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Reykjavik 1964
Compiled by Tabanus
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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 Pétur Zóphóníasson (1879-1946), who was a founder of the club and one of the pioneers of chess in Iceland. 1 It appears 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). The Icelanders mustered, among their strongest players, Friðrik Ólafsson (a world championship candidate in 1959), and Ingi Jóhannsson, the Icelandic champion. Tal, Gligoric, Wade and Nona had just played in Hastings (1963/64) (Nona in Hastings B), and flew in from Glasgow with the airplane Sólfaxa, two days before the event started. Johannessen had arrived the day before, on Saturday. 6 The players took in at Saga Hotel (Hótel Sögu) (Tal at room number 508 7), 1 and on Monday, there was the reception. Pairings were made, and there was an opportunity to chat with the foreign visitors. 8, 9 Tal, who was interviewed, 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 to 0:30 am, but in the afternoon 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, remembering Zóphóníasson, followed by an address by Geir Hallgrímsson, the mayor of Reykjavík, 11 who would later become prime minister (1974-1978). The players sat down at their tables. Tal offered Johannessen one of his Chesterfield cigarettes, 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 seven rounds, 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 also 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 losing to a magic before the time control.

Reykjavik, Iceland, 14 January - 2 February 1964

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 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, expressing 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?)), http://cloud2.todocoleccion.net/lib...

Notes

1 Skákþáttur by Þorsteinn Skúlason in Skinfaxi, 1. hefti 1964, pp. 14-18. Parts translated to English at http://srteitsson.wix.com/restlessk...

2 Skáksamband Íslands web page (#2016) at http://skaksamband.is/?c=webpage&id...

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 Olafsson 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 http://www.reykjavikopen.com/50-yea...

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 on sources.

Round 1 January 14
S Johannessen vs Tal, 1964 
(E70) King's Indian, 15 moves, 0-1

N Gaprindashvili vs T Bjornsson, 1964 
(B09) Pirc, Austrian Attack, 54 moves, 1-0

Gligoric vs J Kristinsson, 1964
(B32) Sicilian, 23 moves, 1-0

I Asmundsson vs A Gudmundsson, 1964 
(B07) Pirc, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

I Johannsson vs G Palmason, 1964 
(A12) English with b3, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

F Olafsson vs F Thorbergsson, 1964
(E55) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, Bronstein Variation, 29 moves, 1-0

Round 2 January 15
Tal vs I Johannsson, 1964 
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 26 moves, 1-0

T Bjornsson vs J Kristinsson, 1964
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 77 moves, 1-0

N Gaprindashvili vs F Olafsson, 1964 
(C95) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

A Gudmundsson vs S Johannessen, 1964
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 25 moves, 0-1

G Palmason vs M Solmundarson, 1964
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 27 moves, 1-0

F Thorbergsson vs I Asmundsson, 1964
(E89) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox Main line, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Wade vs Gligoric, 1964
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 59 moves, 0-1

Round 3 January 16
M Solmundarson vs Tal, 1964 
(A49) King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4, 23 moves, 0-1

I Asmundsson vs N Gaprindashvili, 1964 
(B06) Robatsch, 33 moves, 1-0

Gligoric vs G Palmason, 1964
(E59) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line, 58 moves, 1-0

S Johannessen vs F Thorbergsson, 1964
(D01) Richter-Veresov Attack, 41 moves, 1-0

I Johannsson vs A Gudmundsson, 1964
(B56) Sicilian, 28 moves, 1-0

J Kristinsson vs Wade, 1964
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 67 moves, 1/2-1/2

F Olafsson vs T Bjornsson, 1964
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 20 moves, 1-0

Round 4 January 18
Tal vs Gligoric, 1964 
(C97) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 40 moves, 1-0

T Bjornsson vs Wade, 1964
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

N Gaprindashvili vs S Johannessen, 1964
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

A Gudmundsson vs M Solmundarson, 1964
(E42) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein), 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

F Olafsson vs I Asmundsson, 1964
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 25 moves, 1-0

G Palmason vs J Kristinsson, 1964
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 40 moves, 0-1

F Thorbergsson vs I Johannsson, 1964
(E77) King's Indian, 39 moves, 0-1

Round 5 January 19
J Kristinsson vs Tal, 1964 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 37 moves, 0-1

I Asmundsson vs T Bjornsson, 1964
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Gligoric vs A Gudmundsson, 1964
(B75) Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 49 moves, 1-0

S Johannessen vs F Olafsson, 1964 
(B25) Sicilian, Closed, 31 moves, 0-1

I Johannsson vs N Gaprindashvili, 1964 
(D25) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

M Solmundarson vs F Thorbergsson, 1964
(E87) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 41 moves, 1-0

Wade vs G Palmason, 1964
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 January 20
Tal vs Wade, 1964 
(B33) Sicilian, 26 moves, 1-0

I Asmundsson vs S Johannessen, 1964
(C70) Ruy Lopez, 33 moves, 0-1

T Bjornsson vs G Palmason, 1964
(A66) Benoni, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

N Gaprindashvili vs M Solmundarson, 1964
(B15) Caro-Kann, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

A Gudmundsson vs J Kristinsson, 1964
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 42 moves, 1-0

F Olafsson vs I Johannsson, 1964
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 34 moves, 1-0

F Thorbergsson vs Gligoric, 1964 
(D87) Grunfeld, Exchange, 33 moves, 0-1

Round 7 January 22
G Palmason vs Tal, 1964 
(D80) Grunfeld, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Gligoric vs N Gaprindashvili, 1964 
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 41 moves, 1-0

S Johannessen vs T Bjornsson, 1964
(E93) King's Indian, Petrosian System, 25 moves, 1-0

I Johannsson vs I Asmundsson, 1964
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 1-0

J Kristinsson vs F Thorbergsson, 1964
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 38 moves, 0-1

M Solmundarson vs F Olafsson, 1964
(B84) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 23 moves, 0-1

Wade vs A Gudmundsson, 1964
(B07) Pirc, 36 moves, 1-0

Round 8 January 25
T Bjornsson vs Tal, 1964 
(E82) King's Indian, Samisch, double Fianchetto Variation, 34 moves, 0-1

I Asmundsson vs M Solmundarson, 1964
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 21 moves, 1/2-1/2

N Gaprindashvili vs J Kristinsson, 1964 
(B75) Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 41 moves, 1-0

A Gudmundsson vs G Palmason, 1964
(E17) Queen's Indian, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

S Johannessen vs I Johannsson, 1964
(A22) English, 45 moves, 1-0

F Olafsson vs Gligoric, 1964
(D79) Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O, Main line, 53 moves, 0-1

F Thorbergsson vs Wade, 1964
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 30 moves, 1-0

Round 9 January 26
Tal vs A Gudmundsson, 1964 
(C99) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 12...cd, 42 moves, 1-0

Gligoric vs I Asmundsson, 1964
(C16) French, Winawer, 31 moves, 1-0

I Johannsson vs T Bjornsson, 1964
(E62) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 31 moves, 1-0

J Kristinsson vs F Olafsson, 1964
(B94) Sicilian, Najdorf, 41 moves, 0-1

G Palmason vs F Thorbergsson, 1964
(E55) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, Bronstein Variation, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

M Solmundarson vs S Johannessen, 1964
(B16) Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation, 14 moves, 0-1

Wade vs N Gaprindashvili, 1964 
(E83) King's Indian, Samisch, 46 moves, 1-0

Round 10 January 28
F Thorbergsson vs Tal, 1964 
(E77) King's Indian, 39 moves, 0-1

I Asmundsson vs J Kristinsson, 1964
(B58) Sicilian, 41 moves, 0-1

T Bjornsson vs A Gudmundsson, 1964
(E86) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.Nge2 c6, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

N Gaprindashvili vs G Palmason, 1964 
(B94) Sicilian, Najdorf, 37 moves, 0-1

S Johannessen vs Gligoric, 1964
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

I Johannsson vs M Solmundarson, 1964
(E14) Queen's Indian, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

F Olafsson vs Wade, 1964
(B76) Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 31 moves, 0-1

Round 11 January 29
Tal vs N Gaprindashvili, 1964 
(C99) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 12...cd, 42 moves, 1-0

Gligoric vs I Johannsson, 1964
(C87) Ruy Lopez, 40 moves, 1-0

A Gudmundsson vs F Thorbergsson, 1964
(A15) English, 30 moves, 1-0

J Kristinsson vs S Johannessen, 1964 
(C18) French, Winawer, 40 moves, 0-1

G Palmason vs F Olafsson, 1964
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

M Solmundarson vs T Bjornsson, 1964
(E88) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.d5 c6, 39 moves, 1-0

Wade vs I Asmundsson, 1964
(C16) French, Winawer, 45 moves, 1-0

Round 12 January 30
F Olafsson vs Tal, 1964 
(A12) English with b3, 39 moves, 0-1

I Asmundsson vs G Palmason, 1964
(E25) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 28 moves, 0-1

T Bjornsson vs F Thorbergsson, 1964
(E19) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3, 42 moves, 1-0

N Gaprindashvili vs A Gudmundsson, 1964 
(B77) Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 27 moves, 1-0

S Johannessen vs Wade, 1964
(A30) English, Symmetrical, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

I Johannsson vs J Kristinsson, 1964
(E59) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

M Solmundarson vs Gligoric, 1964
(D93) Grunfeld, with Bf4 & e3, 21 moves, 0-1

Round 13 February 2
Tal vs I Asmundsson, 1964 
(C16) French, Winawer, 43 moves, 1-0

Gligoric vs T Bjornsson, 1964 
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 39 moves, 1-0

A Gudmundsson vs F Olafsson, 1964
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 46 moves, 0-1

J Kristinsson vs M Solmundarson, 1964
(C97) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

G Palmason vs S Johannessen, 1964
(E69) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

F Thorbergsson vs N Gaprindashvili, 1964 
(E84) King's Indian, Samisch, Panno Main line, 61 moves, 1-0

Wade vs I Johannsson, 1964
(D91) Grunfeld, 5.Bg5, 30 moves, 1-0

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