Battle of the Sexes: Men triumph!

by John Saunders
2/3/2022 – In the final round the men's team needed four points to be sure of overall success. They managed to go undefeated as three of their number won their games to reach a score of 6½. The winners on the final day were Bobby Cheng, who beat Jovi Houska; Ravi Haria, who beat Olga Girya; and Bilel Bellahcene, who defeated Marie Sebag (her only loss of the event). Balazs Csonka drew his game with Marsel Efroimski and this was enough to secure his second grandmaster norm. Interim report and photos by John Saunders.

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Interim report

Round ten of the GibChess Battle of the Sexes match-tournament saw the men’s team win by 6½-3½ to finish overall winners by 53-47. On the day they needed four points to be sure of overall success, but they managed to go undefeated on the day as three of their number won their games to reach a score of 6½. The winners on the final day were Bobby Cheng, who beat Jovi Houska; Ravi Haria, who beat Olga Girya; and Bilel Bellahcene, who defeated Marie Sebag (her only loss of the event). Balazs Csonka drew his game with Marsel Efroimski and this was enough to secure his second grandmaster norm.

The best individual score of 7/10 was achieved by Balazs Csonka (Hungary) and Bilel Bellahcene (Algeria). One member of the women’s team, Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine) scored 6½/10, as did two members of the men’s team, captain Sabino Brunello (Italy) and Ravi Haria (England).

Photos of the players who won their games...

Bobby Cheng beat Jovi Houska

Ravi Haria defeated Olga Girya

Bilel Bellahcene defeated Marie Sebag

A fuller report will be issued later.

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In 1999 John Saunders gave up his job as an IT professional to become full-time editor/webmaster of 'British Chess Magazine'. During the 2000s he was also webmaster and magazine editor for the English Chess Federation, and regular webmaster and photo-reporter at Isle of Man and Gibraltar tournaments. In 2010 he became editor of the leading UK monthly 'CHESS' Magazine, retiring in 2012 but remaining its associate editor and regular contributor.

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