Home Page arrow Press arrow Gibraltar Chess Festival Begins
Gibraltar Chess Festival Begins Print E-mail
By Alice Mascarenhas   
January 24, 2012

At the opening reception on Monday night Gibraltar Culture and Sports Minister Steven Linares weclomed all the players and thanked them for coming to the Rock to play in the tournament. Mr Linares wished all well in their game and hoped all would enjoy the festival.

Tournament director, Stuart Conquest, addressed the familiar faces in the gathering in the main hall by opening with well wishes for a successful tournament from the current World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. In a e-mail sent by Anand he described the tournament as  a "marquee event". (see full quote below)

Conquest then said that numbers this year have reached a record high.

"There is," he said, "something very special abut the ambience created over these 10 days of chess where everyone feels very much at home."

It was then up to Miss Gibraltar 2011 Michelle Gillingwater Pedersen to 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. 

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.

Reigning World Champion
Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand said,

"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.

"On this special occasion I was happy to note that a special prize would be given as a Commonwealth prize to commemorate  Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  I would personally like to congratulate Brian Callaghan who has been awarded the prestoigious O.B.E. for his services to tourism and chess.  I would certainly like to visit the event in own of its future editions.  Once again all the best for many more good years of chess."

Alice Mascarenhas
Tradewise Chess Press Officer
Press Office
2012 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival