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Sigeman: Giri wins with 4.5/5 and a 2936 performance
31.05.2010 – He was the highest rated and at the same time youngest player in the event: 15-year-old Anish Giri conceded just a single draw to win the 18th annual Sigeman & Co Tournament with a sterling performance. In the final round he defeated his only rival, 19-year-old Norwegian GM Jon Ludvig Hammer. After the game Anish gave us his impressions on the phone. Final report.

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The 18th annual Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament, organised by the Limhamn Chess Club, took place in the classical Hipp Theater in central Malmo. As in the previous year, six players faced each other in a round-robin tournament.

Round four results

Hammer, Jon Ludvig
2610
Hillarp Persson, Tiger
2542
1-0
Cramling, Pia
2536
Grandelius, Nils
2476
½-½
Hector, Jonny
2609
Giri, Anish
2642
½-½


Swedish GM Pia Cramling with her first draw in this event

In round four Pia Cramling made her first draw in this tournament, with a repetition after 28 moves. Anish Giri, who was leading with 3.0/3 points, took an 18-move Four Knighs draw against GM Jonny Hector.

Meanwhile Giri's main rival, 19-year-old Jon Ludvig Hammer, outplayed GM Tiger Hillarp Persson on the white side of a Sicilian Kan to catch the 15-year-old Dutch Champion on the scoretable. At the end of the day both the youngsters lay a full point in front of the field, with 3.5/4 points each. Showdown in the final round.

Round five results

Grandelius, Nils
2476
Hector, Jonny
2609
1-0
Hillarp Persson, Tiger
2542
Cramling, Pia
2536
1-0
Giri, Anish
2642
Hammer, Jon Ludvig
2610
1-0

Nils Grandelius, second-youngest player in this event, profited from some inaccuracies by Jonny Hector – especially the tactical oversight 42...g5? – to finish a full piece up in the endgame. But it took the 16-year-old Swedish IM over 50 moves to grind down his GM opponent.

The above diagrams give you a general idea of how much maneuvering Grandelius had to do in order to chalk up his first win in this tournament.


Nils Grandelius with a 119-move victory in round five

GM Tiger Hillarp Persson, who had shared the table's end with his compatriot GM Pia Cramling – both had 0.5/4 points – won his first game and relegated the only female player in the tournament to last place.


Jon Ludvig Hammer fighting for first place in round five

The game of the day and the tournament was, of course, Anish Giri vs Jon Ludvig Hammer battling it out for first place. The younger player decided the issue with a convincing victory. Immediately after the game he chatted with us by phone – his remarks are given in the following game notation.


Anish Giri analysing his final round win over Jon Ludvig Hammer

Giri,A (2642) - Hammer,J (2610) [E06]
18th Sigeman & Co Malmo SWE (5), 30.05.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.Qxc4 b5 9.Qc2 Bb7 10.Bd2 Bd6 11.Re1 Be4 12.Qc1 Bb7 13.Qc2 Be4 14.Qc1 Bb7 15.Bg5 Nbd7 16.Nbd2 h6 17.Bxf6 Nxf6 18.Nb3 Rc8 19.Rd1 Bd5 20.Ne1

Anish Giri: "I think I was better prepared than my opponent with this move." 20...Qe7 21.Nd3 Bxb3 22.axb3 c5. Giri: "Not a bad choice by Jon Ludvig." 23.dxc5 Bxc5 24.Nxc5

24...Qxc5? Anish: "He definitely should have taken with the rook." 25.Bb7! "Perhaps he missed this move." 25...Qxc1 26.Rdxc1 Rxc1+ 27.Rxc1 Rb8

28.Bxa6! "I had to make sure my bishop would not be trapped. I thought for a long time about it, and decided that with Rc8+! and Ra8 I would be able to get it out." 28...Rb6 29.Rc8+ Kh7 30.Ra8 Ne4 31.Bc8 g6 32.Ra7 Kg7 33.Rc7 Kf8 34.Bd7 h5 35.b4 g5 36.f3 Nd6 37.Kf2 Ra6

38.Rc5. "I was counting on 38.Rc6 thinking that the bishop-knight ending was won. However then I realized it wasn't winning, or at least not easily, so I had to play Rc5." 38...Ra2 "Now I was winning. If he had played 38...Ra4 39.Bxb5 Rxb4 40.Bd3 f5! I would be a pawn up and thought I had a winning plan of Ke1-d2 etc. But he has e5! and e4 quickly, so he should hold." 39.Bxb5 h4 40.b3 hxg3+ 41.hxg3 g4 42.Ba4 gxf3 43.Kxf3 Rd2 44.Rc7 Nf5 45.b5 Rd6 46.g4 Ne7 47.Rc2 Rb6 48.Ke4 Ke8 49.Kd4 Rb8 50.Ke5 Nd5 51.e4 Ne7 52.Rc7 Rb6 53.Kd4 Kd8 54.Rxe7 Kxe7 55.Kc5 Rb8 56.b6 Kd8 57.e5 Rc8+ 58.Bc6 Rb8 59.b4 Kc8 60.b5 1-0. [Click to replay]

Final standings

Anish Giri, second-youngest grandmaster in the world (the youngest, we are reminded by our readers, is currently Richárd Rapport) finished the event a full point ahead of his nearest rival and with a startling 2936 performance. That should give him a bunch of extra points on the next FIDE ratings list. Congratulations on this plucky young lad who is fast becoming a new star on the chess firmament.


Final player portrait


GM Tiger Hillarp Persson, Sweden (2542)

Malmo-based Tiger Hillarp Persson is a frequent participant in the Sigeman Chess Tournament. After his convincing victory in 2008, the home audience had high expectations on him in last year's tournament, but he had a bad run and finished second to last. But Tiger is a fighter with lots of energy, which he combines with a knack for finding original ideas at the board. He also has an interesting opening repertoire. This interest in opening strategies has also led him to write about them. His book "Tiger's Modern", where he investigates his pet opening the Modern Defense, is widely seen as the reference work for this opening system. Tiger makee his ninth start in the Sigeman Chess Tournament.

Photos by Calle Erlandsson


Links

The games were broadcast live on the official web site and with the kind cooperation of the organisers on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.

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