Indians off to a flier in Reykjavik international open chess tournament

Indians off to a flier in Reykjavik international open chess tournament

Abhijeet extended his winning streak to 11 since the Indian team championship, where the former world junior champion had led his team PSPB to a fine victory with a 7/7 score and followed it up in the Icelandic league with a 3/3 result.

With the victory over Schaefer, Abhijeet is set to breach the coveted 2600 ELO rating mark. The other Indians in the fray also got off to a flier as International Master D Harika crushed Svetoslav Mihajlov of Norway and GM norm holder Sahaj Grover proved stronger than local hopeful Jens Kristinsson Bjarni.

Another Norwegian Ellisiv Reppen found the going tough against young IM Debashish Das while Eesha Karavade opened her account at the expense of Van Dongen Leo of Holland. At the top of the tables Grandmaster Luke McShane had to sweat it hard before putting it across Sheila Barth Sahl of Norway. Interestingly no major upsets were recorded on the opening day of this high profile tournament that has a total of 166 participants.

With 27 Grandmasters and 21 International Masters in the fray, this is certainly the strongest ever open in Iceland. Abhijeet faced a rather off beat variation as black against Schaefer from a Slav defense. The Indian won a pawn with awesome ease and then made the difficult technicalities look easy as the game progressed.

Reaching a rook and minor piece endgame in quick time, Abhijeet wrapped the issue after getting two passed pawns on the queenside. Harika was stretched by Svetoslav Mihajlov in another queen pawn game of the day. Getting only a slightly better middle game, harika had to find some fine positional manouvres to exert pressure on the queen side after which Mihajlov simply fell victim to a wily plan by the Andhra girl.

Sahaj Grover too had a smooth sailing over Bjarni froma Sicilian Kann game. Grover launched a dangerous king side attack on the first opportunity and won a piece as the game progressed to start on a positive note.

Important results round1 (Indians unless stated): Luke McShane (Eng) beat Sheila Barth Sahl (Nor); Rothe Guido (Ger) lost to Evgenij Miroshnichenko (Ukr); Jan Gustafsson (Ger) beat Inna Agrest (Swe); Martin Burrows (Eng) lost to Ivan Sokolov (Ned); Ahmed Adly (Egy) beat Oliver Duchrow (Ger); Van der Plas Rob (Ned) lost to Yuriy Kuzubov (Ukr); Jon Ludvig Hammer (Nor) beat Christin Andersson (Swe); Tomas Bjornsson (Isl) lost to Sune Berg Hansen (Den); Boris Chatalbashev (Rus) beat Maack Kjartan (Isl); Esmat Guindy (Den) lost to Vladimir Baklan (Rus); Reyk Schaefer (Ger) lost to Abhijeet Gupta; D Harika beat Svetoslav Mihajlov (Nor); Sahaj Grover beat Jens Kristinsson Bjarni (Isl); Ellisiv Reppen (Nor) lost to Debashis Das; Van Dongen Leo (Ned) lost to Eesha Karavade.