Faroes Open 2018 – Part 1

The tournament is now finished and there’s always that weird feeling once you’ve been in a place for a few weeks with the same people and you then leave it all behind until the next time. We had a great time but as usual I’m very glad to be home and that I we have a few weeks before our next tournament. There were definitely some highs and some lows (mostly to do with my own play) in the Faroe Islands. It was actually really nice to get away from the heat. This time last year we played in Corsica and we had a lot of fun there but since we’ve had this heatwave in the UK for the last few months it was nice to have some wet weather. Who knew I would miss the rain :).

The tournament itself was held in a school library where you had to either take off your shoes or wear some sort of plastic slip-ons. I quite liked playing in my socks as I normally take my shoes off when I’m concentrating but I guess, if you aren’t used to it, it can be a strange feeling.

Ga made some new friends when he shared his apple core.
Ga made some new friends when he shared his apple core.











Chess wise, for the first half everything was going to “plan”. I would win against the lower rated players – which is never a given for me and then lose to the stronger players. In the first round I was paired with Gawain which is always an awkward pairing, what do you play against someone much stronger than you, who knows your weakness and strengths? We decided to play something we both didn’t know then I tried to play moves that were tricky against him but he avoided my tricks and went on to win. What happened in Round 6,7 and 8 to me? Well in Round 6, I had this position against one of the Faroes Island Olympiad team Rogvi Egilstoft Nielsen.

I went on to lose this game and I actually was able to sleep that evening but I guess I was still stressed or anxious and thinking about my previous game. I then had to play a strong underrated player who gained 47 points during this tournament, I forgot my theory and lost. In Round 8, I played a junior who I beat quite easily in the blitz but I wasn’t able to give him enough problems to solve and I blundered a very important pawn and lost my 3rd game in a row. It felt like a mental collapse. It’s something that I have a lot of experience about and it’s a subject I’m going to write about in a future post.

Would I come back to play in the Faroes Island again? Yes! Even though the chess didn’t go so well for me, it was still a very beautiful place with such lovely people. The organisers who we mostly dealt with, Ingi Wiberg and Hjalti Petersen, were very kind to us and put a lot of thought into running the tournament.

The Mulafossur Waterfall
The Mulafossur Waterfall

This beautiful waterfall is located to the west of Vágar in the village of Gásadalur. The village of  Gásadalur was isolated until 2004 when a tunnel was built, prior to that you had to hike over the mountainous terrain which was over 400meters high! The locals told us of the postman who use to do that route twice a week! He must have been exceptionally fit. Lucky for us, we took the car through the tunnel which was an interesting experience – one way and well lit with holes where you could wait if there was traffic. Ga and I discussed if we had to choose to walk over the mountain or through the tunnel which would do and I said I would walk over the top of it (slowly) and he choose to walk through the tunnel.

The Trophies which are handmade in the Faroes Islands.

Congratulations to Srinath who won the tournament for the second time in a row, he definitely was the player who deserved to win it!

The Winners.
The Winners.


The tiebreaks of this tournament was strange. Thanks to them I won the Women’s Prize and Ga ended up being 3rd. The arbiter decided to use the tiebreak

The greatest number of victories (or losses)!!

This was the tiebreak they used at the Reyjkavik Open in 2017 and there were some huge discrepancies with the final standings. They decided to change the tiebreak for this year’s Open. Which tiebreak is the best? Well there are issues with the different systems and I’ll probably write this in a separate post to not go too off topic.

Final Standings Reykajvik
Final Standings Reykajvik

If Srinath lost in the final round to Maxim Vavulin then he would’ve lost because of the direct encounter but if someone else would be on the scoregroup he would’ve also lost thanks to not “losing/winning” as many games.

I’ll publish Faroes Open 2018 – Part 2 later this week. I wanted to also tell our readers you’ll see both of us in action at the British Chess Championship, Ga is currently seeded 2nd. The tournament will be held in Hull in East Yorkshire. I look forward to the tournament!



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