The top seeds continued to escape more or less unscatched from the opening rounds of the Reykjavik Open after the conclusion of the 2nd round. In the morning round of the dreaded double-round day, only Danyyil Dvirnyy became a GM casualty joining Nils Grandelius from the opening round. Local 21 year old Orn Leo Johannsson provided the hammer blow with a well rounded game. A few more GM’s have conceded draws but the top players are more or less on 2 out of 2 thusfar.
The task was a bit more difficult in the 2nd round with the 1st round rating difference of 6oo-ish moving down to 300-ish range. Richard Rapport (2720, 3rd seed) was the quickest to defeat his opponent with an impressive 18-move win with the black pieces.
In a Dutch opening, here Rapport played the powerful 8…a4!? which draws the white king into the center and misplaces white’s knight at the cost of a pawn after 9.Nxa4 Bxd2+ 10.Kxd2 d5
White’s development became clumsy and after he found no better moves than king back to e1 and bishop back to f1 a hammer-blow was in the cards.
Here the powerful 15…f4! proved too much for white to overcome. Soon the floodgates towards the undeveloped white position will be completely opened. White soon crumbled and blundered his Queen on move 18 but already in a lost position.Shakh Mamedyarov also impressively dispatched his opponent Danish FM Nikolai Skousen with the black pieces after signalling his intentions very early in the opening with a pawn sacrifice as well.
6…f6 was probably a novelty after they had copied a famous Kramnik-Fressinet game up to that point.
White’s position became too passive and after the unexpected 17…Qf7!? white proved unable to withstand the pressure of the tremendous black activity and the position was lost just after move 20 and resignation was the correct decision on move 31.
Andreikin and Sargissian, the other 2700’s in the tournament won their games in more technical and controlled fashion displaying a different style in beating lower rated opponents. Very efficient morning round strategy although the quick wins definately have their upside as well 🙂
Local 21 year old Orn Leo Johannsson upset Italian Danyyil Dvirnyy with the black pieces. It looked like Dvirnyy was building a formidable attacking position but somehow he never made any pawn breakthroughs and in the end it looked like it was Johannsson who had the more dangerous chances.
The critical point was perhaps around this point when white played 31.Rxc3 which allowed 31…Re2 followed by 32…Qxe5 after which the white pawns started to drop off and the tide shifted forcily towards the Icelandic youngster. Orn made no mistakes and managed to sail home the win.
Finally there was a very nice missed opportunity in the time trouble of the Ptacnikova-Ramirez game where the veteran Icelandic women’s #1 could have inflicted a big scalp on the Amercian.
Here with big pressure on e2 Lenka missed the fantastic:
This can’t be captured by the Queen and 30…Kh8 obviously loses. Thus..
31…Qxf7 32.Rg1+ Bg7 33.Rxg7+ Kf8 34.Rxf7+ and everything drops!
The grind continues later today with the 3rd round on this dreaded double round day. Some players have used the opportunity to take a BYE not to consume too much energy so early in the tournament.