Meanwhile, chess rocks in Gibraltar too

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Gibraltar 2010Although the Corus tournament always dominates the chess news in the last two weeks of January, for one event we have to make an exception. The 8th Gibtelecom International Chess Festival in Gibraltar is on its way and in fact already four rounds have been played. Yet again the field of players is a very nice mixture, including many top female players.

The 2010 Gibtelecom International Chess Festival takes place January 26-February 4 at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar. The rate of play in this 9-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.

The festival is the Rock’s biggest annual international event now in its eighth edition. This year the field is stronger than ever with top names such as Etienne Bacrot from France, Sergei Movsesian from Slovakia and Francisco Vallejo Pons from Spain, participating in the tournament for the very first time. Some 41 countries are represented in this edition of the festival.

Most significant though is the very strong women’s field which has attracted the top women in the world - the current Women's World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk from Russia, the world number two woman player Humpy Koneru from India, and the world number three, Hou Yifan from China. Almira Shripchenko, who this year made the final table of the world poker series in Las Vegas is also be playing in Gibraltar. Other competitors are GM Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria), and GM Chen Zhu (Qatar), and Pia Cramling (Sweden), a previous European women’s champion.

Gibraltar 2010

Reigning World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk is one of the many female top players in Gibraltar

The Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar again plays hosts to the Gibtelecom International Chess Festival, which also includes several amateur tournaments. The festival's total prize fund is £112,500 (EUR 129,750, US $179,910). The Masters has £96,600 in prizes, there are two Challenger Tournaments, each lasting five days, with prizes for each of £5,500. Two five-day Amateur Tournaments are also played with prize money of £2,300 each.

Gibraltar 2010

The Caleta hotel, where the tournament takes place

Over the years the festival has seen some of the world's most famous players play in Gibraltar including Alexei Shirov, Emil Sutovsky , Hikaru Nakamura and Peter Svidler. Returning again this year is Michael Adams from England, and Gata Kamsky (USA).

As always, GM Stuart Conquest provides live commentary during the rounds from the Caleta hotel, starting from 15:00 (GMT+1) for up to six hours. These are unmissable - in every sense of that word. If you have not been able to tune in to his live broadcasts, you can still hear them at your leisure. They have all been stored online and can still be watched here.

Gibraltar 2010

2008 British Champion Stuart Conquest provides live commentary

Photos © Zeljka Malobabic, more here

Yesterday afternoon (29 January) was very special indeed. You can watch five hours of commentary here and if you move to a point around 1:26 hours into the video, Boris Spassky (who celebrates his 73rd birthday today!) made an unscheduled visit to the commentary room. Seeing him in the audience, Stuart Conquest persuaded him to come alongside to talk "for a few minutes" - which turned into nearly three hours! At first Boris is off-camera (the organizers weren't expecting him) but around 1:42 you can Boris talking about the games. After that there's nearly three hours' video film of the legendary ex-world champion.

After four rounds there's no player left with a 100% score. Bacrot, Adams, Fressinet, Fridman, Gustafsson, Sandipan, Koneru, Edouard, Felgaer and Gopal are all on 3.5/4.

Gibraltar 2010 | Round 4 Standings (top 30)
Gibraltar 2010 | Round 4 Standings (top 30)

Two games from round 3 caught our eye; Adam's brilliant win over Halkias and Cheparinov being held to a draw by a 2000-player beautifully.

Game viewer

Game viewer by ChessTempo


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