Iceland: Mikhail Gurevich wins clear first in Edda Rapid

3/16/2003 – Russian-Belgian GM Mikhail Gurevich used the French to finish a point ahead of an all-star field in Reykjavic, Iceland. His 8/9 score put him out of the reach of big names like Shirov, Adams, and Topalov. His reward was not having to share any of the $10,000 first prize. Results and a selection of games for download and online replay here.

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Tournament Report: Edda Rapid 2003

As part of the Hrokurinn Chess Festival in Iceland in February, from March 3-5 a powerful rapid chess tournament was held in Reykjavik with over 100 players. The $30,000 prize fund kept most of the GMs from the category 15 closed event in town and attracted a host of others. Alexei Shirov won the Grandmaster tournament, but could only finish in a tie for 4-12 places in the rapid open.

Belgium's Mikhail Gurevich took clear first with a terrific 8/9 score, a full point ahead of Ivan Sokolov and Emil Sutovsky. Joining Shirov in the big pack at 6.5 were Mickey Adams, Loek van Wely, and Victor Bologan. Top tenner Veselin Topalov only managed six points, as did Denmark-based American Nick deFirmian.


Mikhail Gurevich teaching Teimour Radjabov some bad habits, like the French Defense.

Gurevich pocketed the entire first prize of $10,000. The critical game was his win over Shirov in the final round in a back and forth battle. Gurevich employed his trademark French Defense and came out on top in an opposite-side castling melee that would not have looked out of place in a Sicilian.

In fact, Gurevich had black in his last two games and won both of them with the French! In round eight his complicated battle with Israel's Sutovsky came down to a time scramble that was decided abruptly when Sutovsky picked an unfortunate square for his king.

Instead of 50.Kc3, he kept his king "active" by playing it to e3. But 50..d4+! won a piece after 51.Kd3 (51.Rxd4 Rh3+) 51...Be2+ 0-1. (52.Kd2 Bxh5+ 53.Kd3 Rh3+ 54.Kc4 Bxe8)

Here is an online replay page of a selection of games from the event. Many of the available scores were cut off or obviously incorrect and we have tried to weed those out.

Below are the top standings from the official site.

 1     Gurevich, Mikhail              BEL   2634      8     
 2-3   Sokolov, Ivan                  NED   2688      7     
       Sutovsky, Emil                 ISR   2651      7     
 4-12  Lautier, Joel                  FRA   2670      6.5  
       Shirov, Alexei                 ESP   2723      6.5  
       Adams, Michael                 ENG   2734      6.5 
       Van Wely, Loek                 NED   2668      6.5  
       Nikolic, Predrag               BIH   2638      6.5  
       Ehlvest, Jaan                  EST   2600      6.5  
       Bacrot, Etienne                FRA   2671      6.5  
       Bologan, Victor                MDA   2630      6.5  
       Votava, Jan                    CZE   2518      6.5  
13-21  Macieja, Bartlomiej            POL   2629      6    
       Topalov, Veselin               BUL   2743      6     
       McShane, Luke                  ENG   2568      6    
       Stefansson, Hannes             ISL   2569      6     
       Olafsson, Helgi                ISL   2475      6    
       Krasenkow, Michal              POL   2633      6    
       De Firmian, Nick               USA   2537      6   
       Björnsson, Sigurbjörn          ISL   2267      6  
       Oral, Tomas                    CZE   2550      6   
22-29  Tregubov, Pavel                RUS   2612      5.5 
       Hjartarson, Johann             ISL   2634      5.5 
       Þórhallsson, Þröstur           ISL   2441      5.5   
       Danielsen, Henrik              DEN   2501      5.5   
       Hunt, Harriet                  ENG   2389      5.5   
       Pokorna, Regina                SVK   2375      5.5   
       Þórarinsson, Páll              ISL   2265      5.5  
       Gunnarsson, Jón Viktor         ISL   2369      5.5   


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