Helsinki Grand Prix 1997

28-29 June 1997

Report by Vesa Laatikainen

While the rainy and cold weather was reigning the continental Europe and the British islands, the warm and sunny Finland saw the Russians, the Britons and an Italian entering Helsinki Grand Prix in the last weekend of June. Pihlajamäki school, near the local devil's churns from the iceage, was a spacious site for the 29 players in the competition.

Aleksei Lazarev hasn't lost a game in the last two years in Helsinki Grand Prix. That is a tournament winning strategy. Viktor Bogdanov and Matti Siivola both dropped a game against Aleksei and peacefully shared the second place. Vesa Laatikainen repeated his WAGC'97 loss against Lazarev in the last round, after losing the first round game against Lauri Paatero. (I would like to some time win against Aleksei but as it is, the fourth place remains.) Olli Lounela, Francis Roads, Lauri Paatero, Enzo Pedrini, Vladimir Gorzhaltsan, Alison Jones - they all followed and scored according to their ranks. We also had to promote four of the kyu players. No GP points for Oleg Gavrilov this time.

This was the first time Helsinki Grand Prix appeared as a cut-down two-day version. It might make it easier to attend but then, when are we supposed to get into the sauna? The sauna was now arranged after the tournament in Sunday evening. Surprisingly (not), almost everybody had reserved time to bath, to feel the spirit of "löyly" in the sauna and to refresh themselves swimming in the lake Kuusijärvi. The only small complain was that we Finnish sung "out of tune", my goodness gracious me.

What else: we played go outside through the midnight without any further light than the sky. The weather was better than anywhere else in Europe that time. In the restaurant "Lappi" go players could taste reindeer meat, Lappish mushroom soup or plenty of salmon. Those who didn't feel like they had played enough could continue their Grand Prix round in Petrozavodsk the following weekend.


Helsinki Grand Prix 1997 Results
                                                                     
PL PLAYE               NAT  GR     1   2   3   4   5   MM  PT SOS    
 1 Lazarev, Alexei     RUS  6D     9+  3+  5+  2+  4+  10   5  41    
 2 Bogdanov, Viktor    RUS  6D    12+  8+ 10+  1-  5+   9   4  38    
   Siivola, Matti      FIN  5D    10+  1- 13+  7+  8+   9   4  38    
 4 Laatikainen, Vesa   FIN  5D     7-  9+  6+ 11+  1-   8   3  40    
 5 Lounela, Olli       FIN  4D    15+ 14+  1-  8+  2-   8   3  38    
 6 Roads, Francis      GB   4D     8- 11+  4- 14+ 12+   8   3  34    
 7 Paatero, Lauri      FIN  3D     4+          3- 10+   8   3  24    
 8 Pedrini, Enzo       ITA  3D     6+  2- 12+  5-  3-   7   2  40    
 9 Gorzhaltsan, V      RUS  2D     1-  4- 11- 13+ 14+   7   2  37    
10 Jones, Alison       GB   2D     3- 22+  2- 12+  7-   7   2  36    
11 Jantunen, Markku    FIN  1D    13+  6-  9+  4- 15+   7   3  35    
12 Karppinen, Ari      FIN  2D     2- 15+  8- 10-  6-   6   1  37    
13 Li, Bo              CHI  1D    11- 17+  3-  9- 18+   6   2  34    
14 Alanko, Otso        FIN  2K    23+  5- 15+  6-  9-   6   2  33    
15 Jones, Andrew       GB   3D     5- 12- 14- 16+ 11-   6   1  33    
16 Heino, Jarmo        FIN  3K    17- 23+ 18+ 15- 19+   6   3  26    
17 Gavrilov, Oleg      RUS  3K    16+ 13- 19+ 22+       6   3  21    
18 Stepine, Serguei    RUS  3K    21+ 19- 16- 20+ 13-   5   2  27    
19 Rönkkö, Seppo       FIN  6K    20+ 18+ 17- 27+ 16-   5   3  25    
20 Torikka, Mauri      FIN  6K    19- 21+ 22+ 18- 24+   5   3  23    
21 Rovio, Teemu        FIN  6K    18- 20- 25+ 23+ 22+   5   3  22    
22 Kohonen, Sari       FIN  3K    26+ 10- 20- 17- 21-   4   1  26    
23 Berezine, Alexandre RUS  5K    14- 16- 24- 21- 28+   4   1  23    
24 Alenius, Jyrki      FIN  10K   29+ 25- 23+ 26+ 20-   4   3  17    
25 Saarinen, Mikko     FIN  14K   28+ 24+ 21- 29+ 27+   4   4  15    
26 Sokolov, Ilia       RUS  13K   22-  ++ 28+ 24- 29+   3   3  11    
27 Lampén, Tapio       FIN  6K                19- 25-   3   1   9    
28 Siivola, Sinikka    FIN  12K   25- 29+ 26-  ++ 23-   2   2  12    
29 Aleksejev, A        RUS  14K   24- 28-  ++ 25- 26-   1   1  13    
PLC: place of player in tournament, NAT: nationality, GR: grade MM: MacMahon-score, PT: points, SOS: Sum Opponents' Scores

The flyer.