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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sigeman Chess Tournament 2013: Rapport, Sokolov, Van Wely Lead

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2013

Hi everyone, 

Three rounds have been already played at the Sigeman Chess Tournament 2013. The field is very strong and evenly matched, so the score of the three players that are sharing the lead is only +1, according to a Chessdom report.

Richard Rapport is among the leaders thanks to his second round victory over experienced GM Nigel Short. The young Hungarian played with white and delivered mate after 52 moves. The Englishman used his usual creative play but was not able to get an advantage as he wished. The position seemed quite balanced when, right after the time control, Short started to blunder in a queens and rooks endgame. Rapport profited from these mistakes and got his first full point of the event.

In the third round, Rapport faced another member of the leading pack, Ivan Sokolov. The game was a Benoni proposed by the Hungarian, which finished in a rather short 25 moves draw.

Ivan Sokolov gained his edge in the tournament after beating Emanuel Berg with white in the first day of competition. Sokolov used a correct position style to outplay his opponent in a King’s Indian Defense. He gained an advantage very early in the game, but had to work hard to convert it into a win. Berg only signed his defeat after 62 moves.

Sokolov already played against the other two leaders, drawing against both. He will have a chance to grab sole lead in the fourth round, as he will have the white pieces against Hans Tikkanen, who lost his last game with white.

Dutch GM Loek Van Wely was the last one to join the leading pack. His victory with black over Hans Tikkanen in today’s third round puts him in the fight for first place. The players battled in a Reti Opening where Van Wely went for the initiative from the beginning, leaving his king uncastled. The tactical phase of the game was handled precisely by the Dutch who forced his opponent to resign right after the time control.

Van Wely comes from playing successfully in Oceania where he grabbed clear first place in Sidney and shared second place in Canberra. His good performances might allow him to go back to the 2700+ Elo club. If he manages to do so, we will see him once again at the main world events.

Standings after 3 rounds:
1 Rapport, Richard HUN 2674 2
2 Sokolov, Ivan NED 2642 2
3 Van Wely, Loek NED 2689 2
4 Short, Nigel D ENG 2681 1½
5 Berg, Emanuel SWE 2561 1½
6 Grandelius, Nils SWE 2556 1½
7 Tikkanen, Hans SWE 2537 1
8 Hector, Jonny SWE 2512 ½

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