Gibraltar 03: Battle of the sexes

by Johannes Fischer
1/29/2016 – One of the many side events at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is the "Battle of the Sexes", a light-hearted, funny consultation game men against women that is scheduled for 30 January. However, some players used the third round as a warm-up, notably Harika Dronavalli, who crushed Nigel Short, and Anna Muzychuk, who outplayed Laurent Fressinet.

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Play in the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters starts at 15.00 local time (GMT+1) on Tuesday 26 January 2016, with live commentary from GM Simon Williams and IM Elisabeth Paehtz throughout. There is play every subsequent day at this time until Thursday 4 February 2016, when the tenth final round starts earlier at 11.00 (GMT+1). Live coverage may be found via the official website.

Watch it live on Playchess!

Pictures: John Saunders, Sophie Triay (Tournament page)

About a year ago Nigel Short provocatively stated in a column for the Dutch magazine New in Chess that men are "hardwired" to be better at chess than women. This triggered quite a lot of supportive and less supportive responses and caused a ferocious gender debate in the international press.

While Short had never claimed that players such as Judit Polgar or Hou Yifan could not compete with the best male players, but was first of all talking about the ratio of strong male players compared to strong female players, the English grandmaster risked a lot with his statement. He not only provoked criticism from various sides but now also seems obliged to offer proof for his claim when playing against a woman. 

However, in round three of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival he failed to do so. Short had to play against Indian grandmaster Harika Dronavalli, number 12 on the women's ranking list, and was crushed.

Nigel Short v Harika Dronavalli

Harika Dronavalli

Nigel Short vs Harika Dronavalli

 

Anna Muzychuk scored another victory in the "battle of the sexes". She outplayed French grandmaster Laurent Fressinet. 

Anna Muzychuk vs. Laurent Fressinet

Anna Muzychuk vs Laurent Fressinet

 

After three rounds eleven players with 3.0/3 share the lead in Gibraltar and thanks to their wins against Short and Fressinet Harika Dronavalli and Anna Muzychuk are part of this group. The third woman in the top group is Aleksandra Goryachkina from Russia, number one on the girls list. In round three she won against  GM Eduardo Iturrizaga from Venezuela and showed how fortune favors the lucky. After sacrificing material in the opening to complicate the position she found herself in a completely lost position. However, Iturrizaga failed to deliver the coup de grace and finally was mated.

 

Top seed Hikaru Nakamura is not part of the top group. He had to concede a draw against the young Russian Grigoriy Oparin. Nakamura tried hard to get a tangible advantage from a slightly better position but after finally winning a pawn he landed in rook ending that he could not win.

 

Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura v Grigoriy Oparin

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Aryan Tari played an interesting game in the Grünfeld, in which Tari's knight seemed to be fond of going to the edge of the board at the first possible moment. But when things came back to normal Vachier-Lagrave outplayed the Norwegian with a number of tactical shots in the endgame.

 

Aryan Tari vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Aryan Tari

Viswanathan Anand started with a draw into his first open tournament since 1986. But in round two and round three he scored smooth and convincing wins.

Vishy Anand vs Xu Xiangyu

 

Results

1 1 GM Nakamura Hikaru 2787 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Oparin Grigoriy 2565 42
2 43 IM Tari Aryan 2556 2 0 - 1 2 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2785 2
3 7 GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2732 2 1 - 0 2 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2550 46
4 45 GM Lalith Babu M R 2553 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw 2727 8
5 9 GM Rapport Richard 2721 2 1 - 0 2 GM Al-Sayed Mohammed 2530 50
6 47 GM Muzychuk Anna 2537 2 1 - 0 2 GM Fressinet Laurent 2700 10
7 11 GM Bacrot Etienne 2697 2 1 - 0 2 IM Pichot Alan 2517 54
8 49 GM Handke Florian Dr. 2533 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Ni Hua 2697 12
9 53 GM Vishnu Prasanna. V 2518 2 0 - 1 2 GM Ragger Markus 2689 14
10 15 GM Howell David W L 2685 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2515 56
11 57 IM Gledura Benjamin 2515 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Almasi Zoltan 2684 16
12 17 GM Short Nigel D 2684 2 0 - 1 2 GM Harika Dronavalli 2511 58
13 59 GM Sundararajan Kidambi 2508 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Bruzon Batista Lazaro 2666 18
14 25 GM Sethuraman S.P. 2639 2 1 - 0 2 GM Bai Jinshi 2507 60
15 62 WGM Tan Zhongyi 2504 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Jones Gawain C B 2625 28
16 29 GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2624 2 0 - 1 2 WGM Goryachkina Aleksandra 2502 64
17 63 GM Khotenashvili Bela 2502 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Gupta Abhijeet 2613 32
18 33 GM Lenic Luka 2611 2 1 - 0 2 GM Blomqvist Erik 2492 68
19 65 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2500 2 1 - 0 2 GM Sandipan Chanda 2583 36
20 115 IM Anurag Mhamal 2387 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Vazquez Igarza Renier 2572 40
21 41 GM Donchenko Alexander 2570 2 ½ - ½ 2 WGM Pogonina Natalija 2454 80
22 3 GM Anand Viswanathan 2784 1 - 0   Xu Xiangyu 2466 74
23 55 GM Libiszewski Fabien 2515 0 - 1 GM Harikrishna P. 2755 4
24 69 GM Zhukova Natalia 2484 0 - 1 GM Yu Yangyi 2747 6
25 19 GM Kamsky Gata 2665 1 - 0 GM Tischbierek Raj 2433 88

...

Standings

Rg. Snr   Name Land Elo Pkt.  Wtg1 
1 2 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2785 3,0 3279
2 7 GM Jakovenko Dmitry RUS 2732 3,0 3260
3 9 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2721 3,0 3248
4 11 GM Bacrot Etienne FRA 2697 3,0 3238
5 14 GM Ragger Markus AUT 2689 3,0 3232
6 47 GM Muzychuk Anna UKR 2537 3,0 3228
7 25 GM Sethuraman S.P. IND 2639 3,0 3204
8 58 GM Harika Dronavalli IND 2511 3,0 3202
9 33 GM Lenic Luka SLO 2611 3,0 3190
10 64 WGM Goryachkina Aleksandra RUS 2502 3,0 3086
11 65 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. IND 2500 3,0 3083
12 1 GM Nakamura Hikaru USA 2787 2,5 2757
13 42 GM Oparin Grigoriy RUS 2565 2,5 2744
14 8 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw POL 2727 2,5 2732
15 4 GM Harikrishna P. IND 2755 2,5 2724
  80 WGM Pogonina Natalija RUS 2454 2,5 2724
17 12 GM Ni Hua CHN 2697 2,5 2715
  45 GM Lalith Babu M R IND 2553 2,5 2715
19 15 GM Howell David W L ENG 2685 2,5 2703
20 16 GM Almasi Zoltan HUN 2684 2,5 2702
21 49 GM Handke Florian Dr. GER 2533 2,5 2694
22 18 GM Bruzon Batista Lazaro CUB 2666 2,5 2693
23 3 GM Anand Viswanathan IND 2784 2,5 2684
24 20 GM Duda Jan-Krzysztof POL 2660 2,5 2679
  56 GM Stefanova Antoaneta BUL 2515 2,5 2679

... 250 players

The Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival attracts lots of visitors. In round three Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar, came to the Hotel Caleto to have a look at the games.

Brian Callaghan, Fabian Picardo, Leontxo Garcia

Denis Lafferty, Fabian Picardo, James Humphreys, Stuart Conquest, Stephen Boyd

Chess ambassador Ana Cramling Bellon, the daughter of Swedish grandmaster Pia Cramling and Spanish grandmaster Juan Manuel Bellon.

ChessBase author Tania Sachdev follows the tournament as anchorwoman of "The Day's Play"

Episode 4

All videos from Gibraltar...


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the 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 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.
 


Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".
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illuzhin illuzhin 1/30/2016 08:56
Didn´t know Jack Nicholson played chess.
reasonable reasonable 1/30/2016 02:40
It is really a question of averages ; Kasparov said " the gap is there but it is closing"; right now there is not a single women player in the world top 50 ; Judith Polgar mind you was the best women player in all history but quite exceptional kind of like Fischer , Kasparov and Carlson.....
oputu oputu 1/30/2016 12:50
Once again, Nigel Short has been misinterpreted by those who take statements at surface value. What he meant by the statement; "men are hard wired to be better chess players than women" means that no matter the sun shinning on any day, The men no 1 chess player will ALWAYS be stronger than the women no 1 chess player (you can bet on Mariya Muzychuk to beat Magnus Carlsen in a match if you like, and lose all your money attempting to be gender sensitive). Also, the average top 100 men rating will always be higher than the average top 100 women rating.
Its silly for someone to think Short cannot lose to a woman just because he made such a statement. So If I say men are hardwired to be richer than women is that far from the top 10 statistical truth? And does that make me richer than Oprah Winfrey?..........fishy interpretation IMO
Beanie Beanie 1/29/2016 10:58
I guess Harika was hard-wired to win that game.
eltollo eltollo 1/29/2016 10:40
At his twitter account, Short wrote: "Not ill, not tired, just totally outplayed by Harika".
Bravo!
KevinC KevinC 1/29/2016 06:10
Whether you agree with Short, or not, losing a game to a woman (or even the two upsets in this round) does not disprove his hypothesis. There is enough randomness in chess that upsets happen to just about everyone every now and then, but I still would not bet my house on Hou Yifan if she were playing Carlsen in a match.

It is really mostly just embarrassing to him considering his outspokenness, but it is not surprising since he is getting older, and his mind is probably slowing (This is not an excuse, it happens to everyone. Even Kasparov and Karpov slowed down, and got into time trouble more often once they got past 40, and Short is 50 now).
sicilian_D sicilian_D 1/29/2016 03:49
Thanks for adding the column title row :)
stephen brady stephen brady 1/29/2016 02:08
Remember this recent headline from Nigel Short - "Girls Just Don't have the Brains to Play Chess" ?
I am no feminist, but find it funny, and he should definitely take some grief for losing to a strong woman player after his recent comments :)
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