'It's Always Possible To Watch Reykjavik Open'

'It's Always Possible To Watch Reykjavik Open'

| 18 | Chess Event Coverage

The 31st Reykjavik Open is underway in the Icelandic capital. After three rounds, 11 players are still on a perfect score, having survived the grueling double rounds on Wednesday.

Tomorrow the Candidates' Tournament starts in Moscow, but with an ongoing wrangle about games transmission it might be good for chess fans to have a backup. Today on Facebook the tournament director in Iceland suggested a Plan B for chess fans: “If it is problem to watch the Candidates' — remember. It's always possible to watch Reykjavik Open. No delay no restriction and hard fought games!” 

A disclaimer might be prudent so let's get on with it right away: like in previous years is producing the live video broadcast with commentary during the rounds, which you can watch on

Tune in today at 5 p.m. local time (noon New York, 9 a.m. Pacific) and find the full schedule for subsequent shows below on the same page.

From our coverage: IM Marc Esserman
explaining his draw with Richard Rapport in round three.

After three rounds, 11 players have three points: eight grandmasters and IMs Jonas Lampert of Germany, Nikita Petrov of Russia and Elisabeth Paehtz of Germany. You might have seen her as a commentator during the last two Gibraltar tournaments.

The two top seeds are not in this group. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan won two games convincingly, and then decided to take a half-point bye in the third round. With two rounds on one day (starting at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.), that's understandable. He did play some more chess though!

Handicap Chess

Do you know "handicap chess"?GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar - FIDE: 2748 - #1 do AzerbaijãovsWIM Bivol, Alina - FIDE: 2368 - #364 Russia #handicap #chess #FIDE #Mamedyarov #Baku #Bivol #Russia #internationalmaster #grandmaster #gm #wim #quick #fast #blitz #storm

Posted by Chess Champ on Monday, March 7, 2016

However, in this tournament it is possible to take more than one bye, and remarkably, Dmitry Andreikin asked the arbiter for byes in rounds three and four! He is joining the Golden Circle tour on Thursday morning and afternoon, and apparently he feels that playing a game afterward is a bad idea.

Let's look at a few interesting moments that have occurred so far, starting with the biggest upset in the first round. The young Swedish GM Nils Grandelius faced unexpected opposition from his 2029-rated opponent he should have accepted the draw with 44...Ke5. Instead, he played on, missing White's crucial check on move 47!

Not a great start for Nils Grandelius. | Photo: Lennart Ootes.

It seems that quite a few local players here in Iceland are underrated. Bardur Orn Birkisson managed to draw his black game with the legendary Alexander Beliavsky and the young man could even have won that game. Look what happened.

A draw meant a narrow escape for Alexander Beliavsky. | Photo: Lennart Ootes.

One of the participants in this tournament is Henrik Carlsen, the father of Magnus. In his first round he faced the 11-time (!) Icelandic Champion Hannes Stefansson, and at first sight it looks like a straightforward win for the latter. However, there was one moment where Black could force absolute equality. Here's the puzzle — it's a tough one!

Henrik Carlsen missed a great opportunity. | Photo: Lennart Ootes.

The second round saw another grandmaster going down against a local player. This time it was Danyyil Dvirnyy, who didn't make a good impression against Orn Leo Johannsson. The latter, on the other hand, played an excellent game!

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov watching Richard Rapport's first round game in Reykjavik.

WGM Lenka Ptacnikova (2192) missed a great opportunity to beat GM Alejandro Ramirez. The advice “always check first what checks you have” is a good one here, although it must be said that she was in time trouble.

Today the fourth round will see an interesting clash on board one: U.S. Open winner Alexander Shabalov vs Ivan Cheparinov, who hasn't played much chess in recent years but told that he's got new hunger for the game. It will also be interesting to see how IMs Marc Esserman and Jovanka Houska will fare against the seasoned GMs Alexander Beliavsky and Simen Agdestein respectively.

Join the show today and beyond at!

2016 Reykjavik Open | Round 3 Standings

Rk. Title Name Rtg FED Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 Rp
1 GM Shabalov Alexander 2520 USA 3 5,5 2 5,5 3012
2 GM Cheparinov Ivan 2684 BUL 3 5 2 5 3136
3 GM Rambaldi Francesco 2541 ITA 3 5 2 5 3024
4 IM Lampert Jonas 2472 GER 3 5 2 5 2907
5 GM Danielsen Henrik 2488 ISL 3 5 1,5 5 2949
6 GM Jones Gawain C B 2645 ENG 3 4,5 2 4,5 3103
7 GM Gupta Abhijeet 2634 IND 3 4,5 2 4,5 3091
8 IM Petrov Nikita 2464 RUS 3 4,5 1,5 4,5 2901
9 GM Ramirez Alejandro 2564 USA 3 4 1,5 4 3047
10 IM Paehtz Elisabeth 2474 GER 3 3,5 1,5 3,5 2977
11 GM Gretarsson Hjorvar Steinn 2572 ISL 3 3,5 1 3,5 3069
12 GM Rapport Richard 2720 HUN 2,5 6,5 2 5,25 2639
13 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2702 ARM 2,5 6,5 2 5,25 2612
14 IM Esserman Marc 2458 USA 2,5 6 2 4,75 2580
15 IM Kjartansson Gudmundur 2446 ISL 2,5 5,5 2 4,75 0
16 GM Melkumyan Hrant 2653 ARM 2,5 5,5 2 4,25 2578
17 GM Movsesian Sergei 2653 ARM 2,5 5,5 2 4,25 0
18 GM Agdestein Simen 2610 NOR 2,5 5,5 2 4,25 0
19 GM Bromberger Stefan 2532 GER 2,5 5,5 2 4,25 2495
20 IM Holm Kristian Stuvik 2414 NOR 2,5 5,5 2 4,25 2549

(Full standings here.)

Alexander Shabalov plays board one in round four. | Photo: Lennart Ootes.

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