Reykjavik Chess Club – International 2013

From October 1st through October 8th Reykjavik Chess Club (Taflfélag Reykjavíkur) will hold an invitational ten players international tournament.  It is the Club´s hope that the tournament will become an annual event.

Among the ten players in this category IX tournament are three grandmasters and five international masters.  The setup and arrangements will be highly professional including on-site notations and live online broadcast of every game.


1. Ukrainian GM Sergey Fedorchuk (2667)

Winner of the European Youth Championship U14 in 1995, joint winner of Cappelle la Grande Open in 2008, joint winner of Dubai Open in 2006.  Fedorchuk recently joined Reykjavk Chess Club and is likely to compete for the club in the upcoming Icelandic Team Championship.

2. Ukrainian GM Mikhailo Oleksienko (2596)

Oleksienko, aged 27, obtained international title at the age of 16 and three years later he became grandmaster.  Recently Oleksienko won the Czech Open and was joint winner of ZMDI Open in Dresden.  Oleksienko, whos rating has been increasing lately, is a member of Reykjavik Chess Club and he annually competes for the club in the Icelandic Team Championship.

3. GM Henrik Danielsen (2500)

Born in Nyköping, Denmark, Henrik obtained Icelandic citizenship in 2006 and has since been one of the nation´s strongest and most active chess player.  Henrik has competed in a total of six Olympiads, half of those (2006, 2008 and 2012) being on Iceland’s behalf.  Henrik won the Icelandic Championship in 2009.  He is a member of Vestmannaeyjar Chess Club.

4. Faroe Islander IM Helgi Dam Ziska (2468)

Helgi Dam, who is a regular visitor of Iceland and a member of Reykjavik Chess Club, recently obtained his first grandmaster norm in an international tournament in Riga.  Helgi Dam showed great strength with performance equal to Elo 2600 giving him a large increasement on the next Fide rating list.  Ziska, aged 23, obtained international title at the age of 17.  In 2006, at the age of 16, he defeated Dutch grandmaster Jan Timman in a famous game in the 22nd Reykjavik Open when the Dutch resigned with a winning position after 20 moves.  The Grandmaster Tournament will be an excellent chance for Ziska to make a serious attempt at his second GM norm.

5. Danish IM Simon Bekker-Jensen (2414)

Simon has regulary played in Iceland, both for Reykjavik Chess Club in the Icelandic Team Championship and in the Reykjavik Open.  He was the Nordic Champion of boys U16 whilst obtaining international title at the age of 18.  Simon was national champion with his team, Helsinge Chess Club, for nine consecutive years.  Like Ziska, Simon will hope to achieve a GM norm.

6. IM Arnar Erwin Gunnarsson (2441)

Being one of the nation’s most talented and gifted chess players Arnar won the Nordic Scholastic Youth Champion title no less than eight times.  He has won all of the national’s major tournaments at least once except the Icelandic Championship title itself.  Arnar is 4-time national champion in rapid chess and is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, blitz player in Iceland.  It will certainly be interesting to follow Arnar in the GM tournament since he has unfortunately not been involved in standard chess for some while.  Arnar has been a member of Reykjavik Chess Club during all of his career.

7. IM Guðmundur Kjartansson (2434)

Being one of the nation’s most active and talented chess player Guðmundur has already played over 100 games this year.  He was the U20 Nordic Champion and obtained international title in 2009 along with his first grandmaster norm in the Scotch Open.  In 2012 Guðmundur competed in tournaments in S-America where he was joint winner of an international tournament in Bogatá, Colombia.  Earlier this year he defeated Sergey Fedorchuk, the higest rated player in the upcoming GM tournament, in a magnificent game at the European Individual Championship.  With the activeness of Guðmundur in mind it’s evident that he will come very close to his second GM norm.  Similar to Arnar, Guðmundur has always been loyal to Reykjavik Chess Club.

8. IM Bragi Þorfinnsson (2493)

Bragi obtained international title in 2003 and in 2012 he was joint winner of the Scotch Open with a 7/9 score.  He obtained his first grandmaster norm when he drew against Nigel Short in the British Team Championship.  Bragi has regulary competed on Iceland’s behalf and in 1995 he was Olympiad Champion with his team at the Youth Olympiad in Las Palmas.  Furthermore, he competed in the Chess Olympiads in 2004 and 2010 whilst competing in three European Team Championships in 2001, 2003 and 2010.  Bragi, who is a member of Bolungarvik Chess Club, is highly likely to achieve his second GM norm in the tournament.

9. FM Sigurbjörn Björnsson (2395)

Sigurbjörn has already obtained one international norm and he certainly has the strength needed to attempt at his second one in the GM tournament.  He has been victorius in many national tournaments and his best results on foreign turf are at the Politiken Cup in 2004 and 2005 where he finished 4th-13th and 2nd-12th respectevely, on both occasions with a 7.5/10 score.  It won’t be surprising if Sigurbjörn, who is a member of Vestmannaeyjar Chess Club, manages his second IM norm.

10. Þorvarður Fannar Ólafsson (2266)

Þorvarður, who is one of Reykjavik Chess Club’s newest members, has rapidly improved over the last two years.  He is one of the most active players in national tournaments, including Reykjavik Chess Club major tournaments where he won the Reykjavik Championship in 2009 and, furthermore, winning the Reykjavik Chess Club senior title in 2013 and 2012.  Þorvarður was the Champion of Hafnarfjörður in 2003-2005.  Though, being the lowest rated player in the GM tournament, other participants should not underestimate Þorvarður since he is known for being extremely tough to defeat.