter would get the definite upper hand Tiger whipped up some kingside activity mixed with time trouble. A bunch of exchanges followed and a draw was agreed after an easy rook endgame was reached.

Gawain Jones and Ivan Saric played a very sharp game despite an early queen exchange. The Croatian struggled to maintain equality and lost a piece (and the game) as the time control approached.

As it stands Pentala Harikrishna and Gawain Jones has opened up a small lead at the top. Can anybody catch them?

Round 3 report

The third round was preceded by the news that Nihal Sarin had reached the magical 2600-level, as the second youngest player ever to do so. A very impressive accomplishment and we expect big things from Nihal in the future!

Parham Maghsoodloo took on Tiger Hillarp Persson in a very complicated Sicilian. As the time control approached Tiger’s defence crumbled under pressure from both the Iranian and the clock.

In Nils Grandelius vs. Pentala Harikrishna it was a battle between activity and the superior pawn structure. Nils couldn’t find the best way forward and the Indian grandmaster steered the game to a win with a steady hand.

Nihal Sarin and Gawain Jones got deep into a Ruy Lopez theory exchange. Gawain sacrificed on h3 and the computer said No, but the audience said Yes! However, Nihal avoided the complications and chose a safer route to a shared point through multiple exchanges.

Inventive opening play by Ivan Saric made Dieter Nisipeanu sacrifice a pawn for activity. The compensation evaporated and it looked like the Croatian would win. But after a few inaccuracies it was Ivan who had to go for the draw by perpetual check.

The funniest part of the day was when Parham admitted in the post-mortem to have prepared against the wrong swede – he had spent the morning getting ready to take on Nils Grandelius!?

Round 2 report

No signs of yesterday’s three very long games showed, as the players immediately got stuck in during round 2. Some creative play was on display and commentators Yasser Seirwan and Stellan Brynell were surprised more than once.

Nils Grandelius against Gawain Jones contained a lot of interesting twists and turns from the start and fireworks was expected. But in the end a simple rook endgame appeared – and a draw was the outcome.

Tiger Hillarp Persson is in fine form and dismantled Ivan Saric with methodical play. Textbook use of the opposite coloured bishop attack made sure of the full point.

Pentala Harikrishna and Parham Maghsoodloo had another long game today. A well known Ruy Lopez endgame was stretched to 60 moves with both players trying hard to make things go in their favour. In the end multiple exchanges made sure only a draw was the possible outcome.

Nihal Sarin quickly got on the back foot as black against Dieter Nisipeanu. The German managed to win a pawn as the game entered a heavy pieces endgame. Sarin exchanged queens and defended the rook endgame well enough to hang on to the draw.

Despite another three draws it is clear that these eight players are in Malmö to fight. No-one gives an inch!

Round 1 report

The 25th edition of the TePe Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament got off to a great start with the players showing an impressive fighting spirit. In the end only one game was decisive, but there was no holding back as three of the four games lasted well over six hours.

Gawain Jones won against Parham Maghsoodloo after getting the better of a complicated midddlegame (and despite missing the opportunity to end the game early with a beautiful combination at move 25!). Maghsoodloo fought on valiantly a piece down for a few hours, but could not prevent the inevitable.

TePe Sigeman veteran Tiger Hillarp Persson held his own as black against top rated Pentala Harikrishna. A hard fought battle ended with a queen endgame, a pawn on the 7th rank and perpetual check.

Young Nihal Sarin played very well and had the 2018 European champion Ivan Saric on the ropes, but allowed him an unbelievable escape in the seventh hour of play.

Sweden’s no 1 Nils Grandelius and Dieter Nisipeanu ended in a relatively quick draw, but only after both players managed to navigate a minefield of hidden tactics.

An entertaining start to the tournament that promises a great chess week in Malmö!

Drawing of lots

The drawing of lots has concluded. The first round will be played as follows:

P. Harikrishna – T. Hillarp-Persson
P. Maghsoodloo – G. Jones
N. Grandelius – D. Nisipeanu
N. Sarin – I. Saric

For the complete draw, see the results page.

The players who will face each other in the first round shake hands at the opening ceremony. Good luck to all the players!

Gawain Jones and Parham Maghsoodloo
Nihal Sarin and Ivan Saric
Dieter Nisipeanu and Nils Grandelius
Pentala Harikrishna and Tiger Hillarp Persson