The 17th edition of Gibraltar International Chess Festival, one of the strongest open tournament over the years, opens today at Caleta Hotel, in Gibraltar, while the board battles starting tomorrow when is scheduled the 1st round.
The festival features five main events with participation of almost 600 players coming from 60 federations. Besides the main events: Masters, Challengers A, Challengers B, Amateurs A and Amateurs B competitions, various evening activities will be organized, such as Masterclasses with top players, two Blitz events and Battle of Sexes with World top women and men chess players playing against each other.
This year, the Masters event gathered 259 players coming from 50 federations, along with World top players, 94 Grandmasters, 54 International masters, 10 WGM, 7 WIM and in total 204 titled players.
Gibraltar Masters event gathered 14 world class chess players rated 2700+, such as: top seeded Vachier Maxime-Lagrave (FRA, 2780), Levon Aronian (ARM, 2767) – the Winner of the previous edition of the event, So Wesley (USA, 2765), Yu Yangyi (CHN, 2764), Nakamura Hikaru (USA, 2749), Navara David (CZE, 2738), Naiditsch Arkadij (AZE, 2734), Vitiugov Nikita (RUS, 2720), Le Quang Liem (VIE, 2714), Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR, 2713), Artemiev Vladislav (RUS, 2709), Mamedov Rauf (AZE, 2703), Adams Michael (ENG, 2701) and Matlakov Maxim (RUS, 2700).
Many women top players will also compete for the 15.000£ prize for the best women player: reigning Women World Chess Champion Ju Wenjun (CHN, 2575), Muzychuk Anna (UKR, 2569), Lagno Kateryna (RUS, 2560), Muzychuk Mariya (UKR, 2540), Tan Zhongyi (CHN, 2502), Gunina Valentina (RUS, 2501), Stefanova Antoaneta (BUL, 2486), last year top Women player Pia Cramling (SWE, 2462) and others.
The event will be played in 10 rounds, Swiss system, with time-control 100 minutes for 40 moves, plus 50 minutes for the next 20 moves, plus 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from the move one.
The first round of the Masters event is scheduled for tomorrow at 15.00 (local time). All the games will be live transmitted and the live broadcast of the games can be followed through the official website of the Championship together with live commentary given by GM Simon Williams and IM Jovanka Houska. Evening Masterclasses will also be broadcast live, and like the afternoon shows, can be watched through the official website.
Photographs from the last year event: Sophie Triay and John Saunders