Arctic Chess Challenge |

Archive for mars 2010



Previous winners

Previous winners of the Arctic Chess Challenge

Arctic Chess Challenge 2010 is the fifth edition here in Tromsø. It all started in 2006 when it was called Midnight Sun Chess Challenge. The first winner was GM Sergey Shipov of Russia, among competitors like grandmasters Magnus Carlsen and Michael Krasenkow. Much of the basis of his victory he laid by beating just the 15-year-old Magnus Carlsen in their mutual encounter. GM Shipov won with the score +6=3-0, half a point ahead of Carlsen and his Norwegian colleague Leif Erlend Johannessen. The Russian grandmaster is a highly respected author of chess books and trainer of young chess talents. He is also often seen as live commentator at international tournaments.

Magnus Carlsen - Sergey Shipov, MSCC 2006

GM Sergey Shipov, Russland (right). Winner of Midnight Sun Chess Challenge, 2006, during his game against GM Magnus Carlsen.

GM Alexander Moiseenko, Ukraine. Winner of Arctic Chess Challenge 2007

In 2007 GM Alexander Moiseenko of Ukraine was victorious, this time over 14 other grandmasters. Once again today’s world no. 1, Magnus Carlsen was among those who were beaten. Another player who was beaten on aggregate by Moiseenko, was GM Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan, who after his participation in Tromsø in 2007 has grown to be one of the world elite. GM Moiseenko won with the same score as GM Shipov the previous year. The 2007 winner did however not escape one loss, but through extremely effective play in the other rounds it resulted victory with 0.5 point margin and a score of +7=1-1. Among GM Moiseenko’s strongest results are gold in the 2004 olympiad for his Ukrainian team.

Igor Kurnosov

GM Igor Kurnosov, Russia. Winner of Arctic Chess Challenge, 2008.

Arctic Chess Challenge 2008 resulted in another Russian victory, this time by GM Igor Kurnosov. For the third year running 7.5 points was necessary to win. GM Kurnosov’s score in 2008 was +6=3-0, giving him the victory ahead of grandmasters like Simen Agdestein, Matthew J. Turner and Vitaly Kunin. GM Kurnosov has a quite sharp style of play, making him at times a crowd pleaser with brillliant attacking victories. We got to see some of this in 2008 during the Arctic Chess Challenge, and we had once again a popular and deserved winner.

The Arctic Chess Challenge 2009 was a happy event for many, for several reasons. At last we got a female winner of the tournament. GM Monika Socko from Poland impressed us enormously in this tournament and won it all in very close and hard-fought competition with the tournament’s other top players. For the first time Arctic Chess Challenge was being decided on tie breaks, and on those GM Monika Socko was best! Among those just behind her on the results were the American super talent Ray Robson, Marijan Petrov from Bulgaria and the Swedish grandmaster Emanuel Berg. GM Socko’s score in last year’s Arctic Chess Challenge was +5=4-0, just enough for first spot. Monika, together with her husband Bartosz Socko and their son Szymon, is also going to enter this year’s Arctic Chess Challenge. We take great pleasure in again welcoming the Socko family to our tournament, together with the rest of the starting field, which might be the best so far in Tromsø and Norway.

GM Monika Socko, Poland. Winner of Arctic Chess Challenge, 2009.

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Almost 60 entries so far

Just like last year the Socko family make up three spots on the starting list: Monika, Bartosz and Szymon.

A few statistics as of today:

The starting list contains 29 title holders, of which only 2 are Norwegian!
8 of the title holders are women, led by last year’s winner, Monika Socko.

IM Torbjørn Ringdal Hansen in 20th spot, (Elo 2412) is so far the highest ranked Norwegian.

The top ten average is a solid 2613!

ACC definitively is an international tournament already, since just 23 of the contestants are from Norway. 21 other countries are represented, making up more than 60% of the list so far.

Only 8 of the entries lack international Elo, and the average rating is 2268.

Players coming in pairs

As of now 7 chess couples are listed, with all 14 having international titles. Last year’s winner Monika Socko and her husband Bartosz have the highest average Elo, 2551. Below are all chess couples :

GM Bartosz Socko Poland 2637 2551 1
GM Monika Socko Poland 2465
GM Yuri Drozdovskij Ukraine 2627 2509 2
WGM Natalia Zdebskaja Ukraine 2390
GM Zoltán Gyimesi Hungary 2586 2465 3
IM Nóra Medvegy Hungary 2344
GM Mateusz Bartel Poland 2614 2440 4
WGM Marta Przezdziecka Poland 2265
GM Malakhatko Vadim Belarus 2549 2435 5
WGM Zozulia Anna Belarus 2321
GM Loek van Wely The Netherlands 2639 2396 6
WIM Lorena Zepeda EL Salvador 2152
IM Gediminas Sarakauskas Lithuania 2430 2327 7
WIM Zivile Sarakauskiene Lithuania 2224

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They are returning!

IM Marijan Petrov (photo by Torstein Bae)

It is certainly a good sign for our tournament that previous participants wants to come back year after year. We are constantly being contacted by former visitors, which has resulted in that the now contains 32 names, 12 nations and 13 titled players including 7 GMs! Average Elo of the 10 highest rated is now 2515 and more strong players are right around the corner.

Among those listed we have already mentioned Loek van Wely. We also see last year’s 3rd place IM Marijan Petrov, who has gotten 2 GM norms and might well be GM before the tournament starts. From last year’s participants we can also say hello to the Malakhatko/Zozulia couple, GMs Drozdowskij, Radulski and Westerinen, WGM Zdebskaja among others.
What are you waiting for? .

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First GM confirmed for ACC 2010!

Loek van Wely

Loek van Wely at Corus Chess Tournament 2005

The first grandmaster has confirmed his participation in ACC 2010, and not just any grandmaster, but Loek van Wely, for many years one of the strongest Dutch players and once ranked in the world top 10! Together with him comes WIM Lorena Zepeda, representing El Salvador and thereby introducing a new country to our collection.

Read a recent with van Wely at Chess Vibes.


Chess in the arctic

Arctic chess

We have great pleasure in inviting you, dear chess player, to another open international chess tournament, the Arctic Chess Challenge 2010! This year we celebrate the fifth tournament in a row, and our ambition is for this to be an even better tournament than the previous four. We aim for a larger field, with even more nations represented and of course lots of exciting, strong grandmasters on the starting line!

An important part of our event is the social dimension. This means that like previous years here in Tromsø, there will be many side events together with the tournament. The summer beyond the arctic circle is at its best in August, which is why we have chosen to run our tournament at this time of the year. This gives all our contestants an opportunity to enjoy the Arctic summer with long sunny days combined with the distinctive clear air that characterizes the arctic climate.

The Arctic Chess Challenge is part of the Norwegian Chess Federation’s candidacy  to host the 2014 chess olympiad in Norway and Tromsø. Our tournament is therefore also part of the efforts to promot our country and our city as a good candidate for international chess events. It is therefore with great excitement that we invite all chess enthusiasts to our city, giving us an opportunity to show what we can offer. In the four years we have arranged international tournaments here in Tromsø, we have welcomed guests from 40 different countries. Cultural diversity is therefore an important part of  the Arctic Chess Challenge.  At the same time this falls very natural for a city like Tromsø, where a number of nationalities and cultures live togetherto make up the city’s population of 70,000.

Magnus Carlsen being number one on the world rankings obiously affects the Norwegian chess community. This drives extra joy and confidence into the chess sport in Norway these days. This is reflected in several areas. Recruitment work with children and young people reaches new heights, and media, business and sponsors look at chess as an interesting area. Arctic Chess Challenge 2010 also belongs in this picture.

A very heartly welcome to Tromsø and the Arctic Chess Challenge 2010!

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