Threeway tie for first at Reykjavik Open 2008

3/12/2008 – The two Chinese GMs, Wang Hao, 2665 and Wang Yue, 2698, together with GM 7.0 GM Hannes Stefansson, all scored 7.0/9 at the Icelandic tournament. Wang Hao had the best tiebreak, the other two tied for 2nd-3rd. Longtime leader Fabiano Caruana was half a point behind. Boris Spassky and Pal Benkö were in Reykjavik to commemorate Bobby Fischer's 65th birthday.

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The XXIII Reykjavik Open 2008 took place from March 3rd-11th, 2008. The tournament was open for foreign players above 2200 FIDE and Icelandic players above 2000 FIDE. Rate of play: 90 min. / 40 moves + 15 minutes after 40 moves. 30 sec. increment for every move.

In round five the game between Greek GM Stelios Halkias (2580) and the current world Junior Champion GM Ahmed Adly (2551, EGY) had ended in draw. When Ahmed left the playing hall and switched on his mobile phone he immediately saw a bunch of SMS from friends allover the world with the same content: the move 40....f5 wins on the spot.


Roses are red and violets are blue, and I'm going to miss a win against you

Halkias,Stelios (2580) - Adly,Ahmed (2551) [A00]
Reykjavik Open 2008 Reykjavik (5.2), 07.03.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 Qa5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Qd2 Bb4 9.Rc1 h6 10.Bh4 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Ba3 12.Rb1 e5 13.Bd3 0-0 14.0-0 Re8 15.Qc2 Bd6 16.c4 exd4 17.exd4 Nf8 18.c5 Bf4 19.Bg3 Qc7 20.Ne5 Bxg3 21.fxg3 Be6 22.Nc4 Re7 23.Nd6 b6 24.Kh1 Rd8 25.Rbe1 Bd5 26.Qf2 Rxd6 27.cxd6 Qxd6 28.Qf4 Qa3 29.Rxe7 Qxe7 30.Qf2 Qb4 31.g4 a5 32.Bb1 b5 33.h4 a4 34.g5 hxg5 35.hxg5 Qd6 36.Re1 Qd7 37.Qg3 b4

This is a virtually even postion, but for some reason the Greek GM gives up the a-pawn: 38.Be4?! Bxa2 39.Qb8? A second pawn will fall. 39...Qxd4 40.g6

Halkias has been chasing ghosts, Black has indeed a simple win with 40....f5. But now it is Adly's turn to see ghosts: 40...Qf2? Black has thrown away the win. 41.Qxb4 c5 42.Qc3 a3 43.Re3 Qf1+ 44.Kh2 Qf4+ 45.Kg1 f5 46.Bc2 Bc4 47.Qxa3 Qf1+ 48.Kh2 Qf4+ 49.Kg1 Qf1+ 50.Kh2 Qf4+ 51.Kg1 ½-½.


Remembering Fischer: the portrait of the 1972 match dominates the playing hall

On March 9th, before the start of round seven, there was a minute of silence for Bobby Fischer, who would have turned 65 on this day.


The ultimate winner, Wang Hao, playing Swedish GM Hillarp Persson in round six

Final Ranking (after nine rounds)

Rk. Ti. Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2  Rp
1 GM Wang Hao CHN 2665 7.0 40.0 42.0 2721
2 GM Stefansson Hannes ISL 2564 7.0 38.5 41.0 2679
3 GM Wang Yue CHN 2698 7.0 38.0 41.0 2684
4 GM Kveinys Aloyzas LTU 2521 6.5 39.5 41.0 2664
5 GM Caruana Fabiano ITA 2598 6.5 38.5 41.5 2679
6 GM Meier Georg GER 2570 6.5 35.0 37.0 2583
7 GM Halkias Stelios GRE 2580 6.0 39.5 42.0 2629
8 GM Mikhalevski Victor ISR 2632 6.0 39.0 41.0 2603
9 GM Stefanova Antoaneta BUL 2464 6.0 37.5 40.5 2550
10 GM Malakhatko Vadim BEL 2600 6.0 37.0 38.5 2601
11 GM Lie Kjetil A NOR 2556 6.0 36.0 38.0 2568
12 GM Dizdar Goran CRO 2564 6.0 36.0 37.0 2557
13 FM Grover Sahaj IND 2242 6.0 34.0 36.0 2478
14 FM Thorfinnsson Bjorn ISL 2364 6.0 33.0 35.5 2562
15 GM Danielsen Henrik ISL 2506 6.0 32.5 34.0 2483
16 IM Thorfinnsson Bragi ISL 2406 6.0 31.0 33.0 2469
17 GM Carlsson Pontus SWE 2501 5.5 37.5 40.5 2517
18 IM Gaponenko Inna UKR 2422 5.5 37.5 39.0 2587
19 GM Al-Modiahki Mohamad QAT 2569 5.5 35.5 38.5 2481
20 IM Lie Espen NOR 2428 5.5 34.5 37.0 2597
21 FM Nyzhnyk Illya UKR 2405 5.5 34.0 36.5 2424
22 IM Gunnarsson Jon Viktor ISL 2429 5.5 34.0 35.5 2499
23 IM Kristjansson Stefan ISL 2476 5.5 33.5 36.5 2434
24 IM Tania Sachdev IND 2417 5.0 36.5 38.0 2487
25 IM Simutowe Amon ZAM 2457 5.0 36.0 39.0 2424
26 FM Robson Ray USA 2389 5.0 36.0 37.5 2470
27 GM Hillarp Persson Tiger SWE 2535 5.0 35.5 39.0 2481
28 IM Paehtz Elisabeth GER 2420 5.0 35.5 38.0 2500
29 GM Jankovic Alojzije CRO 2541 5.0 34.5 36.0 2416
30 GM Malisauskas Vidmantas LTU 2489 5.0 34.0 37.5 2397
31 FM Grandelius Nils SWE 2371 5.0 33.5 36.5 2439
32 GM Moradiabadi Elshan IRI 2506 5.0 33.0 34.5 2414
33 IM Hammer Jon Ludvig NOR 2441 5.0 32.5 35.5 2412
34 FM Arngrimsson Dagur ISL 2359 5.0 30.0 33.5 2312
35 FM Lagerman Robert ISL 2348 5.0 30.0 32.5 2355
36 FM Thomassen Joachim NOR 2308 5.0 29.5 33.5 2426
37 WIM Nemcova Katerina CZE 2342 5.0 29.5 32.5 2325
38 FM Bergsson Snorri ISL 2333 5.0 29.5 32.0 2388
39 FM Kjartansson David ISL 2288 5.0 27.5 30.0 2368


In memoriam: GMs Pal Benkö, Boris Spassky, with wife Marina and the President of the Icelandic Chess Federation, Lilia Grettarsdottir gather to honor the late Bobby Fischer

Reuters reports that Boris Spassky visited his former rival's grave at a small cemetery near the capital. Clearly moved he bent and dusted snow off the grave and laid flowers before straightening up and wiping his eyes. "Do you think the spot next to him is available," he joked to reporters afterward. Spassky has offered few comments about his former rival in the wake of Fischer's death, saying only the man was a friend. Speaking with reporters in Iceland on Sunday, Spassky said chess now was just not the same as in his day. "As for the modern chess, I am pessimistic because in my view computers killed classic chess," he said.

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