The Reykjavík Chess Open, which starts today, will be the biggest and hardest-fought in the competition’s 53-year history.
There are around 280 players registered from 45 different countries—including 35 Grandmasters—which is a new record.
Around 180 non-Icelandic chess players are taking part in the competition this year, which is another record. Most of the overseas competitors come from the USA, India and Canada. But with 12 entrants, the high level of Faroese participation is also gratefully noted by organizers, Vísir reports.
The organizers claim that the Reykjavík Open is more of a chess festival than a chess competition, in the strictest sense, and there will be an array of side events all through the competition, including lectures, a speed chess competition, children’s chess competition, a pub quiz, a chess players’ football competition, a backgammon competition and a Golden Circle tour—naturally including a stop at Bobby Fischer’s grave.
Nearly 100 Icelandic chess players are involved in the Open, including three Grandmasters. The highest scoring of them is Hannes Hlíf Stefánsson, the most successful player in the history of the Reykjavík Open.
Anish Giri, the former child prodigy who became a Grandmaster at 14, is also in town for the Open.