2009 Gibraltar Chess Festival - Challengers Entrants

 

This page features entrants to the Challengers events. Short biographies (and most of the photos) are by - please let me know if I have made any mistakes! A list of the tournament's administrative staff may be found here. Entrants for other sections: MastersAmateur

A simple list of entrants to ALL 2009 Gibtelecom Festival tournaments, showing full FIDE registration details may be found here.

 

Gibtelecom Challengers (ratings from January 2009 List) skip to Challengers 2 players

Last Edited: Monday January 25, 2010 7:40 AM

 

CHALLENGERS 1 skip to Challengers 2 players
 

Nicolas Natalicchio Escalante
Nicolas Natalicchio Escalante
 
ESP 2238 Born in 1986, and has a Spanish national rating of 2201. He is Italo-Argentinian.
 
Andrew Dunn
Andrew Dunn
 
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
Juan Antonio Urbina Perez
 
ESP 2215 Born in 1978. Played in the 2007 and 2008 Gibtelecom Festivals.
 
Kamal Daoudi
Kamal Daoudi
   
MAR 2209
 
Johannes Luangtep Kvisla
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
 
Milan Kandic
Milan Kandic
 
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.
 
Nicolai Getz
Nicolai Getz
   
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.
 
Oleg Kozlov
Oleg Kozlov
 
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.
 
Arne Hagesaether
Arne Hagesaether
 
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
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.
 
Ihab Salem
Ihab Salem
 
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.
 
Odin Blikra Vea
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.
 
Leonard Steffenello
Leonard Steffenello
   
BRA 2164 Based in France.
 
Alan Byron
Alan Byron
 
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.
 
Caspar Bates
Caspar Bates
 
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.
 
Andrew D Green
Andrew 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.
 
Enrique Osuna Vega
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
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.
 
Espen Haugstad
Espen Haugstad
   
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.
 
Anders Hagen
Anders Hagen
   
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.
 
Carlos Viñas Guerrero
Carlos Viñas Guerrero
 
ESP 2104 Born in 1975. Has played in all the Gibtelecom Festivals. Plays for CA Algeciras in the Spanish Club Championship.
 
Manuel Navarro Perez
Manuel Navarro Perez
   
ESP 2097 Born in 1967, Manuel's national rating is 2081.
 
Philip Wheldon
Philip Wheldon
 
ENG 2094 Born in 1956, Philip's ECF grade is 155 and he is a member of the Urmston club (near Manchester). Philip scored 2½/5 in the 2008 Challengers 1.
 
Mehmet Fahri Ercan
Mehmet Fahri Ercan
   
TUR 2091
 
Andrew Horton-Kitchlew
Andrew Horton-Kitchlew
 
ENG 2084 Born in 1955, Andrew is a regular competitor in UK tournaments.
Malcolm Gordon Bucknell
Malcolm Gordon Bucknell
   
ENG (185) Malcolm is not on the FIDE List nor on the current ECF Grading List but his 2007 grade was 185. He is from Chelmsford in Essex.
 
Dragan Dimitrijevic
Dragan Dimitrijevic
   
ITA 2069 Born in 1965.
Brendan Lyons
Brendan Lyons
 
IRL 2060 Born in 1963. Plays for St Benildus in Ireland.
 
Gabor Pali
Gabor Pali
 
HUN 2049 Born in 1983.
 
Vegar Koi Gandrud
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.
 
Paul Obiamiwe
Paul Obiamiwe
 
NGR 2035 Born in 1966.
 
Gilles Suez-Panama
Gilles Suez-Panama
   
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.
 
Adeoye Dasaolu
Adeoye Dasaolu
 
ENG 2024
 
Martyn Hamer
Martyn Hamer
 
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
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.
 
Peter Cafolla
Peter Cafolla
 
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.
 
Jorge Beltran Medina
Jorge Beltran Medina
 
MEX 2006 Born in 1967.
 
Askild Bryn
Askild Bryn
   
NOR 2006 Born in 1987. This is a photo of Askild Bryn I took it at the Monarch Assurance Isle of Man tournament of 2003 (when Simen Agdestein became the 'Manx Monarch' and even attempted to claim sovereignty over the Isle of Man in his victor's speech!). Askild has played in four previous Gibtelecom Festivals, making 3½/10 in the Masters in 2004, 4/10 in 2005, 3/5 and 4/5 in the 2006 Challengers tournaments, 2/4 and 2½/5 in the 2008 Challengers tournaments, and 4½/10 in the 2008 Masters.
 
Ian Pendlebury
Ian Pendlebury
 
ENG (177) Ian is a member of Urmston Chess Club. His ECF grade is 177 (roughly equating to a 2016 rating). He played in Challengers 1 in 2008 and scored 2½/5.
 
Elias DeMac
Elias DeMac
 
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.
 
Kristoffer Madland

   
NOR 1992 Born in 1991.
 
Mikael Helin
Mikael Helin
   
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).
 
Jesus Guerrero Beret
Jesus Guerrero Beret
   
ESP 1964 Born in 1982.
 
Jason Kouchak

   
FRA   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.
 
Francisco Carame Gonzalez ESP 1959 Born in 1980. Played in the Masters tournaments of 2004-2007.
 
Roland Olsson
Roland Olsson
 
SWE (1938) Born in 1942.
 
Marianne Wold Haug
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.
 
Alan Gravett
Alan Gravett
 
GIB 1934
 
Oystein Aagedal Skage
Oystein 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
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.
 
Rupert Dickens
Rupert Dickens
 
ENG (159) Rupert was born in 1956 and is chairman and match captain of the BBC Chess Club. He shared 3rd prize at the 2005 Gibtelecom Challengers tournament and he also played in 2006 and 2008, scoring 3/5 in the Amateur 1 event.
 
       
Mariano Ribon Calabia
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.
 
Gerardo Palacios Peña
Gerardo Palacios Peña
 
ESP 1849 Born in 1961, Gerardo has a Spanish national rating of 1900.
 
Joseph Quinn
Joseph Quinn
 
ENG 1835 Joseph was born in 1995 and has been playing chess since he was six years old when he was first taught chess by his ex-headmaster at school. Since then he has represented Sussex and played for England in a number of international events. This is his second trip to the Gibtelecom Festival (he scored 3/5 in the 2008 Challengers 1) and he is looking forward to playing again.
 
Luis Manetto
Luis Manetto
 
GIB 1602 A regular visitor to the congress, having played from 2005 to 2008 inclusive, always in the Challengers.
 
Anthony Dunlop
 
SCO (1588)
 

CHALLENGERS 2 skip to Challengers 1 players


       
Nicolas Natalicchio Escalante
Nicolas Natalicchio Escalante
 
ESP 2238 Born in 1986, and has a Spanish national rating of 2201. He is Italo-Argentinian.
 
Andrew Dunn
Andrew Dunn
 
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
Juan Antonio Urbina Perez
 
ESP 2215 Born in 1978. Played in the 2007 and 2008 Gibtelecom Festivals.
 
Kamal Daoudi
Kamal Daoudi
   
MAR 2209
 
Johannes Luangtep Kvisla
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
 
Milan Kandic
Milan Kandic
 
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.
 
Nicolai Getz
Nicolai Getz
   
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.
 
Oleg Kozlov
Oleg Kozlov
 
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.
 
Arne Hagesaether
Arne Hagesaether
 
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
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.
 
Ihab Salem
Ihab Salem
 
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.
 
Odin Blikra Vea
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..
 
Leonard Steffenello
Leonard Steffenello
   
BRA 2164 Based in France.
 
Caspar Bates
Caspar Bates
 
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.
 
Enrique Osuna Vega
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
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.
 
Espen Haugstad
Espen Haugstad
   
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.
 
Anders Hagen
Anders Hagen
   
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.
 
Manuel Navarro Perez
Manuel Navarro Perez
   
ESP 2097 Born in 1967, Manuel's national rating is 2081.
 
Philip Wheldon
Philip Wheldon
 
ENG 2094 Born in 1956, Philip's ECF grade is 155 and he is a member of the Urmston club (near Manchester). Philip scored 2½/5 in the 2008 Challengers 1.
 
Mehmet Fahri Ercan
Mehmet Fahri Ercan
   
TUR 2091
 
Dragan Dimitrijevic
Dragan Dimitrijevic
   
ITA 2069 Born in 1965.
Gabor Pali
Gabor Pali
 
HUN 2049 Born in 1983.
 
Vegar Koi Gandrud
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.
 
Paul Obiamiwe
Paul Obiamiwe
 
NGR 2035 Born in 1966.
 
Gilles Suez-Panama
Gilles Suez-Panama
   
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.
 
Adeoye Dasaolu
Adeoye Dasaolu
 
ENG 2024
 
Martyn Hamer
Martyn Hamer
 
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
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.
 
Peter Cafolla
Peter Cafolla
 
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.
 
Jorge Beltran Medina
Jorge Beltran Medina
 
MEX 2006 Born in 1967.
 
Askild Bryn
Askild Bryn
   
NOR 2006 Born in 1987. This is a photo of Askild Bryn I took it at the Monarch Assurance Isle of Man tournament of 2003 (when Simen Agdestein became the 'Manx Monarch' and even attempted to claim sovereignty over the Isle of Man in his victor's speech!). Askild has played in four previous Gibtelecom Festivals, making 3½/10 in the Masters in 2004, 4/10 in 2005, 3/5 and 4/5 in the 2006 Challengers tournaments, 2/4 and 2½/5 in the 2008 Challengers tournaments, and 4½/10 in the 2008 Masters.
 
Ian Pendlebury
Ian Pendlebury
 
ENG (177) Ian is a member of Urmston Chess Club. His ECF grade is 177 (roughly equating to a 2016 rating). He played in Challengers 1 in 2008 and scored 2½/5.
 
Elias DeMac
Elias DeMac
 
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.
 
Kristoffer Madland

   
NOR 1992 Born in 1991.
 
Ian Nisbet
Ian Nisbet
 
SCO 1975 Born 1990, his full name is Alex Ian Nisbet and he is also a member of the East Kilbride club. Latest Scottish rating is 1974. Ian shared first place in the Open at the 2006 Scottish Championship and took the Scottish Boys' Championship title. Represented Scotland on board two in the 2008 European Team Championship and finished 7th in the 2007 Scottish Championship. You can see him playing against Callum Kilpatrick at the 2008 Blackpool Congress in this short Youtube clip.
 
Jesus Guerrero Beret
Jesus Guerrero Beret
   
ESP 1964 Born in 1982.
 
Jason Kouchak

   
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.
 
Nigel Dennis
Nigel Dennis
 
ENG 1956 Born in 1944, Nigel has long been an industrious (but self-effacing) organiser of senior and junior chess in the Berkshire area; yet he still finds time to play himself, notably at the Jersey and Guernsey congresses as well as Hastings. He has played twice in Gibraltar, scoring 2½/5 in the Challengers 2 event in 2007, then 2/5 in the two Challengers events in 2008. Nigel is a member of Maidenhead Chess Club. I remember seeing him playing the first tournament I ever played in - the Berks and Bucks (Marlow) Congress of 1968. I was just a kid at the time but I have since grown distinctly grey and middle-aged. Nigel, on the other hand, looks exactly the same as he did 40 years ago. How does he do it?
 
Craig Whitfield
Craig Whitfield
 
ENG 1942 Craig was born in 1995 and is a member of the Cheddleton & Leek Chess Club. in 2005 he represented England at the under-10 level in the World Youth Championships. He has had some excellent results in the UK Land Challenge and at the tender age of 11 was nominated as Staffordshire's 'Play of the Year' in 2006.
 
Marianne Wold Haug
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.
 
Alan Gravett
Alan Gravett
 
GIB 1934 Formerly a Jersey player, now ENG - but also GIB. Scored 1½/5 in the 2008 Challengers 1 and 2/5 in Challengers 2.
 
Oystein Aagedal Skage
Oystein 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
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.
 
Alex Nisbet
Alex Nisbet
   
SCO 1922 Born 1965 and a member of the East Kilbride club in Scotland. Alex's latest Scottish rating is 1868.
 
Mariano Ribon Calabia
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.
 
Gerardo Palacios Peña
Gerardo Palacios Peña
 
ESP 1849 Born in 1961, Gerardo has a Spanish national rating of 1900.
 
Tom Middleton
Tom Middleton
 
ENG (150) Born in 1971. It will be good to see Tom again as we were club mates at Mitcham Chess Club in the 1990s. He's currently inactive as regards grade and rating but has estimated his strength as around ECF 150 (1800-ish).
 
Francisco Javier Garcia Lechugo
Francisco Javier Garcia Lechugo
   
ESP 1688 Born in 1970. Francisco is a Gibtelecom regular, having played in the tournaments from 2004 to 2008 includive.
 
Samuel Flanagan
Samuel Flanagan
 
IRL (1650) Samuel was born in 1954, comes from Belfast and has an Ulster Chess Union rating of 1650. He was in a threeway tie for first place in the 2008 Gibtelecom Amateur 1 with 4½/5, thus taking home a prize of £666.67.
 
Aztlan Badillo Garcia
Aztlan Badillo Garcia
 
MEX (1383) Born in 1996, U12 state champion 2008, finalist in U14 for 2009.
 
Luis Correa Vargas
Luis Correa Vargas
 
MEX (1192) Born 1998, U10 state champion 2008.
 
Raul Vargas Salgado
Raul Vargas Salgado
 
MEX (1156) Born 1998, 3rd in 2008 state U10s, finalist for the 2009 U12 championship.
 
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