After the 2nd round we have four players still on a perfect score with 2 out of 2
Lets see what happened in the 2nd round
FM David Kjartansson – GM Johann Hjartarson
After a tough day at work, David Kjartansson showed up to his game against GM Johann Hjartarson…..unfortunately….his brain missed the bus.
After the sneaky move …Qc7, David on autopilot played Bg5 (instead of say Nf3) and fell for a nice trick after 7….Bxf2+. Next …Qc5+ will pick up the bishop on g5 since Be3 gets met with …Ng4+
With his brain now forcefully awaken after the early shock Kjartansson had no other choice but to go “all-in” and sacrificed another pawn to try to create chaos.
Somehow counterplay was drummed up as white had positional compensation for the two pawns since the development of black’s queenside remained a little retarded. Here Johann had to give up the exchange.
Hjartarson could however probably still have played for a win here.
Retreating with 26…Nd5 should keep things under control for black although it’s still not easy. White has some very weak pawns and a white open king if black can get co-ordinated. After 26…Qa5+ however there was no turning back and black had to settle for a perpetual.
…Nc3+ was played and soon the scoresheets were signed. All in all a remarkable recovery and perhaps an early birthday present for David who today (the 2nd) celebrates his 34th birthday.
FM Gudmundur Gislason – IM Bragi Þorfinnsson
A rough day for Gislason.
In a normal Dutch position he got creative here with 8.Bxe4 giving up the bishop pair and after 8…fxe4 getting creative with 9.Ne5. After the simple 9…0-0 and 10.Bf4?! it just seemed though the black had a free bishop pair.
Bragi then played a nice pawn sacrifice with …e5 and on move 19 he was completely winning.
White in fact resigned after two more moves when white was just without any counterplay.
Örn Leó Jóhannsson – GM Hedinn Steingrimsson
Johannsson played a sideline with white against the Sicilian and was quite solid. After 18 moves black had only the bishop pair to work with in a position with an open center and symmetrical pawns more or less.
The position should have been more or less around equal when white made a substantial mistake.
Here he played 28.Nb4 (28.Nd4 gives the g3 knight the f5 square) and this allowed …Re1+ followed by …h4 forcing the white knight to a horrible square on h1.
From there it was simply an observer as the defending champion got ready to gobble up the white queenside.
IM Guðmundur Kjartansson – GM Hjorvar Steinn Gretarsson
Hjorvar seemed well prepared with the black pieces and had no problems in the opening. After a Semi-Slav with exchanges on d5 we got a pawn structure more likely to occur from the exchange Slav.
Position should be about equal here but the computer slightly prefers black.
A long maneuvering game ensued and perhaps it’s hard to argue with the computers slight preference for black in the above position.
Perhaps influenced by his missed opportunities in the first round, the critical position and decision came in the following position:
Still we should be about equal and black should have no problems making a draw if he wants to. Again, perhaps influenced by missed chances yesterday, Gretarsson wanted more!
He went for it with 37…f4. After white took black played …Nh5. Perhaps Gretarsson was too fast with his calculations and dismissed 38.fxg5 on account of 38…Bxg3 followed by …Nf4+
White however had a zwischenzug in 40.g6 and what’s worse, reached the timecontrol so there was no time, or lack thereof, to confuse white. Hjorvar simply lost a pawn and had to suffer for the rest of the game.
Here Kjartansson took on d5 forcing and ending with a bunch of pawns vs the bishop. To be honest it looks completly winning for white and from a practical standpoint white can never lose so a very understandable decision. Hjorvar failed to defend but the tablebases however show that he had a defence.
The Tablebase indicates that 56…Ke6 would have drawn the game with perfect defence. This however would have been hard to see but all the same a game Gretarsson should never have lost and he now finds himself in a disappointing position, one and a half point behind the leaders and missed opportunities in both games. The good news is it’s a long tournament so still plenty of room to make up ground.
IM Björn Þorfinnsson – FM Einar Hjalti Jensson
Bjorn played solidly with 1.c4 and went for a setup with b3 in the mainlines, staying away from the main theoretical moves and the lines in the Marin books.
Black was certainly more than fine out of the opening but as often happens in the English, white just wants an equal position with plenty of scope to play, which is what he got.
On move 15, white took on doubled pawns on the a-file but in return his game was somewhat freed up and he has open lines on the queenside to attack. The pawns quickly became undouble though after a queen exchange on b3. Note though that this was doubled pawns #1 for white.
After the queen trade, Einar pushed through with …e3. Cue double pawns #2
Einar had some initiative at this point but Bjorn nullified it with what seems like a good exchange sacrifice.
The white bishops look mighty strong here and we can safely call this dynamically balanced a.k.a. the lazy annotators evaluation if he isn’t quite sure what’s going on.
Here white has gained the upper hand somewhat and do note doubled pawns #3 for white! he managed to double them again on the a-file! Here Bjorn had a decision. He could have gone for the ending a pawn up with 30.a6 when black has to take the bishop and then give up a rook for the passed pawn. Most likely this will be very hard for white to win despite the extra pawn. Instead Bjorn kept more dynamics on the table and this turned out in his favour eventually.
Here Bjorn calculated a fantastic win. See if you can also and find the key move in the main variation.
Bjorn played the fantastic move 35.Rxf7 after a forced sequence of moves the main point was of course…
A very aesthetic move. If the bishop is captured, then 40.a7 protects the 8th rank. This game is for all the doubled pawns out there that have been harassed throughout the years. The little one on a4 sheltered his buddy all the way up the board!
A nice endgame display from Bjorn who says that endgames are just common sense 🙂 He now moves to 2 out of 2.
Johann Ingvason – IM Jon Viktor Gunnarsson
Jon Viktor went for a slightly offbeat Sicilian with an early …b5
His lower rated opponent played quite well and went for the e5 push here, true to his style:
Jon managed to trick his opponent a little bit and snachted the weak isolated e5 pawn later in the game.
Shortly thereafter backrank issues became the main culprit for white’s problems and Jon Viktor sailed to 2/2.
So another very interesting round with plenty of decisive games. Results from the round:
The 3rd round starts as 15:00 local time, as do all rounds except the last one.
Theoretically we could still have 4 players with a perfect score after this round!