Zia Mahmood playing in Iceland 1985
The tournament was first held in 1982.
Icelandic Bridge Federation, Reykjavík Bridgeclub and Icelandair combined their forces and decided to start an annual BridgeFestival, Icelandair Open. That year 36 pairs and 6 teams participated. AlanSontag and Peter Weichel won the pairs tournament and KarlSigurhjartarson(Karl, Ásmundur Pálsson, Ţórir Sigurđsson, Hörđur Blöndal,Hjalti Elíasson og Guđmundur Pétursson) won the teams tournament. Team from Norway wasinvited 1982 (as this year) and Tor Helness was in that team then! Tor was in 2nd place both pairs and teams. Can he do better now?
Icelandair Open has since become very popular among strong players from Europeand USA.After Iceland won theBermuda Bowl 1991 in Yokohamawe had an increase in participation in Icelandair Open. Who does not want to play against the World Champions and try to beat them?
For the last years around 50-60 foreign players have attended every year. Amongst our visitors are the newly crowned Norwegian Bermuda Bowl winners who will be our guests this year, Zia Mahmood, Lavazza Team from Italy, Omar Sharif, the Hackett brothers, Hjördís Eyţórsdóttir who now comes with the ladies team USA II, Eric Rodwell and lot of other stars from Scandinavia and all over the world. Many of them are regular guests and visit us every year which must tell something about the quality of this tournament. Zia Mahmood has won Icelandair Open more often than any other player including Icelanders! and of course he comes here again and again…