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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
Reykjavik Tournament

Mikhail Tal12.5/13(+12 -0 =1)[games]
Svetozar Gligoric11.5/13(+11 -1 =1)[games]
Fridrik Olafsson9/13(+8 -3 =2)[games]
Svein Johannessen9/13(+7 -2 =4)[games]
Robert Graham Wade7.5/13(+5 -3 =5)[games]
Gudmundur Palmason7/13(+3 -2 =8)[games]
Ingi Randver Johannsson6/13(+4 -5 =4)[games]
Nona Gaprindashvili5/13(+3 -6 =4)[games]
Magnus Solmundarson5/13(+2 -5 =6)[games]
Freysteinn Thorbergsson4/13(+3 -8 =2)[games]
Arinbjorn Gudmundsson4/13(+2 -7 =4)[games]
Trausti Bjornsson4/13(+2 -7 =4)[games]
Jon Kristinsson3.5/13(+2 -8 =3)[games]
Ingvar Asmundsson3/13(+1 -8 =4)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
Reykjavik (1964)

Reykjavik 1964 may be termed as the strongest chess tournament held in Iceland to that point. Previously, Iceland had hosted the World Students Team Championship (1957), in which Mikhael Tal participated, (1) and Reykjavik (1960), which was won by Robert James Fischer. The tournament started a tradition later known as the Reykjavik Open. (2) It was organized by the Icelandic Chess Federation and the Reykjavík Chess Club, and was held in memory of Petur Zophoniasson (1879-1946), who was a founder of the club and one of the pioneers of chess in Iceland. (1) It seems that the tournament director (mótstjóri) was Eiður Gunnarsson. (3) The invitation of players from abroad afforded the promising Icelandic players an opportunity to receive training, and to achieve title norms. (4) The total prize budget was $1200, with $400 to the winner, and $300 to the runner-up. There were seven prizes. The entry fee for the public was 50 Icelandic kronor, and it was also possible to buy a round ticket for 500 kronor. This included access to the playing area at any time. (5)

Five players were invited from abroad: Mikhail Tal (world champion 1960-1961), Svetozar Gligoric (Yugoslav champion), Robert Wade (British champion 1952), Nona Gaprindashvili (women's world champion), and Svein Johannessen (Norwegian champion). Iceland mustered, among their best players, Friðrik Ólafsson (a world championship candidate in 1959) and the Icelandic champion Ingi Jóhannsson. Tal, Gligoric, Wade and Nona had just played in Hastings (1963/64) (Nona in Hastings B), and flew in from Glasgow on the airplane Sólfaxa two days before the event started. Johannessen had arrived the day before, on Saturday. (6) The players checked into the Saga Hotel (Hótel Sögu) (Tal in room number 508 (7)), (1) and on Monday, the opening reception was held. Pairings were made, and there was an opportunity to chat with the foreign visitors. (8, 9) Tal stated that the battle would be fierce, that he was quite reasonably prepared, and that "it is always fun to play chess with new people, it is like fresh air". (9)

Photo of participants (titled players in front): http://skaksogufelagid.is/wp-conten... (10)

On Tuesday, the event started at the Lídó restaurant, one of the finest venues in Reykjavík. Playing time was set from 7:30 pm to 0:30 am, but in the afternoons on Sundays. (3) The referee (skákstjóri) was Áki Pétursson, (3) the son of Pétur Zóphóníasson. The hall was packed with people. (11) Later on, there were 500-600 spectators. (12) The president of the Icelandic Chess Federation Ásgeir Þór Ásgeirsson gave a speech, commemorating Zóphóníasson, followed by an address by Geir Hallgrímsson, the mayor of Reykjavík (11) who would later become the prime minister (1974-1978). The players sat down at their tables. Tal offered Johannessen a Chesterfield cigarette, lighted it for him (see photo at http://timarit.is/files/9021889.pdf...), and Hallgrímsson made the first move for Johannessen. (13) Johannessen had been Norway's top player before Simen Agdestein, (14) but now he ran into trouble. After an opening which Bent Larsen called a giant on clay feet (referring to White's pompous set-up), the players arrived at this position:


click for larger view

Tal had played 8...Nfd7! — in order to take on c5 with the knight. "An innovation", reported Ólafsson two days later. "Until now, one has traditionally played 8...Qxc5". Play continued 9.Bd2 Nxc5 10.Bc2 Qb4 11.Bb3? Qb6, and now Johannessen blundered with 12.Qe2? Nxb3 13.Nd5?? Qa6! 14.Rd1 Qxa2 15.Nc7 Na6 0-1. "The Norwegian's position was hopeless after seven moves". (13) Five days later, in J Kristinsson vs Tal, 1964 (Round 5), Tal again made headlines:


click for larger view

Instead of taking the draw by repetition (15...Qc7 16.Nb5 (16.Nxc8? Nxe3!)), he played 15...Nxe3!? 16.Nxc6 Bc5. Kristinsson, who was either hypnotized or scared by the 'magician from Riga', replied with 17.Kh2? when simply 17.Ne5 should have won. After the game, Tal reportedly said: “I didn’t come all the way from Riga to Reykjavik to make a short draw!” (15) After Round 7, Ólafsson and Tal had 6½ points, Gligoric 6, and Johannessen 4½. (16) Before Round 8, on 23 January, simultaneous exhibitions were held in Lídó by Gligoric (+24 =8 -4) and Johannessen (+18 =4 -2). (17) Gligoric (who had lost to Tal in Round 4) beat Ólafsson in Round 8, and this solved the question of who would take second place. Gligoric held another simul the day after Round 12 (+19 =5 -0), (18) and Tal held a simul on 1 February, losing three games (+23 =6 -3), including one to Bragi Kristjansson. (19) Before Round 13, Tal was leading the tournament by one point. Tal met Ásmundsson, who played well, until Tal's clever exchange sacrifice put him off. He should have played 36...c5!

Reykjavik, Iceland, 14 January - 2 February 1964

Age 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts 1 GM Tal 27 * 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 12½ 2 GM Gligoric 41 0 * 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11½ =3 GM Ólafsson 29 0 0 * 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 9 =3 IM Johannessen 26 0 ½ 0 * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 9 5 IM Wade 42 0 0 1 ½ * ½ 1 1 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 7½ 6 Pálmason 35 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 7 7 IM Jóhannsson 27 0 0 0 0 0 ½ * ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 6 =8 IM Gaprindashvili 22 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ * ½ 0 1 1 1 0 5 =8 Sólmundarson 24 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ * 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 5 =10 Þorbergsson 32 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 1 0 * 0 0 1 ½ 4 =10 Guðmundsson 31 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 * ½ 1 ½ 4 =10 Björnsson 21 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ * 1 ½ 4 13 Kristinsson 21 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 * 1 3½ 14 Ásmundsson 29 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 * 3

The game Sólmundarson vs Wade in Round 1 was not available (= 90 games).

There was also a blitz competition, won by Tal ahead of Ólafsson. (12) Johannessen was satisfied with the event, (12) and The Times wrote that "Miss Gaprindashvili at the age of 22 has shown by her play at Hastings and Reykjavik that she is in the same class as Vera Menchik, the only previous woman to be in the master class". (20) For Ólafsson, it must have been quite tiresome to write the long daily reports for Tíminn. Tal also wrote home about the event; his article in Sovetskaya Rossia appeared on 22 January. (21) Gligoric stated that "the tournament has been carried out with great elegance". (22) On 4 February, the closing ceremony took place at the National Theatre (Þjóðleikhúskjallaranum). Ásgeirsson handed over the prizes, and held a speech, thanking the participants for good behavior. He especially thanked Nona, and expressed the hope that her appearance would boost more interest in Icelandic women's chess. The event would be held every two years in the future. (23) Everybody was pleased, except perhaps Pálmason, who missed the IM norm by half a point. (23)

The players now went home — Wade via Akureyri, where he won a blitz contest (by 17/20) and held two simuls (+12 =4 -1 and +19 =7 -6). (24)

Suggested reading: International chess tournaments Reykjavik 1964 & 1966 (Chess Player, Carlton, Nottingham (1969?)), https://cloud10.todocoleccion.onlin...

Notes

1) Skákþáttur by Þorsteinn Skúlason in Skinfaxi, 1. hefti 1964, pp. 14-18. Parts translated to English at https://srteitsson.wixsite.com/rest...
2) Skáksamband Íslands web page (#2016) at https://skak.is/skaksamband/reykjav...
3) Morgunblaðið, 14 January 1964, p. 16.
4) Morgunblaðið, 4 January 1964, p. 10.
5) Þjóðviljinn, 4 January 1964, pp. 1-2.
6) Vísir, 13 January 1964. There is a photo at http://timarit.is/files/9021761.pdf...
7) Vísir, 23 January 1964, p. 7. With an interview of Tal at http://timarit.is/files/9022315.pdf... and http://timarit.is/files/9022328.pdf...
8) Alþýðublaðið, 14 January 1964, p. 1.
9) Vísir, 14 January 1964, p. 6.
10) Found in Friðrik Ólafssons website at http://skaksogufelagid.is/1964-i-re...
11) Tíminn, 15 January 1964, p. 5.
12) Svein Johannessen in Tidskrift för Schack, April-May 1964, p. 103.
13) Friðrik Ólafsson in Tíminn, 16 January 1964, p. 5, http://timarit.is/files/11865050.pd...
14) Sjakkmesteren Svein Johannessen by Oystein Brekke (Norsk Sjakkforlag, 2009). 264 pp.
15) Reykjavik Open web page (#2016) at https://web.archive.org/web/2016032...
16) Late report by Israel Albert Horowitz in The New York Times, 16 February 1964, http://www.nytimes.com/1964/02/16/c...
17) Vísir, 24 January 1964, p. 16.
18) Alþýðublaðið, 1 February 1964, p. 4.
19) Þjóðviljinn, 4 February 1964, p. 2.
20) The Times, 3 February 1964, p. 15.
21) Alþýðublaðið, 7 February 1964, p. 16. With an Icelandic translation of Tal's article.
22) Morgunblaðið, 5 February 1964, p. 23.
23) Timinn, 6 February 1964, pp. 2, 15.
24) Vísir, 7 february 1964, pp. 6, 16.

Original collection: Game Collection: Reykjavik 1964 by User: Tabanus. Dates are from the Icelandic newspapers at http://timarit.is/search_init.jsp?l.... Thanks to User: luftforlife for improving the English, and for suggestion of sources.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 40  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. N Gaprindashvili vs T Bjornsson 1-0541964ReykjavikB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
2. F Olafsson vs F Thorbergsson  1-0291964ReykjavikE55 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, Bronstein Variation
3. Gligoric vs J Kristinsson  1-0231964ReykjavikB32 Sicilian
4. G Palmason vs M Solmundarson  1-0271964ReykjavikE46 Nimzo-Indian
5. T Bjornsson vs J Kristinsson  1-0771964ReykjavikE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
6. Tal vs I Johannsson 1-0261964ReykjavikC96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
7. S Johannessen vs F Thorbergsson  1-0411964ReykjavikD01 Richter-Veresov Attack
8. I Johannsson vs A Gudmundsson  1-0281964ReykjavikB56 Sicilian
9. Gligoric vs G Palmason  1-0581964ReykjavikE59 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line
10. F Olafsson vs T Bjornsson  1-0201964ReykjavikB08 Pirc, Classical
11. I Asmundsson vs N Gaprindashvili 1-0331964ReykjavikB06 Robatsch
12. F Olafsson vs I Asmundsson  1-0251964ReykjavikD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. Tal vs Gligoric 1-0401964ReykjavikC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
14. M Solmundarson vs F Thorbergsson  1-0411964ReykjavikE87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
15. Gligoric vs A Gudmundsson  1-0491964ReykjavikB75 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
16. A Gudmundsson vs J Kristinsson  1-0421964ReykjavikE46 Nimzo-Indian
17. F Olafsson vs I Johannsson  1-0341964ReykjavikB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
18. Tal vs R G Wade 1-0261964ReykjavikB33 Sicilian
19. I Johannsson vs I Asmundsson  1-0431964ReykjavikA40 Queen's Pawn Game
20. Gligoric vs N Gaprindashvili 1-0411964ReykjavikC96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
21. R G Wade vs A Gudmundsson 1-0361964ReykjavikB07 Pirc
22. S Johannessen vs T Bjornsson  1-0251964ReykjavikE93 King's Indian, Petrosian System
23. N Gaprindashvili vs J Kristinsson 1-0411964ReykjavikB75 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
24. S Johannessen vs I Johannsson  1-0451964ReykjavikA22 English
25. F Thorbergsson vs R G Wade  1-0301964ReykjavikD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 40  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-17-17  Coutinho: Tal almost made it perfect
Feb-17-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I thought it looked like Marlboro, not Chesterfield.
Jul-17-20  sakredkow: What a great write up of this tournament. I really enjoyed playing through Tal-Gligoric which I hadn't seen before. I'm sure there's many more interesting games.

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