Chinese squad calls at Gibraltar

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
At the 6th Gibtelecom Chess Festival in Gibraltar, which started yesterday, a Chinese squad form the big favourites.

Wang Yue (2698), Bu Xiangzhi (2691), Ni Hua (2680), and Wang Hao (2665) participate in one of the strongest open tournaments on the calendar. But many more famous names have traveled to the overseas part of the United Kingdom. We mention a Hikaru Nakamura, a Viorel Bologan, a Kyril Georgiev and an Alexander Beliavsky. Are they capable of stopping the Chinese squad? The first prize of 12,000 pounds (appr. ?¢‚Äö¬¨ 15.000,-) might be an incentive.

In between all the news from Wijk aan Zee, ChessVibes will try to cover the Gibraltar tournament as well. And, as soon as Corus has finished, on Monday morning, January 28, we'll fly to that most southern spot of the Iberian peninsula, to bring (video) reports of the last four rounds!

The 6th edition of Gibraltar's Gibtelecom Chess Festival takes place 22-31 January 2008 at the Caleta Hotel, one of Gibraltar's best hotels. The top group of the festival, the Gibtelecom Masters, is not a nine, but a ten-round FIDE rated Swiss event with two hundred participants (27 GMs, 14 IMs). The first round only saw one clear upset, but it was on board one: Wang Yue had to be satisfied with a draw against Nana Dzagnidze (2429). Round 1 in PGN here. Round 1 standings, which serves well as a participants list too:

[TABLE=122]

Full standings and pairings here.

Round 1, board 1-10
The rate of play is 40 moves in 80 minutes plus 20 more minutes for all the remaining moves, with one minute per move added from the start. The tournament organizers fight against short draws: draws by mutual agreement in under 30 moves are not allowed. "There must be no pre-arranged or tacit agreements to draw games of any length, by repetition or otherwise. Genuine draws by repetition or stalemate are acceptable," is written on the website. (Chess players who really want to do bad, can always prepare a complete game that ends in a perpetual of course.)

In good Gibraltar tradition, GM Stuart Conquest is giving live commentary throughout the event. This can be followed by a webcam - the tournament hall also has a webcam.

The organizers do everything to please the (amateur) participants. They have Chess Master Classes offered by grandmasters, including Alexander Beliavsky, Hikaru Nakamura and Ian Rogers. The latter, together withFIDE Trainer Sunil Weeramantry, shall be available to players each afternoon for free individual or small group coaching sessions. And there will even be Poker Master Classes by Stewart Reuben, to disperse even more players from our royal game!

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