This morning at around 11 o’clock, while most games were only just getting out of the opening phase, the fire alarm went off and the whole Harpa building had to be evacuated! Seeing around 300 people waiting just outside the concert hall was quite a sight, but after half an hour or so everyone was allowed back in. You can find a lot of pictures about this incident on the official Facebook page of the tournament.
As for the chess highlights of round 2, the only real upset on the top boards was FM Brede Kvisvik’s (2257) win over GM Grzegorz Gajewski (2631). Further down on board 29 another Norwegian FM, Richard Bjerke (2162), beat GM Rune Djurhuus (2447), so this might very well have been the round of the Norwegians! Something interesting Ingvar and I noticed while doing the live commentary is that most players were choosing rather solid openings for this morning game, thereby avoiding running into some tricky lines. After all we all know that chess players and mornings don’t go together very well…
The afternoon round however was a totally different affair! It seemed like by that time everyone was wide awake and in many games we saw players just going for their opponent’s throats right from the opening. This was especially true in the Kjartansson-Rapport game on board 3, which started like this: 1.Nf3 e6 2.g3 g5 3.d4 g4! This game finally ended in a victory for young Richard Rapport after a long and hard-fought rook endgame. Besides Richard’s opening choice, the big surprise of the round was IM Mohamed Ezat (2439) winning against top seed Arkadij Naiditsch (2706). Both Mohamed and English FM Daniel Bisby (2314), who scored a nice win against IM Samy Shoker (2466), were kind enough to join us in the commentary room and talk us through their games and we wish them best of luck for the rest of the tournament!
There are now only 13 players left on 3/3 and we will see the first GM clashes tomorrow, so don’t forget to follow the games live, starting from 16:30!
PS: I just noticed Ingvar beat me to it with his own take on today’s games, but I now I’ve written this I might as well post it too! 🙂