We are still over 4 months away from the 32nd edition of the Reykjavik Open but the players list is already starting to shape up nicely with some very interesting early edition.
The current top seed (that might change with later entries) is the very well known Latvian Grandmaster Alexei Shirov. Shirov needs very little introduction to chess fans as he has for many years been known for his attacking chess much in the spirit of his late great fellow Latvian Mikhail Tal.
Many chess players will be fond of his game collection titled “Fire on Board”
The title of course is an indication of the volatilty on the board after the powerful play and sacrifices of the Latvian.
Shirov last played in Iceland at the 1992 Reykjavik Open where he was joint winner with Johann Hjartarson and it was about time we got him back to the land of fire and ice. Hopefully there will be more fire than ice though 🙂
Shirov is currently rated 2677 and surely has the strength to climb over 2700 again. Shirov used to belong to the world’s chess elite rising as high as #2 on the rankings in 1994 and in 1998 he defeated Vladimir Kramnik in a match and was due to play Garry Kasparov for the World title. Because of lack of financial backing the match fell through and later somewhat controversially Kasparov did play Kramnik for the title and famously losing it in 2000.
Like Shirov he belonged to the World Elite in the 90’s. Kamsky was a prodigy and played in Reykjavik in 1990 at the young age of 15 in the Reykjavik Open.
Kamsky reached the final of the candidates once before losing to Anand and he even played a World Championship match (FIDE) against Anatoly Karpov in 1996.
Somewhat mysteriously after reaching the top of the chess world, Kamsky retired from chess in 1996 only to resurface again in 2004 and start his comeback. His comeback was successful as he has since won several US Chess crowns and managed to win the World Cup in 2007 thus qualifying for a match against Veselin Topalov for the rights to challenge again for the World title. Kamsky lost to Topalov though.
In recent years Kamsky has perhaps slowed down a little bit and has retired from the US Olympiad team. Still he has a very respectable 2648 rating and remains as dangerous as ever with his great chess understanding and grinding style.
Another player that should require no introduction is the legendary player from the Philippines, Eugenio Torre. Torre might be a veteran of the game but he showed beyond doubt that he can still play this game. At the age of 64 (a fitting age for a chessplayer!) he scored a stunning 10 out of 11 at the Olympiad making him the highest points earner. he got bronze medal for his performance (the other had higher performance ratings) but under older rules his performance would have given him gold, and a justified one!
With wins against Smyslov, Tal, Karpov (twice) and Anand his resumé is almost too long for us to handle. So we recommend you have a look at his wikipedia page: ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenio_Torre ). We’ll add that Torre last played in Iceland in 1980 at the Reykjavik Open.
Like so many times before we take pride in inviting young and promising players to the Reykjavik Open. In the past we’ve had visitors such as Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabianu Caruana, Wei Yi (he made his final Grandmaster norm here) and many many others.
This time we are very happy to announce that the Indian prodigy Praggnanandhaa, who is the youngest IM of all time (10 years – 9 months) will be among participants in the 2017 Reykjavik Open!
He will join Reykjavik Open with his sister who is also a very strong player. WIM Vaishali (2300).
See this ChessBase article for his accomplishments: ( https://en.chessbase.com/post/praggnanandhaa-youngest-chess-im-in-history )
All in all there are already 58 players registered. Like in previous years we are expecting somewhere between 250-300 players from all over the world. Of the 58 players we have players registered from: Iceland, Latvia, United States, Brazil, Philippines, India, Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Nigeria, Russia, England, Denmark, Bosnia, Ireland, Iran, Nederlands, Bahamas, Poland, Scotland, Austria, Azerbaijan, Sweden and Algeria. See the players list here: http://chess-results.com/tnr234895.aspx?lan=1
We have players coming again and again, Gerd Meier from Germany is entering for at least his 5th Reykjavik Open. our players come back again and again and we take pride in that. That means they had a good experience and enjoyed the tournament, the organisation and the experience of Iceland…….what are you waiting for? Enter the 2017 Reykjavik Open!