You win some, you lose some – MP Reykjavik Open

3/11/2011 – Last year's Reykjavik Open winner, Icelandic GM Hannes Stefansson (2557), finished his first game in this year's event with a summary execution of his much weaker opponent in just ten moves. Then Hannes faced the dauntingly lovely Belarusian WGM Anna Sharevich, well over 200 points his inferior, and got crushed in 35 moves. That's the way the cookie crumbles. Report from Iceland.

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The MP Reykjavik Open is taking place from March 9th to 16th, 2011, with players like Luke McShane, Evgenij Miroshnichenko, Jan Gustafsson, Ivan Sokolov, Ahmed Adly, Yuriy Kuzubov, Jon Ludvig Hammer and – not to be forgotten – Ukrainian GM Illya Nyzhnyk, who is just fourteen. There are a total of 166 participants from 30 countries, including 29 GMs. This year's tournament is co-sponsored by Deloitte which honors the memory of ex-partner and Icelandic IM Ingi R. Johannsson. The tournament is also the Nordic Championship.


The Selfoss Catharose Church, where the legendary Bobby Fischer lies buried


His grave in the snow – on Wednesday Fischer would have turned 68

With no surprises in the first, the second round saw a few, including a loss by Icelandic GM Hannes Stefansson (2557), who was one of last year's winners. He was defeated in 35 moves by Belarusian WGM Anna Sharevich (2323), after having won his first game in only ten moves.

Stefansson,Hannes (2557) - Herms Agullo,Jordi (2098) [B01]
MP Reykjavik Open Reykjavik ISL (1.19), 09.03.2011
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Bb5+ Nbd7 5.h3 Bh5 6.c4 e6 7.g4 Bg6 8.Qe2 a6 9.dxe6

9...axb5?? 10.exf7+ and because of 10...Kxf7 11.Ng5+ Kg8 12.Qe6+ mate Black resigned. 1-0.


Belarusian WGM Anna Sharevich

Sharevich,Anna (2323) - Stefansson,Hannes (2557) [A62]
MP Reykjavik Open Reykjavik ISL (2.19), 10.03.2011
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Bg2 0-0 9.0-0 Re8 10.Bf4 Na6 11.Re1 Bg4 12.Nd2 Nh5 13.Be3 Qd7 14.a4 Bh3 15.Bf3 Bg4 16.Bg2 Nb4 17.Nc4 Bf5 18.Rc1 Qe7? 19.Qd2 Rad8 20.Bg5 f6 21.e4 Bc8 22.Be3

22...Qf8 23.Nb5 Na6 24.Nxa7 f5 25.Bg5 Nf6 26.Nxc8 Rxc8 27.e5 dxe5 28.d6 Rcd8 29.Bxb7 Nb4 30.Rxe5 Rxe5 31.Nxe5 Rxd6 32.Qe2 Qe7 33.Qc4+ Kf8 34.Qxc5 Nbd5 35.Bxd5 1-0.

Separately, Icelandic GM Throstur Thorhallsson (2387) beat German GM Jan Gustafsson (2647) in a heavily fought endgame.


Anthony Hopkins vs Jan Gustafsson – wait, hang on, that's Throstur Thorhallsson playing white

Thorhallsson,Throstur (2387) - Gustafsson,Jan (2647) [C50]
MP Reykjavik Open Reykjavik ISL (2.3), 10.03.2011
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0-0 d6 5.c3 Nf6 6.d4 Bb6 7.dxe5 Nxe5 8.Nxe5 dxe5 9.Qxd8+ Kxd8 10.Nd2 Ke7 11.b3 Bc5 12.Nf3 Nxe4 13.Nxe5 Be6 14.Bxe6 Kxe6 15.Nd3 Bb6 16.Re1 f5 17.Be3 Rhd8 18.Rad1 Kf6 19.c4 Nc3 20.Rd2 Ne4 21.Rdd1 Bxe3 22.Rxe3 Nc5 23.Kf1 Rd4 24.Nb2 Rad8 25.Rxd4 Rxd4 26.f3 a5 27.Ke1 Rh4 28.h3 Rd4 29.Rc3 h5 30.Ke2 g5 31.g3 h4 32.g4 Ke5 33.a3 Kf4 34.b4 axb4 35.axb4 Nd7 36.Nd3+ Kg3 37.gxf5 Nf6 38.f4

Thoralsson has played as sedate an Italian as possible, seeking to exchange off pieces as fast as he could develop them. He got into trouble with his stay-behind-the-lines approach as Gustafsson gained space and pressure leading to a missed winning chance. Instead the GM seems to have been lulled into thinking he was the only one with threats, and a blunder gave White the game. 38...Ne4?? 39.Ra3 Rxc4 40.fxg5 Kxh3 41.f6 Rc2+ 42.Kd1 Rd2+ 43.Ke1 1-0.

No less than 32 players have two points after the first rounds, including the following Icelanders: Thorhallsson, GM Danielsen (2533) and IMs Jón Viktor Gunnarsson (2428) and Bragi Þorfinnsson (2417).


14-year-old GM Illya Nyzhnik (2530) from Ukraine

The tournament features many of the youngest and most promising chess players in the world, including the world’s youngest GM, Illya Nyzhnik (2530) and 14-year old Bulgarian IM Kiprian Berbatov (2437), a nephew of Manchester United player Dimitar Berbatov. Tomorrow's line up includes GM Hammer vs. Berbatov, GM McShane vs. GM Williams in the “Battle of Britain,” GM Thorhallsson vs. GM Hess and GM Friedel (no relations with Aston Villa's American keeper) vs. WGM Sharevich.

Photos: Calle Erlandsson


Links

A selection of eight games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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