Heart of Finland 2010

Written by WGM Anna Rudolf

The Heart of Finland tournament is the biggest annual chess event in Finland. The competition is organized by the chess club Jyväs-Shakki and is going to be held in Jyväskylä, from 5th to 11th July 2010. This year's event is promising to be even more special than the previous editions - the tournament will be celebrating it's 20th birthday!

As for myself, I can only recommend the Heart of Finland Open. The tournament is well organised, Finnish people - including the organisers, of course -are nice and welcoming, while Jyväskylä, along with the country itself, is a must-see. The competition, throughout its history, has been visited by grandmasters like Jaan Ehlvest, Tomi Nybäck, Normunds Miezis, Vadim Malakhatko or Kaido Külaots. Last year's tournament was convincingly won by GM Vitaly Kunin, who was followed by GM Maxim Novik and the Dutch talent, Robin Swinkels.

GM Maxim Novik shared with us his impressions of last year's tournament: We enjoyed the tournament very much. Especially my wife, it was her first visit to Jyväskylä. The city is really beautiful and ecological. Such atmosphere delights me and my family. I recommended the Open to my friends, and also my wife's sister will join us, too, for the 2010 edition - to visit this splendid city and relax.

The young Dutch player, Joram Op Den Kelder enjoyed his stay in Jyväskylä, too, and summarized his experience on the following way: Although my fellow countrymen thought the weather was a bit chilly, I personally felt it was perfect. Not too hot, not too cold, even at night. A word of advice: because there's no real darkness at night, it may be a good idea to take a sleeping mask with you. Jyväskylä is a green city with a nicely compact town centre. The many lakes are ideal for relaxing and sunbathing. It was really nice to explore and talk with locals to get a better feeling for the local way of life.

I hope that with this small "tour guide" I could provide you with some useful information about the Heart of Finland tournament. See you soon in Jyväskylä!

Anna Rudolf