Fischer Memorial (Reykjavik Open) Slated For March 6-14
Harpa in Reykjavik.

Fischer Memorial (Reykjavik Open) Slated For March 6-14

Feb 28, 2018, 10:00 AM |
7 | Chess Event Coverage

Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Richard Rapport (Hungary) and Gata Kamsky (USA) are the top seeds at this year's Reykjavik Open - Bobby Fischer Memorial, to be held March 6-14 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Note that will be providing the live broadcast on with commentators GM Simon Williams and WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni.

The 33rd Reykjavik Open will again be held in the splendid Harpa concert hall along the Reykjavik harbor. But, at the same time, there's a big difference with previous years.

Instead of 10 rounds, this Swiss-paired tournament will see only nine this time. After round four, there will be a rest day on March 9, which is reserved for a Fischer Random tournament.

On what would have been the 75th birthday of Bobby Fischer, "his" Fischer Random variant will be used for another nine-round Swiss, with a time control of 10 minutes plus three seconds increment. The first prize for this one-day event is a very decent €2000 ($2468).

One participant of that event was known well in advance: GM Sergei Grigoriants, who qualified (with flight and hotel paid by!) as runner-up in the Chess960 Championship on January 4, after Maxime Vachier-Lagrave declined participation.

He is currently only the 13th seeded player in what is officially called the "European Fischer Random Cup." The highest finisher of the continent will be called the European Fischer Random Champion.

Reykjavik Open playing hall chess

The playing hall in 2017. | Photo: Lennart Ootes.

It makes sense that the festival in the Icelandic capital is not just called the "Reykjavik Open" this year, but also the "Bobby Fischer Memorial" since there are more Fischer memorial events: a Chess960 simul by the young Indian IM Nihal Sarin, lunch lectures by 1972 organizer Gudmundur Thorarinsson and GM Helgi Olafsson and tours to the Fischer museum and grave in Selfoss and the 1972 venue. 

The traditional blitz tournament, the football, the pub quiz and the Golden Circle Tour form parts of the chess festival once again.

The main tournament's first prize is €5000 ($6170). Here's the list of participants at the time of writing:

2018 Reykjavik Open | Participants (Top 20)

No. Fed Name Rtg
1 GM Eljanov Pavel 2710
2 GM Rapport Richard 2703
3 GM Kamsky Gata 2677
4 GM Adhiban B. 2643
5 GM Adly Ahmed 2634
6 GM L Ami Erwin 2625
7 GM Gledura Benjamin 2619
8 GM Yilmaz Mustafa 2619
9 GM Cornette Matthieu 2612
10 GM Landa Konstantin 2604
11 GM Can Emre 2603
12 GM Lenderman Aleksandr 2600
13 GM Gupta Abhijeet 2598
14 GM Karthikeyan Murali 2585
15 GM Lagarde Maxime 2585
16 IM Tabatabaei Amin 2577
17 GM Grigoriants Sergey 2568
18 GM Ramirez Alejandro 2568
19 GM Friedel Joshua 2562
20 GM Kveinys Aloyzas 2550

The Reykjavik Open has a long tradition. Its first edition was won by none other than 8th world champion Mikhail Tal, in 1964. Other winners include the seventh world champion Vassily Smyslov, Walter Browne, Larry Christiansen, and in recent years Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri.

Note that will be providing the live broadcast on with commentators GM Simon Williams & WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni starting from March 6 at 3 p.m. local time (4 p.m. CET, 10 a.m. Eastern, 8 a.m. Pacific).

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