One player, three titles

by Johannes Fischer
6/10/2015 – Players who are good in blitz and rapid chess are also often good in classical chess. The best example is Magnus Carlsen, who is World Champion in classical, rapid, and blitz chess. At the Icelandic Championship GM Hedinn Steingrimsson followed Carlsen's example. He won the tournament to become reigning Icelandic champion in all three disciplines.

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GM Steingrimsson wins Icelandic Championship

The strongest Icelandic Chess Championship in history took place from 14th to 24th May in Reykjavik. The eleven round round-robin tournament featured six Grandmasters, three International Masters, two FIDE Masters and one Woman Grandmaster. For the first time for many years all top players competed in the Championship, among them former World Championship Quarterfinalist GM Johann Hjartarson. The venue was the concert hall and conference centre Harpa.

Harpa, the tournament venue

Magnificent view from the tournament hall

GM Hedinn Steingrimsson, who currently lives in New York, won the tournament with a 1.5 point margin. In the last seven rounds he did a „Caruana“ by winning seven games in a row (as Caruana did in the Sinquefield Cup 2014) to finish with an Elo-performance of 2763.

Hedinn Steingrimsson, the new Icelandic Champion

Previously Steingrimsson had also won the Icelandic Championships in rapid and blitz and he is now the reigning Icelandic Champion in all three time controls - a feat which no player in Iceland has managed before (though Magnus Carlsen is World Champion in all three disciplines).

After two rounds Grandmasters Hedinn Steingrímsson and Hjorvar Steinn Gretarsson led the tournament with two wins. Till the last round they both stayed in front but then Steingrimsson, who had half a point more than his rival, beat Gretarsson with black and clinched the title. Here's the crucial encounter with notes by the winner.



All games



Two games with notes by the new Icelandic Champion

The first moves of a long game: Jon Arnason against Hedinn Steingrimsson


Grandmaster Arnason played well and made few mistakes. He lost only two games and in the end shared third place with Stefansson.

Jon Arnason (left) and Hedinn Steingrimsson have a friendly chat.



Steingrimsson is now the reigning Icelandic Chess Champion in all three disciplines: classical, rapid and blitz. The rapid event took place on 13. December 2014 and Steingrimsson won with 8.5/9.Ten days after winning the rapid event Steingrimsson also became Icelandic blitz champion. Six grandmasters took part in the blitz event and Steingrimsson won with 9.0/ 11.

Photos: Skakblog, fréttablaðið

Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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