Ten-player round robin in Eidar, near the town of Egilsstadir
GM Hedinn Steingrimsson beat GM Henrik Danielsen in a thrilling game in the last round of the Icelandic Chess Championship on Saturday. Danielsen (with black) stretched his position very far in search of a win that would have helped him clinch the title, but Steingrimsson held on. IM Bragi Thorfinnson, who drew against IM Gudmundur Kjartansson in the last round, needed a win to secure his first GM norm.
The Icelandic champion title is Steingrimsson’s second. In 1990, he won the title at age of 15 – which is still a record- when the championship was held at Hofn in Hornafjordur, which like Eidar, the current playing venue, is in the eastern part of Iceland. Steingrimsson finished the championship with 7,5 points out of 9, followed by Thorfinnsson with 6,5 points and Danielsen with 6 points.
GM Throstur Thorhallsson and IM Stefan Kristjansson shared 4th and 5th place with 5,5 points each, FM Robert Lagerman came 6th with 4 points, Gudmundur Gislason and FM Ingvar Thor Johannesson 7-8th with 3 points, followed by IM Gudmundur Kjartansson with 2,5 points and Jon Arni Halldorsson with 1,5 points.
The Icelandic Chess Championship in 2011 was one of the most exciting in recent memory with three GMs taking part. Steingrimsson’s performance equated to 2639 and helped him gain 9 Elo points and strengthen his position as the 2nd highest ranked Icelandic player, after GM Johann Hjartarson.
Steingrimsson did not lose a single game and was even never close to losing one in the entire tournament. Steingrimsson’s solid performance will earn him a place in both Iceland’s National Chess Team and the European Individual Men Chess Championship next year.
Gunnar Bjornsson, president of ICF, Bragi Thorfinnsson, Hedinn Steingrimsson and Henrik Danielsen
Thorfinnsson also sailed through the championship without a single loss, but was agonisingly 0,5 point away from his first GM norm. Thorfinnson’s performance helped him gain 16 Elo points. He played confidently throughout, but narrowly escaped a loss against Gislason in the 8th round.
Danielsen was close to the top for the entire tournament. He is a workhorse and posted his games and analysis on chessdom.com during the championship. He arrived at Eidar, the playing venue, straight from overseas where he had been playing, and immediately left for an international tournament in Lubeck, Germany. He lost only 4 Elo points for his performance.
The Icelandic Chess Federation is grateful to the regional chess clubs and organizations that helped make the event a success.
Article by Gunnar Bjornsson. More information on the tournament website