The battle at the top is shaping up to be an interesting one and looks like nobody wants to be left behind. The 5th round featured a heavy dose of decisive games and with such an even field, getting the wins will prove vital as the tournament crosses the halfway mark and every round matters.
Heading into the round a total of 9 players were tied on 3.5 out of 4. On board 1, the #2 seed Nils Grandelius had the white pieces against the Armenian Robert Hovhannysian. The Armenian grabbed the initiative and had some advantage and just around the 40th move managed to edge out the win in an endgame.
On the 2nd board the young Iranian talent, Alireza Firouzja showed his strength when he seemed to create something out of very little against the solid Vladimir Potkin. This game/technique remind you of someone….say from Norway??
Joining these two on top the leaderboards after the 5th round were Sergei Movsesian who outplayed Hannes Stefansson in a nice fashion and Constantin Lupulescu who edged out Mattheiu Cornette after the frenchman misplayed his position.
7 players follow the leaders with 4 out of 5, including the top seed Gawain Jones who is starting to show his claws. As you can see, on the top 10 boards, only 1 game ended in a draw!
Standings after the 5th round.
Friday the 12th of March will be a free day at the Reykjavik Open but there will still be chess. The free day will be spent playing the Fischer Random tournament and the pub quiz! The Fischer Random tournament was played for the first time last year and proved to be a big hit. The winner this year will qualify for a very strong Fischer Random knockout tournament organised in Norway. There will be a lot to play for as there will also be a nice prizefund for the Fischer Random tournament, funded by the ECU.
Round 5 commentary can be replayed here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/409556749