Reports | October 09, 2011 22:30

Sadler does it again, wins Oslo Open with 8/9

Sadler does it again: wins Oslo open with 8/9

(UPDATED) Matthew Sadler won the Oslo Open most convincingly on Sunday, finishing clear first with 8/9. The English grandmaster, who retired from professional chess over a decade ago, also won a strong open tournament in Barcelona in August. In Oslo he finished 1.5 points ahead of the rest of the field.

Matthew Sadler in Oslo | Photo © Tarjei J. Svensen for the official website

Event Oslo Open  | PGN via TWIC
Dates October 2nd-9th, 2011
Location Oslo, Norway
System 9-round Swiss
Players Sergei Tiviakov, Matthew Sadler, Sergei Volkov, Jon Ludvig Hammer, Kaido Kualots, Vladimir Burmakin, Sipke Ernst, Eduardas Rozentalis and others
Time control 2 hours for the first 40 moves and then 1 hour to finish the game

He did it again! Matthew Sadler was in a class of his own at the Oslo Open, scoring an impressive 8/9 in not such a weak field. 'Open tournament tiger' and former super-grandmaster Sergei Tiviakov was first seed, there were two more 2600-players (Sergei Volkov and Jon Ludvig Hammer) and experienced GMs like Vladimir Burmakin, Eduardas Rozentalis and Viktor Mikhalevski were also present.

Still, the English grandmaster only dropped two half points, against IM Danny Raznikov in the second round, and against Tiviakov in the 7th round. Besides weaker players, Sadler beat GMs Sipke Ernst, Viktor Mikhalevski and Sergei Volkov. Here are his nine games, which resulted in a 2860 performance rating:


Dutch GM Sipke Ernst played an excellent tournament too, finishing on sole second place with 6.5/9 and a 2649 performance. The third prize was shared between GMs Tiviakov, Mikhalevski, Burmakin and Rozentalis and IM Frode Elsness, who scored a GM norm.

After playing only in the Dutch league for years, Sadler now finished four serious tournaments. He won two weekenders in Haarlem in 2010 and 2011, he won a 10-round Swiss in August in Barcelona and now this one in Oslo. Maybe the organizers of the Tata Steel tournament should try to get him to Wijk aan Zee next January?

Update: apparently Matthew Sadler had already been invited to Wijk aan Zee in July, for the Grandmaster Group C, and accepted. In an article on tournament director Jeroen van den Berg says he's (pleasantly) surprised about Sadler's recent results, and admits that he belongs in the B group. Since that group is already full, he'll 'have a chat' with Sadler about the situation.


Oslo Open 2011 | Round 9 (Final) Standings (top 40)

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Anonymous's picture

It is quite an achievement for someone to take over a decade off of competition and then come roaring back as GM Sadler has. Kudos to him!

Mark.J.McCready's picture

I guess he has a real thirst for competitive play, after taking such a long time out. Still, to play with such exactitude at such a high level is very impressive. I hope he returns to the British chess scene at some point.

Sander's picture

Sadler will play Tata (Wijk aan Zee) in the C-group. See in Dutch.
He accepted the invitation in July, but due to his recent excellent results, a few days ago the tournament director expressed concerns that he is too strong for the C-group, but that the B-group is already full.

Peter Doggers's picture

Thanks, missed that, did an update.

Anonymous's picture

Hip Hip Hurray. Regular time control (2h/40 + 60m) always shd be used in serious tournaments!!

simaginfan's picture

Thing there is an errore for gamescore in the Kovachev game!! try 30... Qd6!!

Tarjei's picture

"The third prize was shared between GMs Tiviakov, Mikhalevski, Burmakin and Rozentalis and IM Frode Elsness"

Jon Ludvig Hammer got the 3rd prize, as shown on the photo on the official web site.

Btw, the photo you use in this article was not taken for the official website, it was only linked to from there.

Tarjei's picture

Jon Ludvig is apparently on 5,5 points here, I guess because he took a half a point bye in the 3rd round.

Vladimir's picture

Dear Mathew, when will your next book come out ? May I suggest you a one volume openings encyclopedia ?

kamalakanta's picture

Something is wrong with the score for the Sadler-Kovachev game. After 30...Qe6 then Black Queen is hanging! White can play 31.Qxe6! What gives?

Centovic's picture

Matthew Sadler is clearly strong enough to play in Group A at Wijk aan Zee anyone with a brain can see that. He's a brilliant chess player. If he played in the London Chess Classic he'd probably win that as well. It's a shame we won't get the chance to see Matthew play against the very best in the world. The only ones glad to see that not happening are Magnus Carlsen and Co because Matthew Sadler would beat them all. If Matthew Sadler won the world title after being out of the game for 10 years imagine the worldwide media attention that would get!! The positives for the game of chess on a worldwide level would be huge.

Centovic's picture

Sadler in group C ... laughable. He'll whitewash that group. Don't be surprised if he wins every single game.

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