Gibraltar 2014

2014 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival – January 28 to February 6

rock of gibraltar

Played annually at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar, the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is “the most prestigious open tournament in the world”!

Williams and Krush

The 10-round Masters tournament (with a top prize of £20 000) is definitely one of the strongest open tournaments in the world. At the top of the player list, there are ten 2700+ GMs – including English GM Mickey Adams, Ukranian GM Vassily Ivanchuk, and American GM Gata Kamsky – followed by another seventeen 2600+ GMs – including GM Nigel Short (2683) and 14-year-old Chinese GM Wei Yi (2603) – but at the bottom of the list, there are unrated players and players with ratings in the 1500s.

With sizeable women’s prizes (the top prize is £15 000), the event also attracts some of the world’s strongest women players: Anna and Mariya Muzychuk, Bela Khotenashvili, Viktorija Cmilyte, Tan Zhongyi, and Natalija Pogonina, among others.

Rounds in the main event start at 15:00 CET (09:00 EST) each day. In the mornings, there are parallel “Amateur” (U1900) and “Challenger” (U2250) events.

The Canadian contingent

Canada is represented at Gibraltar by GM Kevin Spraggett, GM Eric Hansen, IM Aman Hambleton, IM Edward Porper, David and Jason Kenney (father and son duo from Nova Scotia), and Lali Agbabishvili – from Hart House Chess Club!

GM Kevin Spraggett
GM Kevin Spraggett
GM Eric Hansen
GM Eric Hansen
IM Aman Hambleton
IM Aman Hambleton
IM Edward Porper
IM Edward Porper
Lali Agbabishvili
Lali Agbabishvili

Off to a good start

It’s a decent first half for the Canadians at Gibraltar. Here’s the summary table.

Seed Name Rating 1 2 3 4 5 Pts. Rank Perf. Rtg+/-
39 GM Hansen Eric 2559 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 4.0 21 2628 +5.50
43 GM Spraggett Kevin 2544 1 1 ½ 1 0 3.5 28 2673 +9.80
65 IM Hambleton Aman 2481 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 3.0 105 2259 -11.40
79 IM Porper Edward 2446 1 ½ 0 0 1 2.5 114 2357 -4.10
182 Kenney Jason 2112 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 3.0 111 2099 +16.05
206 Kenney David 1999 0 0 0 0 1 1.0 238 1785 -45.30
219 Agbabishvili Lali 1941 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 2.0 164 2230 +19.50

Game Highlights

In Round One, Lali Agbabishvili (1939) – 8th top woman player in Canada – scores a nice upset as she gets a draw against Italian IM Alessio Valsecchi (2418) in a Symmetrical English.

Then in Round Two, IM Edward Porper (2446) scores a draw against GM Nigel Short (2683) from the white side of a Nimzo-Indian.

In Round Four, GM Kevin Spraggett destroys GM Nigel Short (2683) in 22 moves after Nigel plays a “dodgy” variation of the modern Steinitz. Check Kevin’s interview with GM Irina Krush (starting at around 2:48:00).

In Round Five, Jason Kenney (2112) beats his first IM, winning from the black side of a Caro Kann against Israeli IM Leon Lederman (2257).

In Round Six, GM Eric Hansen wins convincingly from the white side of a French McCutcheon against Norwegian GM Simen Agdestein (2627). His interview with GM Irina Krush starts around 3:47:00. Hansen has 5.0/6 going into Round 7, where he’ll have white against Hungarian GM Richard Rapport (2691) on board 6.

GM Eric Hansen after his win in Round Six
GM Eric Hansen after his win in Round Six

In Round Seven, GM Eric Hansen draws GM Richard Rapport (2691), while IM Aman Hambleton draws GM Emil Sutovsky (2663).

In Round Eight, GM Eric Hansen draws Indian GM Pendyala Harikrishna (2706). Hansen has 6.0/8, and he’s white against Chinese GM Li Chao (2680) on board 7 in Round Nine. Good luck, Eric!

In Rounds Nine and Ten, Hansen finishes with two draws for a final score of 7.0/10, undefeated (!) with +4 -0 =6 record, good for 14th place. Nice work, Eric!!

Round Ten also sees Lali score her third win against 2100+ opposition. Lali finishes with an even 5/10, +3 -3 =4. Seems like you’ve got to be over 2200 FIDE to beat her these days! Way to go, Lali (picking up almost 50 FIDE rating points)!!

See complete final Canadian results.

2014 tradewise gibraltar

gibraltar monkey

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