Seems like it will be hard for anybody to shake clear of the field at the 2017 GAMMA Reykjavik Open. Before the round we had five players tied but after it we still have six players! Nils Grandelius and Baadur Jobava played a somewhat uneventful game that featured the Petroff defence and the evaluation was more or less stuck on 0.00 throughout the game.
The Indian clash on board 2 between Vidit Santosh Gujrati and last years winner, Abhijeet Gupta, was also never straying to far from a draw. Vidit had a static advantage with the better pawn structure but no good way to attack black’s pawn. The draw was agreed around move 40.
Emre Can was the only one of the five leaders before the round to lose his ground. Can lost with the black pieces against Zoltan Almasi who outplayed his opponent despite a buried bishop in the middlegame but this piece came alive in the endgame. Zoltan thereby joined the leaders.
(All moves are clickable for a diagram)
The next 6 tables saw a draw which consolidates the top a bit more. Local GM Johann Hjartarson missed a golden opportunity to join the leading pack when he couldn’t convert a very promising position against Erwin l’Ami. The Dutchman sacked a pawn in the ending for a fortress and a draw had to be agreed. Bragi Thorfinnsson from Iceland also made a nice result with a fortress of his own after a tough game against Alexei Shirov. These two are still the Icelandic leaders though Bragi is tied with a few others.
Some interesting results included Rameshbabu Pragganandhaa getting one of his best results to date when he beat Gawain Jones with the black pieces. Pragga defended well and the finished the game of with a clean simplification tactic in timetrouble.
Here is the game (all moves clickable for a diagram)
Before the 9th round, plenty of people have norm chances. Two players have already secured their norms and can lose their 9th round. These have norm chances:
Aman Hambleton – GM norm secured
MIchael Kleinman – IM norm secured
Nihal Sarin, Awonder Liang and R Praggnanandhaa get GM norms with wins in 9th round
R Vaishali will get WGM norm with a draw in the 9th round.
Here are the standings in various extra prize categories: https://www.reykjavikopen.com/category-prizes-standings-after-8-rounds/
Some more excellent photos from Maria and Lennart:
Vlog by the Chessbrahs who have been doing excellently both with norms!
Live games on offical homepage
Live commentary by Fiona and Simon here: twitch.tv/chess