Gibraltar: Another January tradition

1/22/2019 – The Gibraltar International Chess Festival 2019 kicks off Tuesday at Hotel Caleta on the East coast of Gibraltar. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave leads the starting list along side Top 20 players Levon Aronian, Wesley So, Yu Yangyi and Hikaru Nakamura. Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun is the top female player in the field. | Photo: John Saunders

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17th Gibraltar Masters

On Tuesday, this year's Gibraltar International Chess Festival starts in Gibraltar, as always with an excellent cast. Nearly 250 players take part in the Masters, fourteen of whom have an Elo rating over 2700, including absolute world-class players such as Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Levon Aronian, Wesley So, Yu Yangyi and Hikaru Nakamura. The tournament seems to grow stronger every year.

Gibraltar logoAnother longstanding trend is the significant participation of women in the Open, as excellent special prizes for the best women in the field have been a regular feature since its inception. World Champion Ju Wenjun leads the ranks of the top female grandmasters. Anna and Mariya Muzychuk, Kateryna Lagno, Humpy Koneru and Aleksandra Goryachkina are all further candidates for the dedicated prize of GBP £15,000 (about EUR €17,000). The winner of the tournament gets £25,000 (around EUR €28,350).

In addition to the Masters, there are two groups of Challengers and two Amateurs tournaments are offered. 

IM Tania Sachdev previews the 2019 festival | Photo: John Saunders

Amid the opening festivities at the Caleta Hotel, Wesley So and Kateryna Lagno gave simultaneous exhibitions.

Lagno simul

Simultaneous exhibition

Wesley So

Wesley So and Kateryna Lagno with Ryan Lane (son of IM Gary Lane) | Photo: John Saunders

Players starting rank (top 40)

No. Name Rtg
1 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2780
2 Aronian Levon 2767
3 So Wesley 2765
4 Yu Yangyi 2764
5 Nakamura Hikaru 2749
6 Navara David 2738
7 Naiditsch Arkadij 2734
8 Vitiugov Nikita 2720
9 Le Quang Liem 2714
10 Ivanchuk Vassily 2713
11 Artemiev Vladislav 2709
12 Mamedov Rauf 2703
13 Adams Michael 2701
14 Matlakov Maxim 2700
15 Cheparinov Ivan 2691
16 Jones Gawain C B 2691
17 Saric Ivan 2690
18 Adhiban B. 2689
19 Howell David W L 2685
20 Grandelius Nils 2682
21 Eljanov Pavel 2680
22 Sethuraman S.P. 2665
23 Melkumyan Hrant 2660
24 Short Nigel D 2648
25 Akobian Varuzhan 2643
26 Edouard Romain 2643
27 Anton Guijarro David 2642
28 Alekseenko Kirill 2637
29 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2637
30 Indjic Aleksandar 2630
31 Vocaturo Daniele 2626
32 Tari Aryan 2625
33 Moussard Jules 2605
34 Donchenko Alexander 2604
35 Jumabayev Rinat 2604
36 Lagarde Maxime 2604
37 Deac Bogdan-Daniel 2603
38 Papp Gabor 2603
39 Maze Sebastien 2596
40 Svane Rasmus 2594

...250 Players

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Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 1/23/2019 07:19
Why are not Wesley So, Levon Aronian, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Hikaru Nakamura playing in Tata Steel?

One possible reason: because they are playing at Gibraltar!

Possible reason, but not certain, at least not certain for all - maybe some of them would not have been invited to the Tata Steel tournament anyways (that none of them would have been invited to Tata Steel would be surprising).

As for Fabiano, who participates in neither of the two events - he may need rest.
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