Tenth Gibraltar Chess Festival under way

by ChessBase
1/25/2012 – It began as a small event ten years ago, but its popularity grew steadily, and today it has become an internationally popular chess festival which attracts hundreds of player, many with top rankings. This year there are over fifty GMs, eleven of them rated above 2700 Elo. At the opening there was some special news of philatelists. In round one the top seeds all won their games.

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The 2012 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is taking place from Tuesday, 24th January to Thursday, 2nd February 2012 at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar. The event, which is open to all, is the tenth in the series held on the Rock, the second to be sponsored by Tradewise Insurance. The rate of play: 40 moves in 100 minutes plus 20 moves in 50 minutes plus 15 minutes for all remaining moves with 30 seconds per move added from the start. The festival can be followed online thanks to the technical back-up of Gibtelecom, Gibraltar’s main telecommunications provider, whose loyal support over ten years has been crucial to the festival’s development and success.

The Gibraltar International Chess Festival began as a much smaller event in 2003. Its popularity has grown year on year, and today well over 300 participants, players of all levels, return to the Rock every January, many calling Gibraltar their favourite event on the chess calendar. For eleven days the festival venue is transformed into a hive of chess activity. Arriving here from all corners of the world, players can be sure that old friendships will be renewed, and – win or lose – new ones made.


At the opening reception on Monday night Gibraltar Culture and Sports Minister Steven Linares weclomed all the players and thanked them for coming to the Rock to play in the tournament. Tournament director, Stuart Conquest, addressed the familiar faces in the gathering in the main hall by opening with well wishes for a successful tournament from the current World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. It was then up to Miss Gibraltar 2011, Michelle Gillingwater Pedersen, to draw the pairings for the opening top six games.

In the above picture we see GM Stuart Conquest, Culture and Sports Minister Steven Linares, Mis Gibraltar 2011, Michelle Gillingwater and Brian Callaghan, who has been awarded the prestoigious O.B.E. for his services to tourism and chess.

Michelle Gillingwater helped draw the pairings for the opening top six games. First up was Peter Svidler from Russia, a former winner in Gibraltar, and a huge cricket fan. So it was not surprising that he drew a white cricket ball received with much approval from the players.

Monday evening also saw the launch of the first Gibraltar stamps featuring chess. One of the pairings for yesterday between Adams and Zhukova, was an exact repetition in both names and colours as that featured on the 30p stamp.

The Gibraltar stamps have been issued to commemorate the Chess Festival's 10th Annversary.

The games featured on the stamps have been specially chosen as representing the best of the many thousands contested in Gibraltar over the past decade. All the players shown are grandmasters, two are women. Pia Cramling (Sweden) has played in all ten Gibraltar festivals, while Natalia Zhukova (Ukraine) won the top female award in 2010.

Michael Adams, Nigel Short (both England) and Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) are all former Gibraltar champions. Viktor Bologan (Moldova) and Fabiano Caruana (Italy) are elite players with aggressive styles popular with the public.

Chess legend Viktor Korchnoi (Switzerland) fought two World Championship matches with arch-rival Anatoly Karpov.

The set is available here:

  • Set: £3.07 (First Day Cover Price: £3.67)
  • Pack Set: £3.72
  • Gutter Pairs Set: £6.14
  • First Day Cover: £3.67
  • Complete issue: Price: £16.60

Top results from round one

No. Title Name Rtg
Title Name Rtg No.
1 GM Svidler Peter 2749
IM Houska Jovanka 2414 75
73 IM Molina Roberto Junio Brito 2415
GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2747 2
3 GM Adams Michael 2724
GM Zhukova Natalia 2426 70
69 IM Aloma Vidal Robert 2431
GM Almasi Zoltan 2717 4
5 GM Le Quang Liem 2714
IM Karim Ismael 2405 79
74 IM Astaneh Lopez Alex 2414
GM Polgar Judit 2710 6
7 GM Shirov Alexei 2710
IM Lyrberg Patrik 2435 68
71 GM Bellon Lopez Juan Manuel 2422
GM Laznicka Viktor 2704 8
9 GM Sutovsky Emil 2703
IM Hanley Craig A 2421 72
76 IM Lund Silas 2414
GM Movsesian Sergei 2700 10
11 GM Sasikiran Krishnan 2700
IM Quillan Gary 2409 77
78 IM Getz Nicolai 2408
GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2699 12
13 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2683
IM Nezad Husein Aziz 2402 80
81 IM Alvarez Marquez Johann 2398
GM Bologan Viktor 2680 14
15 GM Short Nigel D 2677
IM Melia Salome 2398 82
83 IM Bosboom Manuel 2394
GM Fridman Daniel 2660 16
17 GM Gupta Abhijeet 2652
FM Kuipers Stefan 2391 84
85 FM Adnani Mokhlis 2386
GM Parligras Mircea-Emilian 2650 18
19 GM Iturrizaga Edoardo 2649
IM Ansell Simon T 2373 86
87   Graf Felix 2367
GM Lupulescu Constantin 2648 20
21 GM Gustafsson Jan 2643
FM Wantiez Fabrice 2366 88
90 WGM Vojinovic Jovana 2359
GM Negi Parimarjan 2641 22
23 GM Erdos Viktor 2634
FM Coleman Teddy 2356 91
92 IM Peek Marcel 2354
GM Akobian Varuzhan 2617 24
25 GM Hou Yifan 2605
FM Schiendorfer Emanuel 2354 93
94 IM Dukaczewski Piotr *) 2344
GM Fier Alexandr 2603 26
27 GM Howell David W L 2603
  Gislason Gudmundur 2332 95
96   Palencia Wilson 2324
GM David Alberto 2598 28
29 GM Koneru Humpy 2589
  Henriksson Johan 2308 97
98 FM Aranha Filho Alvaro Z 2307
GM Brunello Sabino 2581 30

Favourites all win in round one

GM Peter Svidler (2749) vs IM Jovanka Houska (2414) in round one: 1-0 in 41 moves

GM Michael Adams (2724) vs GM Natalia Zhukova (2426): 1-0 in 33 moves

IM Robert Aloma Vidal (2431) vs GM Almasi Zoltan (2717): 0-1 in 33 moves

GM Le Quang Liem (2714) vs IM Ismael Karim (2405): 1-0 in 28 moves

IM Alex Astaneh Lopez (2414) vs GM Polgar Judit (2710): 0-1 in 23 moves

Top ten games for JavaScript replay


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess 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 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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