TePe Sigeman & Co. in Malmö (1st 1993, 23rd 2017)

Malmö International Grandmaster tournament

#  Hellers  #  Timman  #  Short  #  Korchnoi  #  Giri  
J. Polgar  #  Ivanchuk  #  Gelfand #  Caruana   So

The Swedish Limhamn Chess Club organized the Sigeman Chess Tournament, annually running from 1993 to 2014 at Malmö (the third largest city of Sweden and together with Copenhagen, center of the transnational Øresund Region), with lawyer and chess enthusiast Johan Sigeman as father figure of the event and main sponsor (Advokatbyron Sigeman Wernbro & Co, later Sigeman & Co, the firm has been founded in 1991 and is focused on commercial law).

After a break, Sigeman & Co. Tournament rises again in 2017! With the arrival of the new partner TePe, the tournament changes its name to TePe Sigeman & Co. Chess Tournament and is back on the map:

TePe Sigeman & Co., 10 - 14 May 2017 at Malmö. The line-up is an interesting generational and stylistic mix of swedish and international top players in a single roudn robin:

Nigel Short, in FIDE terms already a Senior (50+), will defend his previous tournament titles, facing two supergrandmasters, Pavel Eljanov, and Baadur Jobava, known for their fighting approach, Indian Harika Dronavalli, Nils Grandelius and Erik Blomqvist from Sweden.

Grandelius, first on tie-break, and Jobava shared the win at TePe Sigaman & Co. in 2017. 

And next year (2018) is already guaranteed!

This international invitation chess tournament is tradionally held at the classical Hipp Theater in central Malmö. Some editions took place at two stages: in Malmö and in Copenhagen as well.

GM Ulf Andersson and GM Stellan Brynell provided commentary amongst others.

Sigeman & Co. at Malmö always shows an interesting mix of established players and rising stars, of familiar faces and new ones, the best Scandinavian players faced the very best of the world: Korchnoi, Spassky, Smyslov, Portisch, Timman, Miles, Short, Lautier, Beliavsky, Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Shirov, Judit Polgar, Nakamura, So, Giri, Caruana, plus Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen who played in 2004 and is now World Chess Champion :)

Three World Champions played at Malmö - but did all not win: Smyslov, Spassky, and Carlsen.

Record winners are Hellers, Timman and Short with three (co-)wins each.

Viktor Korchnoi played and won once at Malmö (Sigeman & Co.) in 1996, exactly twenty years after his emigration in summer 1976 at Amsterdam (IBM-Tournament), won then joint with Tony Miles, this time the first British born over-the-board chess grandmaster was runner-up to Korchnoi.

In these 22 annually played international invitation round-robin tournaments (including one double round-robin edition), in total 93 players have taken part over the years between 1993 and 2014. Sigeman & Co. is one of a few chess tournaments in the world today in old fashion without an explicit tie-breaker and it has no single champion in case of a tie. Chess journalist Antti Parkkinen of Finland provided statistics about the Sigeman & Co. history (1993-2014).





1993 to 1999

10 players

2009 to 2011

6 players


4 players (double round-robin)

2012 to 2013

8 players

2001 to 2008

10 players


6 players







Ferdinand Hellers (first winner)


Peter Heine Nielsen, Curt Hansen


Ferdinand Hellers, Curt Hansen


Krishnan Sasikiran, Jan Timman


Ivan Sokolov


Jan Timman


Viktor Korchnoi (oldest winner at 65)


Ivan Cheparinov


Ferdinand Hellers


Tiger Hillarp Persson


Igor Miladinović, Joël Lautier


Nigel Short


Boris Gelfand


Anish Giri (youngest winner at age of 16)


Judit Polgar


So, Giri, Tikkanen (three-way-tie)


Boris Gulko, Jan Timman


Fabiano Caruana


Nigel Short


Rapport, Short, Grandelius (three-way-tie)


Vasily Ivanchuk


Laurent Fressinet (end of first series)


Other notable players (not winning the tournament)

Selection in no particular order

Vasily Smyslov (joint 2.-6. in 1997)

Loek van Wely

Boris Spassky (joint 7./8. in 1998)

Daniël Stellwagen

Magnus Carlsen (3rd in 2004 at the age of 13 ½)

Luke McShane

Anthony Miles (runner-up to Korchnoi in 1996)

Matthew Sadler

Ulf Andersson (four times participant)

Emil Sutovsky

Lajos Portisch (10th and last in 2008)

Zoltan Almasi

Peter Leko (runner-up to Caruana in 2012)

Nick de Firmian

Alexander Beliavsky (4th in 2004)

Michal Krasenkow

Alexei Shirov (4th in 2011)

Vladimir Epishin

Oleg Romanishin (3.-6. in 1993)

Eduardas Rozentalis

Sergei Movsesian (runner-up to Gelfand in 1999)

Igor Khenkin

Teimour Radjabov (3.-6. in 2001)

Suat Atalik

Hikaru Nakamura (3rd in 2005)

Vasilios Kotronias

Li, Chao (5th in 2012)

Viorel Iordachescu

Erwin L’Ami (7./8. in 2007)

Ian Rogers

and great Scandinavian players: Pia Cramling as well as her husband Juan Manuel Bellón López, Evgeny Agrest, Emanuel Berg, Slavko Cicak, Pontus Carlsson, Lars Karlsson, Tom Wedberg, Johan Hellsten, Stellan Brynell, Axel Smith, Erik Blomqvist, Jon Ludvig Hammer, Leif Erlend Johannessen, Kjetil A. Lie, Jacob Aagaard, Hannes Stefansson, Johann Hjartarson, Ralf Åkesson, Sune Berg Hansen, Tomi Nybäck plus Ferdinand Hellers (winner 1993, 1994 joint, and 1997), Curt Hansen (co-winner 1994 and 2004), Peter Heine Nielsen (co-winner 2004), Tiger Hillarp Persson (winner 2008), Hans Tikkanen (co-winner 2011), and Nils Grandelius (co-winner 2013; plus again co-winner in the relaunched TePe Sigeman 2017)


Most participations

22 editions in a row from 1993 to 2014, relaunch 2017

Jonny Hector

17 times (never winning)

Jan Timman

11 (three times winning or co-winning)

Tiger Hillarp Persson

9 (one win outright)

Curt Hansen

8 (two co-wins)

Emanuel Berg

7 (not winning)

Nils Grandelius

6+1 (one three way-tie win, plus co-winner in 2017)

Ivan Sokolov

6 (one win outright)

Pia Cramling

5 (not winning)


Ferdinand Hellers

3 (sole or shared first at each participation)

Nigel Short

3+1 (three sole or shared first places)


Biggest upset

Igor Miladinović (Junior World Chess Champion of 1993 as clear first), winning unbeaten at Malmö in 1998, together with Joël Lautier who lost in their individual game, above luminaries as eg. Ivan Sokolov, Ulf Andersson and Boris Spassky

Thanks to Antti Parkkinen for the statistics, collected by Peter Doggers plus own research.

A boy chess genius in typical playing positions


Magnus at Malmö in 2004
(Photo from the official website, Calle Erlandsson and John Henderson)


Double winning at Sigeman & Co. in Malmö (Invitation Tournament, round robin) and at Politiken Cup in Copenhagen (Open, swiss system) < the same year within one month >, both won as clear first! A unique Scandinavian summer :))

Viktor Korchnoi (1996 at age of 65)


GM Hellers - unbeaten in 27 games at Sigeman & Co.

Ferdinand Hellers is born in Stockholm, January 28, 1969. IM in 1985. GM in 1988.

Hellers was European Junior Champion in 1984-85, winning the title at Groningen in January 1985. In 1986, Hellers won the bronze medal at the World Junior Championship in Gausdal, Norway. Surprisingly, he never won the Swedish national champion title.

Hellers is co-record winner at the international Sigeman & Co. and a hero of that tournament:

Hellers played in it three times and won all three! In 1993 the inaugural event (ahead of Lars Bo Hansen, followed by shared Rozentalis, Romanishin, Rogers, Petursson), in 1994 (joint with Curt Hansen, ahead of shared Epishin and Almasi, followed by Andersson), and in 1997 (leading finally full 1.5 points ahead of five shared runners-up: Jan Timman, Ivan Sokolov, Curt Hansen, Vasily Smyslov, and Pia Cramling, then 10 players). Hellers remains unbeaten in all of his 27 games!

For the sake of the legality of the things: Short and Timman also realized 3 (sole or shared) wins, but keep in mind that the dutch legend made 11 attempts at Malmö; Short participated four times.

In 1985, Hellers won the pretty strong OHRA Open at Amsterdam as clear first (there was also a parallel closed invitation OHRA tournament with six players, won by Karpov in that year, somehow overshadowing the Open series).

Hellers worked as Vishy Anand's second (assistant) in the Candidate's match against Alexey Dreev in Madras in 1991. Anand remembers:

<“I worked with Ferdinand Hellers. We were playing in junior events together and we got along well.” GM Hellers says: “Anand is a very pleasant person to work with. It’s very tough, but also very rewarding, as he is such a strong player.” Although Dreev had three seconds, Anand won. The match saw many opening novelties from both sides. Says Anand: “Ferdinand was a big help…the key was that we enjoyed the work.” Confesses Hellers: “As a Swede, I found the heat trying. I was very tired at the end.”> (Source: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=14316)

Hellers had been playing for the Swedish national team only at the Chess Olympiads in 1988 & 1990, and at the European Team Chess Championships in 1989 (on board one) & 1992.

In 1993, Hellers won a friendly match against fellow countryman Ulf Andersson with 3.5-2.5, but then soon later already retired from regular competitive chess in his mid-20s. In fact, the Sigeman & Co. tournament in 1997 was his last individual international tournament in classical chess. Afterwards, Hellers played occasionally in the Swedish team league or some exhibition games.

Ferdinand Hellers achieved his peak ranking as no. 47= of the world in 1989 (January-June list).

Photo: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23schacksm2016

Those were the days: Miles & Korchnoi

Anthony Miles and Viktor Korchnoi: Mighty Vic won ahead of Tony at Malmö, Sigeman & Co. 1996. Showing them here twenty years earlier in 1976 as joint winners of the famous IBM tournament in Amsterdam. Minutes after this picture has been taken, Viktor Korchnoi will seek asylum.

Photo: https://twitter.com/dgriffinchess/status/784345558832058368 / http://www.gahetna.nl/

Nigel Short

Three (co-)wins in three entrances at the Malmö Sigeman tournament so far. In 2017, Nigel Short, enfant terrible, compete again! And he will be challenged by Indian GM Harika Dronavalli.

Back on the map: The line-up 2017

Photo: Organizer

A strong relaunch of the traditional series!

With the arrival of the new partner TePe, the tournament changes its name to TePe Sigeman & Co. Chess Tournament. As in previous years, the tournament will be held at the Hipp Theater in Malmö.

Back on the map: The winner in 2017

Nils Grandelius. Photo: Alchetron

Nils Grandelius is born June 3, 1993 in Lund. He became an International Master in 2008 and a Grandmaster in 2010.

In 2008, Grandelius took clear first place in the Olomouc Open in Czech Republic; thanks to this result, he also achieved his first GM norm. In the following year's edition, he placed equal first, placing second on tiebreak, and gained the second GM norm. He achieved the GM title by earning the third and final norm in the 40th Bosna International Tournament (Open) in Sarajevo, being also the first among juniors.

He won the bronze medal at the 2010 World Under-18 Championship.

Grandelius won the 2011 European Under-18 Championship in Albena, Bulgaria.

In 2012, he placed equal third (fourth on tie-break) in the World Junior Championship in Athens.

He placed =1st in a three way-tie at the Sigeman & Co. tournament in 2013, and was co-winner again in 2017, this time with the best tie-break, together with Baadur Jobava from Georgia.

Nils Grandelius won the Swedish Chess Championship in July 2015 by defeating Emanuel Berg in a playoff match, after they both tied for first on 6.5/9.

In August 2015 he made a sensation by winning the traditional Abu Dhabi Open. A victory that shows his potential: Grandelius won the 22nd Abu Dhabi Masters tournament, edging out on tie-break Martyn Kravtsiv, Baadur Jobava, Alexander Areshchenko and Richard Rapport.

Grandelius has been playing for the Swedish national team at the Chess Olympiads since 2010 and at the European Team Chess Championships since 2011.

He has been trained by Evgenij Agrest since 2013.

He worked as a second of Magnus Carlsen for World Chess Championship 2016.

Grandelius is currently (as of May 2017, Malmö TePe Sigeman tournament) the highest ranked Swedish chess player, and he achieved the highest nominal  Elo rating of a Swedish chess player (note, Andersson was ranked no. 4 of the world, Stahlberg was historically peak-ranked no. 3).

2017 TePe Sigeman & Co. Malmö tournament media & sponsors

Johan Sigeman, initiator, enthusiast and maecenas (Photo: Fiona Steil-Antoni)

Official Tournament Site

(2017, interviews with all players)

(Facebook 2017)

https://twitter.com/hashtag/tepesigeman?src=hash (Twitter 2017)

http://www.tepe.com TePe,
leading producer of interdental brushes, a family-run Swedish company founded in 1965 to develop, manufacture and sell high quality, functional oral hygiene products in cooperation with dental experts

Interview with Joel Eklund, CEO TePe

http://www.sigeman.se/en Sigeman & Co., 
law and advocate firm, founded in 1991. Johan was one of the co-founders of Sigeman & Co. in 1991. He has a vast experience of commercial law. Today his focus is largely on labor law and dispute resolution as well as commercial contracts and corporate law. He teaches at the University of Lund

Interview with John Sigeman

2017 tournament reports

Ingemar Falk, media officer at TePe Sigeman & Co., is also the Chairman of the Rilton Committee, which consists of an investment fund that is maintained to sponsor the traditional Rilton Cup, where this picture is from, annually played before and after New Year (Photo: Lars OA Hedlund)

Lars Grahn, legendary Swedish chess journalist

Lars Grahn, Twitter

http://www.malmoschack.com/tepe-sigeman-chess-returns-2-years/ Malmö AS

http://chessbase.in/news/sigeman-intro/ by the tournament's media officer Ingemar Falk

http://en.chessbase.com/post/sigeman-co-tournament-rises-again by Priyadarshan Banjan, club player from India. He works as an editor for ChessBase News & ChessBase India

http://en.chessbase.com/post/jobava-grandelius-win-sigeman-2017 final report by Indian Grandmaster Srinath Narayanan, ChessBase

https://www.chess.com/news/view/grandelius-jobava-win-revived-tepe-sigeman-co-tournament-9777 thrilling background news by Peter Doggers, Mr. chess.com

Mark Crowther, The Week in Chess

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=9099 English Chess Forum

Sigeman & Co. Malmö tournament summary & sources

History with list of winners:

(Wikipedia survey in french)

(Wikipedia survey in polish)

(Homepage up to 2005 still active)

Famous game:

(probably the funniest game from Malmö (2005): Nakamura vs. Sasikiran 0-1

Biggest upset:

Igor Miladinović (former Junior World Chess Champion from 1993,
probably the most surprising winner at Malmö, Sigeman & Co. in 1998)

Carlsen at Sigeman & Co. - Top Nordic players above Beliavsky:

(IM Magnus Carlsen achieving his fourth (!) GM norm at Malmö in 2004)

Survey of recent editions:

http://en.chessbase.com/post/sigeman-giri-wins-with-4-5-5-and-a-2936-performance (2010)

19th Sigeman: Three way tie for first (2011)

Sigeman: Caruana wins Sigeman with 2852 performance (2012)
http://www.chessdom.com/fabiano-caruana-lifts-the-trophy-at-sigeman-co-chess-tournament/ (2012)

http://en.chessbase.com/post/21st-sigeman--co-tournament-continues-tradition-230513 (2013)
http://en.chessbase.com/post/three-way-tie-at-sigeman--co-310513 (2013, Short on top)
http://www.europe-echecs.com/art/21eme-sigeman-co-4966.html (2013, Rapport on top)

http://www.chess.com/news/fressinet-wins-short-sigeman-event-3749 (2014)

Report by Peter Doggers with historical summary based on stats from Antti Parkkinen

Chess essentials in brief:

DIE SCHACHWOCHE, Switzerland (1978 - 2003, Yves Kraushaar, Werner Widmer)
THE WEEK IN CHESS, since 1994: http://theweekinchess.com/ by Mark Crowther

HANINGE, Sweden 1988 – 1990

Big win for Ľubomír Ftáčnik at Haninge International Grandmaster Tournament in 1989, the year of the Velvet Revolution in Czecho-Slovakia. Ľubomír Ftáčnik (born in Bratislava) is a Slovak chess player, notable author, and most important reviser to the Mega Database. Photo: André Schulz, ChessBase

Lev Polugaevsky won the inaugural edition 1988, Lubomir Ftacnik the second tournament 1989, and Yasser Seirawan took the third and last Haninge GM tournament 1990, unbeaten with 8½/11, a full point ahead of Jaan Ehlvest and Anatoly Karpov (each with 7½/11) in a very tough field. 

Viktor Korchnoi in 1988, Vasily Smyslov in 1989, Anatoly Karpov in 1990, plus Andersson, twice runner-up in 1988 (sole), and in 1989 (shared), Sax, Ehlvest, I. Sokolov, Pinter, Sosonko, Van der Wiel, Wilder, Chandler, Agdestein, Arnason, Hellers, Karlsson, Schüssler, Wedberg, Hector, as well as Pia Cramling and Maia Chiburdanidze, all played. 

Ftacnik winning in 1989 – historical coincidence:

The Velvet Revolution (Czech: sametová revoluce) or Gentle Revolution (Slovak: nežná revolúcia) was a non-violent transition of power in what was then Czechoslovakia, occurring from November 17 to December 29, 1989. Popular demonstrations against the one-party government of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia combined students and older dissidents. The result was the end of 41 years of a one-party rule in Czechoslovakia, subsequent dismantling of the planned economy, and the conversion to a democratic parliamentary republic.

This tournament series, lasting three years (always played in May) at Haninge near Stockholm was the strongest in Sweden for a long time, followed by the Malmö Sigeman & Co tournaments starting in 1993.

HANINGE survey