Gibraltar 05: Battle of the Sexes

by Alejandro Ramirez
2/2/2014 – The festivities continue in the Gibraltar Chess Congress and two of the more popular events have come to a closing. The first team blitz was won by the teams 50/50 and China Dragon. Also the Battle of the Sexes occurred and despite the significant rating advantage of the men, the women were the clear winners! Lastly, a beautiful romantic game by French Hero MVL.

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The traditional Gibraltar Chess Congress has begun! The 12th 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.

Battle of the Sexes

Saturday night will undoubtedly become one of the most memorable social events of the 10 day Tradewise International Chess Festival when the men and the women of this tournament played a friendly, yet fearsome Battle of the Sexes – a rapid match with a time limit of 10 minutes for all the moves plus an increment of 5 seconds a move.

The women's team: Left to Right: Cmilyte, Krush, Tranh Trang Hoang, Sachdev, organiser Brian Callaghan, Vojinovic, Paehtz, Guo Qi and Zhukova

The Women ruled the night and won by 2-0, with a third game (played at 10+0) played and won by the Men. Ring master, and director of this tournament Stuart Conquest, held the night together in a casual and relaxed manner which has become synonymous with this tournament – in its own unique style which is so much appreciated by those participating. Helping out on the night was Miss Glamour 2013, Tessa Britto, from Gibraltar.

An elated women's team achieving victory

The event was attended by organiser Brian Callaghan who was joined his wife and family as well as many of the sponsors who make the festival possible every year including: James Humphreys from Tradewise, Pepe Canilla from Canillas, Tim Bristow from Gibtelecom, Joe Hernandez from the GSLA and Jorge Leiria from Casais. Saturday night saw the women outwit the men in the second Battle of the Sexes which has grown substantially from last year. Everyone wanted to play.

The men's team was composed of: Captain Nigel Short, Simen Agdestein, Richard Rapport, Robin Van Kampen, Daniil Dubov, Wei Yi, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Surya Ganguly and Odin Blik Vea.

Men's captain Nigel Short was the first to congratulate the women

Stuart Conquest said: "It is just fantastic, the way in which everyone participates in these events. This is the kind of thing that makes this tournament so special. I had a great time myself and it was great to see everyone joining in. Next year the event will again be bigger and better. We want to make the battle of the sexes one of the highlights of this tournament." At the end of the night the women’s team Captain Victorija Cmilyte, presented a cheque for £1,000 to Tamara Stewart-Wilson, for the Neuroblastoma Society. We look forward to the third Battle of the Sexes next year!

Captain of the Women's team Viktoria Cmilyte receiving the prize

First Team Blitz

China Dragon, made up of a mixed team of Chinese players, tied with 50-50, a team of East European players, to jointly win the Blitz team event of the 2014 Tradewise Chess Festival played in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere on Thursday night.

Blitz winning team members Xu Jun (coach) and Natalia Zhukova collect the prizes from Laurent Freyd and Stuart Conquest

Tan Zhongyi and Guo Qi were part of the strong China Dragon team

The Chinese Dragon team was composed of Tan Zhongyi, Guo Qi, Wei Yi and Li Chao.

The 50-50 team included: Danil Dobov (Russia), Richard Rapport (Hungary), Natalia Zhukova (Ukraine) and Jovana Vojinovic (Serbia).

The tournament is always held in a very friendly atmosphere

This year’s team Blitz event saw a record number of entries with 108 players making up 27 teams. They each competed with four players over six rounds. Both winning teams won four matches and drew two. The next Blitz event with two players in each team will be held on Sunday evening.

Team 50-50 in training!

Reports byJohn Saunders, photos by Sophie Triay

Round Five

None of the players with 4.0/4 were able to win their games and the leadergroup is now a big tie at 4.5/5. Included in this melee are tournament favorites MVL (Maxime Vachier-Lagrave) who trounced Argentinean grandmaster Sandro Mareco in a beautiful romantic game and Vassily Ivanchuk who had a very complex game with Sergei Movsesian.

The first board was an exchange Slav in which Rodshtein didn't have that many problems holding.

Bo.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg
1 GM Li Chao B 2680 4 ½ - ½ 4 GM Rodshtein Maxim 2682
2 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2745 1 - 0 4 GM Mareco Sandro 2582
3 GM Movsesian Sergei 2677 0 - 1 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2739
4 GM Vitiugov Nikita 2737 1 - 0 GM Spraggett Kevin 2544
5 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco 2707 1 - 0 GM Adhiban B. 2590
6 GM Salgado Lopez Ivan 2597 0 - 1 GM Harikrishna P. 2706
7 GM Edouard Romain 2658 0 - 1 GM Rapport Richard 2691
8 GM Antipov Mikhail Al. 2511 3 0 - 1 3 GM Adams Michael 2754
9 GM Xu Jun 2510 3 ½ - ½ 3 GM Eljanov Pavel 2733
10 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2715 3 ½ - ½ 3 IM Muzychuk Mariya 2503
11 GM Sebag Marie 2501 3 0 - 1 3 GM Kamsky Gata 2709
12 GM Navara David 2702 3 1 - 0 3 GM Rahman Ziaur 2499
13 GM Dreev Aleksey 2673 3 1 - 0 3 GM Popilski Gil 2492
14 GM Zhu Chen 2481 3 0 - 1 3 GM Cheparinov Ivan 2672
15 GM Sutovsky Emil 2663 3 0 - 1 3 WGM Tan Zhongyi 2483

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2014"] [Site "Caleta ENG"] [Date "2014.03.01"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, M."] [Black "Mareco, S."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B48"] [WhiteElo "2745"] [BlackElo "2582"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2014.01.28"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be2 Nf6 7. Be3 Be7 { Delaying a6 has many subtle advantages and disadvantages, as we will see in the game.} 8. f4 d6 9. Ndb5 $5 {Already going for new ground. The idea of this move is to force the queen into an inferior square and use this time to launch an initiative.} Qb8 10. g4 (10. Qd2 a6 11. Nd4 Qc7 {wouldn't change much, but Black isn't forced to play Qc7 and might try to do something more useful.}) 10... Nd7 (10... a6 11. g5 Nxe4 $1 {was dangerous for White, so it's interesting to see what MVL had planned against the simple move that questioned the b5 knight.}) 11. h4 a6 12. Nd4 Qc7 13. g5 {With no regard for development the Frenchman launches his pawns forward trying to crush his opponent. Typical Sicilian!} Na5 14. h5 b5 15. Nf5 $5 {This move cannot be calculated to the end, it is simply done on intuition - feel for the position, that the resources are dangerous for Black and that the attack must work one way or another. Romantic chess at its best!} exf5 16. Nd5 Qc6 17. exf5 (17. h6 $1 g6 18. Bd4 Rg8 19. Bf3 $1 {Really embarassed Black's pieces and was the most accurate way to go. But this is easily seen in post-mortems, and not in the head of battle.}) 17... Nc4 18. Bf3 Nxe3 19. Nxe3 Qc5 20. Qd2 (20. Bxa8 $2 Qxe3+ 21. Qe2 Qxf4 $19 {leaves Black up material for free.}) 20... Rb8 21. b4 $1 {Very good! Taking squares away from the queen White has a real chance at the initiative and the compensation he needs.} Qa7 $6 {Surprisingly it was already time for Black to think about countersacrificing.} (21... Ne5 $1 22. Bd5 $1 (22. fxe5 $2 Qxe5 $17 {All of White's material is hanging.}) 22... Nd3+ $1 23. cxd3 Qd4 {with a complex game, but it's hard to justify giving up a full piece like this!}) 22. O-O-O Bb7 23. Bxb7 Rxb7 24. h6 {White destroys the kingside to prevent the Black king from fleeing to that side.} g6 25. Nd5 Nb6 26. Nxe7 Rxe7 27. Qc3 $1 {This trick is what wins MVL the game. Black is defenseless.} Rg8 28. Qc6+ Kd8 (28... Kf8 29. Rxd6 {was not better} Re8 30. Qxe8+ $1 (30. Qxb6 {is the human move}) 30... Kxe8 31. Re1+ Qe7 32. Rxe7+ Kxe7 33. Rxb6 $18 {with a crushing endgame.}) 29. Rxd6+ Nd7 30. f6 Re6 31. Rxe6 fxe6 32. Rd1 {Black is clearly helpess against White's activity and passed pawn.} Qc7 33. Qxa6 Qxf4+ 34. Rd2 Qf1+ 35. Kb2 Qc4 36. Qd6 Qc7 37. f7 {A beautiful showing!} 1-0

Mareco was on the wrong side of a brilliancy

Li Chao-Rodshtein was a solid draw on board one

Tomashevsky was unable to best Muzychuk (Mariya, not Anna)

Movsesian-Ivanchuk was about as complex as chess gets, but the Ukrainian played better at the end

Tan Zhongyi had a great result by beating Sutovsky with Black and has a tactical bye in
round six to recover from the side events

All Photos by John Saunders


The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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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