20 titled players in group 1 of the competition
GM Drozdovskij, IM Nils Grandelius, and IM Thorsten Michael Haub lead the K41 Scandinavian open that is taking place 18-26 April. The three players have 3,0/4 and a half a point lead ahead of GM Henrik Danielsen, GM Miroslaw Grabarczyk, IM Esben Lund, FM Daniel Semcesen, and FM Daniel Vesterbæk Pedersen, all with 2,5/4.
A total of 20 titled players participate in group 1 of the event. Scroll down to find the full list, the profiles of the leaders, and the round 4 report.
Official website: www.k41.dk
1. GM Yuri Drozdovskij 2603 UKR
2. IM Nils Grandelius 2491 SE
3. GM Henrik Danielsen 2482 ICE
4. GM Miroslaw Grabarczyk 2469 POL
5. GM Stellan Brynell 2463 SE
6. IM Thorsten Michael Haub 2448 GER
7. WGM Natalia Zdebskaja 2438 UKR
8. IM Esben Lund 2430 DK
9. WGM Tania Sachdev 2423 IND
10. FM Björn Thorfinnsson 2422 ICE
11. IM Simon Bekker-Jensen 2411 DK
12. GM Carsten Høi 2387 DK
13. FM Daniel Semcesen 2387 SE
14. IM Axel Smith 2383 SE
15. Bo Jacobsen 2325 DK
16. FM Stefan Christensen 2313 DK
17. IM Hans Tikkanen 2425 SE
18. FM Jasmin Bejtovic 2306 BAH
19. Olli Sisättö 2286 FIN
20. FM Daniel Vesterbæk Pedersen 2251 DK
GM Yuri Drozdovskij
With an ELO rating of 2603, more than 100 points higher than the second seed, Ukrainian Yuri Drozdovskij (born 1984) is the clear favourite of K41 Scandinavian Open.
In 2006 he won the European Rapid Chess Championship in Poland ahead of many strong GM’s and he has done well in several editions of the rapid tournament Pivdenny Bank Cup in the Ukraine. Last year he finished equal first after beating Gelfand, Ponomariov and Korchnoi. Also in 2008 he shared first place in the Ukrainian Championship but lost on tie break.
He is currently 16th on the Ukrainian ranking list, which says a lot about the Ukraine’s strength as a chess country – in Denmark he would be No. 2.
The 41 chess fans brave enough to face him in the simul 27th April are certainly going to have a hard time, as are his opponents in the Scandinavian Open.
IM Nils Grandelius
Second seed in K41 Scandinavian Open Nils Grandelius (b. 1993) is recognized as one of the greatest talents in the history of Swedish chess. Despite his young age, he already obtained the IM title last year and even scored a GM norm on top of that.
After winning the Swedish junior championship in 2007, he finished 7th among the grown-ups the following year. He is one of the leading figures of Lund’s team in the best Swedish chess league (along with four of his opponents in Scandinavian Open) and has represented his country in several international youth competitions. His current ELO of 2491 makes him No. 11 on the Swedish ranking list and with the additional rating he gained in the recently finished Reykjavik Open he is very close to crossing the 2500 barrier.
IM Thorsten Michael Haub
German IM Thorsten Michael Haub (b. 1968) is an experienced player who has played successfully in many strong opens. Among his most notable achievements are first places in Stuttgart Open 2001 and Bad Emms Open 2004, and in recent years he has brought home trophies from the french tournaments Open de Vandoeuvre 2007 and Open de Fourmies 2008, in both cases ahead of several GM’s. In 2006 he won the German rapid chess championship and helped secure victory for his club Plettendorf in the team blitz championship – by the way, one of his team mates on that occasion was Yuri Drozdovskij who he will be competing against in the Scandinavian Open.
Round 4 report
Tournament leader Thorsten Michael Haub was held to a draw in round 4 and now shares first place with the two top seeds Yuri Drozdovskij and Nils Grandelius. Haub and his opponent Henrik Danielsen did their best to disturb the equilibrium, but despite subtle maneuvring which resulted in a black passed pawn and a very picturesque position after move 21, they found nothing better than liquidating into a drawn endgame. In Tikkanen versus Drozdovskij, Black’s queenside pawn majority in conjunction with an unchecked bishop on f5 proved strong enough to give him a decisive material advantage, while Grandelius won a rook endgame with 4 pawns against 3 on the same wing against Stellan Brynell. According to endgame theory it is drawn, but the fact that Kasparov lost an almost identical position once should be proof enough of the difficulties involved.
Esben Lund and Miroslaw Grabarczyk were in a peaceful mood and called it a day already on move 14, while bottom seed Daniel V. Pedersen confirmed his great form by beating Tania Sachdev impressively in a Four Knights game where White’s strong central pawn mass and kingside space advantage allowed him to unleash a vicious mating attack. Pedersen now shares fourth place and has already scored more points in 4 rounds than he did in 11 last year.
With an early advance of the h-pawn, Björn Thorfinsson found an interesting way of combating Bo Jacobsen’s Polar Bear. This secured the opening of the h-file and prevented White from obtaining his usual setup with kingside castling, and soon all the pieces were exchanged. The pawn endgame at first seemed to favor White due to his more active king and potential of a distant passed pawn, but Black’s king somehow managed to get back into the game blocking the no longer so dangerous looking f-pawn. When Jacobsen tried 30.b4, he saw Thorfinsson punch back with a5! and was forced to exchange on a5 or c5, leaving his now isolated c-pawn helpless against the connected black c- and d-pawns.
Whereas Simon Bekker-Jensen and Carsten Høi split the point quickly, Axel Smith and Stefan Christensen went through all 12 rounds of their knight versus bishop endgame before accepting the draw. Although White managed to win the bishop, the scarcity of the material left prevented him from converting his nominal advantage. Olli Sisättö tried an unusual line against Jasmin Bejtovic’s Scotch opening, and despite following a Korchnoi game for the first 12 moves, he soon found his king in insurmountable difficulties.
Tomorrow, Yuri Drozdovskij and Nils Grandelius clash in a presumably fierce battle for first place, while co-leader Thorsten Michael Haub takes on local hero Esben Lund. We are looking forward to another round of exciting chess.