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Hasselbacken 07-09: Adhiban joint first

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 09/05/2016

The Stockholm Chess Society is the third oldest continuously running chess club in the world, first founded in 1866. Celebrating its 150th anniversary, the Hasselbacken Open has been organized, bringing players from all over the world, and things looked very interesting from an Indian fan's point of view. Adhiban tied for the first place with Russian Andreikin and was second on the tiebreak. Read this illustrated report to know how this delightfully organized tournament ended.

Hasselbacken 07-09: Adhiban joint first

Photos by Lars OA Hedlund


You may have never been to Stockholm, but when you read that the capital of Sweden is an archipelago of fourteen islands connected by fifty-seven bridges, and when you see the pictures of the lovable city, you can only long to be present in this Scandivanian beauty. To be precise geographically, the main Stockholm city is not really an archipelago but a fashionable and trend-setting society. A part of it is inside a time capsule, with historic structures and razor-thin cobblestone streets, while the main city is surrounded by the vast archipelago.


The time control for the tournament — 40 moves/100 minutes, then 20 moves/50 min and then for the rest of the game, 10 minutes plus 30 seconds per move from move one. Added to this, Sofia rule is being used, not allowing draw offers before move 31.

The momentous celebration, as well as the beautiful location and conditions, have drawn in 305 players from 38 nations, including 34 grandmasters, 12 IMs, and 26 FMs.


150 years of the Stockholm Chess Society

The tournament commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Stockholm Chess Society, which is the oldest chess society in existence as well as the third oldest continuously running chess club in the world, running uninterrupted since 1866.


The club was first created on December 29, 1866, at Lagergren Café in the old opera house. The society's first chairman was the famous explorer, Professor Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld.


The Club's first chairman: The famed Arctic explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld,
who led the Vega expedition, the first complete crossing of the Northeast Passage. 

Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiold (18 November 1832, Helsinki, Finland – 12 August 1901, Dalbyo, Sodermanland, Sweden) was a Finnish and Swedish baron, geologist, mineralogist and Arctic explorer. He was a member of the prominent Finland-Swedish Nordenskiold family of scientists. He is most remembered for the Vega expedition along the northern coast of Eurasia, which he led in 1878 and 1879. This was the first complete crossing of the Northeast Passage.

Current club president Stefan Lindh (left) and Ingemar Falk (right) are the event organizers, who have held nothing back with photos, GM video commentary, and more!

At the end of six rounds, three Indians — Sasikiran, Vidit, and Adhiban were in close pursuit of the leaders, while Sethuraman had just lost to Andreikin. It is very interesting to note that in the aftermath of the splendid Asian Nations Cup victory in Abu Dhabi a month back, the trio of Vidit, Adhiban and Sethu have played in Dubai and Stockholm at present. They are also scheduled to appear at the strong Zalakaros Open tournament at the end of May.


Coincidental or not, one would hope that a bit of bonding would only help India's cause at the upcoming Olympiad.

GM Krishnan Sasikiran (2642) was held to three consecutive draws in the final three rounds. He finished at 6.5/9.

GM Vidit Gujrathi (2648) managed to defeat Icelandic GM Hannes Steffanson (2581) in the seventh round but then settled for draws with Andreikin (2736) and Zoltan Almasi (2682) to finish with 7.0/9, eighth place.

GM S.P. Sethuraman (2658) bounced back in the seventh round by beating Swedish GM Axel Smith (2503) after previously losing to Andreikin in the sixth round. He was held to a draw by American talent GM Samuel Sevian (2581) in the eighth round but finished with a win over French GM Fabien Libiszewski (2520).

GM Adhiban B. (2663) settled for a draw with Israeli GM Ilia Smirin (2665) but beat GM Aleksey Goganov (2591) in the penultimate round. In the ninth round, he delivered a masterful performance to beat GM Viktor Mikhalevski (2516) leaving him tied for the first place with Andreikin! He was second in the tiebreak.

Adhiban, playing white in the final round, sees that his rook is attacked. What would you do that is imaginative and daring, but also concretely working?
[Event "Hasselbacken Chess Open"]
[Site "Stockholm"]
[Date "2016.05.08"]
[Round "9.4"]
[White "Adhiban, B (IND)."]
[Black "Mikhalevski, Victor (ISR)"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D70"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2
e5 9. d5 c6 10. h4 cxd5 11. exd5 N8d7 12. h5 Nf6 13. hxg6 fxg6 14. O-O-O Bd7
15. Kb1 Rc8 16. Nh3 e4 17. d6 exf3 18. gxf3 Na4 19. Nxa4 Bxa4 20. Ng5 Bxd1 21.
Qxd1 Qa5 22. Qb3+ Kh8 (22... Qd5 23. Qxd5+ Nxd5 24. Bh3 Rce8 25. Be6+ Rxe6 26.
Nxe6 Nxe3 27. d7 Bf6 28. Nxf8 Kxf8 29. Rxh7 Kg8 30. Rh1 Ng2 31. Rc1 Kf7 32. Rc8
Nh4 33. d8=Q Bxd8 34. Rxd8 $18) 23. Bd3 Nh5 24. Nxh7 Rxf3 (24... Kxh7 25. Qe6
Rf6 26. Qg4 Bh6 27. Bxh6 Qd5 28. Be4 Qe6 29. d7 Rd8 30. Bg5 Qxg4 31. fxg4 Rff8
32. Bxd8 Rxd8 33. gxh5 $18) 25. Ng5 Rf5 26. Qe6 Qd5 27. Rxh5+ gxh5 28. Nf7+ Kg8
29. Qxc8+ Kxf7 30. Qxf5+ 1-0


With 7.5/9, Russian GM Dimitry Andreikin (2736), seen here with his family, was the winner on the tiebreak.

Black must have a handful of ways to win, but Andreikin chose the most pleasing one in his final round game to win the tournament in style.

Eleven-year-old FM Nihal Sarin (2351) suffered a roadblock in the middle of the tournament, but in Churchill's classic 'Never back down. Never, never, never!' style, he finished on a high with a beautiful victory over Lithuanian GM Eduardas Rozentalis (2584).

Nihal, playing black, just played 25...Nc4, practically forcing White to reply 26.c3. Now, it is Black to play.

Black, of course, played the deflection tactic beginning with 26... Bxh4 27. Bxh4 Rxh4 28. Rxh4 Rxh4 29. Nxh4, because Nd2+ 30. Kc2 Nxf1, winning a pawn. After some moves, the following ending arose:

All too often, we ruin well-played games with one careless move throwing everything away. Experience has made Nihal tougher and it is black to play here.

If you chose to play 43... g2, then White would slap you hard with 44. Nxg2 Kxg2 45. Kd5 Nf5 46. Ke6, and it is actually a draw! How about 43... Ng6 then? Well, hard luck because 44. Nxg6 g2 45. Nh4! g1=Q 46. Nf3+ is a sad fork.


Honestly, there must be a couple of ways to win here, and Black chose the beautiful 43...Kh1!, with the idea to play 44...Ng6, and now, the fork that was functional in the previous variation, will not work — neat.

[Event "Hasselbacken Chess Open"]
[Site "Stockholm"]
[Date "2016.05.08"]
[Round "9.17"]
[White "Rozentalis, Eduardas (LTU)"]
[Black "Sarin, Nihal (IND)"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B53"]
[PlyCount "126"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 a6 5. Be3 Nc6 6. Qb6 Qxb6 7. Bxb6 g6 8.
Nc3 Bg7 9. Nd5 Kf8 10. O-O-O Nf6 11. Nxf6 Bxf6 12. h3 Be6 13. a3 Kg7 14. g4 h6
15. Kb1 Rhc8 16. Be3 b5 17. g5 hxg5 18. Nxg5 Bc4 19. h4 Bxf1 20. Rdxf1 Rh8 21.
f4 Rh5 22. Nf3 Rah8 23. Bf2 e5 24. fxe5 Nxe5 25. Bg3 Nc4 26. c3 Bxh4 27. Bxh4
Rxh4 28. Rxh4 Rxh4 29. Nxh4 Nd2+ 30. Kc2 Nxf1 31. Kd3 Kf6 32. Nf3 g5 33. Ke2 g4
34. Nd4 Ng3+ 35. Ke3 Kg5 36. Nc6 f5 37. exf5 Nxf5+ 38. Kf2 g3+ 39. Kf3 Kh4 40.
Nb4 Kh3 41. Nd3 Nh4+ 42. Ke4 Kh2 43. Nf4 Kh1 (43... g2 44. Nxg2 Kxg2 45. Kd5
Nf5 46. Ke6 Ne3 47. Kxd6 Kf3 48. Kc5 Nd1 49. Kb6 Nxb2 50. Kxa6 Nc4 51. Kxb5
Nxa3+ $11) (43... Ng6 44. Nxg6 g2 45. Nh4 $1 g1=Q 46. Nf3+ $18) 44. b3 Ng6 45.
Ne2 (45. Nxg6 g2 46. Nh4 g1=Q $19) 45... g2 46. c4 bxc4 47. bxc4 a5 48. a4 Ne7
49. Kd4 Kh2 50. Ke4 Nc8 51. Kd5 Nb6+ 52. Kxd6 Nxc4+ 53. Kc5 Nb2 54. Kb5 Nd3 55.
Kxa5 Nc1 56. Nxc1 g1=Q 57. Nb3 Qa7+ 58. Kb5 Qb7+ 59. Kc4 Qa6+ 60. Kb4 Kg3 61.
a5 Kf4 62. Nc5 Qc6 63. a6 Ke5 0-1

The legendary GM Ulf Andersson approves! It is always nice when an Indian is offered warm hospitality abroad, and the Swedes were visibly happy to meet Nihal.

Some general impressions from the tournament arena:

The staircase leading to the playing hall.

The main sponsor of this anniversary tournament — Hasselbacken Restaurant and Bar in Stockholm.

Fine food and the right ambiance

The receptionist at work

And here, chess fans at work

They all love the game but occasionally declare civil war.

Players also have access to the large terrace with a view over the amusement park Gröna Lund, the ABBA Museum, and the beautiful Stockholm waters.

All in the mind's eye.

The creativity and diligence of the official tournament photographer Lars OA Hedlund deserves utmost praise. His work with the camera produced some delightful pictures which were the chief reason why this tournament was so well celebrated and covered by the press across the globe. Quality photographers are important for chess tournaments.

Final Standings:

Rk. SNo     Name Gr FED Rtg RtgN Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 1   GM Andreikin Dmitry   RUS 2736 0 7,5 43,5 5 6,0
2 6   GM Adhiban B.   IND 2663 0 7,5 42,5 4 6,0
3 5   GM Smirin Ilia   ISR 2665 0 7,0 45,5 5 5,0
4 3   GM Almasi Zoltan   HUN 2682 0 7,0 44,5 5 6,0
5 16   GM Maze Sebastien G1 FRA 2617 0 7,0 44,5 4 6,0
6 7   GM Tkachiev Vladislav   FRA 2660 0 7,0 42,5 5 5,0
7 8   GM Sethuraman S.P.   IND 2658 0 7,0 42,5 4 6,0
8 10   GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi   IND 2648 0 7,0 42,0 4 5,0
9 25   GM van Foreest Jorden G1 NED 2551 0 7,0 41,5 4 6,0
10 2   GM Shirov Alexei   LAT 2686 0 7,0 40,5 4 6,0

View the complete standings here.



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