The Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan, from China, will be among players in the Reykjavik Open, which starts on March 6th at Harpa Concert Hall, the spectacular waterfront concert hall in downtown Reykjavik.
She is the second reigning Women’s World Champion to take part in the history of the tournament. Nona Gaprindashvili played in the inaugural 1964 edition (won by Mikhail Tal).
The arrival of Hou Yifan, who shared the first place in Gibraltar with Nigel Short, makes the roster of participants in Reykjavik even more interesting than before. The tournament already boasts world no. 7, Fabuano Caruana (2767), who will is the highest ranked player, followed by David Navara, the other 2700+ player in the tournament.
Other registered players include Ukrainians Yuriy Kryvoruchko (2666), Yuriy Kuzubov (2616) and Vladimir Baklan (2612), which all have been among winners in recent years, the Bulgarian Ivan Cheparinov (2659), Gawain Jones (2653) from England, Robert Hess (2625) from USA, as well as the famous chess book author and theorist Boris Avrukh (2605) of Israel, who will hold a lecture for interested players during the tournament, and of course perennial participant and Iceland friend, Ivan Sokolov (2641), who has been among winners two last years.
There is already a record number of participants, both in terms of number of players (185) and countries represented (37)!
Hannes Stefansson (2534), the most successful player in Reykjavik Open history with five wins, Henrik Danielsen (2536) and Hjorvar Gretarsson (2470), who famously beat Shirov at the European Team Championship in Porto Carras, are among the home defending team of 72 Icelandic players.
There will be big media coverage from the tournament, including 12 games live during each round, in addition to live 30 minutes panel discussion at the end of each round, hosted by the ever entertaining English GM Simon Williams and Icelandic IM Bjorn Thorfinnsson.
There is more information about the Reykjavik Open at www.chess.is