The 34th edition of the GAMMA Reykjavik Open is shaping up to be a very entertaining event and one of the highlights of the chess calendar in Iceland as usual. The open takes place between April 8th and 16th and as usual there will be plenty of special events and another Fischer Random tournament will take place on the free day, just like last year!
The 2019 GAMMA Reykjavik Open will be dedicated to the memory of Icelandic Grandmaster Stefan Kristjansson who tragically passed away last year at the age of 35.
The new FIDE president, Arkady Dvorkovich will visit the tournament. The new leadership of FIDE is already looking very promising and hopefully chess is heading for bigger and better things under the leadership of Mr. Dvorkovich. The Reykjavik Open will welcome the new president with open arms. A little bird tells us that the possibility of a 50 year anniversary World Championship match in 2022 will be discussed thoroughly with the president!
You can read more about what has been done in the first 100 days of the presidency here
The playing field is shaping up to be interesting and strong just like in recent years. The players list is still being filled with GM’s and chess players of all levels. Gawain Jones from England and Nils Grandelius from Sweden are both tournament regulars and they come into the tournament with their ratings closing in on the magical 2700-barrier.
The 2019 edition is very glad to keep up with the tradition of previous editions which have always featured young and talented players. In 2018 we had the Indians Praggnanandhaa and Nihal Sarin and also Nodirbek Abdusattorov from Uzbekistan. In 2019 we are very happy to welcome the 2018 World Junior Champion Parham Maghsoodloo from Iran and also his countryman Alireza Firouzja. Both have been turning eyes recently. Parham had a fantastic performance when he won the World Junior Championship and played board 1 at the 2018 Batumi Olympiad. Alireza made a strong showing at the recent World Rapid & Blitz championship in St. Petersburg.
The youth movement doesn’t end there and D Gukesh the young prodigy from India will be playing in the Reykjavik Open as well. Gukesh made headlines in January 2019 when he became the 2nd youngest GM in history (after Sergey Karjakin) and of course current youngest GM in the world. The young Indian will officially get his GM title at the first quarter PB meeting of FIDE but until then he is a GM elect.
Despite the Reykjavik Open dates clashing with some strong women’s tournaments we still try to have a strong field of female players. The German #1 Elisabeth Paehtz leads the field and the young Iranian Sarasadat Khademalsharieh will come back once again to the Reykjavik Open after her fantastic podium finishes at the World Rapid & Blitz tournaments getting silver in both disciplines. Tania Sachdev is also back to the Reykjavik Open and we lost count of how many times she has played in our tournament 🙂
At the time of writing we have 21 GM’s registered and in total 148 players are registered for the tournament but the usual number is between 250-300 and we are expecting a similar number this year. More strong players will be introduced to the players list in the coming weeks.
Reykjavik Open Fischer Random Cup sponsored by ECU
On the free day just like last year there will be a Fischer Random tournament. The tournament was very well received last year and we want to see if this is a tradition that we could keep growing. The total prize fund of the Fischer Random tournament will be 3.000 EUR and is sponsored by the ECU.
The prizes will be distributed as follows:
More info here
As every year there will be plenty of special events. The Golden Circle tour is always popular and we usually fill up the bus. The tour goes to the south of Iceland to look at waterfalls and geysers as well as going to Bobby Fischer’s final resting place. Satuday will have a blitz tournament as usual and on the free day there will be big Fischer Random tournament. The tournament was very well received last year and we even have some players coming over just for the Fischer Random!
Other special events that we always have include the ever popular Pub Quiz where 30 questions about chess and chess history are asked. Past winners include Magnus Carlsen! The opening party will still be before the tournament and you will get a chance to play football in one of Iceland’s indoor football halls.
Have a look at the list here:
So what are you waiting for? You can still get a discounted entry fee if you register before February 1st!