Gibraltar 06: Ivanchuk leads solo

by Alejandro Ramirez
2/4/2014 – Vassily Ivanchuk continues his rampage in Gibraltar and is now the only player to have 5.5/6 in the Masters section of the tournament. However he is pursued by a huge pack of people with five points including many 2700 players. The blitz pairs, one of the most chaotic events of the festival was played yesterday. Report and standings prior to an instrumental round seven.

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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.

Blitz Pairs

The traditional Blitz Pairs event at the 2014 Tradewise Chess Festival took place at the Caleta Hotel on Sunday night. Once again this very popular six round contest drew in the players. There were 38 teams competing of two players each.

The rules are simple. Each member of the team plays one move, and then the other team member plays when its their turn, and they keep alternating moves! This can create absolute chaos on the board as one player might not understand what his partner is trying to achieve!

One of the commentators of the event, GM Irina Krush (left), tried her hand at the event
in the bakground players figuring out the handshake ritual!

Five Grand Masters and eight International masters and other titled players participated in the event. As always the team names were inventive and varied - Pancakes for breakfast, the Swedish fox, 9ja Riders, Sons of Bishops, Antwerp Giants, King Crusher, Revuelto de gambas and Bolb. And it was strong competition with three teams ruling the night and finding themselves in a three-way tie at the end. The teams were: Captain Blunder and Crew with Noel Studer and Jan Rindliseacher, 9ja with John Oyeyemi Fawole and Kolawole Akinyemi Ladokin, and Sons of Bishops with Aryan Tari and Sebastian Mihajlov.

Once again, host for the evening, tournament director Stuart Conquest who also participated in the event, said it was another challenging and entertaining night. “It so great everyone can relax in such an event and make new acquaintances. The Blitz Pairs was halfway through this year’s tournament and it always helps to ease the way into the second week of competition which will increase in intensity as the final rounds get closer,” he said. The prizes were presented to the winners by Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo who visited the festival today.

Stuart Conquest teamed up with Anna Cramling Bellon

Reports by John Saunders, photos by Sophie Triay

Round Six

A few draws in the top boards paves the way for Hurricane Ivanchuk to regain his momentum and he now sits at the top of the leaderboard with 5.5/6 after an important demolition of Chinese grandmaster Li Chao. Adams, Kamsky, Dreev, Hansen, Ganguly and Wei Yi importantly join the chasing pack of players with 5.0/6. With four more rounds to go everything is up in the air in Gibraltar.

Bo.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg
1 GM Harikrishna P. 2706 ½ - ½ GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2745
2 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2739 1 - 0 GM Li Chao B 2680
3 GM Rapport Richard 2691 ½ - ½ GM Vitiugov Nikita 2737
4 GM Rodshtein Maxim 2682 ½ - ½ 4 GM Navara David 2702
5 GM Adams Michael 2754 4 1 - 0 4 GM Mareco Sandro 2582
6 GM Kamsky Gata 2709 4 1 - 0 4 IM Dvirnyy Danyyil 2574
7 GM Dreev Aleksey 2673 4 1 - 0 4 GM Mekhitarian Krikor Sevag 2566
8 GM Cheparinov Ivan 2672 4 ½ - ½ 4 GM Lenderman Aleksandr 2562
9 GM Hansen Eric 2559 4 1 - 0 4 GM Agdestein Simen 2627
10 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2619 4 1 - 0 4 GM Maze Sebastien 2536
11 GM Debashis Das 2494 4 ½ - ½ 4 GM Dubov Daniil 2614
12 IM Nakar Eylon 2398 4 0 - 1 4 GM Wei Yi 2607
13 GM Eljanov Pavel 2733 ½ - ½ GM Oparin Grigoriy 2517
14 GM Spraggett Kevin 2544 0 - 1 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2715
15 GM Libiszewski Fabien 2533 ½ - ½ GM Movsesian Sergei 2677

Zhukova's draw against Salgado Lopez was good
she will face Zhao Xue tomorrow in an important women's match

Ivanchuk on form

Georgian WGM Nino Maisuradze who now plays for France

Sarah Hoolt had a big upset by beating GM Marie Sebag

Pogonina will host the 3rd Master Class with Li Chao

Vitiugov is very close to Ivanchuk, but he will not face him in round 7

All Photos by John Saunders


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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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