The World Chess Championship 2023 and the victory of Ding Liren dominated the main page of Chessdom for the past week. Better late than never comes an interview for Chessdom.com with the winner of the 2023 Reykjavik Open GM Nils Grandelius
Follow GM Grandelius on Twitter here
Chessdom: Congratulations on winning the strong Reykjavik Open! This is one of the strongest opens of 2023 and now you have the title in your hands. How does this feel?
Nils Grandelius: It feels great! It was my 11th start in the Reykjavik Open, so to finally be able to win it is such a great pleasure!
You had a difficult start with draws against IM Ludvig Carlsson and FM Shubh Jayesh Laddha. Then you switched to a higher gear. Is there anything in particular that boosted your game play for the remaining rounds?
I did have fairly smooth victories in round 4 and 5, but for me the real turning point came in round 7. I played a solid german grandmaster who played the Exchange Slav with white in a very solid fashion, but after a very long game I managed to grind out a win in an almost entirely equal queen ending. This really gave me a big confidence boost for the last couple of rounds!
In Reykjavik you added extra 3,7 ELO points, reaching 2662. This is close to your all time high of 2694, which happened right before the pandemic. Now that the restrictions are gone and OTB chess is booming again, are you going to make a run for the 2700 club?
-Yes, definitely! I still feel I have a lot to learn, and a lot of potential to improve, so for now the plan is to work hard and keep playing strong events to improve. I’m certainly enjoying classical chess as much as ever!
A home tournament is coming up for you, the Tepe Sigeman 2023. What are your expectations? Is it more difficult or easier to play at home?
-Playing at home in itself can be double edged. Nowadays, I live in Copenhagen, so while Malmø is still close, and my former home, it still feels like I am traveling away for the tournament. Traditionally, I’ve been doing fairly well in the Tepe Sigeman tournament. The organisation and atmosphere is great, and the invited players are always ready for a full fight. Result-wise I don’t have any special plans – I am mainly looking forward to playing lots of highly interesting opponents. Tepe Sigeman 2023 info here / Live games
You are the author of Lifetime Repertoires: Classical Slav and The Grand Ruy Lopez, are there more courses coming up from you soon?
For the near future I am focusing a lot on playing myself, with some interesting challenging tournaments coming up. Once I get some breaks from tournaments again, I do intend to do some more courses, but more about that in the future. Get Classical Slav here and Grand Ruy Lopez here