June 2015 Grandmaster Spotlight: Berge Ostenstad

GM Berge Ostenstad
GM Berge Ostenstad

Welcome back, this month we are going to be examining the games of GM Berge Ostenstad. Ostenstad has a FIDE rating of 2456 and is the 11th highest rated player in Norway. He was the sixth person awarded the GM title from Norway. He earned the IM title in 1987 and he earned the GM title in 2003. Ostenstad is still active and he competes in the Norwegian Premier league. He’s won the Norwegian championship eight times, which is more than any other player. His first championship victory came in 1984 and he recently won in 2011. He’s competed on the Norwegian Olympiad team three times. Most recently in 2004 where he went +1 =4 -4 for a total of three points.

This first game is a game he played against Simen Agdestein in 2004. This game is pretty incredible. Black has difficulties right out of the opening. I thought Agdestein was just busted but somehow he limps on.  After the dust has settled it’s a queen for two rooks. In a complex ending Ostenstad identifies the way through and wins the game.

This next game has become a frequent guest at chess trivia nights. Who was the last Norweigan to defeat Magnus Carlsen in a classical game? GM Berg Ostenstad. In the game, Carlsen makes a risky piece sacrifice on f2. After defending accurately, Ostenstad finds himself with two minor pieces for the rook. Eventually, he converts the endgame.

In this game, Ostenstad defeats Velimirovic on the black side of a Caro-Kann. This game is a nice example of how to play against the isolated pawn. In the game, white never gets the attack that you see in these types of positions.

In this next game Ostenstad shows great fighting chess from the black side of the French Winawer. I like Ostenstad’s ability to create complications and apply pressure to white’s king.  White succumbs to this pressure and resigns after making a terrible blunder.

The final game I wanted to show is a recent one from the 2011 European cup against IM Sam E Collins. Once again we find that Ostenstad plays an aggressive French. He goes right for White’s king and never lets up. Black finds two knight forks that nets him a queen. Once again we find the Ostenstand on the winning side of the Queen vs two rooks.

Thanks for reading, tune in next month for another edition of the GM Spotlight!

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