Tapani Sammalvuo

The tournament victory was appropriately decided on the top two boards where the four leaders met. GM Lucas van Foreest’s Catalan proved to be a good choice against GM Victor Mikhalevski. White soon got a comfortable position and despite the Israeli’s tries to muddy the waters, went on to win a nice game.


IM Vilka Sipilä’s Petroff Defence turned out to be quite rusty and after his unfortunate novelty 13…dxc4? GM Robby Kevlishvili had no trouble getting a winning ending. The converting phase wasn’t necessarily the cleanest ever seen, but in the end the extra pawn made itself felt. Thus, the win was shared by tournaments two Dutch players, van Foreest being crowned as the tournament winner thanks to his better Buchholz.

IM Mika Karttunen’s Classical Nimzo-Indian may not have been the best choice, as GM Sergey Fedorchuk seemed to be much more at home in the opening. White fell badly behind in the development (4.Qc2 is actually a rather double-edged move: instead of developing his kingside, White moves his queen at an early stage of the game), and this was enough to cause his downfall.

GM Bartłomiej Heberla confronted IM Jung Min Seo’s Giuoco Piano with the rare 4…h6. White got a nice space advantage in the centre and the position started to resemble a Ruy López. In a constrained position Black sacrificed his h6-pawn but didn’t get any compensation. Sweden’s Seo shared the 3rd and the 4th places with Fedorchuk and was the best Nordic player, thus winning the title of Nordic Champion 2022.

GM Gábor Nagy was the most solid player of the tournament. So far, all his draws had been quite short, but the last round economics dictated that now he needed to win in order to get a decent prize. FM Elham Abdrlauf didn’t cooperate, however, and the game that started as a Symmetrical English (by transposition), always looked to be headed to a draw, which was agreed on the 42nd move.