Thursday 30 January 2014

Show must go on - Elitserien Preview

It is time to move on in Swedish Elitserien, and this weekend there are the big tests in front of Eksjö S.K.
Other clubs will play one round, and some of then already did that, while Eksjö will play mini-sammandrag in southern Swedish province, Scania.
Our opponents will be, current Swedish champion, Limhamn S.K. from Malmö, and one of the biggest favourites for the first place, LASK from Lund.
LASK will also play two matches this weekend, as they will travel to Gothenburg on Saturday, to play away match against Örgryte S.K.
Limhamn and Örgryte will close this circle, but on 22nd of February.

Limhamn S.K. is an example of nicely organised club.
After three decades of waiting, last year this club from Malmö won Swedish league, mostly because of administrative mistake of the main favourites Team Viking from Stockholm.
Limhamn´s role can not be underestimated.
This is the club that plays with the same players, year after year, but their juniors are developing fast, and they are always unpleasant opponents.
Last year they won against us in a very first round with 4,5-3,5 and they took revenge for our victory year before that, also 4,5-3,5.
These numbers shows how tight are our encounters.
This season, it´s Eksjö´s turn to be somehow lucky (overall in the league), as everything went in our advantage in the first half of league.
I would say that we can be favourites against Limhamn, but again, they can not be underestimated and I´ll go for equal chances.
Limhamn S.K. are in the 7th place, and they still have to play against Rockaden Stockholm and Team Viking, so this match can be very important to them.

What to say about our match in Lund on Sunday ?!
LASK from Lund is always one of the favourites for the gold medal (if we consider last 5-6 years), but they won only once in 2011.
That was the time when I played for that club, and the gold medal was mostly because of my performance (but 2 more players scored good as well, while the rest of the team scored as usual). I scored 8 out of 9, but not only that. My victory came in the most important, title winning  match.
After that season I looked for the new challenges, while the club from Lund became stronger and stronger but never came even near to win the league again.
This year is the same old story.
They are probably the biggest favourites, and on paper they have the best players.
To describe the team atmosphere in their club I will compare it with football.
Let´s say that if they were playing football they would be in relegation zone for sure.
However, chess is individual sport, and despite that in team competitions the result is influenced by many factors (not only addition of individual results) the thing that counts the most is the playing strength on individual boards.
As LASK has very impressive team I think that they are clear favourites against us.

What to say about Eksjö S.K. and our ambitions and chances this weekend ?!
Well, the biggest advantage of our club, compared with other clubs is not that we have 8 out of 8 match points, but the fact that we won against Team Viking while the other teams still have to play against them.
If they win against them too, then we are at least in front of Team Viking.
I can say that if we at least get something from Scania, and don´t let biggest surprises in the last three rounds, then we will get a medal.
So ambitions are clear - get something from Scania...

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