Reykjavik: Fire on the Board

by Alejandro Ramirez
3/6/2014 – Rounds two and three have finished in Iceland as the only double round of the tournament has come to a closing. Most GMs are still unscathed but the top seed of the event, Naiditsch, went for too much fire in his game and got burned. A strange attack almost worked but he miscalculated and lost his way and the game. Speaking of fire, it created an unusual halftime in round two.

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Round Two

The Reykjavik Open continues at the Harpa Musical Hall and very few surprises were seen on round two as the grandmasters generally smashed through competition, one way or another.

Bo.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg
1 FM Ekeberg Carl Fredrik 2303 1 0 - 1 1 GM Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
2 WGM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat 2294 1 0 - 1 1 GM Berkes Ferenc 2687
3 GM Rapport Richard 2681 1 1 - 0 1 FM Pajeken Wolfgang 2308
4   Vaarala Eric 2285 1 0 - 1 1 GM Amin Bassem Dr. 2657
5 GM Jones Gawain C B 2651 1 1 - 0 1 IM Ponomarenko Alexandr 2274
6 FM Constantinou Peter 2270 1 0 - 1 1 GM Kobalia Mikhail 2646
7 GM L'ami Erwin 2646 1 1 - 0 1   Grant Jonathan I M 2255
8 FM Kvisvik Brede 2257 1 1 - 0 1 GM Gajewski Grzegorz 2631
9 GM Rozentalis Eduardas 2623 1 1 - 0 1   Zeier Klaus 2253
10   Olafsson Thorvardur 2254 1 0 - 1 1 GM Van Kampen Robin 2603
11 GM Grandelius Nils 2600 1 1 - 0 1 IM Kernazhitsky Leonid Dr. 2249
12 FM Langer Michael 2248 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Olafsson Helgi *) 2546
13   Wunnink Michael 2251 1 0 - 1 1 GM Ramirez Alejandro 2599
14 GM Hansen Eric 2587 1 1 - 0 1 FM Hoffmann Hendrik 2244
15 WGM Ptacnikova Lenka 2239 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Molner Mackenzie 2528

The most eventful thing about the second round was a very noticeable interruption. A loud warning was overheard and the local players started getting up, while the international players looked confused. The message was repeated loud and clear in English: "The building is being evacuated".

We didn't know the reason, but the clocks were stopped and most players went outsidse. A little while later we returned to the playing hall only to find a building employee look dumbfounded at us. She told us: "The building is on fire... please go out side".

The interruption lasted a good 45 minutes, and some emergency vehicles showed up but the fire must have been very small as we never really learned where exactly it was.

The players left in anything but orderly fashion. Thankfully the fire was no real threat.

When players figured out that the fire was very small they went back into the building to escape from the cold, even though no one told them it was ok to do so

Some young players took time to meet the celebrities. Here with GM Gawain Jones.

Socializing was the way to kill time during the "fire'

Round Three

Bo.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg
1 GM Naiditsch Arkadij 2706 2 0 - 1 2 IM Ezat Mohamed 2439
2 GM Berkes Ferenc 2687 2 1 - 0 2 IM Norowitz Yaacov 2430
3 IM Kjartansson Gudmundur 2441 2 0 - 1 2 GM Rapport Richard 2681
4 GM Amin Bassem Dr. 2657 2 1 - 0 2 IM Tania Sachdev 2423
5 IM Porper Edward 2427 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Jones Gawain C B 2651
6 GM Kobalia Mikhail 2646 2 1 - 0 2 IM Karavade Eesha 2408
7 FM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2395 2 0 - 1 2 GM L'ami Erwin 2646
8 GM Van Kampen Robin 2603 2 1 - 0 2 IM Thorfinnsson Bjorn 2389
9 IM Soors Stef 2394 2 0 - 1 2 GM Grandelius Nils 2600
10 GM Ramirez Alejandro 2599 2 1 - 0 2 WGM Abrahamyan Tatev 2376
11 IM Arngrimsson Dagur 2382 2 0 - 1 2 GM Hansen Eric 2587
12 GM Olafsson Helgi *) 2546 1 - 0 WGM Ptacnikova Lenka 2239
13 FM Cawdery Daniel 2362 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Gretarsson Hjorvar Steinn 2511
14 GM Danielsen Henrik 2501 2 ½ - ½ 2 IM Klundt Klaus 2341
15 FM Antal Tibor Kende 2325 2 ½ - ½ 2 IM Idani Pouya 2496

A big surprise happened on board one. Naiditsch had a pleasant positino, but he got overeager in an interesting attack:

[Event "Reykjavik Open 2014"] [Site "Reykjavik"] [Date "2014.03.05"] [Round "3"] [White "Naiditsch, Arkadij"] [Black "Ezat, Mohamed"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B11"] [WhiteElo "2706"] [BlackElo "2439"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "ISL"] 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ exf6 6. Bc4 Bg4 7. O-O Be7 8. h3 Bh5 9. Re1 O-O 10. d4 Bd6 11. g4 Bg6 12. Nh4 Nd7 13. Bb3 Qc7 14. Nxg6 hxg6 {Black's position is solid but White's pair of bishops and space advantage definitely give him the edge.} 15. Qf3 Rfe8 16. Bd2 Nf8 17. h4 Ne6 18. Re4 c5 19. c3 cxd4 20. cxd4 Qd7 21. Rae1 Nc7 22. h5 Rxe4 23. Rxe4 f5 24. hxg6 $1 {A good idea} fxe4 25. Bxf7+ $2 {A bad followup} (25. gxf7+ Kf8 (25... Kh7 26. Qh3+ Kg6 27. Qh5+ Kf6 28. Bg5#) 26. Qh3 Ne6 27. Qh8+ Kxf7 28. Qxa8 { and White is way ahead.}) 25... Kf8 26. Qh3 Ne6 27. d5 (27. Qh8+ Ke7 28. Qxa8 Nf4 $1 $11 {Is an important difference. Now White cannot defend against the perpetual check threats.}) 27... Nf4 28. Bxf4 Bxf4 29. Be6 Qa4 30. Qh8+ Ke7 31. Qxg7+ $2 {Playing for the win} (31. Qxa8 Qd1+ 32. Kg2 Qf3+ 33. Kg1 $11) 31... Kd6 32. b3 Qb4 33. Bf5 Qe1+ $1 34. Kg2 e3 {Black's king will find refuge and White will get mated now.} 35. Qf6+ Kc5 36. Qe7+ Kb6 37. Qf6+ Ka5 38. b4+ Qxb4 {Black is simply up material and now even has the safer king. A fascinating struggle!} 0-1

Rappot on board three played the wild 1.Nf3 e6 2.g3 g5!? 3.Bg2 g4!? and scored a victory in a long endgame. Personally I had a hopeless position against my good friend Tatev Abrahamyan who is very close to completing her IM title, but a trick in time pressure allowed me to turn the tables.

Playing friends is never nice. Tricking them over the board is even less nice!

GM Galego from Portugal has a long history of being one of the top players of that country

Six time Iceland Champion Helgi Olafsson with 2.5/3

Harika Dronavalli is the only lady left with a perfect score

Sachdev fell in an endgame against Amin Bassem from Egypt

Rapport continues his unorthodox chess. He will play the author of this article in a couple of hours.

Awonder Liang lost to Steinn Gretarsson in round two

The top boards are littered with top GM duels today and the tournament will definitely go into full force from now on.

Replay select games from the top boards

Select games from the dropdown menu above the board

Photos by Fiona Steil-Antoni

Links

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Topics Reykjavik

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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