Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

Tension Rising at Reykjavik Open, Dutch Duo in the Lead

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 3/7/14, 3:30 PM.

The Reykjavik Open has reached its half-way point and the tension is rising. After 5 rounds the tournament, a 10-round Swiss, has two Dutch leaders: GMs Robin van Kampen and Erwin l'Ami. They will play on board one against each other on Saturday. Note that every day you can enjoy live commentary on this tournament on Chess.com/TV!

Celebrating fifty years after its first edition, the 29th Reykjavik Open is again being held in one of the most spectacular chess venues in the world: the Harpa concert hall in the harbor of Reykjavik. More than 250 players from over 40 different federations are playing in one big room, and a look outside gives a splendid view of the snow covered mountains.

Many participants who cannot play much chess throughout the year, choose this particular tournament for the many natural attractions the country offers. On the tournament website a nice collection of options was posted, and on Thursday many players joined the annual “Golden Circle” tour, which took them to the Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir – the world famous hot spring and the final resting place of Bobby Fischer, just outside the town of Selfoss.

The Gulfoss waterfall in the summer...
...and yesterday (Photo: Yuri Eijk)

Except for the first two days there's been a lot of snowfall in Reykjavik. Therefore, many participants are finally experiencing a true winter, since the weather in Western European countries has been remarkably mild this year. The Netherlands, for example, hasn't seen any snow yet and had over 15 degrees Celsius temperatures this week, but GMs Robin van Kampen and Erwin l'Ami certainly won't regret being elsewhere. They are leading the tournament after five rounds, and will face each other on Saturday.

After getting to 3 out of 3, Van Kampen played a legendary player on Thursday: 65-year-old Walter Browne of the USA, who won the tournament in the Icelandic capital sixteen years before his opponent was born! Both players joined the commentary after the round, when the Dutchman said: “I decided not to play the Najdorf, because I heard you're an expert!” “Well, not anymore!” replied Browne, who then started asking all kinds of questions about the currenty opening theory. In the game, he didn't really have a chance.

GM Walter Browne, host FM Ingvar Johannesson, GM Robin van Kampen

You can still watch the post-mortem of this game in the video below, starting from 2 hours and 48 minutes:

The next day the 19-year-old grandmaster from Bussum also beat Richard Rapport of Hungary. In a Pirc, he chose a sideline on move 8 (where Bd3 is normal) and the game got very sharp when Rapport “self-trapped” his knight on f2. However, according to Van Kampen 16...Bd7 was not good (and his friend Anish Giri agreed with him) - Black should play 16...b5. Later the weakening of the dark squares with 29...e6?! was also bad, as Van Kampen demonstrated beautifully.

GM Robin van Kampen

Van Kampen's opponent in tomorrow's big clash will be his compatriot, Erwin l'Ami. The 28-year-old grandmaster from Woerden had an easy day at the office in round 4 against Canadian IM Raja Panjwani.

Today l'Ami defeated Swedish GM Nils Grandelius from the black side of a Nimzo-Indian. The game seemed to be heading for a draw quickly when the d-pawns were traded, but in the ending Grandelius started to play somewhat strangely. His 24.Nd4 didn't had the desired effect and 32.d5, quickly and confidently, played, turned out to be bad after the simple 32...Rd7. When white defends his pawn with a king move, 33...Rc7 forces a pawn ending. In the game white ended up with too many weaknesses. 

Grandelius - l'Ami

The top seed this year, Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany, suffered an unexpected loss in round 3. His opponent was Egyptian IM Mohamed Ezat, who played a spectacular draw with Vladimir Kramnik at the World Team Championship last year. 

Reykjavik Open 2014 | Round 5 Standings

Rk. SNo Title Name FED RtgI Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 Rp
1 8 GM L'Ami Erwin NED 2646 5 16 10 16 3150
2 11 GM Van Kampen Robin NED 2603 5 15,5 9,5 15,5 3159
3 5 GM Amin Bassem EGY 2657 4,5 16 10 14,25 2732
4 7 GM Kobalia Mikhail RUS 2646 4,5 15,5 9,5 13,75 3100
5 2 GM Li Chao CHN 2700 4,5 13 8 11,75 2528
6 4 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2681 4 18 10 13 2640
7 36 IM Ezat Mohamed EGY 2439 4 17 11 13 2631
8 41 IM Bekker-Jensen Simon DEN 2418 4 17 10 13,25 2490
9 6 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2651 4 16,5 10 12,75 2557
10 18 GM Gretarsson H. S. ISL 2511 4 16,5 10 12,75 2529
11 22 IM Idani Pouya IRI 2496 4 16,5 10 12,75 2494
12 3 GM Berkes Ferenc HUN 2687 4 16,5 10 12,5 2594
13 14 GM Hansen Eric CAN 2587 4 16,5 9,5 12 2638
14 34 GM Browne Walter S. USA 2444 4 16 9 11 2478
15 1 GM Naiditsch Arkadij GER 2706 4 15,5 10 11,5 2544
16 10 GM Rozentalis Eduardas LTU 2623 4 15,5 9,5 12 2614
17 12 GM Grandelius Nils SWE 2600 4 15,5 9 10,5 2566
18 20 GM Kristjansson Stefan ISL 2503 4 15 9,5 11,5 2467
19 31 IM Hamitevici Vladimir MDA 2456 4 15 9 11,25 2504
20 23 IM Urkedal Frode NOR 2495 4 15 8,5 11,75 2459
21 37 GM Thorhallsson Throstur ISL 2435 4 14,5 9 11,25 2336
22 54 IM Gullaksen Eirik NOR 2359 4 14,5 8,5 11,25 2449
23 16 GM Stefansson Hannes ISL 2541 4 14 8,5 11,5 2591
24 25 GM Krush Irina USA 2490 4 14 8,5 11,25 2523
25 21 GM Danielsen Henrik ISL 2501 4 14 8,5 11 2477
26 17 GM Molner Mackenzie USA 2528 4 14 8,5 10,75 2474
27 40 IM Tania Sachdev IND 2423 4 14 7,5 9,5 2466
28 32 IM Lie Espen NOR 2456 4 13 8 10,75 2388
29 9 GM Gajewski Grzegorz POL 2631 4 13 8 9,5 2385
30 26 GM Harika Dronavalli IND 2487 3,5 18 11 11,25 2524

On Friday night another traditional side-event was held: the Chess Pub Quiz. Teams of two got to answer 30 questions about chess and the history of the game, both recent and past.

The winners of the quiz were GM Helgi Olafsson & New in Chess editor Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam. Below are a few questions - try to solve them without Google or other external help! In the next report the answers will be provided.

1 What is the full name of our current World Champion?

2 In what year did Steinitz become World Champion?

3 Who said: “Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy”?

4 Which brothers currenlty have the highest average Elo?

5 Put the following players in order of birth date: Bronstein, R. Byrne, Geller, Gligoric.

6 When and where was the first official Olympiad, and who won?

7 Which country won the most bronze medals at an Olympiad and when was the last time?

8 Which South-American Youth World Champion U-20 in Copenhagen and has a variation named after him?

9 Kasparov and Karpov played the most games against each other in World Championship matches. Which players played the most games against each other after them?

10 Like Fischer, Capablanca invented his own variant of chess. How many squares had the board of Capablanca Chess?

Here's the schedule for the rest of the tournament:

March 8th Saturday 13:00 GMT / 08:00 EST / 05:00 PST 6th round
March 9th Sunday 13:00 GMT / 08:00 EST / 05:00 PST 7th round
March 10th Monday 16:30 GMT / 11:30 EST / 08:30 PST 8th round
March 11th Tuesday 16:30 GMT / 11:30 EST / 08:30 PST 9th round
March 12th Wednesday 12:00 GMT / 07:00 EST / 04:00 PST 10th round
March 13th Thursday 18:30 GMT / 13:30 EST / 10:30 PST

All photos © Fiona Steil-Antoni | Note that every day you can enjoy live commentary on this tournament on Chess.com/TV!

4330 reads 7 comments
2 votes

Comments


  • 5 months ago

    Marcokim

    Chao Li wins the Rejkyavik open with an astonishing 8.5/10... has to be a PR in the 2750+ range

    HOW can that not be mentioned. Peter went to sleep on this tournament.

  • 5 months ago

    thismic

    Question 4: Which brothers currenlty have the highest average Elo?

    Hikaru Nakamura has a older brother with a FIDE rating (Asuka with a rating of 2155, making an average of 2463.5). I can not think of another brother combination. 

  • 5 months ago

    ErwinSachs

    Walter Browne wins today...5/6 not bad from ' The Old school IM '!!

  • 5 months ago

    ErwinSachs

    Believe Walter is actually a GM.

    Really enjoying this tourney thus far.....great to see so many different rated players live. Tania Sachdev v Awonder Liang  was really interesting yesterday and he is still only 10!...

    Great coverage too from Fiona & Ingvar.

    and the top 2 play today...clash of the Netherlands.

  • 5 months ago

    reyguapo

    What are the answers to the questions? Please. Laughing

  • 5 months ago

    Marcokim

    Browne_Van Kampen goes to show that you can't rely on 1970s theory in modern Sicilian lines. The old school IM really had no chance on this one.

  • 5 months ago

    thismic

    I do have an interest in past and present great chess people. But, I would get all the Chess Pub Quiz answers wrong without google and such.

    So, what are the correct answers?

Back to Top

Post your reply: