Already the accelerated pairings in the Reykjavik Open seem to be having a big effect. In the 2nd round, already only two of the top eight seeds managed to get through the round with a full house!
The top seed Richard Rapport (2715) managed to win his game on board one with the black pieces but he got a full fledged fight against Deimante Cornette. Rapport had the better middlegame with full control and the bishop pair but Deimante seemed to be on the verge of stabilizing here position but grabbing the pawn on a3 led to some problems which culminated in the loss of an exchange and resignation.
The other top seed, Eljanov (2713) seemed to be having a smooth sailing in his game with the white pieces but his opponent IM Sundarajan defended well and all of a sudden Eljanov had nothing in the position and a draw was agreed. Similiar resilience was shown by local IM Gudmundur Kjartansson on third board where he seemed to be facing a tough defence but when Gata Kamsky started shaking his head and looking at the ocean it was clear that Kjartansson had secured the draw. Ahmed Adly and Benjamin Gledura also had to give up draws to lower rated IM’s but Erwin l’Ami was the first GM to lose on the top boards. He had what seemed like full control and the better position throughout the game but fell victim to a dirty backrank tricky that cost him the exchange.
Other players getting draws against GM’s included IM’s Kostya Kavutskiy, David Cummings and Bjorn Thorfinnsson. FM Fenil Shah also held the young GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov to a draw. Alina l’Ami made sure the l’Ami family had some good news today as she defeated GM Vladimir Hamitevici and Kveinys lost to Olav Eiving Risting.
Due to the accelerated pairings there are still plenty of players with 2 out of 2 but only a select few of the top seeds. The accelerated pairings will continue through the first 5 rounds and it will be interesting to see what happens then. This is the first time accelerated pairings have been tried in the Reykjavik Open. So far it seems to be producing more evenly matched games at the top of the leaderboard and hopefully it is trickling down.
Today is a double round day and the 3rd round will start at 17:00 local time.
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