We went into this match to win. Even though we had no chance of winning the title, we could at least get a small trophy by winning against the title holder SK Rockaden, Stockholm.
There were two highlights in this encounter. First board: GM Baadur Jobava vs Norway #2 GM Jon-Ludvig Hammer. Then on the second board we had GM Georg Meier vs the coach of the World Champion Magnus Carlsen, GM Peter-Heine Nielsen. The latter turned out into a relatively quiet game and ended in a quick draw, while Jobava’s game really put fire on the board. Whilst in time trouble, Jobava put Hammer to a real test by a knight sacrifice in move 26.
26 – Nf3+! This sacrifice is the only move and was of course prepared by Jobava a few moves back! The position is a theoretical draw but white has to play very accurately.
Position after 26. – Nf3+! Then follows 27. gxf3 Qxf3 28. Ra2 Rxh3 29. Rg2 Qh5 30. Bb2 Rh1+ 31. Kf2 Qh4+
At this position, Hammer has 4 minutes left to make 9 moves. Rg3 is the only move and would save the draw. However, Hammer’s mind slips in the time trouble and he believes he can go with the king to f3. Since he threatens black with a mate in next move with Qg7, black would not be able to pick up the rook on e1. But:
32. Kf3 Rh3+!! crushes Hammer completely!
33. Ke2 Rhxe3+ 0-1
The Jobava magic show was on again!
However, we later lost two games, FM Mladen Gajic lost vs FM Erik Hedman and Anton Nizov could not save two pawns down vs IM Thomas Engqvist. Board 2 through Board 5 ended in draws and then there were only WIM Inna Agrest’s game vs IM Robert Bator left and she was forced to win to save one point vs Rockaden. In move 18 she was actually on the way of losing, where Bator could have sacrificed with Rxf2, but Bator missed it and Inna could rather comfortably win the game. What a feat! Read more about her game at Lars Grahn’s blog.