Reykjavik Open 2014 – Finally an Icelander! (Round 10)

Today the final round started at noon. This shows that the organisers have respect for the players and their playing rhythm, instead of breaking it abruptly and scheduling the last round at 9am, as it is done almost everywhere in the world. I am grateful for this welcome change and I think the new starting time allowed me to play a more or less decent last round game.

I came to Iceland to play chess but it was only in the last round that I got paired with an Icelandic player! And just to reaffirm my fondness for the people from the north, I won again! So to sum up, I beat 3 Norwegians, 1 Swede and 1 Icelander.

My opponent was an IM, so I was surprised when in the opening he gave me a tempo by 7…Bf5 instead of the normal 7…Bd7. One move later he made another dubious move and I thought I was getting an advantage. In order to avoid a direct attack he sacrificed a piece on move 13. Things weren’t as simple as I thought and he had many tricks based on sacrifices on e3, but after his weak 17h move I managed to stabilise the position and from then on my extra piece made itself felt. Even though the game lasted 43 moves, I never gave him a chance.

I finished the tournament on 7/10 and a shared 11th place. It was a rather uneven tournament in terms of the quality of play. I think I played well in the first 5 rounds, but then my quality dropped in rounds 6-8 and then again I played well in the last 2 rounds. The only regret I have is that I didn’t manage to play stronger opposition as I never got out of the rut of playing players rated around 2300. But that is entirely my responsibility as I missed my both chances to enter the higher eschelons, in round 5 when I drew a winning position and in round 7 when I even lost after his dubious queen sacrifice. I will have to address this issue and draw some conclusions.

The closing ceremony will take place at the Reykjavik City Hall in about an hour. I missed the opening party of the tournament because of my late flight, so let’s see how the closing ceremony will be.

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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