GM Evgeniy Solozhenkin, St.Petersburg, Russia writes:

Heart of Finland celebrates its 20-th anniversary. Twenty years of chess history in Suomi. Twenty years of yearly work of many people on the organization of the event. I am sure that those men who created a regular open tournament in Jyvaskyla in 1991 have dreamed about the appearance one day of a world class player in Finland. The connection between the existence of HOF and the development of talent of Tomi Nyback is direct. All efforts and investments definitely have served for development of chess in the country of one thousand lakes. As a player who has competed in HOF of first edition I can say that the average level of Finnish chess now and twenty years ago is incomparable. Finnish players have got a chance year by year to learn from professionals.

I remember the opening ceremony of a new chess open tournament in Northern Europe in July of 1991. Welcoming speeches of Hannu Olkinuora and Markku Kosonen. The participation of GM Jaan Ehlvest was a real surprise as if Ehlvest has occupied 5-7 position in January 1991 rating list. Personal achievement: my last round game with GM Jouni Yrjola in which draw was useless for both of us regarding for winning a prize...

The characteristic property of my recollections about Heart of Finland tournaments played during these years is that recollections are always positive. I wish a long, long life to the Heart of Finland in Jyvaskyla!

Evgeniy Solozhenkin