Pacific Northwest Players in Iceland

BY MIKE MURRAY (a bit was added by Russell Miller)

Three Northwesterners competed in the ten-round 2014 Reykjavik Open: Viktors Pupols of Kingston, Washington, Jason Kenney of the Vancouver, BC area, and Mike Murray of Port Townsend, Washington. Kenney and Murray scored 5-5, while Unkel Vik scored 4.5 – 5.5, but the picture painted by the final numbers is a bit distorted. Vik and Jason faced substantially stronger opposition.

Pupols started with a loss to GM Richard Rapport, scored two draws and a loss against IMs, drew an FM, dropped a couple games to 2250 rated untitled players, and picked up three points against class players — a respectable score against a tough field. Pupols had 3 wins 3 draws and 4 lost. His starting rank was 130 and finish was 148.

Kenney had a superb start. After winning his first round game against a 1513, drawing an IM, then a GM, beating an IM, and drawing another GM, he could seriously contemplate an IM norm. But after pushing too hard to win a drawish position against WGM Alini L’Ami, he scored only 1.5 points out of the last five rounds. Still, he had a good tournament, with an Event Performance Rating (2244) exceeding his FIDE by 120 points.

My own results were somewhat less than mediocre, no upset wins or draws, a couple of draws against lower rated players, and a loss to a 1624 junior. I finished 5-5, 4 wins 2 draws and 4 lost. My starting rank was 147 and finish rank was 141.

Chinese GM Li Chao won it with 8.5. Four GMs, including Canada’s Eric Hansen, tied for second with 8.

This was the fiftieth anniversary of the tournament, held the last three years in Reykjavik’s Harpa Hall, and was superbly run, as usual. Rounds 2 and 3 were played on the same day, with one game a day for all other rounds.

Chessbase website has several reports.

CLICK HERE for crosstables and other info. Mike Murray is listed as Canadian.

CLICK HERE for lots of the game scores.