The event is scheduled to take place from 27th December, 2015 to 5th January, 2016, in Clarion Hotel Stockholm, in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and the most populous city in the Nordic region.
17 GMs have already registered. Top seed is Jon Ludvig Hammer (2683).
Norwegian Jon Ludvig Hammer (2683) is chasing his third straight victory in Rilton Cup. Now he gets a tough challenger. Maxim Rodshtein of Israel has accepted and comes to Rilton Cup in the company of his wife WGM Tereza Olsarova who will also play in the tournament.
Asked about Jon Ludvig Hammer is unstoppable in Rilton Maxim Rodshtein responds with a smile: “No one is unstoppable, but Hammer might show that I am wrong”.
– You advanced to 2nd stage in World Cup in Baku. Tell us more about the tournament.
– First of all, it’s a very interesting tournament and it’s a great experience for any chess player to be there. The organizers did a great job, it was probably one of the best organized World Cups. Also Baku I found quite beautiful. I played the World Cup twice before – in 2007 and 2011, both times I had to go home after the first match. This time the first match was also quite unclear for me, but eventually I managed to win the second game of the match and advance to the second round, where I met Ivanchuk.
It’s always exciting to play a player of that caliber. In the first game, I played quite ambitiously with the white pieces and slowly got outplayed. Even though I could probably save the game, he kept on creating problems for me and eventually I collapsed in the time trouble. I realized that winning the second game with black against Ivanchuk is nearly an impossible task, but I decided that I’m gonna play aggressively and, in the worst case, lose like a man.
Surprisingly, I got a nice position out of the opening, pretty much all you can wish for, when you play with black for a win… I could feel that my opponent was nervous, but he was making good moves and it was never anything beyond ”feels like I could have some initiative” for me. After the game, I saw that the engine gives white a slight advantage the whole time, which I found quite surprising. In the end he was even winning, but decided to save his nerves and just give me a perpetual check. I didn’t get too upset to be knocked out this time because my opponent simply played better chess than me.
– You have played in Rilton Cup earlier. What do you remember from that tournament?
– It was exactly 10 years ago! Makes me feel old… First memory is that it was quite dark and cold all the time. But even in such conditions, Stockholm seemed like a very nice city to me. I don’t remember how I finished the tournament, but I do remember that I had some interesting games. I think that overall I was more or less happy with how the tournament went for me. (Editor: Maxim took 6 points in Rilton Cup 2005/2006. Eduardas Rozentalis, Lithuania won with 7 of 9 points).
– What are you expectations for this year’s Rilton Cup?
– I hope to have a nice time with my wife and try to win the tournament! Jon Ludvig Hammer is going for 3rd title in a row.
– Is he unstoppable?
– I don’t think anyone is unstoppable, but maybe he’ll prove me wrong.