Americans in Iceland
By Jennifer Shahade   
March 12, 2008
Photo Cathy Rogers 2006
Young American stars GM Fabiano Caruana and FM Ray Robson played in the 2008 Reykjavik Open (March 3-11), concurrent with a Bobby Fischer Memorial featuring GMs Fridrik Olafsson, Lajos Portisch, Vlastimil Hort and Pal Benko.

Ray Robson, who just won the first place Schein-Friedman scholarship , had an excellent start, earning 5/8 against a very tough field. Unfortunately, he lost his last round game to a lower rated player, but still emerged with a performance rating of 2470. (Ray is 2389)  Here he pushes for a win against a 2600 GM but was held to a draw in the end:


GM Fabiano Caruana (2598) of Italy and the USA scored 6.5/9 to finish in a tie for fourth place, half a point away from the three-way tie for first between Wang Hao, Wang Yue(China) and Hannes Stefansson (Iceland.) Fabiano played some thrilling chess. Can you find his move in the following position against top woman player Ketevan Arakhamia?

White to Move. Position after 46..fxe4

Show Solution

Here is the full game:


In the following exciting contest, Fabiano seizes the day to open up the position for his rooks:


The death of Bobby Fischer hit Icelandics particularly hard, as Fischer's past and present were both so tied with Iceland. Here are a couple of photos from the Icelandic Chess Federation's building, where the tournament was held this year.

Painting of 1972 Fischer-Spassky match. Painter unknown, Cathy Rogers 2006

The board on which Fischer and Spassky played. Photo Cathy Rogers 2006

Related stories on include Mike Klein's essay, "Searching for Fischer's Legacy," Macauley Peterson's interview with Fabiano Caruana from the January 08 Chess Life Magazine, "Play Like Ray" about Ray Robson's IM norm result in Texas, and "An American in Iceland" by Ben Johnson in Chess Life Magazine's inaugral redesigned issue (June 2006.)