50 years since first Reykjavik Open

Vice President Palmi Petursson, GM and author Helgi Olafsson and President Gunnar Björnsson

Vice President Palmi Petursson, GM and author Helgi Olafsson and President Gunnar Björnsson

On this day 50 years ago on January 14th 1964 the inaugural Reykjavik Open started. To mark this anniversary date, a contract was signed to write a book covering the history of this prestigous tournament.

The author of the book will be GM Helgi Olafsson. Olafsson has followed or played in almost all of the Opens and has close to a impeccable memory. Perhaps no-one was better suited to a task of this magnitude. Olafsson has a few books to his name, the most notable perhaps his account of his meetings with Bobby Fischer in “Bobby Fischer Comes Home”

The book will be in Icelandic but will still be something craved by hardcore collectors for sure!

Going back in history, on January 14th 1964 the first Reykjavik Open was played. Mihail Tal played in this tournament against local Master, Jon Kristinsson. Tal might be the most celebrated name in the history of this tournament and he lived up to his reputation winning the inaugural tournament with a magnificent 12,5 out of 13.

Kristinsson_Tal

Kristinsson-Tal after 15.Na7

Facing a repetition of moves with Na7-b5-a7 (knight on c4 is hanging otherwise) in true Tal fashion, Misha decided to take a huge risk and sacrifice his Queen! Tal played 15…Nxe3?!?  Such a move can only be described as taking on a worse/losing position as a winning attempt! After the game, Tal said:

“I didn’t come all the way from Riga to Reykjavik to make a short draw!”

And of course he didn’t, 0-1 in 37 moves

Comments

Comments have been posted