On this day 50 years ago on January 14th, 1964, the inaugural Reykjavik Open started. To mark this anniversary date, a contract was signed to write a book covering the history of this prestigious tournament.

The author of the book will be GM Helgi Olafsson. Olafsson has followed or played in almost all of the Opens and has close to impeccable memory.

Perhaps no-one was better suited to a task of this magnitude. Olafsson has a few books to his name, the most notable perhaps his account of his meetings with Bobby Fischer in “Bobby Fischer Comes Home”.

Palmi Petursson, Helgi Olafsson and Gunnar Björnsson

Vice President Palmi Petursson, GM and author Helgi Olafsson and President Gunnar Björnsson

Going back in history, on January 14th, 1964, Mihail Tal played his first round game against local Master Jon Kristinsson.

Facing a repetition of moves after the opening, in true Tal fashion, Misha decided to take a huge risk and sacrifice his Queen!

After the game, Tal said: “I didn’t come all the way from Riga to Reykjavik to make a short draw in the first round!”

Tal might be the most celebrated name in the history of this tournament and he lived up to his reputation winning the inaugural Open with a magnificent 12,5 out of 13 points.

Reykjavik Open 2014

Chessdom