This page features a list of the entrants to the 2009 Gibtelecom Masters tournament.
Click here for a list of the officials and administrative staff who will be at the 2009 Gibtelecom Festival.
Short biographies (and most of the photos) are by - please let me know if I have made any mistakes! Many thanks to others who have supplied photos (Cathy Rogers, Simen Agdestein, etc). We would like to have photos and details of all the participants, not just the big stars. If you are playing at Gibraltar 2009 and we don't currently display your photo, do please send one in to and I'll be delighted to put it up here. Also feel free to write your own mini-biography!
A simple list of entrants to ALL 2009 Gibtelecom Festival tournaments, showing full FIDE registration details may be found here.
This page last edited: Wednesday February 4, 2009 3:31 PM
||RSA||2348m||Kenny shared the 2003 South African Chess Championship title with Watu Kobese. He has represented South Africa at six Olympiads since 1998.
||ISR||2340m||Born in 1950. Originally from the Soviet Union where he played in the Belarussian Championship and other tournaments. A regular tournament competitor in Europe, travelling with his wife WIM Ludmila Tsifanskaya.
||FRA||2339m||Born in July 1989, Clovis has some notable achievements to his credit, including 1st in the category 4 Grenoble Masters in 2007.
|Uriel Capo Vidal
||MEX||2336m||Born in 1986, former national U20 champion and twice member of the Mexican Olympiad team.
||ISR||2328m||Born in 1968, Masha travels the world with her partner Mikhail Gurevich (and is often to be seen partnering him at the card table). She is an IM in her own right (as well as WGM) and has represented Israel at seven Women's Olympiads (between 1994 and 2008) and five European Women's Team Championships (between 1992 and 2007) - every one of these appearances has been on top board. In 1994 she beat women's world champion Xie Jun at the Moscow Olympiad. Played in Gibraltar in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
||NED||2325f||Born in 1989.
||NOR||2322f||Born in 1990. Scored 6/10 in the 2008 Gibtelecom Masters, including a win against English IM Andrew Greet.
||ENG||2321f||Born in 1980, Adam is a strong amateur player who plays his chess for the Three Cs club in the north west of England. Adam has scored some good scalps in his many appearances in British events, including wins against Stewart Haslinger, Lawrence Trent, Andrew Ledger, Almira Skripchenko and Dagne Ciuksyte. In the British Championship he has scored 5½/11 in 2002, 5/11 in 2003, 5½/11 in 2003, 6/11 in 2005 and 4½/11 in 2006. At the Monarch Assurance Isle of Man event, his recent scores have been 4/9 (2005 and 2006) and 4½/9 (2007). He scored 5½/10 in the 2006 Gibtelecom Masters, including draws with GMs Pelletier and Shaw and IM Zhukova.
||GER||2321f||Born in 1988, Florian's October rating is his highest yet, achieved by virtue of a 5½/9 score against a strong field in the Czech Open in July. Florian is making his debut in Gibraltar in 2009.
||ARG||2313f||Born in 1976.
||GER||2307f||Born in 1988, Stefan has been rated as highly as 2343 in April 2007 after he did very well in the Bad Zwesten Open where he beat Lev Gutman and Leonid Milov. In 2005 he won the German Under-18 Championship. This will be his first Gibtelecom Festival.
||GER||2301||Born in 1970, Holger is entitled to the FM title but appears not to have registered it as yet. At Biel in July 2008 he had an excellent tournament, drawing with 2593-rated David Baramidze and beating a 2499-rated Slovenian IM. Scored 3½/9 in the 2007 Gibtelecom Masters, including a win against David Howell, and scored 5½/10 in 2008, with draws against three IMs. Plays for SC Steinbach in the Bundesliga.
||IRL||2296f||Born in 1986, Stephen finished 4th in the 2008 Irish Open Championship, behind Baburin, Greenfeld and Hebden. In 2005 he scored 6½/11 in the British Championship in the Isle of Man, including a win against Simon Williams.|
||NOR||2290f||Whilst googling, I found there was a young Norwegian soccer player of the same name. I've no idea if they are one and the same but if they have managed to clone Simen Agdestein then Norway will soon rule the world. Joachim beat GM Jonny Hector in the first round of the 2006 Politiken Cup. Had a very impressive debut in the Gibtelecom Masters in 2008, scoring 7/10 for 10th= place and an IM norm. Nobody else rated under 2500 finished that high up the mountain. He finished with three straight wins against David Berczes, Andrew Greet and Mohamad Al Modiahki. The photo shows him being congratulated on getting his IM norm at the Gibraltar prizegiving.
||ENG||2290||Born in 1951, Tony is a member of the Beckenham & Charlton club and has an ECF grade of 190. He's been a strong competitor on the UK chess scene for as long as I can remember.
|Attila Istvan Csonka
||HUN||2289f||Born in 1979.
||NED||2277||Born in 1995. Must be quite a talent to have such a high rating at 13. Scored 8/11 in the World Under-12 in 2007. In 2008 he tied first for the Dutch under-15 title. In 2008 he scored 6½/11 in the World Under-14 Championship.
||FRA||2263f||Born in 1982, Louis is a member of the Ile de France club.
||SWE||2256||Born in 1944.
||HUN||2252m||Born in 1972.
|Michael JR White
||ENG||2251f||Born in 1982. Michael has a 197 ECF grade and his club affiliation is Bristol University. Scored 6/11 in the 2007 British Championship (where he beat Susan Lalic) and 5½/10 at the 2008 EU Championship in Liverpool.
Born in 1956, Terry has one unique claim to fame - the only amateur player ever to have defeated Garry Kasparov in a one-to-one. What's the catch, you ask? Well, it was a handicap game (Garry had two fewer pawns than his opponent) - but it was still a remarkable achievement for all that.
It came in game three of a four-game charity handicap match in London which Kasparov won 2½-1½. Even apart from this match, Terry has had an excellent career to date, both in chess and in business. He won the British Under-14 Championship in 1970 and (if I remember rightly) had a letter published in "Chess" magazine when he was even younger than that. He won a number of other junior titles, including the London Junior Under-18 Championship, which would have indicated a likely trajectory of at least IM and possibly GM, but shortly after playing two Varsity matches for Cambridge University in 1976 and 1977 he gave up competition chess to concentrate on a business career. He was highly successful, heading up his own company, Terence Chapman Group plc, which sponsored the English Chess Federation's Grand Prix competition for a number of years as well as the charity match with Kasparov. In recent years Terry has returned to competition chess with some success, being a regular at Hastings, Coulsdon and other events including the 2007 British Championship where he scored an excellent 6½/11, beating IM Simon Knott in the last round. He plays for the Oxford and Cambridge club in London and has a current ECF grade of 193.
||GER||2247||Born in 1964, Michael (or Mischa) will be taking part in the Gibtelecom Festival for the fourth time in 2009. He scored 5/10 in the Masters in 2006, 4½/9 in 2007 and 5/10 - very consistent! His best result was probably getting a draw with a 15-year-old Italian boy in 2007... Fabiano Caruana, now a GM and rated 2640. Mischa runs a very good international chess calendar - check it out - http://www.chess-calendar.com/
|Nicolas Natalicchio Escalante
||ESP||2238||Born in 1986, and has a Spanish national rating of 2201. He is Italo-Argentinian.
|Ove Weiss Hartvig
||DEN||2237f||Born in 1963, Ove played at the 2007 Gibtelecom Masters and scored 4/9. In his career his notable scalps include Curt Hansen and a very young Emanuel Berg. In early 2008 he travelled to the New Zealand Open Championship, where he started with a win against Brazilian IM Herman Van Riemsdijk and finished with a creditable 6/11.
||ENG||2223||Dave was born in 1978 and has an ECF grade of 197. He comes from Ipswich in Suffolk. He played in the British Championship in 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2007, and has been a very frequent tournament competitor over the past ten years, playing at Southend, the Isle of Man and for the BCCA club in the 4NCL. Played in the Gibtelecom Masters in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
||ENG||2216c||Born in 1967. He has played in four Gibtelecom Festivals - 2004 to 2007. Scored 4½/10 in 2004, 5/10 in 2005, 5½/10 in 2006 and 4/9 in 2007, when he also gave Challengers 1 a punt scoring 3½/5. In 2006 he won a game against the Moroccan IM Mohamed Tissir. Andrew plays for the Poisoned Pawns in the 4NCL and he has been a regular at the Monarch Assurance Isle of Man tournament where he has recorded draws against GM Sulskis and the soon-to-be GM Parikarjan Negi.|
|Juan Antonio Urbina Perez
||ESP||2215||Born in 1978. Played in the 2007 and 2008 Gibtelecom Festivals.
||ITA||2211||Born in 1956.
|Johannes Luangtep Kvisla
||NOR||2208||Another young Norwegian born in 1990 (a very fruitful year for chessplayers in that part of the world). Played at the 2007 Gibtelecom tournament, scoring 2½/5 in Challengers 1, 3½/5 in Challengers2, and 4/9 in the Masters. In the Arctic Chess Challenge at Tromso in August 2007, he beat GM Nick de Firmian with a checkmating attack. He had a particularly good 2008 Gibtelecom Festival, scoring 5/5 to win Challengers 1 and 4/5 to finish 2nd= in Challengers 2. He also scored 5/10 in the Masters
||SRB||2208||Born in 1971. Played in the 2008 Gibtelecom Festival, scoring 5/10 in the Masters, 2½/3 in Challengers 1 (arriving late) and 1½/5 in Challengers 2.
|Ewoud De Groote
||NED||2203||Born in 1989. He has a Dutch national rating of 2208.
|Jeroen Van den Bersselaar
||NED||2192||Born in 1967, Jeroen played in Gibraltar in 2005, 2006 and 2008, and at the Monarch Assurance Isle of Man International in 2007. In the 2005 Gibtelecom Masters he scored 4½/10 (including a darw with Mark Hebden), in 2006 5½/10 and in 2008 5/10.
||NOR||2190||Born in 1991. Played in the 2008 Gibtelecom Festival, scoring 4½/10 in the Masters, 3/5 in Challengers 1 and 2½/5 in Challengers 2.
||ENG||2189c||Born in 1975, Alan is a regular competitor at British chess tournaments, and for Pandora' Box Grantham in Division 2 of the 4NCL (British Team League). He scored 4/11 in the 2003 British Championship. He also used to be a regular visitor to the late lamented Monarch Assurance tournament in the Isle of Man, usually scoring around 4 or 4½ in this tough event. Scored 4½/10 in the 2005 Gibtelecom Masters, 5/10 in 2006 and 4½/10 in 2008 when he scored a win against former women's world champion Zhu Chen.
|Daniel Van Heirzeele
||BEL||2189||Daniel is a 47-year-old player from Belgium, who has also played in France, Netherlands and Spain.
||RUS||2187m||Born 1960. Scored 5½/10 in the 2008 Gibtelecom Masters (including a win against GM Gawain Jones) which won him a £1,500 rating prize. He scored 3½/5 in Challengers 1 (losing his last round game to Mark Lyell) but then 5/5 to scoop the £1,500 first prize in Challengers 2. His rating used to be 2400+ but then sharply declined between 2003 and 2005.
||NOR||2184||Born in 1972, Arne is Norwegian but lives and works in England - he is Jovanka Houska's 'significant other'. Arne has two chessplaying siblings, Halvard and Torill, and also a cousin Ellen who is a woman master. He scored 3½/10 in the 2004 Gibtelecom Masters and 3½/9 in the Monarch Assurance Isle of Man International in the same year. He scored 7/11 in the 2006 Major Open in Swansea. Arne once took a video of me playing a rapidplay game against Jovanka Houska. Very sneaky - I didn't know I was being filmed!
|Lasse Ostebo Lovik
||NOR||2183||Lasse is from Stavanger and was born in 1992. Scored 5/10 in the 2008 Gibtelecom Masters but the bare score doesn't tell the story of his highly memorable tournament: he beat US IM Joe Bradford (2419), Kruttika Nadig (2208) and IM (now GM) Nana Dzagnidze (2429). He also scored 3/5 in Challengers 1 and 2½/5 in Challengers 2.
||PLE||2171||From Palestine but based in Essex, with an ECF grade of 165. The photo shows Ihab playing at the Ron Banwell MSO Masters in London in 2001 where he chalked up a very creditable 6/10 score, beating GM Dimitrios Agnos and IM Janez Barle.
||FRA||2170||Born in 1966, Vincent has held a rating well in excess of 2200 until recent years. Scored 5½/9 at the 2007 Gibtelecom Masters, including excellent counterattacking wins with Black against two IMs (Joe Bradford and Elisabeth Pähtz), for a very good TPR of 2342. In the 2008 Gibtelecom Masters he scored a more modest 4½/10.|
||SCO||2170||Alan played in the strong 2005 Scottish Championship and found the going quite tough. But he is an improving player and did well to score 4/9 in the hugely strong 2007 Monarch Assurance Isle of Man International, and he did it the hard way. He started with 2/2 (including a win versus German IM Thomas Casper). Later in the tournament he beat a second IM, Anna Zozulia. Both IMs were victims of direct assaults on the king - you have been warned. He is a member of the Edinburgh-based Wandering Dragons club. 2007 was a good year all round for him as he started it by winning the Championship section at the Lothians Congress and later in the same month won a game against GM Colin McNab at Perth. Scored 4½/10 in the 2008 Gibtelecom Masters.
|Odin Blikra Vea
||NOR||2169||Born in 1984, Odin is a regular visitor to the Gibtelecom festival. In fact, he has been to every one and makes a habit of hoovering up the prizes in the Challengers. He is also very good at poker, winning the poker tournament played during the 2006 congress. In 2008 he scored 4½/10 in the Masters, 3½/5 in Challengers 1 and 4/5 in Challengers 2.
||BRA||2164||Based in France.
||ENG||2162||Born in 1963, Alan is from Leicester and, back in the early 1980s, was one of the best young players in the country. In 1981 he was invited to take on the 70-year-old former world champion Mikhail Botvinnik in a prestigious junior simul. But Alan decided not to go in for the glamorous and glitzy lifestyle of a professional chessplayer (!) and opted for a real job. Then, a few years ago, Alan returned to the chessboard after something like a quarter of century and started playing a few tournaments. In 2007 he even travelled as far afield as Bulgaria where he proved he hadn't lost his touch by drawing a game with Bulgarian GM Krum Georgiev. In 2008 he played in the Gibtelecom Festival, though he arrived a few rounds late, scoring 3/7 in the Masters.
||ENG||2161||Born in 1971 and based in North London, Tryfon is the founder and head of the web-based email chessplaying site chessworld.net (also known as letsplaychess.com) and, before that, he ran the Barnet Chess Club website, one of the first chess club websites back in the 1990s. Tryfon goes under the handle "kingscrusher" on ICC. Also, check out his Youtube site where he puts up instructional chess videos. As well as all this web work, Tryfon also still finds time to play the game and recently scored 4½/11 in the 2008 British Championship.
|Pedro Tomas Perez Aleman
|David J Whitehead
||ENG||2155||Born in 1979.
||HUN||2152m||Born in 1953, Dr. Tamas Erdelyi became a lawyer in 1977, but since then he has taught chess and organized international tournaments in Kecskemet, Hungary. He became an IM in 1986 and had some good tournament results in the 1980s. Since 1990 he has been the owner and manager of Caissa Kft, which publishes chess books in English, German, French and Hungarian. He also owns the largest chess shop in Hungary and attends major events in Europe, such as Olympiads and other big tournaments. Caissa runs a small hotel where monthly tournaments for master norms and ratings are held. This is his fifth trip to Gibraltar though only the second time he has participated in the more serious events. In 2008 he scored 4½/10 in the Masters, 4½/5 (2nd=) in Challengers 1 and 4/5 (2nd= again) in Challengers 2.
||ISR||2149wm||Born in 1949, Ludmila represented Israel in four Women's Olympiads from 1994 to 2000 and also in the European Team Championships of 1992, 1997 and 2005. In the 1996 Yerevan Olympiad she scored 7½/12 for a TPR of 2358. Married to IM Boris Maryasin who is also playing in Gibraltar.
||ENG||2148||Born in 1967, Simon had some good results at junior level in the UK, followed by work and marriage. He is now based in Mexico and has recently made a competitive comeback after a ten-year absence.
||ENG||2142||Born in 1975, Caspar has only had an official FIDE rating since his appearance at the 2008 Gibtelecom Festival although he had previously recorded a 2200+ result at Metz 2005. He scored 5/10 in the 2008 Masters, 3½/5 in the Week 1 Challengers and 3/5 in the Week 2 Challengers. In 2009 he is once again competing in all three of these events.
|Jean Paul Drenth
||NED||2140||Born in 1962 in Leiden. Jean Paul writes of himself: "In 1962 I came into this world in Leiden academic, feet first. As the doctors witnessed, it may have been a small step for mankind but it was a great leap to me. From here I struggled on. As my Elo rating clearly indicates, I am capable of losing to all of the participants. Playing me is the next best thing to a day of rest. So, basically I guess am one of the most desired opponents in Gibtelecom 2009. And remember: 'Possibly some of my suggestions will not be of benefit to some players' (Botvinnik on preparation)." Not highly rated, perhaps, but a GM in self-deprecation.
|Andrew D Green
||SCO||2136||Born in 1990, Andrew evidently believes in starting at the top. In 2001, aged ten, he was one of ten players worldwide who got the chance to play Vladimir Kramnik in an online simul just before the then world champion played a match against Deep Fritz in Bahrain. Andrew later represented Scotland in the Glorney Cup and captained the Scottish squad in the 2006 European U18 Team Tournament, making a 2200 TPR, and he also played in the 2007 and 2008 events. He scored 5½/11 in the 2006 Major Open in Swansea. In 2008 he showed signs of steady improvement, scoring 5½/9 in the 2008 Scottish Championship and then 7/11 in the Major Open in Liverpool. His 2009 got off to a fantastic start at the 2008/9 Hastings Masters where he scored 6/9 for a TPR of 2390 - this included wins against three IMs. Originally from Wimbledon in London, Andrew is a member of Edinburgh Chess Club, attends Stewart's Melville College and currently has a 2141 national rating.
|Pedro Alexis Machin Arbelo
||ESP||2134||Born in 1971.
|Enrique Osuna Vega
||ESP||2130c||Enrique likes the Gibtelecom Festival. He says, on behalf of himself and his amigo Carlos Alberto Viñas Guerrero..."Ambos hemos jugado ¡todos los Masters!. Este será nuestro 7º torneo." Y muy bienvenidos, digo yo. Born 1966, Enrique has competed at all the Gibtelecom Festivals. He lives in La Línea and plays for CA Algeciras in the Spanish Club Championship.
|Richard J Almond
||ENG||2126||Born in 1967, Richard is a member of the Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club and a frequent competitor in tournaments in both Britain and Europe. Richard produced an eye-catching performance in the 2006 European Individual Championship when he beat two IMs and had Belgian GM Winants at his mercy when he agreed a draw. His first six games brought him a TPR of 2415 - not bad for a club player.
|Jorge Flores Chico
||ESP||2121||Born in 1975.|
||ENG||2117||Born in 1981, Jonathan Arnott has an ECF grade of 182 and captained the Yorkshire county side from 2002-2004. He has played for White Rose in the 4NCL. Notable results include wins at the British Rapidplay over GMs Hebden (2003) and Arkell (2007), and his best FIDE-rated result is a draw against Jonathan Rowson (Blackpool 2004). Jonathan gained a Master's Degree in Mathematics from Sheffield University at age 19 and now plays for the university side in the Sheffield league, as well as coaching at local junior club SASCA. Scored 4½/10 in the 2008 Gibtelecom Masters, 3½/5 in both Challengers 1 and 2.
||NOR||2115||Born 1990. Played at the 2008 Gibtelecom Festival, scoring 4½/10 in the Masters, 3½/5 in Challengers 1 and 1½/5 in Challengers 2.
||NOR||2110||Born 1990. Played at the 2008 Gibtelecom Festival, scoring 4½/10 in the Masters, 3/5 in Challengers 1 and 2½/5 in Challengers 2.
|Ibrahim Okinyi Ogada-Osim
||AUS||2110||Born in 1981.
||NED||2107||Frits was born in 1966 and will be making his fifth visit to Gibraltar in 2008. He scored 4½/10 in the Masters in 2005, and the same score again in 2006. In 2007 he scored 2½/5 in Challengers 1, 3/5 in Challengers 2 and 4/9 in the Masters. In 2008 he scored 5½/10 in the Masters and gained some rating points.
|Juan Carlos Mundaca Alvarez
||CHI||2105||Born in 1954. Juan Mundaca played in the 2007 and 2008 Gibtelecom Festivals. In 2007 he scored 3½/10 in the Masters and 1½/5 in Challengers 2. In 2008 he scored 4½/10 in the Masters.
|Carlos Viñas Guerrero
||ESP||2104||Born in 1975. Has played in all the Gibtelecom Festivals. Plays for CA Algeciras in the Spanish Club Championship.
|Mehmet Fahri Ercan
||IRL||2085||Born in 1960, Anthony is a keen competitor in big open competitions, rarely missing from the lists at the Monarch Assurance Isle of Man tournament and also travelling to London and Liverpool for other major competitions, plus Southend, Bunratty and elsewhere. He scored 4/10 in the 2006 Gibtelecom Masters. His best scalp is probably that of Dutch GM Harmen Jonkman at the 2004 Monarch Assurance tournament. He will be particularly popular with game keyers as his handwriting is immaculate.
||ENG||2084||Born in 1955, Andrew is a regular competitor in UK tournaments.|
||ENG||2083||Born in 1949, David has been a keen competition player for several decades and comes from Bristol. He has played all over - Isle of Man, Paignton, Guernsey, Jersey, South Wales - but this is his first visit to Gibraltar. Notable victims while he's been playing for Bristol in the 4NCL in recent years include Malcolm Pein, Harriet Hunt, Andrew Law and Rawle Allicock.
|David W Fryer
||ENG||2080||Born in 1955, Dave used to be my club colleague at Mitcham Chess Club (now sadly defunct) so he and I are old friends. He's been a keen player and organiser for many years, and a pioneer of computer pairing before most people knew there was such a thing as a home computer. Dave's children are also keen players. Dave plays his chess for East Grinstead Chess Club and he is a regular competitor in major UK congresses such as Hastings, the Major Open and Paignton. This is his first Gibtelecom Festival.
||NZL||2079||Born in 1969, Alistair has long been resident in the UK where he plays for the King's Head club in London. He played in the Gibtelecom Masters and Challengers tournaments in 2007 and beat Subbaraman Meenakshi along the way. Scored 5/10 in the 2008 Gibtelecom Masters and 3/5 in Challengers 1.
||FIN||2077||Born 1937. Torvald represented his country in the World Students Olympiads of 1960, 1962 and 1963. Played in the 2008 Gibtelecom Masters, scoring 4½/10.
||ITA||2069||Born in 1965.
||CAN||2068||Steve, born in 1965, is a Canadian journalist who makes frequent forays to Europe in search of strong chess events. He greatly favours time controls which allow him plenty of time to think, which means he likes tournaments such as the Monarch Assurance Isle of Man International (he played in last five Isle of Man Internationals, where his best result was a win against 2424-rated Erik Zude in 2005) and the Politiken Cup which give him the chance to take on tough opponents. This will be Steve's second Gibtelecom Masters; he scored 4/10 in 2008.
||IRL||2060||Born in 1963. Plays for St Benildus in Ireland.
||SUI||2051||Born in 1967.
||HUN||2049||Born in 1983.
|Vegar Koi Gandrud
||NOR||2046||Born in 1991. Played at the 2008 Gibtelecom Festival, scoring 3/10 in the Masters, 2/5 in Challengers 1 and 1½/5 in Challengers 2.
||NGR||2035||Born in 1966.
||FIN||2034||Born in 1954. A very keen tournament player. His best result against a GM was a draw against Jouni Yrjölä in 2008.
||FRA||2033||From Martinique. Wonder if he plays the Canal variation? That was my little joke last year and Gilles himself commented: "I liked your joke about my name. I have to admit that I first decided to come to the Gibraltar Congress because I was curious to see how two canals (me) would feel in a strait!! I found it funny and decided to have a look at it... so here I am... about 8000 km from my small but beautiful island: Martinique, "l'ile aux fleurs" as they say in French...don't hesitate to visit us...www.echecs-martinique.com…’cause we do play chess and we do have good tournaments (...to come). I was born in 1973 and I learned chess at 14 at school. I've been champion of Martinique five times, and every year since 1998 I have been to France to test my skill in the national championship (where I have to admit I've not been very successful). My chess friends call me "the key keeper" because I usually play long, long games - I like 6 hour-games and even more. I hope this skill will be useful for those 20 games I intend to play within 10 days. Of course I intend to play a variation I kept secret for years: "The Two-Canals Variation"!!!...and where else could I have tried to play it if not here in Gibraltar." Gilles scored 4½/10 in the 2008 Masters, 3/5 in both Challengers 1 and 2. He was unlucky to have default wins in the first round of each of the Challengers events.
||ENG||2031||Born in 1956. Nick (his unused first name is James) has a BCF grade of 162. Playing captain of Mindsports in Division 3 of the 4NCL. Got hooked on chess around the age of 11 -15. Nick did the BCF coaching course in the early 1990s and was the Marketing Director of the then BCF for three years from 2000-2003. He described it as ‘an honour and a pleasure to promote one of my true passions in life’. He has a great interest in chess history, but still loves to play. By profession he is an academic in the Faculty of Business and Law at Liverpool John Moores University and a Trustee of a large not-for-profit organisation called Community Integrated Care in Widnes. Like many of us he was inspired by the events in Reykjavik in 1972. His mother even called their big tom cat Spassky.
||WLS||2027||Born in 1976. Has a Welsh rating of 2054.
||ENG||2023||Born 1949, Ian has an ECF grade of 155. He played in the 2007 and 2008 Gibtelecom Masters and also in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 open internationals in Liverpool. He is from Liverpool - an ECF Arbiter - and an enthusiastic amateur who nowadays combines chess with a holiday. He plays for Aigburth (2006/07 Merseyside champions ahead of Atticus CC) and also for Widnes in the Warrington League. On the Atticus Chess Club Forum he has taken to writing "anonymously" under the name HermitCrab.
||ENG||2022||Born in 1979, Martyn is graded 165 and is a member of Great Harwood Chess Club, having previously played for Warwick University. He has played in Gibraltar before, scoring 4/10 in 2005 and again in 2006, 2½/9 in 2007, plus some very respectable scores in the Challengers events. He plays games other than chess in the Mind Sports Olympiad and was runner-up in the poker tournament played during the 2006 Gibtelecom Chess Festival. At the 2008 Gibtelecom Festival he scored 4/10 in the Masters, 3½/5 in Challengers 1 and 3/5 in Challengers 2.
|Joar Gullestad Pettersen
||NOR||2016||Born in 1984. This will be his third Gibtelecom Festival. At 2007 he scored 2½/9 in the Masters, 2½/5 in Challengers 1 and 2/5 in Challengers 2. In 2008 he scored 4/10 in the Masters, 2/5 in Challengers 1 and 2½/5 (including a full point bye) in Challengers 2.
||IRL||2013||Born in 1957, Peter has chosen to write his own mini-biog... "Dangerous but inconsistent. Has beaten players up to 2499 and drawn with a few GMs but just as likely to get outplayed by one of the Gibraltar monkeys. Could have been world champion but for a poor work ethic, a bad memory and a distinct lack of ability. Aims to become the oldest player to achieve the International Master title when he reaches 70!!" Ah, that goes for all of us, doesn't it? Peter has been a regular at the Monarch Assurance Isle of Man International, played in a couple of European Union Championships, also Irish Championship and the Bunratty Masters. This will be his second Gibtelecom Masters. In 2006 he scored 4½/10 in the Masters and 3/5 for a share of 4th place in the second week Challengers.
||ENG||2008||Tim is one of the keenest English amateur players on the circuit and you may have seen him play in the Isle of Man, Hastings, Paignton, Guernsey and plenty of other places, but this will be his first visit to Gibraltar. He holds one chess record which can never be broken - he is the one and only player to have competed in all 16 Monarch Assurance Isle of Man tournaments. His day job is working as a journalist on The Sun newspaper - but we don't hold that against him! He certainly has a sunny outlook on life.
||SUI||2007||Born in 1972.
|Jorge Beltran Medina
||MEX||2006||Born in 1967.
|John E Hickman
||ENG||2002||John Hickman is a keen English amateur player, born in 1965. A frequent competitor in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, this is John's fourth visit to the Gibtelecom Festival. He comes from Reading and has played for Bristol in the 4NCL. I sat next to John flying back to the UK from Gib last year and he proved to be a very pleasant and humorous travelling companion. I hope I get the seat next to him this year.
||NOR||1993||Born in 1992, Elias is one of the large Norwegian party (one of the few who was not also here in 2008). I am told Elias has always been considered a great talent. He finally made his breakthrough six months ago when he finished second in the Norwegian Junior Championship behind his school mate Espen Forsaa.
||NOR||1992||Born in 1991.
||SWE||1974||Born in 1962. Has played in Gibraltar in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Scored 4/10, 3/9 and 4/9 in successive Masters events (having missed a few games at the start and finish of tournaments).
||IRL||1957||Oisin is 16 years old and made a creditable 4½/10 in the very strong European Union Championship in Liverpool in September 2008, including a win against Welsh international David James. This followed a score of 4/9 in the 2008 Irish Championship
|Richard J Webster
||ENG||1956||Born in 1968, Richard is a member of the Ashfield club in Nottinghamshire, represents his county side in the 4NCL and has an ECF grade of 157. He is a frequent competitor at congresses around Britain, including Hastings, Paignton, Isle of Man, Southend and the Major Open. Scored 3½/10 in the 2008 Gibtelecom Masters.
|Marianne Wold Haug
||NOR||1935||Born 1992. A member of the Norwegian party, making her Gibtelecom debut. Marianne is a member of the Oslo chess club Schakklubben av 1911.
|David Brown||ENG||1932||Born in 1959. David scored 3½/10 in the 2008 Gibtelecom Masters.
|Oystein Aagedal Skage
||NOR||1925||Born 1991. Oystein is a member of Bergen Chess Club. Played at the 2008 Gibtelecom Festival, scoring 4½/10 in the Masters, 1½/5 in both Challengers 1 and 2.
|Jo Kristian Loberg
||NOR||1923||Born 1992. Played in the 2008 Gibtelecom Festival, scoring 3/10 in the Masters, 3½/5 in Amateur 1 and 4/5 in Amateur 2 for 3rd= place.
|Michele De Lillo
||ITA||1918||Born in 1960.
||SWE||1916||Born in 1959.
|Joan Escofet Llongueras
||ESP||1889||Born in 1948.
||NOR||1888||Born in 1989, with a Norwegian national rating of 1748. It's possible you have heard of her younger brother, or maybe see a likeness... now, what was his name? No, I can't remember...
|Mariano Ribon Calabia
||ESP||1864||Born in 1964, Mariano is from Barcelona. He played in the festival in 2008 and enjoyed so much that he is bringing a friend, Santiago Escandell, with him in 2009.
||HUN||1862||Born in 1974.
||GIB||1855||Manolo has played in all seven Gibtelecom Festivals, always in the Masters event.
|Geir Ole Aagedal
||NOR||1832||"Born in the Eastern part of Norway in 1957. Now living on the West Coast, and member of Bergen Chess Club. Since his return in 2001 after more than 20 years doing anything else but chess, he has struggled to regain his former amateur level. In vain." (that's his life story told in Geir's own words)
|Millan Gonzalez Amaya
||ESP||1831||Born in 1971. Has played in all the Gibtelecom Festivals except 2004.
|Daniel Yarur Elsaca
||CHI||1805||Born in 1955, Daniel is president of the Chilean Chess Foundation. He played in Gibraltar in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
|Ruben Valhondo Morales
||ESP||1754||Born in 1995.
|Francisco Javier Garcia Lechugo
||ESP||1688||Born in 1970. Francisco is a Gibtelecom regular, having played in the tournaments from 2004 to 2008 includive.
||GER||1663||Klaus was born in 1944 and has played in Gibraltar for the past four years, taking part in the Masters, Challengers and Amateur. He won the 2nd week Amateur event in 2007.
|Santiago Escandell Atienza
||ESP||1485||Born in 1962, Santiago is from Menorca.|
|Cristo Viera Falcon
||NOR||(1174)||Born in 1997. Played in the Gibtelecom Amateur event in 2008.
||FRA||(1960)||Jason, who is half English, half French, is a celebrated concert pianist. Look him up on Google and you will be amazed. He also entertains us in the Caleta Hotel with impromptu recitals.
||ENG||(127)||Born in 1948, Geoffrey plays his chess for Chislehurst CC. In 2008 he scored a modest 1½/5 in Amateur 1 but came storming back to take the £1,000 first prize in Amateur 2 with 5/5.|
|Ricardo Pollo Mancilla
|Lovinia Sylvia Chidi