Top 10 Reasons For U.S. Chess Friends to Visit The Reykjavik Open

Top 10 Reasons For U.S. Chess Friends to Visit The Reykjavik Open

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

The 2014 Reykjavik Open is looking like it will be a great event with already well over 150 players registered. The Reykjavik Open is an annual tournament with 10 rounds (one day with double rounds) and the time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves and then another 30 minutes after move 40. There is a 30-second increment throughout. Byes are also available in rounds 2-7.

With just about two months to go till this 50 Year Anniversary Edition you shouldn’t really need any further good reasons to come and play, but just in case, FM Zibbit is gonna give you a few!


By Ingvar Johannesson

1. Iceland might be only one flight away for you

Iceland is closer than you think and Icelandair offers flight from several destinations in the U.S. You should be able to find a flight from anywhere from about 600 to a 1000 dollars and the flight is only around 6 hours from the East Coast.

2. The spectacular playing venue

The 28.000 sqm. Harpa concert hall is not only big, it’s spectacular. Residing at the harbour with an ocean view.

Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik

GM Ian Rogers said:

“...played in the magnificent Harpa – think a black Sydney Opera House.”

3. Get a chance to play and see strong GMs

With a big open tournament, a good run could see you playing on demonstration boards against GMs or IMs. There are still several players yet to register and we already have 11+ 2600 players and well over 20 GMs registered. Add to that a pair of World Junior Champions (U18 and U10) and a 6-time U.S. Champion amongst others!

Also note that chess sets and clocks are always provided in open tournaments in Europe which isn’t always the norm in open U.S. tournaments.

4. Witness the renowned Icelandic nature


The Golden Circle Tour has always been a big part of the side events calendar at the Reykjavik Open and this year that will not be different!

5. Visit Bobby Fischer’s grave

Webmaster at Bobby's gravein fall 2013

FM Zibbit at Bobby’s grave in fall 2013

According to the wishes of Bobby his final resting place was in a quiet cemetery just ouside of Reykjavik in the small town of Selfoss.

6. See Kasparov

The 13th World Champion will be visiting Iceland during the first few rounds! Garry is campaigning to become the next FIDE President.


7. Visit the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The spa is located in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula. It’s roughly a 40-minute drive from Reykjavik.

The Blue Lagoon

8. Hospitality, good food

Most visitors in Iceland are surprised about the hospitality and friendliness of the local people. You will also find that almost everybody speaks English (though some with a very strong Icelandic accent).

Around downtown Reykjavik you will find a nice variety of restaurants with good food. Be sure to try out some Icelandic seafood.

9. See the Aurora Borealis

The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) can be seen around a 100 days per year and usually throughout March/April. We can’t guarantee it, but when it's there it’s very nice to experience!

The Aurora Borealis

10. See the beautiful women

Iceland is often considered to have very beautiful women and Iceland has had the winner of Miss World four times, most recently in 2005.

Unnur Steinsson, MIss World 2005

But please be nice to them… We also have very strong men as we have won the World Strongman seven times!

Jon Pall Sigmarsson, legendary Strongman from Iceland

But first and foremost enjoy your chess in a nice and strong open tournament which will be covered and broadcast on! You can find more info on the official website.

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 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!

Company Contact and News Accreditation: 

Phone: 1 (800) 318-2827
Address: PO Box 60400 Palo Alto, CA 94306

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