Adams beats Vallejo 1.5-0.5 in play-off final to clinch first in Gibraltar (UPDATE)

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Gibraltar 2010Michael Adams defeated Francisco Vallejo 1.5-0.5 in the play-off final that decided the 2010 Gibtelecom Masters in Gibraltar. Adams was almost knocked out by Gustafsson in the semis when he lost the first game, but the Englishman came back to level the score and win the Armaggeddon game as well. In the final he was clearly too strong for Vallejo. Update with games.

Photo © Zeljka Malobabic

The 2010 Gibtelecom International Chess Festival takes place January 26-February 4 at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar. The rate of play in this 10-round Swiss is 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. Draws by mutual agreement in under 30 moves are not allowed, but genuine draws by repetition or stalemate are acceptable.

Rounds 9-10 & Play-off

In round 9, tournament leader Jan Gustafsson drew quickly with White against Etienne Bacrot, allowing Adams, Movsesian and Vallejo to reach 7/9 as well. At this point the 'Gibraltar rules' kicked in: boards where one or both of the players could finish in a tie for first were required to start their games at 10:00 (GMT+1) on 4 February in order to allow time for a rapidplay play-off at 15:00 should it be necessary.

This meant that boards 1-5 and 7 started at 10:00, namely Gustafsson vs Movsesian, Vallejo Pons vs Adams, Bacrot vs Cramling, Bindrich vs Kamsky, Zhukova vs Fressinet and Javakhishvili vs Sandipan. All other Masters games started at 15:00 (GMT+1) as normal. Stuart Conquest's commentary also started at 10:00 (GMT+1, 09:00 UK time), which you can still watch here.

The games between the leaders were all drawn this morning which meant play-offs would be played. The four players with the best TPRs went forward to play off for the first prize. They were (as drawn by lottery): Jan Gustafsson (GER) vs Michael Adams (ENG) and (in the other semi-final) Paco Vallejo Pons (ESP) vs Chanda Sandipan (IND). The two-game semi-finals were being played at a time control of 10 minutes with 10 second increments and an Armageddon game if necessary.

Paco Vallejo won the first semi-final game and miraculously drew a rook ending against Sandipan to reach the final. Gustafsson defeated Adams with White convincingly in game one and was close to a draw in game 2 but then blundered a piece and lost anyway. Adams also had White in the Armaggeddon and so Gustafsson was in the same situation: a draw with Black would enough. He didn't manage and so the final in Gibraltar saw a Spaniard against an Englishman.

In this final, Adams dominated. He Vallejo smoothly in game 1 and was winning in game 2, but accepted a draw. With his victory the Englishman earned 15,000 pounds while the Spaniard went home with 10,000.

Update Feb 5: The tournament website doesn't report about it yet, but it looks like Natalia Zhukova won the women's prize of 8,000 pounds. She ended on 7/10, just like Humpy Konery, but Zhukova's performance rating of 2686 beats Humpy's 2663. The full final standings table is available below now too, as well as the games.

Gibraltar 2010 | Round 10 Standings (top 30)
Gibraltar 2010 | Round 8 Standings (top 30)

Selection of games

Game viewer by ChessTempo


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