Announcement | October 04, 2012 16:51

Harpa again the venue for 28th Reykjavik Open in February 2013


Harpa, Reykjavik's spectacular new music hall on the harbour, will again be the venue for the Reykjavik Open. The 28th edition of Iceland's annual chess tournament will be held earlier than usual: February 19th till 27th, 2013. Like last year the organizers sent out their first press release months in advance, to build up the excitement at an early stage!

We've made many travels already, but attending the Reykjavik Open in March of this year was definitely one of the most memorable. The stunning playing venue, the unpredictable weather, the friendly Icelanders, the Golden Circle, the Blue Lagoon, Bobby Fischer's grave... When the organizers asked us to help promoting next year's edition, we didn't hesitate for a moment.

Like this year, the venue will be the spectacular 28.000 m² Harpa concert hall on the border which opened in the Spring of 2011. As always Icelandair is offering packages which include flight & hotel. The flights leave from Copenhagen, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Oslo, Stockholm, London, Manchester, Glasgow, Boston, Denver, New York and Seattle. This year there's an extra hotel option: the brand new Icelandair Hotel Marina, located just 5 minutes walking from Harpa. All information about the packages can be found at the tournament website. Players using Icelandair-packages get a 25% discount off the entrance fee.

The playing hall in March 2012

The city of Reykjavík has sponsored the tournament since its inception in 1964, when Mikhail Tal won it with a record 12.5 points out of 13.  The tournament was initially held every two years, but has since 2008 taken place every year. It was closed in its early years, but has been an open event since the 1980s.

Throughout its history the Reykjavik Open has featured many of the strongest chess players in the world at the time, including Mikhail Tal, Nona Gaprindashvili, David Bronstein, Vasili Smyslov, Bent Larsen, Friðrik Ólafsson, Mark Taimanov, Lev Polugaevsky, Jan Timman, Viktor Kortchnoi, Samuel Reshevsky, Anthony Miles, Nigel Short, Hikaru Nakamura, Judit Polgar, Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Grischuk, Fabiano Caruana and Hou Yifan.

This year's winner was Fabiano Caruana, currently leading the Grand Slam Masters Final

In the 2012 edition 198 players from 33 countries participated, including 26 grandmasters (11 of them 2600+). In 2013 the total prize fund will be € 15,000, including many special prizes for various ages and rating categories, in addition to the traditional top women prize. A limited number of GMs and WGMs will be offered conditions - for this you can contact

As in earlier years, several chess-related events will take place at the same time as the tournament, including the now famous Reykjavík Open Chess Pub Quiz and the Golden Circle sightseeing tour that includes stops at Geysir and Bobby Fischer's final resting place in the southern part of Iceland.

A must-see (or rather, must-do) in Iceland: the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa. The steamy waters are part of a lava formation. "Bláa lónið" is situated approximately 13 km (8 miles) from the Keflavík International Airport and many tourists in fact visit it on their way to the airport.

All info about entrance fee and registration can be found at the tournament website. Below is the atmosphere video we produced back in March:


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


chill's picture

indeed good news. is iceland economy on track now? thanks

jose's picture

is tournament website made by "Save as HTML" in MS Word??

juanefren's picture



RuralRob's picture

I like it. Just put all the info you need right there, no flashy Javascript menus to hunt through.

RuralRob's picture

If the Arctic keeps on melting, that venue is in trouble.

Trofim7774's picture

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