Former chess world champion, Boris Spasski, will arrive in Iceland next week for a celebration held by the Icelandic Chess Association honoring Fridrik Ólafsson, Iceland’s first grandmaster. The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service reports that, on February 11, Spasski will give a presentation on the international career of Fridrik, including how Spasski got to know Fridrik, his view of Fridrik’s career, chess style and legacy in the world of chess.
Concurrently, a rapid chess tournament, called Fridrik’s Tournament featuring Iceland’s best chess players, will take place.
In 1972, at a chess tournament in Iceland, Spasski lost the world champion title to Robert Fischer, now an Icelandic citizen. When asked if Spasski would meet Fischer, Guðfríður Lilja Grétarsdóttir, the president of the Icelandic Chess Association said she believed so but probably not in spotlight of the media.
Gudfrídur Lilja said that at the height of his career Fridrik was unquestionably one of the world’s strongest chess players. She quoted a respected magazine which at the time proclaimed that “no big tournament could take place unless Fridrik was included”. She said that, today, Fridrik was still one of the world’s best chess players in the masters division.
The celebration takes place at 2 p.m. on February 11 at the Landsbanki Íslands in Austurstræti. Fridrik’s Tournament starts at 5 p.m. the same day.