Malmö AS – Kungstornet 5-3

Yesterday our first team in the Swedish Premium League played the first game of three in the final rounds. We were facing Kungstornet, Stockholm headed by Swedish Grand Master Slavko Cicak. On paper we were huge favourites with an average ELO of 2447 which beats our previous record of 2421! What a line-up we had with GM Baadur Jobava, GM Georg Meier, GM Ulf Andersson, GM Tiger Hillarp-Persson, GM Miki Markovic, WIM Inna Agrest, FM Mladen Gajic and Anton Nizov!

However, the games were equal and tense all the way to the time control and everything was very uncertain. The first decisive game was GM Markovic, playing with white pieces against IM Patrik Lyrberg. The position became very complicated with dangerous attacks from both sides. To me it looked like Markovic had the egde, but the silicon engines reveal that the position was pretty equal, perhaps with a slight edge for white.

Markovic1

Black has just played 34. – d4 and Markovic misjudges the position. 35. Ng4 Qg5 and now 36. b6? loses the game. Black now strikes back with a ferocious attack starting with 36. – h4! Better for Markovic was 35. Nef5 Qb6 36. Ra1. Also an interesting continuation would be 35. Qxb8 Rxb8 36. Rc8ch Qe8 37. Rxe8 Rxe8. Markovic was playing for more than a draw…

Markovic2

Position after 36. – h4.

The game continued 37. Nxh5 Nxh5  38. R1c5 e3  39. fxe3 Bxg2  40. Rxe5 Qh4  41. Qa5 Bd5  42. Rxh5+ Qxh5  43. Kh2 Rf3  44. Markovic resigned.

However, luck finally tilted towards us and we could win three of the remaining games thanks to GM Jobava, WIM Agrest and GM Hillarp-Persson! Our win was 5-3 and we now still have a theoretical chance to grab that attractive third place and bronze medal, provided we beat  the reigning champions Rockaden, Stockholm today!

/Malmö AS Team Coach Stefan Printz