Gibraltar 07: Ganguly, Ivanchuk at the top

by Alejandro Ramirez
2/4/2014 – With a fascinating win against Spanish grandmaster Vallejo Pons, the Indian player Surya Shekhar Ganguly was the only vanquisher that had 5.0/6 going into the 7th round. Ivanchuk drew his games against English #1 Adams who leads the pack of hunters with 5.5/7. The festivities continue and chess is becoming sharper and sharper in another edition of Gibraltar.

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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.

Master Class Three - Pogonina and Li Chao

Master Classes were given by Li Chao and Natalia Pogonina on Monday evening in the Archie Suite at the Caleta Hotel. The classes proved very popular with Li Chao showing two of his games from his time here at the Tradewise Chess Festival this year. The first was a win against Mongolian woman player Munguntuul, and the second was his defeat versus Vassily Ivanchuk who is current joint leader in this year’s event.

The Chinese player has had a good showing in Gibraltar thus far

Natalia Pogonina showed her game versus Nigel Short from the same day. It finished in a hard fought draw. The final master class is tonight (February 4th) by French No. 1. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who is the second seed in this year’s Tradewise Masters.

Pogonina enjoying her lecture with GM Stuart Conquest

Visit of Joseph Garcia

Dr Joseph Garcia, Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar and Chairman of one of our main sponsors, Gibtelecom, is delighted to have personally witnessed the growth over the years in both “strength and numbers” of the Gibraltar International Chess Festival. As he visited the 2014 Tradewise Chess Festival this morning he affirmed his support and that of the Gibraltar Government to the tournament which has now become the most important open in the world.

GM Irina Krush, Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar Dr. Joseph Garcia and organiser Brian Callaghan

“For Gibraltar this is an important event, an international event, which as a Government we will continue to support,” he told commentator, USA Grand Master, Irina Krush, as she interviewed him as part of the morning broadcast of the Amateurs and Challengers tournaments in the Archie Suite this morning. “I have been visiting every year for the past 10 years and it really has been fantastic to have seen the growth of this event and the growth of chess in the Gibraltar community as a whole. My son for example now plays chess as a result of this tournament and there are many other children like him,” he said. Dr Garcia spoke of the success of chess in Gibraltar schools. 10 out of the 12 schools have chess clubs, with more than 500 children actively involved. “It is not just important tom have a tournament where international players can come and play but also to develop chess in the community itself,” he emphasised.

During his visit he viewed the players in action in the Amateur and Challengers tournaments. He was shown round by tournament director Stuart Conquest and arbiter David Sedgwick. Also here to greet him were organiser Brian Callaghan and Tradewise Insurance chairman James Humphreys.

Organiser Brian Callaghan, Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar Dr Joseph Garcia, James Humphreys chairman of Tradewise Insurance and director Stuart Conquest.


Reports by John Saunders, photos by Sophie Triay

Round Seven

A very expected game happened on the top board as Michael Adams, the tournament's number one seed, was matched against Vassily Ivanchuk, third seed one of the most talented players of all time. Unfortunately the game was a solid draw in which neither side had anything in the entire game.

MVL's sacrificial knight was never taken by Rodshtein who also held his opponent to a draw. The only player to score from the 5-point pack was Ganguly who beat Vallejo Pons. The game was very complex - the Indian had to deal with a powerful passed pawn on the a-file but his own attack on the kingside proved to be more important. Strangely enough the decisive mistake was a natural recapture of a bishop on d7, as supporting the pawn was essential and would have given the Spaniard a draw.

Li Chao catches the 5.5/7 pack to put pressure on the leaders with a very Catalan-like victory over Lenderman, who is having quite a good tournament also in Gibraltar despite the loss.

Bo.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg
1 GM Adams Michael 2754 5 ½ - ½ GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2739
2 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2745 5 ½ - ½ 5 GM Rodshtein Maxim 2682
3 GM Kamsky Gata 2709 5 ½ - ½ 5 GM Dreev Aleksey 2673
4 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2619 5 1 - 0 5 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco 2707
5 GM Wei Yi 2607 5 ½ - ½ 5 GM Harikrishna P. 2706
6 GM Hansen Eric 2559 5 ½ - ½ 5 GM Rapport Richard 2691
7 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2715 ½ - ½ GM Adhiban B. 2590
8 GM Navara David 2702 ½ - ½ GM Fier Alexandr 2572
9 GM Li Chao B 2680 1 - 0 GM Lenderman Aleksandr 2562
10 WGM Tan Zhongyi 2483 ½ - ½ GM Cheparinov Ivan 2672
11 GM Edouard Romain 2658 1 - 0 GM Debashis Das 2494
12 GM Dubov Daniil 2614 0 - 1 IM Pardo Simon David 2450
13 GM Akesson Ralf 2447 ½ - ½ 4 GM Movsesian Sergei 2677
14 WGM Pogonina Natalija 2495 4 ½ - ½ 4 GM Short Nigel D 2683
15 GM Sutovsky Emil 2663 4 ½ - ½ 4 IM Hambleton Aman 2481

ex-World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova has had some problems scoring this tournament

Guo Qi is one of the women gunning for the women's prize. She has very serious possibilities with her 4.5/7

Movsesian needs a few more knockout blows to really challenge the leaders

Short usually takes Gibraltar by storm, but this has not been his tournament

All Photos by Sophie Triay


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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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