Gibraltar Open starts tomorrow!

by Alejandro Ramirez
1/26/2015 – Several events tried very hard to take away the title of the "strongest open" of the year. Qatar, Millionaire, Reykjavik, to name a few... but they all fall short of Gibraltar: for the first time in history a 2800 player will be participating in an open event, and with 30+ 2600 players the tournament is sure to be a complete slugfest. We bring you a preview of the tournament.

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The traditional Gibraltar Chess Congress has begun! The 13th edition of this event is under way, but the main attraction - the Masters Section, will begin tomorrow. The Masters section entries are closed and the pairings are ready for the tournament to begin.

2015 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival

The Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival has traditionally been one of the strongest Opens in the World, and even though it recently has had great competition for that title (Qatar especially comes to mind) it is clear that Gibraltar still carries the torch.

Simply look at this monstrous top-30 list before the tournament starts:

No.   Name FED Rtg
1 GM Topalov Veselin BUL 2800
2 GM Nakamura Hikaru USA 2776
3 GM Svidler Peter RUS 2739
4 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2735
5 GM Jakovenko Dmitry RUS 2733
6 GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2724
7 GM Harikrishna P. IND 2723
8 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2716
9 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2695
10 GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2681
11 GM Rodshtein Maxim ISR 2680
12 GM Wei Yi CHN 2675
13 GM Hou Yifan CHN 2673
14 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2671
15 GM Howell David W L ENG 2670
16 GM Motylev Alexander RUS 2665
17 GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo VEN 2649
18 GM Edouard Romain FRA 2638
19 GM Sutovsky Emil ISR 2637
20 GM Bartel Mateusz POL 2631
21 GM Adhiban B. IND 2630
22 GM Bachmann Axel PAR 2629
23 GM Salgado Lopez Ivan ESP 2628
24 GM Agdestein Simen NOR 2626
25 GM Sethuraman S.P. IND 2624
26 GM Naroditsky Daniel USA 2622
27 GM Anton Guijarro David ESP 2617
28 GM Lenderman Aleksandr USA 2614
29 GM Bologan Viktor MDA 2608
30 GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2603

Veselin Topalov will be the top seeded player. With his excellent Olympic performance and overall good year he is currently sitting at exactly 2800... when was the last time you saw a 2800 player playing in an Open event? The answer: This is the first time in history that this happens. (Excluding, of course, rapid events).

Hikaru Nakamura is never a player that settles for second best. Him being the second seed in this event and no longer being the highest rated American player in the live rating list (Wesley So took that from him in Wijk aan Zee) he will surely be fueled up to destroy his competition and reclaim his position at the top of the American rankings.

The tournament doesn't get any easier after that: Peter Svidler, Nikita Vitiugov and Dmitry Jakovenko come up as players 3-5, all strong Russian 2730+ players.

Besides the sheer strength in rating, the tournament is full of talent from around the World. Yu Yangyi, Wei Yi and Hou Yifan will all be participating in the event, the first two carried their team towards Olympic Gold in Tromso while Hou Yifan will be looking to get her last few points that she needs to surpass Judit Polgar in rating.

Speaking of breaking rating barriers, Wei Yi (above) is only a few points away from becoming the youngest player to ever soar past 2700.

Open to all Category Prizes

1st Prize

£20,000 Rating Range 1st Prize 2nd Prize

2nd Prize

£16,000 2550-2649 £3,000 £2,500

3rd Prize

£12,000 2450-2549 £2,500 £1,500

4th Prize

£10,000 2350-2449 £2,000 £1,000

5th Prize

£8,000 2250-2349 £2,000 £1,000

6th Prize

£6,000 2150-2249 £2,000 £1,000

7th Prize

£4,000 2050-2149 £2,000 £1,000

8th Prize

£3,000 Under 2050 £2,000 £1,000

9th Prize

£2,000

Note: a player not appearing for their last round game is ineligible for a rating prize.

A player may not win more than one complete prize from this table.

10th Prize

£1,000

11th Prize

£1,000

12th Prize

£1,000

The tournament attracts many of the World's top female players, and it is not hard to see why, the prize fund for them is massive:

Open to all Women

1st Prize

£15,000

2nd Prize

£10,000

3rd Prize

£5,000

4th Prize

£3,500

5th Prize

£2,500

6th Prize

£2,000

7th Prize

£1,500

8th Prize

£1,000

9th Prize

£600

10th Prize

£400

Women can also "double dip" in the sense that if they win one of the "normal" prizes and one of the "women" prizes they will receive both.

Besides Hou Yifan, some of the top females include Ju Wenjun, the Muzychuk sisters, Pia Cramling, Antoaneta Stefanova, Irina Krush... only to name a few.

The festival is not only known for its Open section, however. There are plenty of Challenger and Amateur sections, blitz events, and overall a great fun atmosphere for the players. We will let this year's anchor, Tania Sachdev, explain in greater detail:

 

The tournament will have live commentary that can be followed on the official website. This year's team will be the dynamic duo of IM Elisabeth Paehtz and GM Simon Williams.

Some of the events have already begun, but the Open section will start tomorrow

The first event was a simultaneous exhibition by...

WGM Jovanka Houska and IM Salome Melia

Salome Melia and the man that makes everything happen in Gibraltar: GM Stuart Conquest

Meanwhile Tania Sachdev is busy interviewing half of Gibraltar

The opening ceremony will be tonight. We will be bringing you a report of that glamorous event alongside tomorrow's first round. For now, we leave you with the the pairings for tomorrow:

Bo.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg
1 GM Topalov Veselin 2800 0   0 FM Sanchez Jerez Emilio Miguel 2282
2 WGM Vojinovic Jovana 2301 0   0 GM Nakamura Hikaru 2776
3 GM Svidler Peter 2739 0   0 WIM Frisk Ellinor 2266
4 WIM Olsarova Tereza 2288 0   0 GM Vitiugov Nikita 2735
5 GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2733 0   0   Rydstrom Tom 2292
6 FM Nuri Kambez 2305 0   0 GM Yu Yangyi 2724
7 GM Harikrishna P. 2723 0   0 FM De Haan Eric 2299
8 FM Tate Alan 2297 0   0 GM Rapport Richard 2716
9 GM Matlakov Maxim 2695 0   0   Lombaers Peter 2291
10 FM Buchal Stephan 2273 0   0 GM Cheparinov Ivan 2681

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Topics Gibraltar

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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nekchess nekchess 1/27/2015 11:48
8 out of 10? She's gonna take first!
ff2017 ff2017 1/27/2015 11:29
Time for Hou Yifan to repeat her 8.0/10 performance pass Judit and come in 3rd after naka and topolav!
Steven E DuCharm Steven E DuCharm 1/27/2015 01:21
Let the monkey business begin!
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