1st VISA Chess Summit: Reykjavik 1990

[ Information || Final group standings || Statistics ]


[ Basic data | Tournament review | Interesting games ]

Basic data

VISA Chess Summit
Date: 9th - 15th March 1990
City: Reykjavik, Iceland
Venue: N/A
Tournament Director: N/A
Chief Arbiter: N/A
Teams participating: 4 (incl. Nordic Team open for players from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland)
Players participating: 46 (incl. 36 GMs and 8 IMs)
Games played: 120
Competition format: Ten board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points
Time control: N/A
Downloadable game file: 90visa.zip
Courtesy of David McAlister.

Tournament review

Sponsored by Visa and IBM Iceland, this new fixture featured the four formidable sides of the USSR, USA, England and combined Nordic Team (six Icelanders, three Swedes, two Norwegians, one Dane and one Finn) in a ten board contest. Each side played the other twice, with the option of up to two floating reserves. The Scandinavians were lacking Andersson and Larsen. England lacked Chandler, who was recuperating after an eye operation. Ehlvest, victor at Reggio Emilia earlier on that year, and Gelfand were missing from the Soviet team, as well as Beliavsky, Kasparov and Karpov.

The Soviets won all of their matches of the first lap to take halfway lead at 17½ points ahead of USA and England. On day four they unexpectedly halved with the Nordic team to concede the round five match vs England. Meanwhile the Americans wasted the chance to overtake the leaders as they lost to the Nordics 6-4. In the last round the Soviets held USA to draw to retain half of a point advantage over England as the latter barely drew with the Nordic Team. Thus the Soviets won the exceptionally tight contest scoring modest 31½/60 (+3) ahead of England 31, USA 30 and the Nordic Team 27½.

US board 10 Alexander Ivanov, Soviet émigré, was overall top scorer. Ivanchuk of USSR scored 4/5 to prove best player of his side. Nigel Short was probably in need of a rest after his tougt tournament at Linares, but turned out and began with three losses. Simen Agdestein, Norwegian prodigy who was top board of the Nordic team scored respectable 4/6 equal to 2745 Elo. Hjartarson (Iceland) was even better at 5th board (4½/6 and Elo performance 2767).

/ Based on notes from BCM /

Interesting games

Objectively, Black's attack was not an adequate compensation for the two minor pieces he sacrificed, but...
Eingorn, Vyacheslav (URS) - Christiansen, Larry (USA) 0 - 1

First piece sac at h6 could hardly be refuted, the second one was mortal.
Adams, Michael (ENG) - Christiansen, Larry (USA) 1 - 0

White employed rather easy tricks but this proved enough to beat Vaganian in his peak.
Fedorowicz, John (USA) - Vaganian, Rafael (URS) 1 - 0

Black refuted White's threats to pin c2 and gain decisive advantage.
Speelman, Jonathan (ENG) - Ivanchuk, Vasyl (URS) 0 - 1