Stockholm. «Hasselbacken chess open». Norway, Sweden - who's next?

The chess life of Scandinavia is not limited just to Stavanger. While the Norwegians are still getting over their joy at the triumph of the world champion, the administration of the well-known Stockholm hotel «Hasselbacken» decided to celebrate their 150th anniversary with a large open event, which has more than 300 participants from 38 countries. The field includes 34 GMs and 12 IMs. Four rounds have been played so far. Incidentally, this year also marks the 150th anniversary of the Stockholm chess club, the third-oldest in Europe. 

Surprises always occur in large Swiss events. The top seed could do nothing against the accurate play of Swede Axel Smith, in round three. Draw! In the fourth round, victory was brought by a thematic breakthrough at the most securely-defended point: 

Andreikin, D-Forsberg, Viktor

25.c5! bxc5 – On 25…dxc5 there follows 26.Qa4 and the "heavy artillery" breaks into the black fortress. 26.Qa5 Kd7 27.Qb5 Rc6 28.Ra3 Rc8 29.Rxa7 Kd8 30.Rxh7 R8c7 31.Qb8 Rc8 32.Qb7 R8c7 33.Qa8 Rc8 34.Qa5 R6c7 35.Qb6 d5 36.exd5 Ke8 37.Rxc7 Rxc7 38.d6 – Black resigns (1:0). Given the large number of players, many victories will be needed to fight for first place...  

Shirov, Alexei – Akesson, Ralf

29…Bc6 30.Qxf4! – No great shock from the author of the well-known book Fire on Board, but nice, nevertheless!  30…d4 31.Kg1 gxf4 32.Bxd4 Rg7 33.hxg7 Kg8 34.Rxd6 – Black resigns (1:0). The report on the third round at the official website says that "Shirov created fire on board..." But Alexey does not have 100%, as in the next round, Benjamin Bo took half a point from him. 

Alexey Goganov committed a series of inaccuracies against Zoltan Almasi...

Another Russian GM was after his fourth straight win and had the preconditions in place:

Landa, Konstantin-Blomqvist, Erik

White has two at first glance seemingly equally good continuations. The first, the combinational 23.e5 Rxe5 24.Qf4, allows Black after 24…Rde8 25.Ne6 Nxe6 26.Bxe6 to give up the queen by 26…Qxc1 with prospects of a successful defence. But the second, positional line 23.Nb3, yields a large advantage. Konstantin's choice 23.Nf5 also looks good, but... 23...Bxf5 24.Qxf5 Qd7 25.Qg5 Qc6 26.Bd5 (26.a4!?) Qd6 27.Rfd1 h6 28.Qh4 Nxd5 29.Rxd5 Qc7, – and Black gradually emerged from his difficulties. Draw ( ½ : ½ ).

So far, five players have yet to drop any points, with a solid group of chasers behind them.

Sasikiran, Krishnan-Urkedal, Frode

33.Rc5? a4 34.Ra5 a3 35.Ne1 Nc3 36.Bf5 a2 37.Nc2 Ne2 38.Kg2 Nd4 39.Ra8 Ke7 40.Ra7 Kd8 41.Rxf7 Nxc2 – Is it all over? No, Sasikiran tries a last desperate counterattack:

42.Rd7 Ke8 43.e6 Bf6 44.Bg6 Kf8 45.Rf7 Kg8 46.e7 Bxe7 47.Rxe7 Rb8 48.Bf7 Kf8 – and now, finally, it is over. White resigns (0:1). 

There have also been some curiosities:

Tkachiev, Vladislav-Rietze, Clemens

After 27.Rb5 Qa2 28.Rd2, White traps the black queen. Vlad played what was probably his intended plan 27.Rd7 and had to work for 20 more moves to realise his advantage. (1:0).

The beauty and pride of Sweden, Pia, needs no introduction...

... but few know her brother, Dan! But the resemblance is clear, isn't it?

Edward Rozentalis is the only player to have won the USSR Junior Championship three times!


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