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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Congress 2011 R7 - chess by candlelight, Ivanchuk holds on to lead

Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

What men do at candlelight dinners
when no pretty girls show up!

Hello everyone,

Funny captions aside, it was chess by candlelight because of a chess commentator's curse! We're not saying that... John Saunders -webmaster for Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Congress - is.

Games were interrupted for over an hour during the seventh round at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Congress 2011 cause of a power outage. At 7.45pm clocks were stopped as players (still playing nearly five hours into their game) remained seated at their boards in near darkness as the emergency lights in the hotel came into operation. Hotel staff and arbiters found torches and candles quickly. But play resumed only after 9pm when the electricity was restored.

Of course, it was all Stewart Reuben’s fault, says John Saunders, in his report. After all, on Sunday tempted fate by making a joke about “rainbow stopped play”, didn’t he? It was the curse of the chess commentator, whereby all predictions and whimsical observations inevitably come back and kick you in the teeth. Stewart, who is the UK’s most experienced tournament director, tried to deflect criticism but he was impaled on the iron logic of IM Jack Rudd who told him: “[the electricity outage] could be deemed an act of God - so you were responsible.”

Yesterday’s audience enjoyed some excellent fare, with various distinguished guests appearing alongside regular commentator GM Simon Williams. Stuart Conquest, Ray Keene, Paco Vallejo Pons and Nigel Short all provided illuminating commentary, and Irina Krush came in for the evening session.

The Gibraltar Masters is not all about super-GMs and top ten women stars only. It provides the opportunity for sub-2200 rated players to show that they can score points against more exalted opposition. Several players in this category have good scores but we’ll single out just two. Philip Wheldon, 2106, of England is on 4½/7, having drawn with IM Eesha Karavade and defeated GM Juan Manuel Bellon. More impressive still has been Paul Szuper, 2174, of the USA, who in his last four games has drawn with IM Gaponenko and GM Ikonnikov, and beaten WGM Pogonina and GM Lemos for a score of 5/7.

You can find more details at the official website at

Meanwhile, here are the top standings after Round 7.

Rk. Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1
1 GM Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2764 6.0 2880
2 GM Short Nigel D ENG 2658 5.5 2802
3 GM Fridman Daniel GER 2655 5.5 2794
4 GM Roiz Michael ISR 2649 5.5 2745
5 GM Gopal Geetha Narayanan IND 2597 5.5 2715
6 GM Mikhalevski Victor ISR 2579 5.5 2638
7 IM Melia Salome GEO 2449 5.5 2600
8 GM Sengupta Deep IND 2530 5.0 2739
9 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2531 5.0 2723
10 GM Adams Michael ENG 2723 5.0 2710
11 GM Kulaots Kaido EST 2577 5.0 2708
12 GM Sasikiran Krishnan IND 2690 5.0 2694
13 GM Harikrishna Pentala IND 2667 5.0 2654
14 GM Caruana Fabiano ITA 2721 5.0 2653
15 GM Bologan Viktor MDA 2693 5.0 2630
16 GM Georgiev Kiril BUL 2669 5.0 2623
17 GM Onischuk Alexander USA 2689 5.0 2614
18 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter ROU 2678 5.0 2613
19 GM Erdos Viktor HUN 2593 5.0 2593
20 GM Edouard Romain FRA 2634 5.0 2563

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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