Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival ARONIAN WINS

by ChessBase
2/1/2018 – Blitz playoffs with Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Levon Aronian and Richard Rapport. Live commentary of the playoff! | Photo: John Saunders

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Masters group live games and commentary

Aronian wins a nailbiter of a blitz tiebreak over Vachier-Lagrave!


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Final standing after round ten (top 25)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Nakamura Hikaru 7,5 2822
2 Rapport Richard 7,5 2763
3 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 7,5 2759
4 Aronian Levon 7,5 2746
5 Vitiugov Nikita 7,5 2731
  Adams Michael 7,5 2731
7 Le Quang Liem 7,5 2713
8 Howell David W L 7,0 2760
9 Gupta Abhijeet 7,0 2732
10 Debashis Das 7,0 2728
11 Duda Jan-Krzysztof 7,0 2713
  Oparin Grigoriy 7,0 2713
13 Wang Hao 7,0 2710
14 Vocaturo Daniele 7,0 2679
15 Gelfand Boris 7,0 2673
16 Sethuraman S.P. 7,0 2672
17 Sutovsky Emil 7,0 2668
18 Dubov Daniil 7,0 2658
19 Henderson De La Fuente Lance 7,0 2642
20 Kobo Ori 7,0 2638
21 Cheparinov Ivan 7,0 2634
22 Motylev Alexander 7,0 2633
  Narayanan S. L. 7,0 2633
24 Epishin Vladimir 7,0 2595
25 Bindrich Falko 7,0 2594

Top results of round ten

Name Pts. Result Pts. Name
Aronian Levon 7 ½ - ½ 7 Nakamura Hikaru
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 7 ½ - ½ 7 Rapport Richard
Le Quang Liem 1 - 0 7 Dubov Daniil
Vitiugov Nikita 1 - 0 Antipov Mikhail Al.
Gupta Abhijeet ½ - ½ Duda Jan-Krzysztof
Wang Hao ½ - ½ Howell David W L
Adams Michael 1 - 0 Grandelius Nils
Cheparinov Ivan ½ - ½ Vocaturo Daniele
Oparin Grigoriy ½ - ½ Gelfand Boris
Kobo Ori ½ - ½ 6 Ivanchuk Vassily

(Daily at 15:00 CET, except round 10)

Live from beside the Rock

by Andre Schulz

The Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is entering its 16th year and was recently voted the best open tournament by members of the Association of Chess Professionals. Numerous absolute world-class players dare to skate the the thin ice of a Swiss open tournament each year, battling against a pack of hungry non-or not-yet-world-class players eager to steal their Elo rating points. Even amateurs can sometimes land a lucky punch on a good day and beat a top player. Nobody is invulnerable in chess.   

The organizers around Brian Callaghan and Stuart Conquest had a good idea years ago when they instituted special prizes for the female participants of the chess festival; this year there are 15 prizes with the top prize of GBP £ 15,000 (about USD $21,000). This has promoted the appeal of chess among the female professionals who flock to the city-state each year, and help create a festive and convivial social atmosphere.

Gibraltar Chess Festival on YouTube

While half of the world class is in Wijk aan Zee, the other half is in Gibraltar. Each tournament has its own format and appeal, with professional organization, attracting a large following. Although the tournament tradition of the Tradewise Chess Festival is not quite as old as the Tata Steel Festival, which is now in its 80th year, it is firmly established as a preminent chess destination gets more popular each year. In addition to the Masters, there are several Challenger and Amateur tournaments, each with 70 to 80 participants. 270 players registered for the Masters — the Caleta Hotel is bursting at the seams!

On the fringes of the tournaments there is an attractive supporting program, with team blitz events and such show bouts like the "Battle of the sexes," played on an oversized floor chess set.  

World-class line-up

The top seed this year is 2017 "player of the year" Levon Aronian. Maxim Vachier-Lagrave and four-time champion Hikaru Nakamura are are back representing the world's top players as well. But in this open format, expect some surprises, as nine other grandmasters also sport an Elo rating of 2700 or more. In all there are 92 grandmasters playing. For the group as a whole, most players come from Spain (31) then India (28), England (24) and Germany (19). Among the best women in the starting field are Anna Muzychuk, Kateryna Lagno, and World Rapid Champion among women, Ju Wenjun.

The up and coming youth are out in force as well, particularly from India, the two "miracle children" Nihal Sarin and Praggnanandhaa R but also the young German star IM Vincent Keymer. All three compete for the special prize for the best player under eighteen years of age (£ 1,000). The winner of the tournament receives £ 25,000.

Translation from German: Macauley Peterson

Players (top 20) and Schedule

No. Name Rtg
1 Aronian Levon 2797
2 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2793
3 Nakamura Hikaru 2781
4 Navara David 2749
5 Harikrishna P. 2745
6 Le Quang Liem 2737
7 Vitiugov Nikita 2732
8 Ivanchuk Vassily 2726
9 Duda Jan-Krzysztof 2724
10 Wang Hao 2711
11 Adams Michael 2709
12 Rapport Richard 2700
13 Cheparinov Ivan 2699
14 Gelfand Boris 2697
15 Dubov Daniil 2694
16 Howell David W L 2682
17 Short Nigel D 2681
18 Motylev Alexander 2673
19 Sutovsky Emil 2673
20 Anton Guijarro David 2666

...270 players

Round Date Time (CET)
1 2018/01/23 15.00
2 2018/01/24 15.00
3 2018/01/25 15.00
4 2018/01/26 15.00
5 2018/01/27 15.00
6 2018/01/28 15.00
7 2018/01/29 15.00
8 2018/01/30 15.00
9 2018/01/31 15.00
10 2018/02/01 11.00


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royce campbell royce campbell 2/2/2018 06:55
One more peeve before this is over: For those of us who were unable to watch live, we should have been able to watch the commentary without knowing who won. Changing the headline to "Aronian Wins" is quite frankly rude and unacceptable, especially given that no other part of the article changed other than adding the (one!) final gamescore. Your followup article published Feb 2 (after Rod Plants comment below) was the proper place for this. Liken it to taping the World Cup final (or SuperBowl in the USA) to watch later, only to have some yahoo blurt out the final score before you leave work. It severely reduces the enjoyment factor when you finally can watch the game.
Rod Plant Rod Plant 2/2/2018 01:03
Very disappointing that almost 24 hours after the last round started we still have such a bare bones report. No final round games, no info about the tiebreak process, or any games except for the final Aronian v MVL game
royce campbell royce campbell 2/1/2018 03:51
@alatal Nakamura said he wasn't feeling well the last couple of days. Engine shows 0.00 -- I thought he had some play left, but I'm not even a master.
Alatal Alatal 2/1/2018 02:17
Nakamura vs Rapport 33.f6+ and the game ended in a draw. My humble opinion assume that black have to play 33...Kf8 and wonder whether 34.Nb8 is a winning move for white with the long term idea of Nd7+ and after making some rooks progress on the e and h files to end up with a winning king and pawns endgame for white especially to exploit the weak black pawn on a3
royce campbell royce campbell 2/1/2018 12:42
Coverage of this tournament on Chessbase has been rather dismal. It started in the first round, when the live post didn't hit the site until the round was almost over, and went downhill from there -- minor but incomplete updates pasted onto the original post, no interviews, etc, etc. Chessbase has spoiled us in the past with awesome coverage (see Tata fer cryin out loud!), even if recaps ended up being copied from the official sites. I'm glad I was able to glean information from

If there are legal reasons for the lack of coverage, I guess even that info would have been appreciated. I expect the wrapup post to be awesome.
Derek McGill Derek McGill 1/31/2018 09:40
Any chance of Praggnanandhaa R, getting a GM norm ?
ChessHulk ChessHulk 1/31/2018 02:39
Suggestion: In the list of games, rather than display the tournament name, which is obvious, much more useful and informative would be displaying the eco code. Otherwise, a great piece of work!
Sampru Sampru 1/25/2018 03:17
It's too bad the two tournaments (Tata Steel and Gibraltar) overlap. I'd love to travel to Europe and play in both!