International Master Gudmundur Kjartansson is the new Icelandic Champion despite no less than a record six Grandmasters participating in the Icelandic Championship. Gummi (as we always call him) was the only undefeated player in the tournament and despite a close call at one point today he survived them and agreed to a draw in an ending that he couldn’t lose a pawn up.
The only player that could have caught up to him today was GM and 12-time Icelandic Champion Hannes Stefansson.
Hannes did have white against GM Henrik Danielsen so his chance was to beat him with the white pieces and hope GM Hjorvar Gretarsson would help him by beating Gudmundur. Henrik however played his solid Philidor setup and Hannes didn’t get very far and couldn’t drum up anything despite sacrificing a pawn. In the end that position was way too simple and Hannes didn’t even bother trying. So a draw was agreed and this meant that Gudmundur Kjartansson was now the new Icelandic Champion.
This however didn’t faze Gudmundur who still had important things to think about. His position was slighly more difficult and he still needed a draw to secure his 2nd GM norm. Shortly after an important point in the game when Hjorvar overlooked something in what would have been a winning line, the Queen’s got exchanged. From there it was clear Gummi couldn’t lose and so the title and norm was sealed with a draw offer (after move 30 was reached) and a handshake. Also Gudmundur most likely secured his spot on the Olympiad team and both some prize money for the tournament and the norm which enables him to play some more tournaments and focus on chess.
Gummi who is very well liked among Icelandic chessplayers (well everybody actually!) received warm congratulations and even agreed to join us for a bit in the set to talk about the tournament.
Great tournament by Gummi and hopefully he can continue to climb towards the Grandmaster title.
FM Sigurdur Dadi Sigfusson finished in the top spot in the Candidates section and secured his place in the Masters next year. Sigurdur was the 2nd seed in the tournament and suffered an early setback when he lost against Magnus Teitsson.
Sigurdur however bounced back and redeemed himself after some bad tournaments before this one and he managed to get revenge against some players that just inflicted painful potentially soul-crushing defeats to him in earlier tournaments. After stringing some wins together in a row, a draw against Lenka left him in good position before the last round in top spot with Kjartansson but better tiebreak.
In the last round he defeated Hallgerdur Helga Thorsteinsdottir while David Kjartansson went too far trying to win against Lenka in an equal position. Well done by Sigfusson.
Some young names made their presence felt in the Candidates and we want to give a shoutout to young Vignir Vatnar who beat Gylfi Thorhallsson today and gained about 25 elopoints this tournament.
WGM Lenka Ptacnikova came in as the top seed and most expected here to win. She delivered on those expectations and even had a chance to win the Candidates with more luck. Lenka remains the strongest Icelandic woman and will be leading the Icelandic Olympiad team later this summer.
Games from Candidates will be added to the post, once ready.
Broadcast from today:
Icelandic news about the tournament (Icelandic of course!): http://ruv.is/frett/ovenju-sterkt-islandsmot-i-skak