Yorkshire Chess Association






Round 3 >


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:


For those from outside Iceland and born after 2004 the following applied.

If you were fully vaccinated at least 14 days previously, or had certification of a previous infection, you could enter with a satisfactory PCR or Antigen test (though not the latter if you are more than 72 years old – the website says “hours”!!).

If you were neither so vaccinated nor have certification of a previous infection, you needed a 5-day quarantine with two screenings.  You also needed a PCR test – an Antigen test not being enough.


Icelandic players, arbiters, and staff were required to show to the organizing committee, before the start of first round, a 48-hour PCR Test or a 24-hour Rapid Antigen test.


Face masks (which includes surgical or cloth masks, or plastic face shields) are obligatory for players in the playing hall, though players may take them off during while sitting at their table.


Arbiters and the rest of officials/staff in the playing hall must always wear such face covering.


“It is highly advisable to not allow any unnecessary walking of the participants in the Playing Hall.”


Hand sanitizers are positioned in various locations.


Social distancing of at least 1.5 metres from everyone except the opponent is required.  (Thus opponents are implicitly being expected to take relatively greater risk of infecting each other during the game!)



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.


Round 1


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.


Round 2


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.