Following the Rilton Cup this fortnight is a great way of linking the Christmas and New Year holiday periods for chess fans. The 42nd Rilton Cup has just begun: it takes place in Stockholm from December 27th 2012 to January 5th 2013.
In actual fact, there are three linked events going on in Stockholm between these dates. The Rilton Cup itself is open to all chess players with an ELO rating (or equivalent) of, or over, 2200. Players whose ElO ratings fall below this benchmark can nevertheless enter the ‘Rilton ELo’ event, which runs concurrently with the Rilton Cup. Both the Rilton Cup and the Rilton Elo take the form of nine-round Swiss tournaments. A third event, the Rilton Open, can be entered by any player from a Nordic country who has a national rating which is lower that 1800. All of these events look to be fun, friendly, and exciting to watch.
Last year, the Rilton Cup was won by Aleksandr Shimanov. Born in 1992, Shimanov is a Grandmaster from St Petersburg in Russia. His win with 7.5 points was very clear-cut. The player who took second place, Swedish Grandmaster Cicak Slavko, was a point behind Shimanov, having gained 6.5 points.
This year, the Rilton Cup has an extra quirky twist on offer. A hundred years ago, Stockholm played host to the 1912 Olympics. In order to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of these Olympics, the organisers of the Rilton Cup will give every chess player one of the medals belonging to an Olympic athlete from 1912.