And this year’s Reykjavik Open is done and dusted…
Erwin l’Ami absolutely stole the show as he stormed to an incredible 8.5/9 after winning a 6-hour marathon game that had everyone on the edge of their seats against Melkumyan. The Dutchman thus won the Reykjavik Open with a round to go- a simply amazing accomplishment in a tournament of this level!
The 9th round went more peacefully on the other top boards as Eljanov, Naroditsky and Fier all drew their games against Hansen, Hammer and Jones respectively.
So after 9 rounds l’Ami had already won the tournament with 8.5/9 and he was followed by a group of 9 players on 7/9: Eljanov, Mamedyarov, Fier, Naroditsky, Gupta, Hammer, Libiszewski, Hansen and Jones.
If for the 10th and final round some had expected a dull draw (there could be no quick draws as a 30-move draw rule was in effect) on the top board between l’Ami and Eljanov, they could not have been more wrong. Eljanov saved some of his best chess for last as he outplayed the tournament winner with the black pieces. On the next 4 boards, where the tournament’s podium and top prize money were at stake, Hammer-Fier and Hansen-Naroditsky were rather uneventful draws. While Gupta-Mamedyarov was also a draw, this result came after a very exciting and hard-fought game where the Indian player probably missed good winning chances at some moment. On board 4 Libiszewski produced one of the final upsets of the tournament as he took out Jones with the black pieces to join Eljanov on 8/10.
The tournament thus had a clear winner in Erwin l’Ami on 8.5/10, followed by Eljanov (who took second place thanks to his superior tie-break) and Libiszewski on 8/10. The rest of the prize money was divided between a huge group of 11 players on 7.5/10: Fier, Naroditsky, Mamedyarov, Melkumyan, Hansen, Hammer, Gupta, Stefansson, Danielsen (who beat Navara with the black pieces in the last round!), Jussupow and Grandelius.
Last but not least, 8 norms were achieved at this year’s Reykjavik Open: a GM norm for Jacek Stopa (Poland), IM norms for Jonas Rosner (Germany), Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kazakhstan), Tibor Kende Antal (Hungary), Daniel Bisby (England), Johan-Sebastian Christiansen (Norway), Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (Iran) and Shiqun Ni (China).
The norm certificates were handed out at a very light-hearted closing ceremony held at the Reykjavik City Hall, which crowned all the prize winners and concluded another extraordinary edition of this tournament!
All the pictures from the closing ceremony as well as from all rounds and side events can be found on the official Facebook page of the tournament (you don’t need to be a member to have a look at the photo albums): https://www.facebook.com/ReykjavikOpenChess/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums
If you missed some of the live shows or would to replay any interview (notably with World Champion Magnus Carlsen or tournament winner Erwin l’Ami), you can do so on http://new.livestream.com/chess/reykjavikopen2015.
On a personal note, I would like to thank Ingvar for being such an amazing commentary partner, Peter and Lennart for producing a top-notch show day after day and of course Gunnar Bjornsson and his team for organising this outstanding tournament. Many thanks also to everyone that followed our show either online or at Harpa. See you all next year! 🙂