McShane tops field in Reykjavik Open

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Reykjavik Open starts todayToday the 2011 edition of the Reykjavik Open starts, with one of the strongest and largest groups of chess players in years. The top 10 of registered players has Luke McShane, Evgenij Miroshnichenko, Jan Gustafsson, Ivan Sokolov, Ahmed Adly, Yuriy Kuzubov, Jon Ludvig Hammer, Sune Berg Hansen, Vladimir Baklan and Boris Chatalbashev.

The organizers proudly mention main sponsor MP Bank, which was founded by and bears the initials of Icelandic GM Margeir Pétursson. Apparently it's the only bank that survived the Icelandic financial crisis that begun in 2008.

A number of big names travelled to Iceland a bit earlier, to participate in the final rounds of the Icelandic Team Championship. The first four rounds were played in October last year; the last three on March 4-5, 2011. The winning team was Taflfélags Bolungarvíkur A, with Luke McShane on top board. Jan Gustafsson wrote a post about it, and about travelling to Iceland.

Below is the press release from the Icelandic Chess Federation from January, and the top 50 participants.


The MP Reykjavík Open will be held from March 9 to March 16, 2011 in the City Hall in downtown Reykjavík. The 2011 edition is expected to field one of the strongest and largest group of chess players in years. Nearly thirty GMs have so far registered, including some of the world’s highest ranked players, the youngest GM in the world, some of the strongest women and legends of the game. Already, the number of registered players exceeds the number of participants at last year’s event, but the MP Reykjavík Open is very popular with chess players due to the excellent playing venue and atmosphere, and many chess players return year after year. This year, the MP Reykjavík Open will also be the Nordic Chess Championship and the highest placed player from a Nordic country (Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) will be crowned the Nordic Chess Champion of 2011.

The highest ranked player is Evgenij Miroshnichenko (2670) of Ukraine, followed by Luke McShane (2664), Ivan Sokolov (2657), one of last year’s winners who also regularly features in international chess tournaments in Iceland, and German GM Jan Gustafsson (2652). From Scandinavia, we have Magnus Carlsen’s contemporary, Jon Ludvig Hammer (2647) and Denmark’s Sune Berg Hansen (2603). Moreover, all active Icelandic GMs will take part, including Hannes Hlífar Stefánsson (2580), who has been among the winners in the last three tournaments, Héðinn Steingrímsson (2554), one of the 2009 winners, Henrik Danielsen (2519) and Þröstur Þórhallsson (2387).

Africa’s highest ranked player, Ahmed Adly (2640), Latvian chess legend Evgeny Sveshnikov (2521), who is also joined at the tournament by his son Vladimir, are also registered.

As in previous years, many of the youngest and most promising chess players in the world are attending the MP Reykjavík Open, including the world’s youngest GM, the year 14-year old, Illya Nyzhnik (2530), 14-year old Bulgarian IM Kiprian Berbatov (2437), a nephew of Manchester United player Dimitar Berbatov, and 13-year old IM Suri Vaibhav (2421) of India.

Additionally, Harika Dronavalli (2520), one of the highest ranked women in the world, is attending, together with Tania Sachdev (2391), Sophie Millet (2375) of France and Anna Sharevich (2332), Belarus’ strongest female player and Lenka Ptácníková (2317).

The City of Reykjavík and MP Bank are the main sponsors of the tournament. MP Bank, which was founded by and bears the initials of Icelandic GM Margeir Pétursson, is the only bank that survived the Icelandic financial crisis that begun in 2008. The City of Reykjavík has sponsored the tournament since its inception in 1964, when Mikhail Tal won it with a record 12½ points out of 13. Now in its 26th edition, the tournament was held every other year until 2008, but has since been every year. It was closed in its early years, but has been an open event since the 1980s.

The MP Reykjavík Open has enjoyed such an enviable reputation that more than 120 GMs registered interest in participating this year. Unfortunately not everybody could be accommodated and all conditions have been allocated. Given its open format, however, places are still available for anyone interested in taking part in a strong and lively tournament.

As in earlier years, several chess-related events will take place at the same time as the tournament, including the now famous the Reykjavík Open Chess Pub Quiz and the Golden Circle sightseeing tour that includes stops at Geysir and Robert J. Fischer´s final resting place in the southern part of Iceland. And given the favorable exchange rate of the Icelandic króna, Iceland is one of the most attractive places in the world to visit and play in chess tournaments.

For more information, please check out the website of the tournament at, where all relevant information can be found, including list of players and a registration form.

We look forward to welcoming you to the MP Reykjavík Open.

On behalf of the Icelandic Chess Federation, Gunnar Björnsson, President of ICF.

Reykjavik Open 2011 | Participants (top 50)

No. Ti. Name FED Rtg
1 GM McShane Luke J ENG 2683
2 GM Miroshnichenko Evgenij UKR 2670
3 GM Gustafsson Jan GER 2647
4 GM Sokolov Ivan NED 2643
5 GM Adly Ahmed EGY 2640
6 GM Kuzubov Yuriy UKR 2627
7 GM Hammer Jon Ludvig NOR 2606
8 GM Hansen Sune Berg DEN 2603
9 GM Baklan Vladimir UKR 2602
10 GM Chatalbashev Boris BUL 2602
11 GM Miton Kamil POL 2600
12 GM Pelletier Yannick SUI 2593
13 GM Fier Alexandr BRA 2586
14 GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 2580
15 GM Halkias Stelios GRE 2579
16 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2578
17 GM Hess Robert L USA 2565
18 IM Nyzhnyk Illya UKR 2563
19 GM Stefansson Hannes ISL 2557
20 GM Steingrimsson Hedinn ISL 2554
21 GM Danielsen Henrik ISL 2533
22 GM Friedel Josh USA 2529
23 GM Mekhitarian Krikor Sevag BRA 2529
24 GM Sveshnikov Evgeny LAT 2527
25 IM Harika Dronavalli IND 2524
26 GM Hillarp Persson Tiger SWE 2524
27 GM Williams Simon K ENG 2507
28 GM Kveinys Aloyzas LTU 2506
29 IM D Amore Carlo ITA 2505
30 IM Grover Sahaj IND 2495
31 IM Kristjansson Stefan ISL 2483
32 IM Henrichs Thomas GER 2480
33 IM Sammalvuo Tapani FIN 2471
34 IM Berbatov Kiprian BUL 2454
35 Grétarsson Hjörvar Steinn ISL 2444
36 IM Ziska Helgi Dam FAI 2432
37 IM Gunnarsson Jon Viktor ISL 2428
38 IM Thorfinnsson Bjorn ISL 2419
39 IM Thorfinnsson Bragi ISL 2417
40 IM Dearing Edward SCO 2412
41 FM Zelbel Patrick GER 2410
42 IM Debashis Das IND 2398
43 IM Thomassen Joachim NOR 2396
44 IM Tiller Bjorn NOR 2393
45 FM Ariel Donny USA 2389
46 GM Thorhallsson Throstur ISL 2387
47 IM Devereaux Maxim L ENG 2385
48 FM Sveshnikov Vladimir LAT 2379
49 IM Milliet Sophie FRA 2369
50 FM Degtiarev Evgeny GER 2368


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