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Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2011 (7)

Bad Day at Black Rock

Nigel Short against Daniel Fridman. Photo ©

Nigel Short against Daniel Fridman. Photo © |

John Saunders reports on round 7. This was interrupted by loss of electricity for an hour. The leading pairings: Mikhalevski-Ivanchuk, Short-Fridman, Adams-Kulaots, Fier-Caruana and Sengupta-Nisipeanu were all draws.

Victor Mikhalevski against Vassily Ivanchuk. Photo © Gibraltar Website. 2011

Everything went black on the Rock on Monday evening. Play was interrupted for just over an hour in the Gibraltar Masters as there was an electricity outage over a large area of Gibraltar. At 7.45pm clocks were stopped as players (still playing nearly five hours into their game) remained seated at their boards in near blackness as the emergency lights in the hotel came into operation.

Arbiters and hotel staff took control of the situation and within minutes torches were flashing and candles found. This at least allowed players some movement around the hotel. Play resumed shortly after 9pm when the electricity was restored.

Of course, it was all Stewart Reuben’s fault. 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.

Nigel Short against Daniel Fridman. Photo © Gibraltar Website. 2011

The black-out did influence a couple of peace treaties amongst the top boards but as far as can be ascertained there were no obvious injustices done by one player having an extra hour’s thinking time. On the top boards the decisive results were all battles of the sexes. The men beat the women 2-1 in this unofficial match. Israeli GM Michael Roiz gradually harried Nadezhda Kosintseva into an untenable position with his advantage of the two bishops. GN Gopal’s win against Nana Dzagnidze was more tactical but achieved much the same objective. Salome Melia struck back with a win against her fellow countryman Giorgi Kachesihvili. As with Vallejo Pons’ game the previous day, this looked to be a case of a bad choice of opening by the stronger player and demonstrated how quickly even a strong grandmaster can find himself in a desperate straits.

The Gibraltar Masters is not all about super-GMs and top ten women stars. 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 might say that Wheldon has done well but the American has been szuper-duper.

Round 7

Melia,Salome (2449) - Kacheishvili,Giorgi (2585)

Caro-Kann Defence

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Bb4 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bd2 Nc6 9.Bd3 0–0 10.0–0 Be7 11.Re1 Bf6 12.Nxd5 exd5 13.Ne5 Qb6

13...Nxd4 is not completely out of the question, but after 14.Bb4 Bxe5 15.Rxe5 Re8 16.Qh5 g6 17.Rxe8+ Qxe8 18.Qxd5 White has a substantial positional edge.

14.Bc3 g6 15.a4 a5

Silicon suggests lines like 15...Bxe5 16.dxe5 d4 17.Bd2 Re8 which may win a pawn but the human player would worry about the exposed dark squares on the kingside. Still, it might have been better than the text.

16.Qf3 Ne7 17.Bb5 Kg7

Giorgi Kacheishvili


Salome Melia

Position after 17...Kg7


This bold move establishes the two white bishops on the two diagonals a4-e8 and a3-f8 and sets up strong threats.

18...axb4 19.Bxb4 Qxd4

Black is damned if he does capture, and damned if he doesn't. 19...Be6 20.Qa3 Qd8 21.Re2 Rc8 22.Rae1 and White is contemplating a knight sacrifice on f7.

20.Qa3! Bxe5 21.Rad1 Qb2 22.Rxe5! Qxe5

22...Qxa3 23.Bxa3 and Black must lose at least the exchange.

23.Bc3 d4 24.Bxd4 Qxd4 25.Rxd4 Nf5 26.Rd1 Kg8 27.Qf3 h5 28.h3 Rb8 29.Bc4 Ng7

A blunder in what is a lost position anyway.

30.Bxf7+ 1–0

Round 7

Gopal,GN (2597) - Dzagnidze,Nana (2550)

Sicilian Defence

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.0–0 Nf6 9.Re1 Rb8 10.Qf3!?

Something a little unusual.

10...d4 11.Ne2 c5 12.c3 Bb7 13.cxd4 cxd4 14.Nf4

Another off-beat move by Gopal. It is not at all obvious where this knight is headed.

14...Qa5 15.Re2 Bd6 16.Qh3

There are big threats of 17 e5 and 17 Nxe6 but they are easily countered - or so it seems.

16...e5 17.Nd5 Nxd5

Perhaps not the best. 17...Nxe4!? 18.Bxe4 Bxd5 seems very solid for Black, even though he is still some way from castling.

18.exd5 Qxd5 19.f4 Kf8

19...Qe6!? 20.Bf5 Qc4 21.Rc2 Qd5 22.fxe5 leads to a minimal edge for White.

20.fxe5 Bxe5

Nana Dzagnidze


Geetha Narayanan Gopal

Position after 20.fxe5


White is close to deploying his remaining pieces but the h8 rook is far from becoming involved in the game.


Black might like to try and find a refuge for his king with 21...g6 but 22.Bh6+ Bg7 23.Rf1! sets up unstoppable threats of 24 Bc4, etc.

22.Bc4 Qa5 23.Qd7 Qc7 24.Qxc7 Bxc7 25.Ba3+ Kg8 26.Re7 1–0

White has threats of Rxfc7 as well as a capture on f7.

Leaders after seven rounds: 1 Vassily Ivanchuk 6/7, 2-7 Nigel Short, Daniel Fridman, Michael Roiz, GN Gopal, Victor Mikhalevski, Salome Melia (women’s leader) 5½, 8-28 comprises 21 players on 5, including Michael Adams, Fabiano Caruana, Krishnan Sasikiran, Pentala Harikrishna, etc.


Challengers B, Round 2

Yarur Elsaca,Daniel (1730) - Hanrahan,William

Black to play

William Hanrahan


Daniel Yarur Elsaca

Black to play.

Two recent issues of the bulletin have featured instances of illegal queenside castling, so we thought it appropriate to redress the balance and show you an example where castling queenside is a very, very good move indeed. Take a look at this: White threatens (a) mate on e7, (b) to take the rook on g8 and (b) f7+ forking king and rook. But fortunately Black has not yet moved either his king or the a8 rook, so

24...0–0–0! ...

and all his problems are solved. If this were a 'How Good is Your Chess?' article (as featured in CHESS magazine), we would now say 'deduct 1,000 points if you chose any other move'. The game ended

25.Kb1 c3 26.b3 Qa3 0–1

Round 8 (of 10) starts at 3pm (GMT+1) on Tuesday 1 February.

Gibraltar Masters Caleta ENG Mon 24th Jan 2011 - Thu 3rd Feb 2011
Leading Round 7 (of 10) Standings:
1Ivanchuk VassilyGMUKR27646.02880
2Short Nigel DGMENG26585.52802
3Fridman DanielGMGER26555.52794
4Roiz MichaelGMISR26495.52745
5Gopal Geetha NarayananGMIND25975.52715
6Mikhalevski VictorGMISR25795.52638
7Melia SalomeIMGEO24495.52600
8Sengupta DeepGMIND25305.02739
9Rapport RichardGMHUN25315.02723
10Adams MichaelGMENG27235.02710
11Kulaots KaidoGMEST25775.02708
12Sasikiran KrishnanGMIND26905.02694
13Harikrishna PentalaGMIND26675.02654
14Caruana FabianoGMITA27215.02653
15Bologan ViktorGMMDA26935.02630
16Georgiev KirilGMBUL26695.02623
17Onischuk AlexanderGMUSA26895.02614
18Nisipeanu Liviu-DieterGMROU26785.02613
19Erdos ViktorGMHUN25935.02593
20Edouard RomainGMFRA26345.02563
21Speelman Jon SGMENG25245.02562
22Fernandez Romero ErnestoIMESP24535.02555
23Bellaiche AnthonyIMFRA24585.02553
24Ikonnikov VyacheslavGMRUS25805.02551
25Nezad Husein AzizIMQAT24205.02531
26Iordachescu ViorelGMMDA26345.02503
27Fier AlexandrGMBRA25715.02491
28Szuper PaulUSA21745.02457
29Korchnoi ViktorGMSUI25444.52686
30Dzagnidze NanaGMGEO25504.52632
31Kosintseva NadezhdaIMRUS25524.52620
32Buhmann RainerGMGER25724.52615
33Vallejo Pons FranciscoGMESP26984.52609
34Lafuente PabloGMARG25614.52601
35Sandipan ChandaGMIND26414.52586
36Krush IrinaIMUSA24834.52563
37Kacheishvili GiorgiGMGEO25854.52542
38Forsaa EspenFMNOR23064.52522
39Kanep MeelisGMEST25314.52491
40Harika DronavalliIMIND25204.52481
41Mullon Jean-BaptisteIMFRA24204.52443
42Robson RayGMUSA25324.52436
43Lemos DamianGMARG25534.52428
44Andersen MadsFMDEN24104.52427
45Battaglini GabrielIMFRA24374.52421
46Vaibhav SuriIMIND24214.52418
47Karim IsmaelIMMAR23754.52414
48Wohl Aleksandar HIMAUS24094.52403
49Cabrera AlexisGMESP25184.52391
50Vernay ClovisIMFRA24464.52379
51Boskovic DraskoIMSRB24124.52372
52Le Roux Jean-PierreGMFRA25514.52367
53Zhukova NataliaGMUKR24414.52358
54Monroy CharlesIMFRA24214.52308
55Slavin AlexeiIMRUS24174.52305
56Wheldon PhilipENG21064.52257
57Zhu ChenGMQAT24954.02592
58Akobian VaruzhanGMUSA26184.02543
59Felgaer RubenGMARG25854.02515
60Cmilyte ViktorijaGMLTU25264.02503
Weber TomFMLUX23104.02503
62El Debs Felipe De CresceGMBRA24994.02493
63Zatonskih AnnaIMUSA24934.02480
64Berg EmanuelGMSWE26274.02478
65Soffer RamGMISR24894.02462
66Valgmae ToomasEST21904.02457
67Calzetta Ruiz MonicaWGMESP22844.02455
68Kosintseva TatianaGMRUS25704.02445
69Gallagher Joseph GGMSUI25014.02428
70Zaremba AndrieFMUSA23394.02419
71Peek MarcelIMNED23424.02418
72Karavade EeshaIMIND23534.02415
73Al-Sayed MohammedGMQAT24904.02402
74Das ArghyadipIMIND24794.02389
75Hoffmann MichaelGMGER25064.02387
76Cummings David HIMCAN23664.02376
77Nuri KambezSUI23004.02360
78Stokke KjetilFMNOR24134.02356
79Bellin RobertIMENG23674.02352
80Gaponenko InnaIMUKR24664.02351
81Jones Gawain C BGMENG25934.02345
82Illner Achim DrFMGER23454.02343
83Estrada Nieto JulianIMMEX23094.02342
84Stefanova AntoanetaGMBUL25464.02304
85Pogonina NatalijaWGMRUS24724.02295
86Avalos Parra JoaoFMCHI22524.02279
87Tate AlanSCO22924.02273
Navarrete Espi SamuelESP20954.02273
89Daurelle HerveFRA22434.02258
90Malmdin Nils-AkeSWE22724.02248
91Tozer Philip A AENG21404.02228
92Montero Melendez RafaelESP22654.02198
93Chapman Terry P DENG22504.02069
94Kotronias VasiliosGMGRE25993.52632
95Sarkar JustinIMUSA24183.52490
96Bellon Lopez Juan ManuelGMESP24043.52409
97Thomassen JoachimIMNOR24043.52406
98Vaarala EricSWE21523.52381
99Tscharotschkin MichaelGER21813.52379
100Jones Richard SFMWLS23613.52368
101Getz NicolaiFMNOR23343.52362
102Oberhofer AndreGER22703.52351
103Aerni AndiSUI21823.52345
104Piasetski LeonIMCAN23033.52337
105Nikolaidis KonstantinosFMGRE22843.52307
106Sanchez LouisFMFRA22623.52300
107Garcia Jimenez Francisco JavieFMESP22743.52295
108Zygouris HristosGRE22153.52283
109Kolbus DietmarIMGER23323.52281
Sipila VilkaFIN22693.52281
111Kantans TomsFMLAT23423.52268
Urbina Perez Juan AntonioCMESP21893.52268
113Jaunooby Ali RENG22073.52260
114Dougherty MichaelFMCAN21833.52259
115Cramling PiaGMSWE25163.52257
116Dittmar PeterFMGER23283.52256
117Bergstrom RolfFMSWE23073.52228
118Mckenna Jason PENG20623.52220
119Itkis HanaWFMUSA20843.52218
120Carlsten PeterSWE21103.52200
121Montabord ManuelFRA20633.52169
122Hauge Lars OskarNOR19423.52166
123Henriksson JohanSWE22433.52139
124Lochte ThomasGER21733.52133
125Daumen MichaelGER21303.52132
126Arnott Jonathan WENG21763.52118
127Hvenekilde JorgenFMDEN21213.52107
128Groffen HansNED21693.52096
129Tari AryanNOR20973.52081
130Collier David OENG21083.52079
131Steil-Antoni FionaWIMLUX21183.52028
132Kuenitz KlausGER16953.51995
133Andreasen PerFMDEN22393.02325
134Lacrosse MarcFMBEL21813.02245
135Vogel JaapFMNED22073.02236
136Meskovs NikitaLAT22433.02217
137Seyfried ClausGER21733.02214
138Tabatt HendrikGER23423.02184
139Daoudi KamalMAR21553.02177
140Vinas Guerrero Carlos AESP21213.02172
141Stebbings Anthony JENG22853.02169
142Sreeves ClementSCO20933.02167
143Spence David JENG22313.02164
144Lasinskas PovilasFMLTU21643.02160
145Kandic MilanSRB21433.02157
146Scholzen WolfgangGER20573.02156
147Wahlbom MagnusSWE23053.02150
148Lipecki AlexanderSUI21263.02135
149Osuna Vega EnriqueCMESP21403.02111
150Knudsen Jes WestDEN20003.02108
151Compton AlistairNZL20463.02106
152Suez-Panama GillesFRA20963.02083
153Dasaolu AdeoyeENG21073.02055
154Messam-Sparks LateefahENG19043.02046
155Fairbairn StephenCAN20583.02044
Costello Colin AENG19753.02044
157Jameson DavidWLS20543.02040
158Memarian MiladIRI20283.02039
159Valhondo Morales RubenESP19483.02027
160Perez Reisler JosePUR18933.02026
161Bous FlorianGER20883.02022
162Eman LennartSWE03.02016
163Spanton Tim RENG20073.02004
164Lee Kai Jie EdwardSIN18333.01990
165Henderikse BertNED20583.01977
166Winkler StefanGER18673.01970
167Ungureanu SanduROU20003.01967
168Phillips Owen SENG19923.01930
169Helin MikaelSWE19143.01927
170Garcia de Lomas Guerrero CarloESP19403.01902
171Becker ThomasGER21573.01874
172Khachatourian YerazikNOR19963.01810
173Hamer MartynENG20412.52110
174Connor Stephen JENG20422.52106
175Sommerhalder EricSUI20002.52047
176Hegvik Leif TrygveNOR18142.52017
177Freuler RomanSUI20922.52013
178Brown DavidENG19232.51991
179Fomani MehdiESP20132.51988
180Schweizer ManfredGER20752.51975
181Salomon JohanNOR18362.51971
182Gholami ArminNOR17792.51969
183Gillespie GarySCO18482.51968
184Obiamiwe PaulNGR20152.51966
185Marder SimonSWE19902.51961
186Boesch HeinzGER18992.51944
187Martinez Gonzalez Francisco IiESP18702.51942
188Haga HalvorNOR20242.51915
189Sigamoney Cyril SUSA19782.51911
190Fogg MartinENG18902.51896
191Wilson AlexandraWFMSUI20372.51894
192Zanetti BrunoSUI20172.51888
193Havik VictorNOR21072.51873
194Kuehnast VolkerGER18992.51856
195Jorgensen Line JinNOR18922.51783
196Forsa EliseNOR17262.51777
197Vea Odin BlikraNOR22142.02162
198Byron Alan MENG21922.02037
199Becking Franz JosefGER20292.01984
200Kelly PaulWLS19462.01933
201Cebada Benitez FernandoESP19972.01912
202Georgieva EmiliaBUL19072.01899
203Neumanova MonikaCZE17122.01895
204Shepherd MichaelSCO19992.01894
205Henrichsen JensDEN19252.01892
206Berggren KlasSWE14632.01847
207Kympergr VojtechCZE16312.01841
208Leimeister WinfriedGER19062.01839
209Lundback KarlSWE19692.01803
210Reid VanessWFMAUS18412.01796
211Moreno Cervera Jose LuisESP19032.01794
212Grainger BenjaminENG18022.01771
213Bishop PeterLUX17842.01764
214Birkestrand OddNOR18942.01728
215Wright JonathanENG18952.01714
216Bihi MehdiFRA19362.01685
217Gonzalez Amaya MillanESP18172.01670
218Whatley StephenGIB15702.01624
219Stene VegardNOR16081.51946
220Flores Chico JorgeESP19991.51844
221Zaky TamirFRA18611.51787
222De Lillo MicheleITA19641.51783
223Lochte SzilviaHUN20151.51708
224Matto ManuelGIB18381.51679
225Siddiqui NidaPAK17391.51664
226Rough Robert ESCO17421.51628
227Bauder HerbertGER20051.51611
228Christiansen Johan-SebastianNOR19551.01684
229Andersson UlfGMSWE25791.00
230Veiga Rodriguez PabloESP15280.01009
231Rudd JackIMENG22970.00
Jaime Montalvan Luis FelipeFMESP21860.00
232 players

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