And the winner is… Axel Falkevall!

In the tournament, he was ranked sixth in the starting field and was hardly considered a favorite for victory. And when he comments on how the tournament went, he doesn’t think he played particularly well. Nevertheless, it is Axel Falkevall who stands as the winner in the tenth edition of Uppsala Young Champions.

In the final round, he faced another surprise player, Adam Omarsson from Iceland, and Axel executed a classic attack that ended in style:

Those who are familiar with playing the King’s Indian Defense with Black may recognize the final coup de grâce. Axel played 30…Bxh3! Sacrificing the bishop to eliminate the protection in front of the white king. 31.gxh3 g2! This threatens, among other things, 32…Nxh3 with an imminent checkmate, so White tried to save themselves with a queen sacrifice. 32.Qxg7† Kxg7 33.Kxg2 But it’s completely beyond repair; nothing can help. 33…Qg3† 34.Kh1 Qxh3† 35.Kg1 Qg3† 36.Kh1 Nxf3, and in the hopeless position, White resigned the game.

On the same score as Axel, Hampus Sörensen and David Gavrilescu also finished. David was placed second after a tiebreaker, and Hampus took third place. Hampus finished third two years ago and has also had two fourth-place finishes before, and he didn’t manage to claim the top spot on the podium this time either.

Congratulations to all the prize winners!

The complete results list is available here.

Her you can watch all the games played in the tournament.

Exciting last round awaits

Before the final round of this year’s Uppsala Young Champions, Axel Falkevall, Hampus Sörensen, and David Gavrilescu are still sharing the lead after all of them played a draw in round 8. Falkevall holds a slight advantage in the race for the overall victory as he has accumulated the most points in their three head-to-head encounters.

You can follow the final round on, lichess or

Current standings.

Upsets i round 7

Surprisingly, both field grandmasters lost in the seventh round, making the tournament very exciting heading into the final day of play. Icelandic player GM Vignir Vatnar Stefansson chose a tricky opening with the black pieces, and although he emerged from it with his honor intact, his compatriot Stephan Briem ultimately managed to win the game.

On the top board, Axel Falkevall played with the black pieces against Romanian GM David Gavrilescu, and it seemed like a lost cause for Axel fairly early in the game. However, White’s latest move, 30.Qd2-c3, wasn’t the best and allowed Axel to complicate the position.

30…Nf3†! The only chance, but also a strong move. 31.Bxf3 31.gxf3 is also possible, but Black’s pieces quickly get closer to the white king after 31…gxf3 32.Bf1 Ng4! 31…gxf3 32.Bd6 Qd8 33.c7 Qd7 34.Be5 Ne8 35.Bxg7 Nxg7 36.Nd4 Rc8 37.Rc1 Ne8 38.Nc6? When the pawn on c7 disappears, White’s major advantage also disappears. Now it’s Black who’s in the driver’s seat. 38…Rxc7 39.gxf3 f6! 40.Kh1 Kh8 41.b5 Qh7 42.Rg1 Qh6! And now the position is completely won for Axel. A truly surprising turnaround. 43.f4 Rh7 44.Rg2 Bh3 45.Rg3 Bg4 46.Kg1 Qxh2† 47.Kf1 Qh1† 48.Rg1

The finish is elegant. 48…Qxg1†! After 49.Kxg1 Bf3! there’s no way to defend against Rh1 with checkmate. White resigned.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, the Uppsala Young Champions concludes with two rounds, and going into them, three players are leading with 5 points – Axel Falkevall, Hampus Sörensen, and David Gavrilescu. It’s not a bold guess to say that the tournament winner will likely be found among these three.


The person who has played in the Uppsala Young Champions the most times is Hampus Sörensen, and this year he is participating for the seventh time! He does this despite his birthday always falling right in the middle of the tournament, on October 30. Today, Hampus turns 20 years old and was duly congratulated by the organizers with flowers, chocolate, and a big stack of chess books!

Shared Grandmaster Victory in the Uppsala Blitz

When you look at the results list, it becomes very clear how big the class difference was between the two participating grandmasters on one side and everyone else on the other. They drew against each other and won the rest, which meant that they finished a whole 3.5 points ahead of the rest of the field.

They shared the victory, but if you want to be precise, GM David Gavrilescu came in first after a tiebreaker, and thus GM Vignir Vatnar Stefansson came in second. Congratulations!

After four rounds

After four rounds in Uppsala Young Champions, two players are leading with 3 out of 4 – the highest-ranked GM David Gavrilescu from Romania and IM Hampus Sörensen. The other grandmaster in the field, Icelandic Vignir Vatnar Stefansson, is trailing half a point behind, along with a large group of players, but there is still much to play for.

Uppsala Young Champions is a tournament for players under 20 years old, and this year marks its tenth edition. Many strong players have participated over the years, and some return year after year. GM Vignir Vatnar is playing the tournament for the fifth time, and IM Sörensen has participated an impressive seven(!) times.

This year, the tournament is taking place in excellent facilities at the Uppsala Social Club, in the middle in the city, with great conditions for both players and spectators.

In the third round, the local player Julia Östensson faced young Lavinia Valcu, both of whom will make their debut in the Swedish national team in a few weeks during the European Team Chess Championship in Montenegro. Their game was very short.

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 a6 5. f4 b5 6. Be2 Nd7 7. e5 c5 8. Nf3 Nh6 9. dxc5 dxe5

The latest move was a big mistake, and Julia efficiently sealed the game with

10. c6! Nb8 11. Qxd8+ Kxd8 12. Bb6+ Ke8 13. Nd5!

and since it’s not possible to defend against Nc7 on the next move, leading to the loss of a rook, Valcu resigned after only 13 moves.

Another quick victory in the same round occurred in the game between Victor Muntean and GM Vignir Vatnar.

1. e4 Nc6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. Be3 e5 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Qd2 Qa5 7. d5 Nce7 8. Bc4 Nf6 9. f3 Nfxd5 10. Nge2 Be6 11. Bxd5 Nxd5 12. Qd3 O-O-O 13. Qe4 Nxc3 14. Nxc3 f5

Even though only 14 moves have been played, and black is only leading by one pawn in this position, it’s actually a hopeless situation for white. White’s queen lacks good squares to go to, and black will capture twice on c3, after which it’s game over. Muntean didn’t wait for the inevitable and chose to resign.

At the top, there have been many draws, but the games have been intense. One example is this game where one of the pre-tournament favorites, GM David Gavrilescu, plays against Stephan Briem from Iceland. White has had a slight advantage for a while, but black has defended well, and now it’s black’s turn.

59… Ne3†!

Very clever.

60. fxe3 Rxc7

This is forced, and now it’s an immediate draw after 61. Qxc7 Qe2†, leading to perpetual check. But white has ideas too.

61. Nxe6†!

Same idea! And white also wins an extra pawn. However, it’s not enough to win. The game continued with

61… fxe6 62. Qxc7† Kh6 63. Qf7 Qe2† 64. Qf2 Qd1

And while white tried for another twenty moves, there was no way to exploit the extra pawn.

Pictures from round 1

10th Uppsala Young Champions will be played from October 27th to November 1st.

This year’s edition of Uppsala Young Champions is the tenth in order, and we hope that the anniversary tournament will be something truly special. The tournament was first held in 2014, with ten participants at Uppsala City Library. Since then, it has grown to become one of the strongest junior tournaments in the world today.

The playing venue this year will be the beautiful Uppsala Social Club at 12 Vaksalagatan, the same location that hosted the Uppsala Chess Festival in August.

Here is the invitation to the 10th Uppsala Young Champions.

Register via this link.