Last year, somewhat surprisingly, the Dutchman Siem van Dael won the Uppsala Young Champions after an exciting event. He excelled during the tournament, among other things, by trying strange first moves with white (both 1.a4, 1.h4, 1.a3 and 1.h3 were played) but also of course because he played good chess.
Now we are happy that van Dael is coming to Uppsala again for this year’s edition. It will be exciting to see if he can repeat last year’s results.
The winner of the 7th Uppsala Young Champions 2020 Siem van Dael has commented two of the games that led him to victory. The seventh round game against Hampus Sörensen and the nerve-wracking meeting in the last round with Jung Min Seo. Click on the three dots above the diagram to look at the other game.
The last game to finish in the last round was the one on board one between Siem van Dael and Jung Min Seo. If someone won the game, he would be the winner of the entire tournament, and if it was a draw, van Dael would win. Jung Min pressed all the time, but after 83 moves only the kings were left on the board and Siem was able to easily rise from the board as the winner of the tournament.
During the tournament, Siem was more noticed for his strange opening choices. He has started his games with 1.a4, 1.h4, 1.h3 and in the fourth game with white he started with 1.a3.
But those moves gave him 3,5 points on these four games. And when the gunpowder smoke dissipated, he stood as the sole winner in Uppsala Young Champions 2020 on 7 points out of 9.
We can today announce that Uppsala Young Champions will be played at Scandic Uplandia in Uppsala for the next five years. Scandic Hotels has been very cooperative and offers both hotel and playing conditions rooms of the highest class and we are very happy about this. We have also today made a deal with Destination Uppsala to help us develop the tournament into an even bigger and better event.
A game-of-the-round prize was awarded by GM Tiger Hillarp in round 6. He gave it to Arvin Rasti who, despite an early change of queens, managed to get an irresistible attack on the black king. The game lasted only 24 moves, and although it was perhaps a little too early to resign, it is easy to understand that the black player has had enough.