Tapani Sammalvuo

The first board game between IM Jung Min Seo and GM Sergey Fedorchuk didn’t produce fireworks as the players agreed to a draw after sixteen moves of a Queen’s Indian Defence when most of the pieces were about to get traded.

Similar was the story on the second board, where grandmasters Gábor Nagy and Lucas van Foreest needed only nine moves of Queen’s Gambit Declined to start smoking the peace pipe.

GM Bartłomiej Heberla went for the rare Belgrade Gambit against IM Mika Karttunen. The surprise worked quite well as Black declined the gambit in a way that left White with a comfortable edge after a standard pawn sacrifice d6. Black was left struggling to develop his pieces and, indeed, the c8-bishop didn’t make a single move during the forty-six-move game.

GM Kaido Külaots and IM Mikael Agopov have a long history of Najdorf Sicilians in their past games. Today Agopov played the Classical Sicilian for a change, but the position soon got characteristics of a Najdorf anyway. White sacrificed a piece in the early middlegame but continued inaccurately.


GM Victor Mikhalevski opened the game with the English Opening, which FM Elham Abdrlauf met with the Keres Variation 3…c6. Black soon sacrificed his e-pawn for positional compensation and looked good for a long time. However, just before the time-control a complicated knight endgame was reached and here the experienced grandmaster outplayed his young opponent.

IM Toivo Keinänen played a kind of Tartakower-Makagonov Variation Reversed against GM Héðinn Steingrímsson. The players preferred to spend the sunny afternoon outdoors and a draw was agreed after eight moves.

IM Alexander Mikhalevski played the Open Spanish against GM Robby Kevlishvili. His brother Victor is a known expert of this variation, so this was not completely unexpected. In any case, Kevlishvili seemed to know the line better and soon got a strong pressure on the kingside, which soon led to material gains and a relatively easy win.