Indians off to a flier in Reykjavik

Updated: Mar 10, 2011, 21:05 PM IST

Reykjavik (Iceland): Grandmaster Abhijeet
Gupta started his campaign at the Reykjavik international open
chess tournament with a fluent victory over Reyk Schaefer of
Germany in the first round here.

Abhijeet extended his winning streak to 11 since the
Indian team championship, where the former world junior
champion had led his team PSPB to a fine victory with a 7/7
score and followed it up in the Icelandic league with a 3/3

With the victory over Schaefer, Abhijeet is set to
breach the coveted 2600 ELO rating mark.

The other Indians in the fray also got off to a flier as
International Master D Harika crushed Svetoslav Mihajlov of
Norway and GM norm holder Sahaj Grover proved stronger than
local hopeful Jens Kristinsson Bjarni.

Another Norwegian Ellisiv Reppen found the going tough
against young IM Debashish Das while Eesha Karavade opened her
account at the expense of Van Dongen Leo of Holland.

At the top of the tables Grandmaster Luke McShane had to
sweat it hard before putting it across Sheila Barth Sahl of
Norway. Interestingly no major upsets were recorded on the
opening day of this high profile tournament that has a total
of 166 participants.

With 27 Grandmasters and 21 International Masters in the
fray, this is certainly the strongest ever open in Iceland.

Abhijeet faced a rather off beat variation as black
against Schaefer from a Slav defense. The Indian won a pawn
with awesome ease and then made the difficult technicalities
look easy as the game progressed.

Reaching a rook and minor piece endgame in quick time,
Abhijeet wrapped the issue after getting two passed pawns on
the queenside.

Harika was stretched by Svetoslav Mihajlov in another
queen pawn game of the day. Getting only a slightly better
middle game, harika had to find some fine positional manouvres
to exert pressure on the queen side after which Mihajlov
simply fell victim to a wily plan by the Andhra girl.

Sahaj Grover too had a smooth sailing over Bjarni froma
Sicilian Kann game. Grover launched a dangerous king side
attack on the first opportunity and won a piece as the game
progressed to start on a positive note.

Bureau Report