Tiger Hillarp Persson

Photo: David Llada, photo@davidllada.com

IGM Tiger Hillarp Persson, Sweden (ELO 2563)

48-year-old chess grandmaster Tiger Hillarp Persson has been one of Sweden’s top players for three decades. He became a chess grandmaster in 1999 and has been a regular on the Swedish national team for many years.

In 2007 and 2008, he won the Swedish Championship. In 2008, he won the Sigeman Chess Tournament, with an impressive score of 7½ points in 9 games. He also has an impressive record playing open tournaments all over Europe, and in 2005, he finished second in the Nordic Championship.

Tiger is known as a creative player with a lot of fighting spirit, and seldom settles for uneventful draws. He has also written a number of chess books, the latest being The Modern Tiger (2014).

10 quick questions:

1) How many years have you played chess professionally?
“More than 20 years.”

2) At what age did you learn how to play chess?
“11.”

3) Who taught you how to play chess?
“My father, mostly.”

4) What was your first big tournament success (tournament win or similar)?
“Shared first in Rilton Cup 1993-1994. I was 23.”

5) Do you sometimes also participate in other sports/games? If so, which and at what level?
“I play go, an advanced game which is big in Eastern Asia. I have reached the level of “1 dan”, which is basically the first level of a ‘black belt’.”

6) Do you have any family members or relatives that also play chess? If so, who and at what level?
“None.”

7) What would you be doing today, if you did not play chess professionally?
“Perhaps I would be more into politics.”

8) What is your main strength as a chess player?
“An ability to steer the game towards chaos!”

9) Do you have any superstitions when you sit down at the chess board before a tournament game?
“I do, but only for short periods of time. I try to create new rituals now and then, but when I feel uncomfortable breaking it, then I immediately do so.”

10) What do you hope to achieve in the 2019 TePe Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament?
“Interesting games where I play my best.”