European Individual Chess Championship 2021, Rounds 1 & 2
The European Individual Chess Championship, 2021, is being played over-the-board at the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura, which is apparently where Bobby Fischer stayed in 1972 when playing Boris Spassky.
Covid precautions are being taken seriously:
Of the 180 participants, the highest rated is GM Gawain Jones, though the next highest is rated only 2 rating points lower! Those following are similarly only negligibly lower-rated. England is also represented by IMs Lorin D’Costa and Malcolm Pein, and Edmund C Player of Bury St Edmunds.
Gawain Jones got off to a good start with a win with White; it took some finding, but an exchange sacrifice led to a win. On the other hand, second-rated player, Armenian GM Gabriel Sargissian, only drew, as did fifth-rated player, German GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu. 83 players won in round 1. Click here to play through Gawain C B Jones 1-0 Iulian Baltag.
This time Gawain Jones only drew, as Black, with 54th-ranked Aydin Suleymanli of Azerbaijan, which meant he was going to enter round 2 almost as an “also ran”, though of course his 3rd-round pairing would be easier, so there is some merit in “resting” as Black. The game ended in Black going for a perpetual check in the middle-game. Click here to play through Aydin Suleymanli ˝-˝ Gawain C B Jones.
By the end of the round it had turned out that only one of the top 11 seeds had managed 2 out of 2! D’Costa, Pein and Player are now all on 1 out of 2.