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Vestmannaeyjar 1985
Compiled by Tabanus
--*--

This was the fifth international chess event in Iceland that was sponsored by the chess magazine Skák. 1 Its editor Johann Thorir Jonsson was responsible for the organization and implementation, assisted by Sigmundur Andrésson and the chess enthusiasts of Vestmannaeyjar. 2 Also called the Westman Islands, this is an archipelago about 145 km SE of Reykjavík. Only one island, Heimaey, has a population (of about 4200), and the event took place in its town of Vestmannaeyjar, in the Safnahúsinu ("culture house"). 3 The way to get there from Reykjavík is by airplane, or by bus or car and then a boat trip with Herjólfur. 4 Due to a volcanic eruption, the island was in the news in 1973, when the harbor was saved from the lava flow by the application of sea water. 5 An equally well-known island is Surtsey, which was created by an eruption that lasted from 1963 to 1967.

Two of the players in the tournament, Helgi Ólafsson and Björn Karlsson, were natives of Heimaey. Ólafsson played an important part in bringing Robert James Fischer to Iceland, in 2005. 6 Karlsson was was a medical doctor. Of the other Icelanders, Jón Árnason and Jóhann Hjartarson were IM's, and young and promising. Árnason was U-16 World Champion in 1977, and Icelandic champion in 1982. Hjartarson was Icelandic champion in 1980 and 1984, and had two GM norms. He later won the Szirak Interzonal (1987) to become a world championship candidate. Karl Thorsteins was even younger, only 20, but 7-8 months older than Nigel Short. As the youngest GM in the world, 2 Short turned 20 on the day of Round 4. Short and another Englishman, James Plaskett, had been invited from Britain. Two players from the USA were also invited, Anatoly Lein and William Lombardy. Lein was the oldest player (54). Around ten years earlier, he immigrated from the USSR, and had come =1st in the US Open (1976). Lombardy was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1967. He was for about ten years the next best US player - after Fischer, whom he coached at the Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972). He played in Iceland at Reykjavik (1978) and Neskaupstadur (1984). He was semi-retired from chess in 1985, but still strong. The last player from abroad was Jonathan Tisdall. He grew up in Syracuse (in New York), and used to play with Kenneth S Rogoff, who lived not too far away. When he was 20, Tisdall left for Europe - and stayed there. First in England, and then in Norway (since 1985/86). 7

Herjólfur docked in the island, the players arrived on shore, and the event was opened "with pomp and parade". 8 At the pier, Gudmundur Arnlaugsson 9 opened the envelope with numbered tickets, and the pairings were made. But not all participants attended. Three were missing: Short, Plaskett and Lombardy. Round 1 was postponed until the evening, but the delayed travelers were tired and wanted to sleep. Jónsson then resorted to postpone the chess by one day, 8 at the cost of a resting day later. So that the players could "wear the bed dust, while others could explore the situation on the golf course". 8 The competition began in Safnahúsinu on Wednesday 29 May, after a speech by Sigurđur Jónsson. The operator Sigurđur Einarsson made the first move for Short, 8 whom we may assume was the greatest star. The referee Arnlaugsson was assisted by Dr. Kristján Guđmundsson 10 and Saevar Bjarnason. 11 The playing time was set to 2 pm. 10 The FM norm was 7 points, the GM norm 9,5 points. 12

In Round 1, Short was still tired, and made a short draw with Ólafsson, whilst the other games were "fought with fierce". 8 There were three Sicilian games, two Spanish games, and two French games, including a Ruisdonk Gambit (Plaskett vs A Lein, 1985). Upon adjournment, Karlsson claimed a draw by repetition against Lombardy. 12 Now, rather than leaving the room to sort it out, Lombardy began to lecture him at the top of his lungs at the board, much to the consternation of those locked in time scrambles. 11 The claim was rejected by the referee. 12 In Round 3, Short noticed from the other side of the room that Tisdall took a piece? He rushed back to the table, thinking there is nothing to take. 7 Tisdall had made what Tim Krabbe put on his list of the 110 most fantastic moves ever played: 13


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21...Bxh3! There followed 22.gxh3 Qd7 23.Qg2 Rxc3 24.Rad4 Rxc2 25.Qxc2 Qxh3+ 26.Bh2 Qxf3+ 27.Qg2 Qxg2+ 28.Kxg2 Ng4, and it ended in a draw after 73 moves.

After seven rounds, Plaskett had lost all his games. Considering who he played against, it might not have happened before in the history of chess that a player of his strength lost seven in a row. 14 But Plaskett took his misfortune like a man. He had a dominant position in Round 7, but chose rather to jeopardize it, and ended in time trouble, as so often previously in the tournament. 14 In Round 8, an interesting game was played between Ingvar Ásmundsson and Lombardy. The latter had blundered on move 34, and Ásmundsson sacrificed his queen - for rook, knight and two pawns, with an almost won position. Right before the time control, Lombardy felt that Thorsteins was standing close to the table, 14 and he vented his rage against him. Tisdall reported: Apparently this was because Karl had obstructed his 'line of vision' by walking over to look at the position and that Lombardy had asked him earlier not to approach his table but to look at the demonstration board ... though I had never heard Lombardy make such a request before he insisted he had made it clear to Thorsteins several times during the event. 11 The position in I Asmundsson vs Lombardy, 1985 after 40 moves:


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About an hour later, in the Skútinn restaurant, Lombardy blew up again and told Thorsteins, at full volume, cross-restaurant, that if he came near his board again, he would "punch him in the fuc-ing mouth". 11 Thorsteins asked to hear it again - which he did, word for word. Thorsteins then asked if he would come over to the Icelandic table and try it? Understandably, "Knowing that Bill still bears the damage from a scuffle with a knifecarrying thug in the States, this latest development seemed unwise". 11 As Lombardy left after dinner, Plaskett cut the tension by remarking, "You can talk now, Karl". 11 Plaskett was in a good mood - he had just won his first game! After eight rounds, Lein had 6˝, Ólafsson 6, Hjartarson 5˝, Thorsteins and Lombardy 5 + one unfinished game, and Short and Jón Árnason 5. 14 The next day, Ásmundsson and Lombardy continued their game, and adjourned it for the second time. And Round 9 was played, as if nothing had happened. 15 Then, after nine days, the players finally had a day off. But not Ásmundsson and Lombardy. Their game was resumed, for the third time, and Ásmundsson had all the time in the world. He meticulously picked up the pawns that Lombardy had, one by one. The game was adjourned again, on move 103.

Round 10 started two hours earlier than usual, 11 and Lombardy did not turn up for his game against Hjartarson (who missed the chance to gain his third GM norm). The game against Ásmundsson was not resumed either. 15 At about 3 pm, fearing that he might be lost in the lava, a search for him was instigated. Even the police took part. He was soon found, in the lounge of a guesthouse in the town, busy writing a protest against the organizing committee. Sćvar Bjarnason had told him that neither Thorsteins nor anyone else had stood too close to his table, and that if someone had been disturbed it was Ásmundsson. Lombardy had taken this as the 'official' view, and apparently decided to leave. After a long telephone conversation with Jónsson, he changed his view. After midnight, he appeared at the pub to find Árnason, who was informed that he would have an opponent after all. A surprised Árnason then notified the referee that he would be playing this game under protest. It was played in Round 11, and ended drawn in 10 moves. 11, 15 According to Tisdall, 11 Lombardy looked nervous and strained in the last rounds.

Arnlaugsson appointed a players committee, consisting of Jón Árnason, Tisdall, and Sigurjónsson. A protest was drafted, calling for Lombardy's expulsion from the tournament. This was toned down, to gain fuller acceptance from the players: Arnlaugsson was asked to consider this option. Ten players signed, but not Ásmundsson, Lein and Karlsson, who were involved in another dispute. Arnlaugsson found that expulsion would make things worse, that Lombardy realized he had done wrong, and that he had already felt the indignation of the other players. He allowed him to play. In Round 12, it was ready for the showdown K Thorsteins vs Lombardy, 1985. Grimly determined, Thorsteins fought like a hero from the Sagas of Icelanders. And when Lombardy resigned, a few local spectators burst into applause. 11 In Round 13, Short defeated Lein, the leader, but Hjartarson drew against Árnason, and Ólafsson could only draw against Karlsson.

Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland, 29 May - 11 June 1985

Age Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts 1 GM Lein 54 2465 * ˝ 1 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 1 1 1 1 1 9˝ =2 GM Ólafsson 28 2515 ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 1 1 1 1 ˝ 9 =2 IM Hjartarson 22 2530 0 ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 1 ˝ 1 1 ˝ 1 1 9 4 GM Short 20 2535 1 ˝ ˝ * 0 ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ 0 1 1 1 1 8˝ =5 IM Árnason, J 24 2495 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 * ˝ 0 ˝ 1 1 1 1 0 ˝ 8 =5 GM Sigurjónsson 37 2485 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 1 8 7 Ţorsteins 20 2400 ˝ ˝ 0 0 1 0 * 1 0 1 1 ˝ 1 1 7˝ 8 GM Lombardy 47 2500 ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 * ˝ 1 0 1 1 1 7 9 IM Tisdall 26 2420 0 0 ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ 1 ˝ * 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 6˝ 10 IM Plaskett 25 2495 0 0 0 1 0 ˝ 0 0 0 * 1 0 1 1 4˝ =11 Ásmundsson 50 2400 0 0 0 0 0 ˝ 0 1 ˝ 0 * ˝ 1 ˝ 4 =11 Kristjánsson 40 2295 0 0 ˝ 0 0 0 ˝ 0 ˝ 1 ˝ * ˝ ˝ 4 13 Árnason, A 27 2250 0 0 0 0 1 ˝ 0 0 ˝ 0 0 ˝ * 1 3˝ 14 Karlsson 42 2200 0 ˝ 0 0 ˝ 0 0 0 0 0 ˝ ˝ 0 * 2

Lombardy forfeited his game vs Hjartarson in Round 10 (= 90 games).

When the dust settled, Lein was the winner. He went back to the USA, one thousand US dollars richer. 16

Notes

1 Morgunblađiđ, 29 May 1985, p. 42.

2 Dagblađiđ Vísir, 30 May 1985, p. 31.

3 Morgunblađiđ, 1 June 1985, p. 3.

4 Photo of Herjólfur II (the ferry in 1985): http://www.fjordfaehren.de/bi/islan...

5 Wikipedia article: Vestmannaeyjar.

6 Bobby Fischer Comes Home: The Final Years in Iceland, a Saga of Friendship and Lost Illusions, by Helgi Ólafsson (New In Chess, 2012).

7 Interview by Torstein Bae in Norsk Sjakkblad, no. 2, 2010, pp. 10-13. An administrator, coach and inspirator, Tisdall is now (2016) playing team chess only.

8 Jón Loftur Árnason in Dagblađiđ Vísir, 1 June 1985, p. 11.

9 Photo of Arnlaugsson: http://foto.vestmannaeyjar.is/fotow...

10 Sigmundur Andrésson in Fréttir, 13 June 1985, p. 3.

11 Jonathan Tisdall in New In Chess, September 1985, pp. 51-58.

12 Margeir Petursson in Morgunblađiđ, 31 May 1985, p. 23.

13 The 110 Most Fantastic Moves Ever Played, Part 8, https://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/chess/...

14 Jón Loftur Árnason in Dagblađiđ Vísir, 8 June 1985, p. 4.

15 Margeir Pétursson in Morgunblađiđ, 11 June 1985, p. 46.

16 Hrafn Loftsson in Ţjóđviljinn, 15 June 1985, p. 18.

Original collection: Game Collection: Vestmannaeyjar 1985 by User: Tabanus. Round dates are from Icelandic newspapers at http://timarit.is/search_init.jsp?n...

Round 1 Wednesday May 29
A T Arnason vs J D Tisdall, 1985
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

J L Arnason vs I Asmundsson, 1985
(C11) French, 21 moves, 1-0

Bjorn Ivar Karlsson vs Lombardy, 1985
(B73) Sicilian, Dragon, Classical, 60 moves, 0-1

B Kristjansson vs G Sigurjonsson, 1985
(B93) Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4, 25 moves, 0-1

Plaskett vs A Lein, 1985
(C02) French, Advance, 34 moves, 0-1

Short vs H Olafsson, 1985
(C84) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 14 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Thorsteins vs Hjartarson, 1985
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 47 moves, 0-1

Round 2 Thursday May 30
J L Arnason vs K Thorsteins, 1985
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 39 moves, 0-1

I Asmundsson vs G Sigurjonsson, 1985
(B52) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Hjartarson vs A T Arnason, 1985
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 42 moves, 1-0

A Lein vs B Kristjansson, 1985
(A03) Bird's Opening, 68 moves, 1-0

Lombardy vs Short, 1985
(C00) French Defense, 58 moves, 1/2-1/2

H Olafsson vs Plaskett, 1985
(A17) English, 30 moves, 1-0

J D Tisdall vs Bjorn Ivar Karlsson, 1985
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 38 moves, 1-0

Round 3 Friday May 31
A T Arnason vs J L Arnason, 1985
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 64 moves, 1-0

Bjorn Ivar Karlsson vs Hjartarson, 1985
(B99) Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line, 29 moves, 0-1

B Kristjansson vs H Olafsson, 1985
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 89 moves, 0-1

Plaskett vs Lombardy, 1985
(C41) Philidor Defense, 56 moves, 0-1

Short vs J D Tisdall, 1985 
(B84) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 73 moves, 1/2-1/2

G Sigurjonsson vs A Lein, 1985
(B80) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Thorsteins vs I Asmundsson, 1985
(D53) Queen's Gambit Declined, 21 moves, 1-0

Round 4 Saturday June 1
J L Arnason vs Bjorn Ivar Karlsson, 1985
(C91) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 56 moves, 1/2-1/2

I Asmundsson vs A Lein, 1985
(B30) Sicilian, 35 moves, 0-1

Hjartarson vs Short, 1985 
(E16) Queen's Indian, 62 moves, 1/2-1/2

Lombardy vs B Kristjansson, 1985
(C00) French Defense, 34 moves, 1-0

H Olafsson vs G Sigurjonsson, 1985
(A56) Benoni Defense, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Thorsteins vs A T Arnason, 1985
(A36) English, 32 moves, 1-0

J D Tisdall vs Plaskett, 1985
(B81) Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 5 Sunday June 2
A T Arnason vs I Asmundsson, 1985
(C02) French, Advance, 37 moves, 0-1

Bjorn Ivar Karlsson vs K Thorsteins, 1985
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 50 moves, 0-1

B Kristjansson vs J D Tisdall, 1985
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

A Lein vs H Olafsson, 1985
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 9 moves, 1/2-1/2

Plaskett vs Hjartarson, 1985
(A05) Reti Opening, 64 moves, 0-1

Short vs J L Arnason, 1985
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 40 moves, 0-1

G Sigurjonsson vs Lombardy, 1985
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 12 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 Monday June 3
A T Arnason vs Bjorn Ivar Karlsson, 1985
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 45 moves, 1-0

J L Arnason vs Plaskett, 1985
(B06) Robatsch, 16 moves, 1-0

I Asmundsson vs H Olafsson, 1985
(B20) Sicilian, 46 moves, 0-1

Hjartarson vs B Kristjansson, 1985
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Lombardy vs A Lein, 1985
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Thorsteins vs Short, 1985
(E16) Queen's Indian, 36 moves, 0-1

J D Tisdall vs G Sigurjonsson, 1985
(B62) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 Tuesday June 4
Bjorn Ivar Karlsson vs I Asmundsson, 1985
(C05) French, Tarrasch, 68 moves, 1/2-1/2

B Kristjansson vs J L Arnason, 1985
(B50) Sicilian, 25 moves, 0-1

A Lein vs J D Tisdall, 1985
(D56) Queen's Gambit Declined, 81 moves, 1-0

H Olafsson vs Lombardy, 1985
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Plaskett vs K Thorsteins, 1985
(C97) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 39 moves, 0-1

Short vs A T Arnason, 1985
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 64 moves, 1-0

G Sigurjonsson vs Hjartarson, 1985
(C05) French, Tarrasch, 36 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 Wednesday June 5
A T Arnason vs Plaskett, 1985
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 39 moves, 0-1

J L Arnason vs G Sigurjonsson, 1985
(B62) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

I Asmundsson vs Lombardy, 1985 
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 105 moves, 1-0

Hjartarson vs A Lein, 1985
(E15) Queen's Indian, 41 moves, 0-1

Bjorn Ivar Karlsson vs Short, 1985
(C05) French, Tarrasch, 40 moves, 0-1

K Thorsteins vs B Kristjansson, 1985
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

J D Tisdall vs H Olafsson, 1985
(C21) Center Game, 52 moves, 0-1

Round 9 Thursday June 6
B Kristjansson vs A T Arnason, 1985
(B80) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

A Lein vs J L Arnason, 1985
(E15) Queen's Indian, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

Lombardy vs J D Tisdall, 1985
(E12) Queen's Indian, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

H Olafsson vs Hjartarson, 1985
(E15) Queen's Indian, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Plaskett vs Bjorn Ivar Karlsson, 1985 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 53 moves, 1-0

Short vs I Asmundsson, 1985
(C42) Petrov Defense, 58 moves, 1-0

G Sigurjonsson vs K Thorsteins, 1985
(B56) Sicilian, 23 moves, 1-0

Round 10 Saturday June 8
A T Arnason vs G Sigurjonsson, 1985
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 12 moves, 1/2-1/2

J L Arnason vs H Olafsson, 1985
(B99) Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

I Asmundsson vs J D Tisdall, 1985
(B20) Sicilian, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Bjorn Ivar Karlsson vs B Kristjansson, 1985
(C10) French, 21 moves, 1/2-1/2

Short vs Plaskett, 1985
(C64) Ruy Lopez, Classical, 56 moves, 0-1

K Thorsteins vs A Lein, 1985
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 10 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 Sunday June 9
B Kristjansson vs Short, 1985
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 33 moves, 0-1

A Lein vs A T Arnason, 1985
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 59 moves, 1-0

Lombardy vs J L Arnason, 1985
(E30) Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad, 10 moves, 1/2-1/2

H Olafsson vs K Thorsteins, 1985
(E06) Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3, 14 moves, 1/2-1/2

Plaskett vs I Asmundsson, 1985 
(C00) French Defense, 40 moves, 1-0

G Sigurjonsson vs Bjorn Ivar Karlsson, 1985
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 51 moves, 1-0

J D Tisdall vs Hjartarson, 1985
(E42) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein), 11 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12 Monday June 10
A T Arnason vs H Olafsson, 1985
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 40 moves, 0-1

J L Arnason vs J D Tisdall, 1985
(B84) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 25 moves, 1-0

I Asmundsson vs Hjartarson, 1985
(C02) French, Advance, 41 moves, 0-1

Bjorn Ivar Karlsson vs A Lein, 1985
(C07) French, Tarrasch, 42 moves, 0-1

Plaskett vs B Kristjansson, 1985
(C04) French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line, 53 moves, 0-1

Short vs G Sigurjonsson, 1985
(B97) Sicilian, Najdorf, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Thorsteins vs Lombardy, 1985
(A99) Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky Variation with b3, 45 moves, 1-0

Round 13 Tuesday June 11
Hjartarson vs J L Arnason, 1985
(E15) Queen's Indian, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

B Kristjansson vs I Asmundsson, 1985
(B05) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

A Lein vs Short, 1985
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 50 moves, 0-1

Lombardy vs A T Arnason, 1985 
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 45 moves, 1-0

H Olafsson vs Bjorn Ivar Karlsson, 1985
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

G Sigurjonsson vs Plaskett, 1985
(C64) Ruy Lopez, Classical, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

J D Tisdall vs K Thorsteins, 1985
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 32 moves, 1-0

90 games

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