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Praggnanandhaa Wins 2022 Reykjavik Open, Tournament Of Missed Underpromotions
Praggnanandhaa R., the winner in Reykjavik. Photo: Thorsteinn Magnusson/Reykjavik Open.

Praggnanandhaa Wins 2022 Reykjavik Open, Tournament Of Missed Underpromotions

PeterDoggers
| 17 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Praggnanandhaa R. scored one of his career's best achievements so far by winning the 2022 Kvika Reykjavik Open in Iceland on Tuesday. The only 16-year-old Indian grandmaster won a crucial and dramatic game against his compatriot GM Gukesh D. (15) in the final round.

After a two-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic, a special and famous open tournament returned to the calendar this year: the Reykjavik Open. Held for the 36th time, and half a century after GM Bobby Fischer and GM Boris Spassky grabbed worldwide headlines playing in the same city, the tournament saw quite a few strong Indian players participating. In the starting list, five of the top seven players were from India.

2022 Reykjavik Open | Top 10 Participants

No. Fed Title Name Rtg
1 GM Idani, Pouya 2638
2 GM Gukesh D. 2637
3 GM Niemann, Moke 2637
4 GM Adhiban B. 2633
5 GM Sadhwani, Raunak 2628
6 GM Praggnanandhaa R. 2624
7 GM Gupta, Abhijeet 2616
8 GM Warmerdam, Max 2599
9 GM Andersen, Mads 2582
10 GM Fier, Alexandr 2573

In this nine-round Swiss tournament, three players were tied for first place with 6.5 points with one round to go. Apart from Pragg, these were GM Max Warmerdam (Netherlands) and GM Mads Andersen (Denmark), who drew their last-round game in just 16 moves to ensure a certain chunk of the prize money.

Initially, it seemed that Gukesh was going to be the one joining the leaders in a tie for first place. He had a technically winning position against Praggnanandhaa, who had misplayed the early middlegame.

With an extra pawn and a second one later in the game, Gukesh should have won, with which he would have finished shared first. However, at the very end he missed a tactic and ended up losing. This way, Praggnanandhaa overtook Andersen and Warmerdam by half a point to claim the full 5,000-euro first prize ($5,413).

A great success for one Indian prodigy, a cruel day for the other:

The tournament also ended successfully for GM Abhimanyu Mishra, the youngest grandmaster in the world, who beat the top seed from Iran, GM Pouya Idani in the final round. Mishra finished in a tie for second place with Andersen, Warmerdam, and also the local GM Hjorvar Steinn Gretarsson.

The tournament saw an exceptional moment in the game between veteran GM Johann Hjartarson and Andersen in round four. The Icelandic player, who was a world championship candidate in the late 1980s, did not just miss a win—he missed a unique underpromotion to a bishop as the only move to win the position! Absolutely stunning:

Johann Hjartarson
Johann Hjartarson missed an opportunity to play a unique move. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

But hold on... This tournament had another missed underpromotion!

Two more games should be included in a report that was already full of fireworks. For starters, one by the "Ginger GM" Simon Williams, who is still staying faithful to his pet Dutch Defense. This time choosing the Stonewall setup, Williams bamboozled GM Raunak Sadhwani on the kingside:

And we'll wrap up this report with a classic puzzle, with which Dutch IM Thomas Beerdsen won his game in round four:

2022 Reykjavik Open | Final Standings (Top 30)

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name Rtg Pts. Rp rtg+/-
1 6 GM Praggnanandhaa, R 2624 7,5 2740 13,2
2 8 GM Warmerdam, Max 2599 7,0 2666 8,2
3 9 GM Andersen, Mads 2582 7,0 2612 5,3
4 12 GM Gretarsson, Hjorvar Steinn 2542 7,0 2644 10,1
5 16 GM Mishra, Abhimanyu 2524 7,0 2627 11,2
6 10 GM Fier, Alexandr 2573 6,5 2592 3,5
7-8 3 GM Niemann, Hans 2637 6,5 2582 -4,2
7-8 7 GM Gupta, Abhijeet 2616 6,5 2476 -10,4
9 26 IM Larkin, Vladyslav 2424 6,5 2438 3,9
10 31 IM Korley, Kassa 2400 6,5 2532 18,0
11-12 15 GM Maze, Sebastien 2524 6,5 2536 3,0
11-12 24 IM Clarke, Brandon G I 2436 6,5 2490 9,1
13 48 IM Sarkar, Justin 2314 6,5 2391 10,5
14 14 IM Yoo, Christopher Woojin 2532 6,5 2556 3,3
15 18 GM Libiszewski, Fabien 2510 6,5 2592 6,3
16 25 GM Jarmula, Lukasz 2434 6,0 2641 25,0
17 2 GM Gukesh, D 2637 6,0 2613 -1,6
18 20 IM Beerdsen, Thomas 2496 6,0 2512 3,5
19 39 IM Song, Julien 2373 6,0 2483 14,7
20 22 GM Hjartarson, Johann 2465 6,0 2487 6,7
21 33 IM Tania, Sachdev 2392 6,0 2420 7,2
22 42 IM Rosen, Eric 2359 6,0 2330 1,2
23 50 FM Bjornsson, Sigurbjorn 2306 6,0 2312 1,6
24 21 IM Laurent-Paoli, Pierre 2487 6,0 2450 -2,1
25 52 CM Minko, Dmitry 2298 6,0 2255 31,6
26 46 FM Heimisson, Hilmir Freyr 2321 6,0 2321 1,6
27 30 FM Willow, Jonah B 2411 6,0 2313 -8,4
28 36 IM Martin, Julian 2385 6,0 2251 -10,1
29 32 IM Baskin, Robert 2393 6,0 2280 -10,0
30 1 GM Idani, Pouya 2638 6,0 2593 -3,3

(Full final standings here.)


Correction: an earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Mishra lost 3.9 rating points in Reykjavik. He earned 11.2 points.

PeterDoggers
Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by Chess.com in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!


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