Gibraltar: Ivanchuk beats Short to take the lead

1/31/2011 – Nigel Short was leading with 5.0/5 points – then the British GM stumbled on a rock, in the form of Vassily Ivanchuk, who did not show the necessary respect for Nigel's unusual Bogo-Indian. Meanwhile a number of participants, mainly ladies, were taken to the Upper Rock to meet some of the Gibraltar natives. We hope you enjoy the beautiful pictorial report on this interesting encounter.

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The 2011 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is taking place from Monday, 24 January to Thursday, 3 February 2011 at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar. The event, which is open to all, is the ninth in the series held on the Rock, but the first one to be sponsored by Tradewise Insurance. The rate of play: 40 moves in 100 minutes plus 20 moves in 50 minutes plus 15 minutes for all remaining moves with 30 seconds per move added from the start. There is a special women's award for the hightest performance by a female player, with a prize of £10,000. In addition there are a number of subsiduary tournaments.

Round six wrap-up by Stewart Rueben

It warmed the cockles of my heart that there were English players on both board one and two of the Masters. It was fascinating to look at the different approaches of our two English players.

Nigel Short (above right) played a quite extraordinary new variation with the black pieces, taking the fight to his illustrious opponent, Vassily Ivanchuk, right from the start. It isn’t clear whether he should have drawn the endgame, but he eventually went down. Meanwhile, Michael Adams rapidly exchanged off into an inferior endgame, but one which he drew with consummate ease.

Thus four of the top six games were drawn (a normal percentage). Many people think that drawn games must, by their very nature, be inferior to those with a positive result. This is nonsense. A perfectly correctly played game will be drawn. After all, a drawn football match may be much better than one which is decisive.

On the other hand the Dzagnidze-Vallejo Pons game (1-0) was utterly enthralling. Another clear candidate for the £1,000 Best Game Prize was that between Akobian and Mikhalevski. The Israeli played an unusual variation of the Benoni. OK, there may have been errors and imperfections, but it was exciting. Chess is a very complex game and the very best will still have mistakes.

Yesterday I rushed to contact my associate John Saunders to get him to take a picture of the wonderful double rainbow that could be seen from the playing hall. I thought of telling the players they could stop their clocks to see the phenomenon, but thought better of it. A pity – I could then have made the play on words ‘rainbow stopped play’.


Spectators: Natalija Pogonina, Nana Dzagnidze, Nadezhda and Tatiana Kosintseva

We now know the number of entries in the whole event. 66 in Challengers B (there were 55 in the first event) 40 in Amateur B (30). The total number of players is 306 from about 54 federations. This is a record and the 231 in the Masters comes close to the maximum 240 the two halls can hold.


Monkeys business in Gibraltar

The peninsula of Gibraltar, just 7000 square kilometres in size, is home to Europe's only Barbary Macaque population. These "rock apes" are descended from North African populations, and there are currently some 230 animals in five troupes, occupying the area of the Upper Rock and living apparently on tourist gifts. They are considered Gibraltar's unofficial national animal, and a photo op with the macaques is a must for the chess tournament participants.

Addendum: We are informed by Abel Ganz of France that there is also a population of around 280 Barbary Macaques on the Montagne des Singes in Alsace, France.


Get ready, guys, best behavious. It's the chess crowd again...


Yerazik Khachatourian of Norway with a friend (this has to be our front page thumb!)


Ukrainian IM Inna Gaponenko Inna with her macaca acquaintance


GM Viktorija Cmilyte of Lithuania


Experts will know what form of social interaction this
cercopithecide is performing on WGM Natalija Pogonina


You gotta take off the cap, Natalia dear, if you want me to
look for parasites (GM Natalia Zhukova of Ukraine)


I have always been particularly fond of Georgian IMs (like Salome Melia)


Okay, guys, show me how this chess thing works...


You got to pose with two beautiful GMs, now it is my turn, dammit!


A view of the Caleta Hotel tournament venue from the Upper Rock


What it feels like to be up there, with the monkeys and the wind...


One of the luckiest men in the world: Tournament Director GM Stuart Conquest, here with
Natalija 'n Salome 'n Natalia 'n Inna 'n Viktorija 'n Yerazik (and ne'er a monkey in sight)

Photos by Zeljka Malobabic and John Saunders

Top standings after six rounds

Rk.  Ti. Name FED Rtg Pt. Perf.
1 GM Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2764 5.5 2969
2 GM Short Nigel D ENG 2658 5.0 2831
3 GM Fridman Daniel GER 2655 5.0 2822
4 GM Mikhalevski Victor ISR 2579 5.0 2622
5 GM Sengupta Deep IND 2530 4.5 2758
6 GM Adams Michael ENG 2723 4.5 2741
7 GM Kulaots Kaido EST 2577 4.5 2714
8 GM Dzagnidze Nana GEO 2550 4.5 2712
9 GM Roiz Michael ISR 2649 4.5 2702
10 IM Kosintseva Nad. RUS 2552 4.5 2690
11 GM Caruana Fabiano ITA 2721 4.5 2674
12 GM Gopal Narayanan IND 2597 4.5 2667
13 GM Kacheishvili Giorgi GEO 2585 4.5 2650
14 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-D. ROU 2678 4.5 2636
15 GM Ikonnikov Vyacheslav RUS 2580 4.5 2623
16 GM Edouard Romain FRA 2634 4.5 2589
17 IM Bellaiche Anthony FRA 2458 4.5 2549
18 IM Melia Salome GEO 2449 4.5 2521
19 GM Fier Alexandr BRA 2571 4.5 2461
20   Szuper Paul USA 2174 4.5 2445
21 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2531 4.0 2735
22 GM Korchnoi Viktor SUI 2544 4.0 2733
23 GM Buhmann Rainer GER 2572 4.0 2655
24 GM Sasikiran Krishnan IND 2690 4.0 2651
25 GM Zhu Chen QAT 2495 4.0 2642
26 GM Akobian Varuzhan USA 2618 4.0 2625
27 GM Harikrishna Pentala IND 2667 4.0 2620
 
Rk.  Ti. Name FED Rtg Pt. Perf.
28 GM Sandipan Chanda IND 2641 4.0 2610
29 GM Bologan Viktor MDA 2693 4.0 2592
30 GM Georgiev Kiril BUL 2669 4.0 2586
31 GM Onischuk Alexander USA 2689 4.0 2574
32 IM Krush Irina USA 2483 4.0 2556
33 GM Erdos Viktor HUN 2593 4.0 2555
34 GM Speelman Jon S ENG 2524 4.0 2540
35 FM Forsaa Espen NOR 2306 4.0 2528
36 GM El Debs Felipe BRA 2499 4.0 2527
37 IM Harika Dronavalli IND 2520 4.0 2516
38 IM Zatonskih Anna USA 2493 4.0 2515
39 GM Soffer Ram ISR 2489 4.0 2501
40 IM Fernandez Ernesto ESP 2453 4.0 2485
41 FM Zaremba Andrie USA 2339 4.0 2468
42 IM Nezad Husein Aziz QAT 2420 4.0 2461
43 GM Gallagher Joseph G SUI 2501 4.0 2455
44 GM Robson Ray USA 2532 4.0 2452
45 GM Iordachescu Viorel MDA 2634 4.0 2446
46 GM Al-Sayed Moham. QAT 2490 4.0 2425
47 FM Andersen Mads DEN 2410 4.0 2412
48 IM Battaglini Gabriel FRA 2437 4.0 2406
49 IM Karim Ismael MAR 2375 4.0 2401
50 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2593 4.0 2399
    Nuri Kambez SUI 2300 4.0 2399
52 IM Wohl Aleksandar H AUS 2409 4.0 2381
53 IM Gaponenko Inna UKR 2466 4.0 2378
54 GM Le Roux Jean-Pierre FRA 2551 4.0 2365

Links

A selection of games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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