Finnish sisu to Arctic Chess Challenge 2009

GM Heikki Westerinen from Finnland is a living Nordic chess legend.

It's always nice to have GM Westerinen in tounaments here in Norway. He is a living legend in the Nordic coutries and he devoted his life to this royal game. These days Heikki isn't as strong as he used to be, but it also has its charm since young up-and-coming players then have a chance to beat their first real Grandmaster! He don't spend time on computeranalyses of his openings and is one of the very few professionals of the old school and this makes him more vulnerable in the opening phase than most people.

Heikki Markku Julius Westerinen (2362) was born in Helsinki, Finland the 27th of April 1944. He became a national master at the age of 16. He took an education in mathematics, physics and chemistry to become a teacher but devoted his life to professional chess instead. In 1967 he was awarded the International Master (IM) title and he became the first Finnish Grand Master after winning the Dortmund tournament in 1975. Heikki became Finnish Champion in 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1970. He has represented Finland in the Chess Olympiads 19 times from 1962 till 2006! The all time record is held by Lajos Portisch with one more...

Westerinen was among the first players from abroad playing in Bundesliga. He started to compete there in 1973. He won the European Team Championship for teams with Solingen in 1976. His best tournament results include 3rd at Berlin 1971, 2nd at Oslo 1973, 1st at Palma de Mallorca 1973, 1st at Sant Feliu de Guixols 1973, 1st at Stockholm 1975,  1st at Dortmund 1975 and 1st at London 1979.

Westerinen has a special relationship with Norway - he has played more tournaments at Gausdal than any other Grandmaster. His playing style is aggressive and tactical with a touch of originality to it. He enjoys himself in sharp positions and plays 1.e4 as white and as black he plays openings as the Kings Indian or the French Defence.

Here you find a attractive combination by Westerinen in his primetime:

Westerinen-Sigurjonsson, New York 1977: 

25.Qxg7+!! Kxg7 26.Bd8+ The only winning move! 26...Kh8 [Not 26...Kf7 27.Bh5 mate!] 27.Rg8+! The point of the combination, and another beautiful move! 27...Rxg8 28.Bf6+ Rg7 29.Bxg7+ Kg8 30.Bxd4+ and the combination ends by white winning a piece with an easy won endgame. 30...Kf7 31.Rf1+ Ke7 32.Bxb2 resigns. 1-0

You can find the whole game here

Arctic Chess Challenge 2009 starts in Tromsø 1st of August. So far it has 14 GMs and 18 IMs among a record high of 130 participants, still counting... You can find the chessgames of Heikki Westerinen at

The Chess Phantom Blog - as this blog is called in Norwegian - will blog in English till mid August due to this International event in Tromsø which is part of the cities program to make a bid for the Chess Olympics in 2014.

2 kommentarer


24.07.2009 kl.22:51

Spennende dette her med litt info om hvem som kommer... nå får man lyst til å følge med!Heikki vant forresten ikke offiser i eksempelet, han lå en over allerede. Var vel snarere en elegant måte å avvikle på :-)


24.07.2009 kl.23:05

Hei, hyggelig at noen følger med. Tenkte på at hvit vant en offiser på d4 - og deretter svarts dronning - slik at han kommer offiser over til syvende og sist etter å ha ofret underveis. Men alt sett under ett så er det en god avviklingskombinasjon :-)

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