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"The annual Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival has established itself as the most prestigious open tournament in the world" - THE SUNDAY TIMES

Nikita Vitiugov wins the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters

Congratulations to Nikita Vitiugov who has won the Gibraltar Masters following a tense and exhilarating play-off against the 2012 winner Nigel Short. Nikita won the play-off 1½-½.





Nikita Vitiugov receives his winners cheque for £20,000 from Tradewise CEO James Humphreys. Nikita scored 8/10 (+6,=4) and then won a play-off 1½-½ to take the title.


Final Masters Standings | All Commentary Videos | Closing ceremony photos | All games in PGN | Playoff Games |

Nikita Nudges Out Nigel - Round 10 report + play-off


John Saunders reports: Nikita Vitiugov, from St Petersburg in Russia, won the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters title at the Caleta Hotel on Thursday after a pulsating play-off final against three times winner and reigning Masters champion Nigel Short of England. Four players – the above two, plus Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France and Chanda Sandipan of India – tied for first place on 8.0/10, necessitating a knock-out play-off to decide the winner of the £20,000 first prize.


The play-off consisted of two rapidplay semi-finals, played at the rate of 15 minutes plus ten seconds a move, with Short beating Vachier-Lagrave and Vitiugov beating Sandipan over two games. The semi-finals were one-way traffic for the most part but the final match between Vitiugov and Short was a thriller.


Title Norms

A complete list of title norms achieved at the 2013 Tradewise Chess Festival is here. Many congratulations to the players involved. Also available in PDF.

Play-off & closing ceremony

Our last video of the 2013 Festival starts with the play-off between Chanda Sandipan (India), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Nigel Short (England) and the eventual winner Nikita Vitiugov (Russia) who is also interviewed. Also included: images of the closing ceremony, hosted by Stuart Conquest and Emil Sutovsky and Elisabeth Pähtz at the piano.





Video produced by Peter Doggers | More here

Women's title 2013


Congratulations to Chinese GM Zhao Xue for winning the top female prize of £12,000.


She drew her last round game after nearly five hours of play against Vassily Ivanchuk and achieved a score of 7½/10.


In October 2011 Zhao Xue won the FIDE Women's Grand Prix tournament at Nalchik, Russia with the massive score of 9½/11. Her greatest success before Gibraltar 2013 in an individual event was winning the 2002 Under-20 World Junior Girls Chess Championship.


Zhao also gave a highly instructive Masterclass during the Festival.





El gelido Nikita, rey de Gibraltar by Leontxo Garcia

Farewell from Gibraltar 2013

Another memorable Tradewise Masters tournament comes to an end so farewell from Gibraltar for a little while. We are proud to have a great tournament, a fabulous venue, wonderful people and delightful weather with temperatures often over 20° C. There is a word to describe all of this ... paradise! See you in 2014.

Round 10 Nigel Short and David Navara analysis




Forty Somethings on the Rampage - Round 6



John Saunders reports: The story as we left it... Le Quang Liem of Vietnam and Nikita Vitiugov were the last remaining players on a 100% score, so were fated to meet in the sixth round. It was a keenly contested encounter, with Le Quang Liem pressing for a win, first with an extra pawn and later, more improbably, with rook and knight against rook. Of course it was a draw, opening up the possibility of them being joined in the lead by others.


Read more ...





Participants speak

30.1.13 - Irina Krush takes the microphone and interviews participants of the 2013 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival





Video produced by Peter Doggers | More here

PGN / Game Replays

29.1.13 - These are available for Challengers A, 1-5, Challengers B, 1-5 and Masters, 1-9.

Vassily Ivanchuck Masterclass

29.1.13 - See an entertaining one-hour video of Vassily's Masterclass from Monday evening, 28 Jan.

Battle of the Sexes

29.1.13 - A match-up, on a giant chess set, between the ladies team consisting of Jovanka Houska (England), Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia), Zhao Xue (China), Valentina Gunina (Russia), Tania Sachdev (India) and Viktorija Cmilyte (Lithuania) versus the men: Gata Kamsky (USA), Gawain Jones (England), Emil Sutovsky (Israel), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) and Kiril Georgiev, as a (fun!) part of the Gibraltar Chess Festival 2013.





For the first game both teams got 15 minutes on the clock, but after the ladies successfully negotiated for a "best of three" afterwards, two more games with 7 minutes each were played.


Video produced by Peter Doggers | More here

Festival de Gibraltar 2013


Rapports de tournois supplémentaires sont disponibles auprès de nos amis de l'Europe Echecs.


Voir le rapport complet ici.



The Four Amigos - Rounds 4 & 5


Eduardo Iturrizaga from Venezuela


John Saunders reports: Yes, I'm messing with your brain again. In the film there were three amigos. At the end of round four of the Gibraltar Masters, played at the Caleta Hotel, there were four young men, aged between 18 and 25, in the lead.


Chess is increasingly a young person's game. By the end of play the four leaders with a 4/4 maximum score were Eduardo Iturrizaga from Venezuela, Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, Nikita Vitiugov of Russia and Dariusz Swiercz of Poland. The group of seventeen players on 3½ included Vassily Ivanchuk and Gata Kamsky who have recovered from their slow starts.


Read more ...





Chief Minister at Tradewise Festival


28.1.13 - Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo paid an unofficial visit to the Tradewise Chess Festival on Sunday afternoon. Relaxing in the lobby of the hotel he played a game of chess and later congratulated 13 year old Stephen Whatley for having won his game of the day.


Mr Picardo was then shown round the Gibraltar Masters by tournament director Stuart Conquest where Round 6 was being played. He later twittered a picture of himself and Stephen which read: "Great day for Gib. Young Steve Whatley wins his match at the Tradewise Open at the Caleta".




Governor Opens 'Amateurs and Challengers'


28.1.13 - Gibraltar’s Governor Sir Adrian Johns has always been a great supporter of the Tradewise Chess Festival so it was not surprising to see him back in the eleventh edition of the tournament. He made the first move in the first round of the Challengers and Amateurs tournaments.


Shown round the hall by director Stuart Conquest and organiser Brian Callaghan, Sir Adrian got the chance to see both the Amateurs and the Challengers as they made their first moves. He welcomed everyone to this year’s festival and wished them well.


Read more ...




'Battle of the Sexes'


27.1.13 - A three match blitz event raising £1000 for charity was held in the Bay restaurant on Saturday evening. It was won 2-1 by the men in a close contest. The first game was played at 15 minutes per team; games two and three at 7 minutes. The clock stayed on the arbiter's table, and had to be pressed by each player in turn.


The two teams: MEN: Kiril Georgiev, Liem Le Quang, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Emil Sutovsky, Gawain Jones, Gata Kamsky. WOMEN: Jovanka Houska, Nana Dzagnidze, Xue Zhao, Tania Sachdev, Valentina Gunina, Viktorija Cmilyte.


See the games here.


Photos by Zeljka Malobabic and John Saunders.


Minister and Gibtelecom Chief visit the Masters


Gibraltar’s Deputy Chief Minister and Gibtelecom Chairman, Dr Joseph Garcia, visited the Tradewise Chess Festival accompanied by the Chief Executive of Gibtelecom Tim Bristow this week.


Players were in action in the fourth day of the Masters tournament as they were shown round by director Stuart Conquest. They also sat for a while in the broadcast studio from where the games are analysed by Simon Williams and Irina Krush from 3pm daily on the internet.


Gibtelecom has supported the chess festival and organisers at the Caleta Hotel from its inception year having jointly led the chess revolution developing online live-streaming in a major way.



The Magnificent Eight Ride Again



Antoaneta Stefanova


John Saunders reports: Everyone remembers those classic movies The Magnificent Eight and Eight Samurai, don’t they? And those with a classical education might recall Eight Against Thebes by the Greek tragedian Aeschylus. No? Neither do I. The two films and the Greek play had ‘seven’ (and not ‘eight’) in the title, presumably because seven is some sort of magic number. ‘Eight’ appears to have no magical properties or fictional resonances. I’m not sure why that is – perhaps someone can enlighten me.


When I saw that this year’s Gibraltar Masters had precisely seven 2700+ players in the line-up, I was pleased because it meant I would be able to deploy all manner of analogies on this theme. It was a bit disappointing to hear that an eighth 2700+ man had been added at the last minute.



Masterclasses with Gata Kamsky and Jovana Vojinovic

26.1.13 - Gata gave a Masterclass on Friday night followed by Jovana. Fascinating to see. Watch them both here.

Team Blitz Fun!

25.1.13 - Held on Thursday night, teams of four, with names such as "Chinese Dragon", "Four Queens", Swiss Attack and "Weapons of mass destruction" played six rounds of quickplay games (5 minutes plus 2 seconds increment per person). Needless to say, it was great fun!





Video produced by Peter Doggers | More here

Former Winners Stumble in Gibraltar


Le Quang Liem (Vietnam)


John Saunders reports: Early rounds of big opens rarely produce major surprises, as the top half of the draw tends to murder the bottom half in cold blood. But this year’s Gibraltar Masters produced a couple of shocks in the first round as the two highest rated competitors, former Gibraltar winner Vassily Ivanchuk and world championship runner-up Gata Kamsky, were held to surprise draws by amateur players in the first round as the players got down to business at the Caleta Hotel.


In the second round there was a bigger shock as three times Gibraltar winner Nigel Short succumbed to 40-year-old Spanish IM Ismael Teran Alvarez, who is ranked only 72nd in the Masters line-up.







Photos by Zeljka Malobabic

25.1.13 - Many more added today - Blitz Fours and Rounds 3 and 4. Many more to follow at the Festival continues.

Masterclass with Anna

23.1.13 - American IM and WGM Anna Zatonskih gave a very enjoyable and informative Masterclass on Wednesday evening to an appreciative audience both online and at the Caleta Hotel. Watch it all as it happened.

Gibraltar Minister Hosts Dinner

23.1.13 - Tourism Minister Neil Costa hosted a special dinner at the Mons Calpe Suite at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar on Tuesday evening on the first day of the Gibraltar Masters Tradewise Chess Festival for the visiting Grand Masters and sponsors of the tournament ... [Read more]

Opening Ceremony


21.1.13 - The 2013 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival was opened on 21 January by The Hon. Steven Linares, Minister for Sport, Culture, Heritage & Youth, and the draw for first round colours made by Jessica Baldochino, Miss Gibraltar 2012. Tournament director GM Stuart Conquest presided.


The picture shows Stuart Conquest, James Humphreys, of the principal sponsor Tradewise, Brian Callaghan, of the Caleta Hotel, Jessica Baldochino and the Hon. Steven Linares. Many more photos here.


Tradewise Chess Festival begins!

20.1.13 - Monday 21 January sees the start of the Gibraltar festival with round 1 for the Challengers A and Amateurs A, starting at 09.45 CET (04.45 EST).


His Excellency Sir Adrian Johns, Governor of Gibraltar, has agreed to visit the Festival on the opening day to make the ceremonial opening moves in the Challenger and Amateur competitions.


Viktorija and Dronavalli give opening simul



GM Viktorija Cmilyte


GM Dronavalli Harika


19.1.13 - The 2013 Tradewise Chess Festival was launched on its 11-day voyage when two of our top female participants, Grandmasters Viktorija Cmilyte amd Harika Dronavalli, offered two simultaneous displays for early arrivals.


The simuls began around 8pm in the main restaurant. The games provided an ideal warm-up for Amateur and Challenger participants, whose events began the following morning.


Viktorija (2515) and Harika (2514) were not to be too hard on their opponents!





Last minute recruit joins the Masters


David Navara (CZE) 2710


14.1.13 - We are delighted to announce that another top player, GM David Navara, has joined the stellar Masters line-up.


The 2013 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival starts on Sunday 20 January at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar with simultaneous displays at 2000 hours (CET). The opening ceremony is at 2030 hours (CET) on Monday 21 January. Play in the main event, the 11th Gibraltar Masters, begins at 1500 hours (CET) on Tuesday 22 January.


The leading competitors this year are Vasily Ivanchuk (2758), Gata Kamsky (2740), Michael Adams (2725), Radoslaw Wojtaszek (2723), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2711), David Navara (2710), Alexei Shirov (2708), Le Quang Liem (2705) and last year's winner Nigel Short (2696).


A strong women's contingent is headed by Anna Muzychuk (2582), Nana Dzagnidze (2555), Zhao Xue (2554), Marie Sebag (2530), Pia Cramling (2518), 2012 Women's World Championship runner-up Antoaneta Stefanova (2506), Viktorija Cmilyte (2515), Harika Dronavalli (2514) and Ju Wenjun (2505).


Full press release by John Saunders


Governor To Make The Opening Move


Sir Adrian Johns, Governor of Gibraltar

with Tournament Organiser Brian Callaghan.


30.12.12 - The Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is not limited to the 10-round Masters tournament - there are also four 5-round morning events.



It therefore gives us special pleasure to announce that His Excellency Sir Adrian Johns, Governor of Gibraltar, has agreed to visit the Festival on the opening day, Monday 21st January, to attend the start of the first week Challenger and Amateur competitions, and to make the ceremonial opening move of the 2013 Festival.


Sir Adrian has attended the Festival before, but this will be the first occasion that his visit coincides with the opening day. We could not have wished for a better way to begin an eleven day celebration of chess!








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