By Carolina Blanco
One of the most traditional tournaments to ring in the new year is the Rilton Cup in Stockholm, Sweden. This year the tournament ran from December 27, 2014 to January 5, 2015. The event was spread out over three tournaments, with the Rilton Elo for Nordic players with a national rating of U1800, the Rilton Open for players U2200, and finally the main event for players rated at least 2200 and over.
It was originally initiated by a donation from a doctor, Tore Rilton, and since 1985 the tournament has been financially secure. A special challenge prize, donated by SEB Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, is the Rilton medal in genuine gold for the winner of the tournament.
Here is the link of the tournament site where you can read more about the history of the person in memoriam for this tournament as well as view pictures of the venue and chess players: http://www.rilton.se/
I had the opportunity to play this tournament in 2003 and I must tell you the weather is truly freezing—15 degrees or colder in the beautiful Stockholm, but the spirit of the holidays remain in the people around those dates as players and friends gather for drinks and meals after a round.
The winner of this year’s edition was defined by the Buchholz Tie-Break system and in the end it was Jon Ludvig Hammer from Norway who narrowly bested Tiger Hillarp Persson to take first place. GM Hammer has won two years in a row at this prestigious tournament! A big tie for third was also broken by Buchholz.
After drawing Michael Roiz from Israel, tournament leader after seven rounds Tiger Hillarp Persson was caught by Jon Ludvig Hammer. The Norwegian vanquished Nils Grandelius and assumed the lead of the event. Ilia Smirin and Aleksey Goganov trailed by only half a point as both were victors in the eighth round of play, defeating Michael Krasenkow and Irina Turova, respectively.
The last round had the leaders in the defensive role; both of them were playing black against tough opposition. Hammer had a draw against Goganov. Hillarp Persson faced his countryman, Erik Blomqvist, and the game resulted in a draw. The tournament was then decided by the magic of numbers, with Bucholz being the deciding factor. Hammer was the winner by two break points.
I selected some crucial games during the roller coaster rounds.
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