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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gibraltar Chess Festival 2012 begins with strongest-ever participants' list

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Guess what was World Chess Champion Viswanathan doing on Monday night? He was emailing the organisers of the Gibraltar Chess Festival! 

Anand wrote: "I would like to wish the organisers of the Tradewise Chess Festival a very successful 10th anniversary. The event has grown in stature and popularity over the years and has become a marquee event attracting the best names in chess including a lot of players from my country." You can read the full text of the world chess champion's email at the official website.

Culture and Sports Minister Steven Linares weclomed all the players and thanked them for coming to the Rock to play in the tournament. Tournament director, Stuart Conquest, said participants' number was a record high. 

Miss Gibraltar 2011 Michelle Gillingwater Pedersen helped draw the pairings for the opening top six games.

First up was Peter Svidler from Russia, a former winner in Gibraltar, and a huge cricket fan. So it was not surprising that he drew a white cricket ball received with much approval from the players. He plays Jovanka Houska in the opening round from UK.

Tournament director Stuart Conquest, Culture and Sports Minister Steven Linares, Miss Gibraltar 2011 Michelle Gillingwater and Festival organiser Brian Callaghan OBE.
The other top boards today are: Junio Molina v Mamedyarov, Michael Adams (former Gib winner) v Natalia Zhukova, Robert Aloma Vidal v Zoltan Almasi, Ismael Karin v Liem Le Quang, and Judit Polgar v Alex Astaneh Lopez.

Meanwhile Monday evening also saw the launch of the first Gibraltar stamps featuring chess. One of the pairings for yesterday between Adams and Zhukova, was an exact repetition in both names and colours as that featured on the 30p stamp.


A reminder that play begins shortly at 3 pm Gibraltar time and can be followed live on

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