After the bye I took in Round 5 things went downhill for me – I played badly and the results were the same. And when it rains, it pours, as the Iceland’s worst winter in known history can attest.
The tournament was won by the Dutch GM L’Ami, who soared to an unbelievable 8.5/9, securing his victory with a round to spare. His mood was slightly spoiled in the last round when he lost to Eljanov, who came second thanks to this win. The podium was completed by the French GM Libiszewski, who beat GM Jones in the last round, another surprise of an underdog beating a rating favourite.
My new favourite player, WGM Zhansaya Abdumalik made an IM norm, a great result for her! She lost unfortunately in the penultimate round to GM Gupta, after a heroic defence, otherwise her result would have been even better! I like the look in her eyes, it shows confidence and daring, plus of course the Batman T-shirt!
The tournament was excellently organised, the Icelanders are a great team, led by the President of the Federation, Gunnar Bjornson. It is one of those rare tournaments where you feel at home and welcome, where everything is taken care of and as it should be. I will be looking forward to the European Team Championship in November for another chance to visit this special country.
In spite of all the stormy weather, I was lucky enough to see the northern lights just before the last round. It was one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen! Like a green river flowing in the sky, changing colour, direction and density! A unique phenomenon, if for nothing else, it was worth coming only for those minutes spent watching the sky above Reykjavik.
Tomorrow I’m leaving for London where I’ll be spending the day. From Iceland, the only way is south!
Soon I’ll post some photos of the closing ceremony to complete the photo impression of this year’s edition of the Reykjavik Open.