A Glitnir (Íslandsbanki) sponsored rapid chess tournament will start today at 17:00 in Reykjavík City Hall. The tournament celebrates the memory of Haraldur Blöndal, a supreme court lawyer and chess enthusiast who would have turned 60 this year. The two-day tournament is open to the public.
Yesterday, Glitnir signed a contract to sponsor the Icelandic Chess Association for the next two years. Two of the world’s foremost chess players, Judit Polgár and Vishy Anand, were present.
At the signing event, Chairman of Glitnir, Einar Sveinsson, said that Haraldur was unforgettable to all those who got to know him, super sharp, very colorful, with many friends and also a great supporter of chess. Therefore, he said, it was very appropriate to dedicate the tournament to Haraldur. Einar said that the tournament would have appealed to Haraldur: very diverse, lively, colorful and open to all.
The Glitnir Tournament is part of the International Chess Festival in Reykjavík that started with the Reykjavík International Tournament, a tournament that Armenian grandmaster Gabriel Sargissian won with seven of nine possible points. Four other contestants, Ahmed Adly from Egypt, Pentala Harikrishna from India, Igor-Alexander Nataf from France and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan also finished with seven out of nine possible wins but after the relative level of skill of those that placed first had been valued Sargissian was named the winner.
The International Chess Festival in Reykjavík comes to a close on Saturday at 2 p.m. with US grandmaster Maurice Ashley giving a lecture called “Reykjavík – Harlem: the Value of Chess in a World of Poverty”. He will talk about spreading chess to children and teenagers in poor neighborhoods in US cities. Ashley is the first African- American to earn the title of grandmaster in chess.