Reykjavik Open: Warmerdam takes the lead

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
4/11/2022 – Thanks to back-to-back wins in Sunday’s double round, Max Warmerdam climbed to sole first place at the Reykjavik Open. The Dutch grandmaster defeated Simon Williams and Johann Hjartarson to become the only player to go into Monday’s round 8 with a 6/7 score. Five players stand a half point behind — Pouya Idani, Praggnanandhaa, Mads Andersen, Matthieu Cornette and Tania Sachdev. | Photo: Thorsteinn Magnusson

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Five chasers a half point back

A demanding double-round on Sunday left 22-year-old Max Warmerdam in the sole lead of the Reykjavik Open. The Dutch player just got his grandmaster title a year ago, but has already shown his strength both as a competitor and as a second. In December last year, he won the Dutch National Championship, months after assisting compatriot Jorden van Foreest to win the 2021 Tata Steel Masters.

Warmerdam defeated two grandmasters with almost the exact same rating on Sunday: Simon Williams (rated 2464) and Johann Hjartarson (rated 2465). As the sole leader with two rounds to go, he will face top seed Pouya Idani with the white pieces on Monday.

Idani is one of five players standing a half point behind the leader. Praggnanandhaa, Mads Andersen, Matthieu Cornette and Tania Sachdev are the remaining players in the chasing pack. For them, much like for Warmerdam, stamina will be a key factor going forward, as the 9-round event included two double-round days to fit the tournament into a 7-day schedule.

Oleg Romanishin

Oleg Romanishin, aged 70, did not shy away from playing in the gruelling event — he currently has a 5/7 score | Photo: Thorsteinn Magnusson

In round 7, Warmerdam beat Hjartarson from the black side of a King’s Indian Defence. The position was rather balanced until White played a quiet move, missing his opponent’s sneaky plan to get control over the d-file via 26...Ra7 and 27...Rd7.

 

Tania Sachdev

Tania Sachdev | Photo: Thorsteinn Magnusson

The lowest-rated player among the chasers on 5½/7 is Tania Sachdev. The well-known commentator and author — also a two-time Indian women’s champion — defeated Hedinn Steingrimsson in round 7.

In a queen endgame, Steingrimsson had three connected passers on the kingside against Sachdev’s single far-advanced passed pawn on the d-file. It had been a long struggle, and let us remember that this was the second game in a double-round day. Steingrimsson’s position was clearly superior, but he failed to find the winning plan and reached a drawn setup. After a series of slip-ups by both players, it was Sachdev who emerged victorious.

Finding the correct plan on an open board in a queen ending can be extremely tricky!

 

Standings after round 7

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Warmerdam Max 6,0 0,0
2 Praggnanandhaa R 5,5 0,0
  Andersen Mads 5,5 0,0
4 Tania Sachdev 5,5 0,0
5 Idani Pouya 5,5 0,0
6 Cornette Matthieu 5,5 0,0
7 Gukesh D 5,0 0,0
8 Jarmula Lukasz 5,0 0,0
9 Niemann Hans Moke 5,0 0,0
10 Hjartarson Johann 5,0 0,0
  Song Julien 5,0 0,0
12 Fier Alexandr 5,0 0,0
13 Sadhwani Raunak 5,0 0,0
  Maze Sebastien 5,0 0,0
  Korley Kassa 5,0 0,0

...245 players


Games from round 7

 

Replay all available games from the tournament at Live.ChessBase.com

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.
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