Lupulescu Wins Reykjavik Open Among 8-Way Tie
Constantin Lupulescu, the winner in Reykjavik. | Photo: Fiona Steil-Antoni/Reykjavik Open.

Lupulescu Wins Reykjavik Open Among 8-Way Tie

| 16 | Chess Event Coverage

Romanian GM Constantin Lupulescu won the Reykjavik Open with the best tiebreak in a group of eight players finishing on 7/9. The 15-year-old Iranian GM Alireza Firouzja was second. Firouzja had won the European Fischer Random Championship on the rest day.

We're picking up the tournament after five rounds, when the rising star Firouzja was sharing the lead with Armenian GMs Robert Hovhannisyan and Sergei Movsesian and the eventual winner Lupulescu.

You can read our first report on the Reykjavik Open here.

While Hovhannisyan and Firouzja drew on board one without much fireworks, Lupulescu grabbed his chance and took the sole lead with the following excellent victory over Movsesian. Black never really had any counterplay.

English grandmaster Gawain Jones was moving up in the standings as well thanks to a black victory over French GM Maxime Lagarde. It looks like Jones has now fixed his Møller Ruy Lopez repertoire, after his crushing loss against Fabiano Caruana at the 2017 Isle of Man tournament.

With a similar tactical theme used by Caruana (putting a piece en prise on g5) White this time failed to impress:

Jones Lagarde Reykjavik Open 2019
Jones vs Lagarde. | Photo: Fiona Steil-Antoni/Reykjavik Open.

In round seven Lupulescu increased his lead to a full point with another win with the black pieces. This time he defeated Firouzja, who apparently isn't reading all the news reports just yet!

On March 30, in our report on Vladislav Artemiev's victory at the European Championship, Romain Edouard's win in the French against Miguel Santos was covered, and Firouzja went down in the same line. (Or did he read it and was he planning on our suggestion 17.f5?)

No fewer than 10 players were trailing the leader by half a point: Hovhannisyan (Armenia), Nils Grandelius (Sweden), 2015 winner Erwin l'Ami (Netherlands), Tigran Petrosian (Armenia), Gawain Jones (England), Sabino Brunello (Italy), Mircea-Emilian Parligras (Romania), 2016 winner Abhijeet Gupta (India) and IMs Kassa Korley (Denmark) and Quentin Loiseau (France).

The latter had beaten Dutch GM Jorden van Foreest, who must have missed a nasty pin on his rook twice in a row:

The tournament was suddenly wide open again when Lupulescu lost his white game in the penultimate round to Jones. Playing h3 and later h3-h4-h5 against the Gruenfeld was certainly creative, but Jones reacted strongly:

Lupulescu Jones Reykjavik Open 2019
Lupulescu lost to Jones but won the tournament anyway. | Photo: Fiona Steil-Antoni/Reykjavik Open.

Just one other player on 5.5 points won and joined the leaders Lupulescu and Jones. This was another Romanian GM, Parligras, who beat the French IM after surviving a lost position:

The following game from round eight was just splendid. It would take too much time to analyze everything that happened, but make sure you go through the moves.

Grandelius Gupta Reykjavik Open 2019
Gupta vs Grandelius: a "great brawl." | Photo: Fiona Steil-Antoni/Reykjavik Open.

Paired against each other in the final round, compatriots Lupulescu and Parligras expectedly drew their game on board one. With a win Jones would have become the sole tournament winner, but that scenario was never very realistic.

In fact, he was on the verge of defeat against l'Ami but by holding this endgame, Jones made sure he will be a 2700 player in the May 2019 FIDE rating list.

With this draw Jones joined the group on seven points, while l'Ami remained half a point behind. That group of seven points was as big as eight players, with Firouzja coming in second place on tiebreak and Lupulescu in first.

Firouzja faced stiff resistance from the 56-year-old GM Johann Hjartarson, and it begs the question if the 15-year-old Iranian knew he was playing a former top grandmaster!

Only deep in the endgame the Icelandic player stumbled after having defended nicely for so long. Firouzja's live rating, in case you're wondering, is now 2682.6.

On the rest day, Firouzja had won the second European Fischer Random Championship. This way, he became the first qualifier for a very strong Fischer Random knockout tournament organized in Norway in October, about which will be publishing information very soon.

Tang Firouzja Fischer Random Reykjavik Open 2019
Firouzja facing Andrew Tang in the Fischer Random tournament. | Photo: Reykjavik Open.

2019 Reykjavik Open | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name RtgI Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4 rtg+/-
1 6 GM Lupulescu Constantin 2634 7,0 0,0 9 44,5 6 15,4
2 3 GM Firouzja Alireza 2669 7,0 0,0 9 43,5 6 7,5
3 2 GM Grandelius Nils 2687 7,0 0,0 9 41,5 6 1,4
4 1 GM Jones Gawain C B 2698 7,0 0,0 9 41,5 5 3,8
5 7 GM Parligras Mircea-Emilian 2633 7,0 0,0 9 41,0 6 5,3
6 11 GM Petrosian Tigran L. 2605 7,0 0,0 9 41,0 5 7,2
7 9 GM Tari Aryan 2615 7,0 0,0 9 40,5 6 3,1
8 12 GM Gupta Abhijeet 2602 7,0 0,0 9 38,5 6 2,6
9 8 GM Hovhannisyan Robert 2630 6,5 0,0 9 44,0 4 10,4
10 5 GM Movsesian Sergei 2637 6,5 0,0 9 43,5 5 4,2
11 4 GM l'Ami Erwin 2647 6,5 0,0 9 43,5 4 5,0
12 13 GM Van Foreest Jorden 2598 6,5 0,0 9 40,5 5 -0,1
13-14 34 IM Kevlishvili Robby 2451 6,5 0,0 9 39,0 6 8,2
13-14 36 IM Korley Kassa 2440 6,5 0,0 9 39,0 6 15,4
15 32 IM Loiseau Quentin 2461 6,5 0,0 9 39,0 5 9,9
16 27 GM Tang Andrew 2501 6,5 0,0 9 33,5 6 -3,3
17 28 GM Salomon Johan 2495 6,5 0,0 8 40,0 4 13,9
18 19 GM Stefansson Hannes 2558 6,5 0,0 8 37,0 6 2,5
19 24 GM Sadzikowski Daniel 2523 6,0 0,0 9 42,0 5 4,7
20 23 GM Brunello Sabino 2534 6,0 0,0 9 41,5 4 10,1

(Full standings here.)

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