Chess

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The Independent Online
THE SEVENTH Sigeman and Co tournament is just getting under way in Malmo, southern Sweden. Sponsored by Malmo city, the law firm Sigeman and Co and other local businesses, the 10-player all-play-all averages an impressive 2,578 (category 14) and runs on nine consecutive days, 8 to 16 June.

Headed by Boris Gelfand, currently rated a cool 2,691 and still down in the current rating list as from Belarus, though he recently moved to Israel, a most interesting group of players has been assembled: Jan Timman (Netherlands, 2,670), Sergei Movsesian (Czech Republic, 2,650), Nick de Firmian, the current US champion (though he lives in Copenhagen with his wife and small child), 2,610, Joel Lautier (France) down to 2,596, though he's usually rated much more; and five Swedes: Jonny Hector (2,542), a true axe-man at the board, Evgeny Agrest (2,533), Ralf Akesson (2,530), Jesper Hall (2,486) the only non-grandmaster and so aiming for the GM norm of 5/9; and Lars Karlsson, currently rated only 2,470 since he devotes himself mainly to organisation and training, but a strong player, with whom I shared first equal at Hastings in 1983-84.

After two rounds only Movsesian had a perfect 2/2; he was the only winner in the first round (against Jonny Hector) though all five games in the second ended decisively! He was followed by De Firmian, Gelfand, Lautier and Agrest 1.5, Hall, Timman, Akesson and Karlsson 0.5, and Hector on 0.

After the unusual 6 h3, Hall decided to transpose into a sort of Dragon with "half an extra tempo". 9 Be3 looked more normal, but the exchange on d4 didn't seem to hurt White.

Black got quite a good game but after 21 ...h6!? which created a slight weakness that he regretted later, 22 ...Bxd5?! looks very submissive. Perhaps he should have tried, eg 22 ...Ba8 since White wasn't yet threatening the thematic e5 break: if 23 e5 dxe5 24 Bxe5 (24 Nf6+ exf6 25 Rxd8 Rexd8 looks excellent for Black ) 24 ...Bxe5 (not 24 ...Bxd5 25 Bxb8) 25 Rxe5 e6!.

Movsesian got an edge after 23 Rxd5! and with 27 e5 began an increasingly dangerous attack. If 31 ...g5 32 Rxg5+! hxg5 33 Qxg5+ Kf8 34 Qf6 wins. Or 36 ...hxg5 37 Qxg5+ Kf8 38 Rd8+ Qe8 39 Rxe8+ Kxe8 40.Qxb5+. 36 ...Kf6! was the last chance though 37 Rg3 Rh7 38 Rf3+ Kg6 looks pretty grim.

White: Sergei Movsesian

Black: Jesper Hall

Sicilian Dragon

1 e4 c5

2 Nf3 Nc6

3 d4 cxd4

4 Nxd4 Nf6

5 Nc3 d6

6 h3 g6

7 Bc4 Bg7

8 Bb3 0-0

9 0-0 Nxd4

10 Qxd4 Nd7

11 Qd1 Nc5

12 Re1 a6

13 Bg5 Re8

14 Qd2 b5

15 Nd5 Bb7

16 c3 Rb8

17 Bc2 Na4

18 Bb3 Nc5

19 Rad1 Nxb3

20 axb3 a5

21 Qc2 h6!?

22 Bf4 Bxd5?!

23 Rxd5! Qb6

24 h4! a4

25 b4 Rbc8

26 Qd2 Kh7

27 e5 dxe5

28 Bxe5 e6

29 Rd7 Bxe5

30 Rxe5 Kg7

31 h5! Rc4

32 hxg6 Kxg6

33 Qd3+ Kg7

34 Rh5 Qc6

35 Qd2 Rh8

36 Rg5+! Kf8

37 Rd8+ Ke7

38 Rxh8 hxg5

39 Qd8

Mate

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