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Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2011 (10)

Ivanchuk wins Gibraltar Masters with 9/10, Short half a point behind

Vassily Ivanchuk won against in the final round defeating Daniel Fridman. Photo ©

Vassily Ivanchuk won against in the final round defeating Daniel Fridman. Photo © |

Vassily Ivanchuk won the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters with an outstanding 9/10. He conceded just two draws. He was half a point clear of Nigel Short who lost to Ivanchuk and drew just one further game for a performance that would normally have given him first place, Short was a point clear of the rest of the field. John Saunders reports on the final round.

There is often an end-of-term feel at the conclusion of chess tournaments. Players have made friends and agree quick draws. There was no air of this here. Perhaps that is because of the size and depth of the prize list, or perhaps because the organisers work so hard to encourage attractive players to attend the tournament. The last round started at 11am. This was partly to enable a play-off to take place if necessary (we don’t like a shared first place) and also to enable the venue to be re-set for the magnificent gala dinner at the Caleta Hotel.

Vassily Ivanchuk had a very smooth win against Daniel Fridman. Viktor Bologan and Nigel Short went over their game in the commentary room. I thought this most sporting of the Moldovan after losing. Apparently White stood much better but went horribly wrong around move 39. Thus the Ukrainian and Englishman finished first and second respectively, both in an extremely convincing fashion. Nigel finished half a point behind Chucky, but a full point ahead of the nearest rivals. The veteran Viktor Korchnoi had a fleeting opportunity to defeat Paco Vallejo Pons with a brilliancy, but the moment passed and eventually he lost.

Ivanchuk and Short wait for their opponents. Photo © Gibraltar Website. 2011

Vassily Ivanchuk’s rating performance was 2968 with 9/10. This shows how difficult it is to achieve a 3000 rating performance. Nigel Short’s was 2883 with 8½/10. The English hope is that this wonderful result will lead to a resurgence in form.

Nadezhda Kosintseva drew her last round game, thus cementing her GM norm (that is a performance of 2600 or higher) and she will be awarded the Grandmaster title after all the paperwork and bureaucracy is completed. Salome Melia drew her last round game and also achieved a GM norm. As far I know this was her first and she will need to repeat this twice in order to gain the title. I am old enough to remember the time when there were no female grandmasters. Perhaps it is time for FIDE to consider doing away with separate women’s titles. Is it not somewhat condescending?

Other people who achieved international master norms (2400 or higher) included Toomas Valgmae (Estonia), Espen Forsaa (Norway) and Tom Weber (Luxembourg).

The Tradewise Gibraltar Masters has the highest rating prizes in the world. The top band is 2500-2599 and those players compete, not only for the main prizes, but also a first of £3000 and second of £2000 in that range. But even that pales into insignificance by comparison with the women’s prizes. There is a first of £10,000 and they can win a prize in open competition if good enough. We look forward to the day a woman sweeps the two top prizes and leaves everybody else green with envy.

Vassily Ivanchuk against Daniel Fridman. Photo © Gibraltar Website. 2011

Round 10

Ivanchuk,Vassily (2764) - Fridman,Daniel (2655)

Queen’s Gambit Declined

1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Bg5

This leads to different lines when the knight goes to d2 rather than c3.

4...Be7 5.e3 h6 6.Bh4 Ne4 7.Bxe7 Qxe7 8.Bd3 c5 9.0–0 Nc6

9...cxd4 In the commentary room Vassily looked at 10.cxd5 (10.Bxe4!? dxe4 11.Nxd4) 10...exd5 11.Nxd4, which he thought would lead to a slight edge for White in both cases.

10.Ne5 Nf6

10...Nxe5 11.dxe5 and the knight is slightly vulnerable on e4.

11.cxd5 Nxe5

11...exd5 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.dxc5 (13.Qc2!? c4 14.b3 cxd3 15.Qxc6+ Qd7 16.Qxa8 is probably very good for White but is a tad messy) 13...Qxc5 14.Nc3 is only a bit better for White.

12.dxe5 Nxd5 13.Nd2 0–0 14.Ne4 Qc7 15.Nd6

Ivanchuk didn't look deeply at 15.Nf6+ gxf6 16.Qg4+ Kh8 17.Qh4 Kg7 18.e4? Qxe5 19.exd5 exd5. This was a suggested line in the commentary room. It's always easy to sacrifice other people's pieces.

15...f6 16.Qg4

16.Qh5 fxe5 17.Qxe5 Rd8 18.Nc4 b5! 19.Qxc7 Nxc7 20.Ne5 Bb7 is playable for Black.(20...Rd5? 21.f4 Bb7 22.Be4 Rxe5 23.Bxb7)

16...fxe5 17.Nxc8 Qxc8 18.Qe4 Rf5 19.Bc4 Kh8

19...Qc6 is also possible: 20.Rfd1 Rd8 21.a4 (21.Rd2 b5; 21.g4 Rff8 22.Qxe5) 21...Rd6 22.Rd2 and White has good compensation.

20.Bxd5 exd5 21.Qxd5 Qc7 22.Rfd1

Daniel Fridman


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 22.Rfd1


This is a serious positional error, said Vassily, because White now controls the d-file with his heavy pieces. 22...Rff8 23.Qd7 Rac8 was more solid.


Ivanchuk wanted to keep the queens on as Black's kingside is weaker.

23...c4 24.Rad1 Rff8 25.h3 Rfe8 26.Qe4 Qc6 27.Qc2

27.Qg4 is answered by 27...Qe6

27...c3 28.Rd6

28.bxc3 Qxc3 29.Qxc3 Rxc3 30.Rd7±

28...Qc4 29.bxc3 Qxc3 30.Qe4 Qc4

30...b6 is possible because 31.Rxh6+? loses to 31...gxh6 32.Rd7 Qc2! 33.Qh4 Qg6

31.Qxb7 Qxa2 32.Rg6 Rg8?

32...Qg8 is better but it is only a question of degree. 33.Rd7 looks fairly lethal.

33.Rxg7! Qc2 34.Rxg8+ Rxg8 35.Rd6

It is all over.

35...Qh7 36.Qc6 Qb1+ 37.Kh2 Qf5 38.Rf6 Qg5 39.Rxh6+ Kg7 40.Rd6 1–0

Viktor Bologan against Nigel Short. Photo © Gibraltar Website. 2011

Round 10

Bologan,Viktor (2693) - Short,Nigel (2658)

Queen’s Gambit Declined

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 Bf5 7.Qf3 Bg6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.Qxf6 gxf6 10.Nf3 Nd7 11.g3 Be7 12.Nh4 Nb6 13.f3 a5 14.Kf2 a4 15.Rc1 Nc8 16.Ne2 Ra6 17.Nc3 Ra5 18.Be2 Nd6 19.Rhd1 Kd7 20.Ng2 b5 21.Rd2

Nigel Short


Viktor Bologan

Position after 22.Rd2

At this point, the co-commentators GMs Conquest and Williams told the audience that they were amazed by Black's next move. "I wouldn't have played that in a month of Sundays!", exclaimed Simon (or something to that effect). They then challenged the audience to figure out Nigel Short's move. Various much too conventional alternatives were suggested until I (JS) dared to put my hand up and suggest "Bf8". Stuart Conquest looked stunned: "that's the right answer!". I explained that, as an accomplished groveller from way back, I quite often return my pieces to the back rank. However, unlike Dr Short, I usually lose.

21...Bf8!? 22.a3 h5 23.Na2 Nc4 24.Bxc4 bxc4 25.Nf4 f5

I'm also quite fond of immolating my bishops in this way but I can't claim my results have been good.

26.Nc3 Bd6

Ah, so Bh6 wasn't the plan (it had vaguely been mine).

27.h4 Rg8 28.Rg1 Raa8 29.Ke1 Bc7 30.Kd1 Ba5 31.Nxa4 Bxd2 32.Nc5+ Kd6 33.Kxd2 Rgb8 34.Kc3 Ra5 35.Rc1 Rab5

Nigel Short


Viktor Bologan

Position after 35.Rab5

Had White chosen to do nothing much around here it seems likely that the game would have been drawn. But he decided to be bold.

36.b4?! cxb3 37.Kb2 Ra5 38.Ncd3 Re8 39.Nb4 Rxe3 40.Rxc6+ Kd7 41.Rc1

41.Rc7+!? Kxc7 42.Nbxd5+ Kc6 43.Nxe3 was worthy of consideration.

41...Rxf3 42.Nc6 Rf2+ 43.Kxb3 Rb5+ 44.Ka4 Rb7 45.Ne5+ Kd8 46.Nc6+ Ke8 47.Ka5

47.Nxd5 looks a better bet.

47...Rb3 48.a4 Rxg3 49.Nxd5 f4! 50.Kb6 Kf8 51.a5 Be4 52.Ndb4 Rb2! 53.Kc7 Rgb3 54.d5 Rxb4 55.Nxb4 Rxb4 56.d6 Rb7+ 57.Kc8 Ra7 58.Ra1 f3 59.a6 f2 60.d7 Ra8+ 61.Kc7 Bg2

61...Bg2 62.d8Q+ Rxd8 63.Kxd8 f1Q 64.Rxf1 Bxf1 65.a7 Bg2 wins easily.


Round 10

Korchnoi,Viktor (2544) - Vallejo Pons,Francisco (2698)

Blumenfeld Gambit

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 b5 5.dxe6 fxe6 6.cxb5 d5 7.Bg5 Qa5+ 8.Qd2 Qb6 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.e3 Nd7 11.Nc3 f5 12.a4 Nf6 13.Be2 Bd6 14.0–0 Bd7 15.Rfd1 Ke7 16.a5 Qc7 17.h3 Rhg8 18.Nh4 Rab8 19.Kh1 Be5 20.Qc2 d4 21.Na4 dxe3 22.b6 Bxa4 23.Rxa4 axb6 24.f4!

This came as a surprise to Paco who admitted he was starting to panic.


24...Bd6 is also OK.


Korchnoi spins the roulette wheel.

25...exf5 26.Qxf5 Be5?

26...Qc6! wins for Black.

27.Bc4! Rg6?

"I played 27...Rg6 and realised immediately that I was lost" (Paco) If 27...b5 28.Rd7+! Nxd7 29.Qe6+ Kd8 30.Qxg8+ Ke7 and it is draw by perpetual check.

28.axb6 Rxb6??

"I had to spend 25 minutes at the board because if you leave the board it is suspicious!" (Paco) 28...e2 immediately is probably level.

Francisco Vallejo Pons


Viktor Korchnoi

Position after 28...Rxb6


The commentators groaned as this was played. 29.Ra7!! wins the game, and possibly the best game prize: 29...Qxa7 30.Qxe5+ Kf8 31.Rd8+ Kg7 32.Rg8+ (Viktor may have missed this) 32...Kh6 33.Qf4+ and mate follows. A tragic miss for Korchnoi as he now has nothing.

29...Kf8 30.Bd5

"A tricky move" (Paco)

30...e2 31.Qf2 Bd4

31...Rxb2 is also effective.

32.Qxe2 Nxd5 33.Ra8+ Kg7 34.Qf3 Kh6

34...Qf7 also wins.

35.R1a7 Qf4 0–1

Challengers A

First = Ivan Elisha £1500

Johan Henriksson £1500

Third = Ali R Janooby £167

Hristos Zygouris £167

Nikita Meskovs £167

Rating 1950-2049 = Halvor Haga £250

Simon Marder £250

Rating below 1950 = Mikael Helin £167

Samuel Flanagan £167

Emilia Georgieva £167

Unrated Sandu Ungureanu £500

Gibraltar Prize Alan D Gravett £150

Amateur A

First Vegard Stene £1000

Second = Geoffrey L Bishop £400

Alvaro Candano Gonzalez £400

Armin Gholami £400

Gibraltar Prize = Mario Garcia £50

Stephen Whatley £50

Challengers B

First Adeoye Dasaolu £2000

Second Kamal Daoudi £1000

Third = David J Spence £125

Milan Kandic £125

Aryan Tari £125

David Jameson £125

Rating 1950-2049 Halvor Haga £500

Rating Under 1950 Nigel W Dennis £500

Unrated = Sandu Ungureanu £250

Edwin Van Dongen £250

Gibraltar Prize Arjon Severijnen £150

Amateur B

First Klaus Kuenitz £1000

Second = Armin Gholami £300

Geoffrey L Bishop £300

Alvaro Candano Gonzalez £300

Brian Izzard £300

Gibraltar Prize Freddie Poggio £100

Nana Dzagnidze. Photo © Gibraltar Website. 2011

Gibraltar Masters Caleta ENG Mon 24th Jan 2011 - Thu 3rd Feb 2011
Leading Final Round 10 Standings:
1Ivanchuk VassilyGMUKR27649.02968
2Short Nigel DGMENG26588.52883
3Kulaots KaidoGMEST25777.52750
4Roiz MichaelGMISR26497.52743
5Caruana FabianoGMITA27217.02681
6Dzagnidze NanaGMGEO25507.02672
7Gopal Geetha NarayananGMIND25977.02651
8Vallejo Pons FranciscoGMESP26987.02648
9Harikrishna PentalaGMIND26677.02647
10Georgiev KirilGMBUL26697.02641
11Lafuente PabloGMARG25617.02637
12Nisipeanu Liviu-DieterGMROU26787.02629
13Melia SalomeIMGEO24497.02610
14Kacheishvili GiorgiGMGEO25857.02608
15Erdos ViktorGMHUN25937.02607
16Ikonnikov VyacheslavGMRUS25807.02598
17Iordachescu ViorelGMMDA26347.02538
Fier AlexandrGMBRA25717.02538
19Fridman DanielGMGER26556.52695
20Adams MichaelGMENG27236.52665
21Kosintseva NadezhdaIMRUS25526.52654
22Bologan ViktorGMMDA26936.52623
23Buhmann RainerGMGER25726.52598
24Mikhalevski VictorGMISR25796.52595
25Akobian VaruzhanGMUSA26186.52583
26Onischuk AlexanderGMUSA26896.52575
27Bellaiche AnthonyIMFRA24586.52568
28Edouard RomainGMFRA26346.52550
29Berg EmanuelGMSWE26276.52548
30Harika DronavalliIMIND25206.52537
31Zatonskih AnnaIMUSA24936.52530
32Gallagher Joseph GGMSUI25016.52482
33Vaibhav SuriIMIND24216.52472
34Zhukova NataliaGMUKR24416.52447
35Jones Gawain C BGMENG25936.52440
36Le Roux Jean-PierreGMFRA25516.52425
37Henriksson JohanSWE22436.52335
38Sengupta DeepGMIND25306.02673
39Korchnoi ViktorGMSUI25446.02632
40Sasikiran KrishnanGMIND26906.02607
41Zhu ChenGMQAT24956.02572
42Sandipan ChandaGMIND26416.02542
43Fernandez Romero ErnestoIMESP24536.02505
44Cmilyte ViktorijaGMLTU25266.02504
45Lemos DamianGMARG25536.02493
46Kanep MeelisGMEST25316.02486
47Soffer RamGMISR24896.02470
48El Debs Felipe De CresceGMBRA24996.02465
49Kosintseva TatianaGMRUS25706.02463
50Vernay ClovisIMFRA24466.02442
51Robson RayGMUSA25326.02441
52Das ArghyadipIMIND24796.02440
53Cabrera AlexisGMESP25186.02438
54Andersen MadsFMDEN24106.02415
55Wohl Aleksandar HIMAUS24096.02407
56Jones Richard SFMWLS23616.02396
57Boskovic DraskoIMSRB24126.02388
Tate AlanSCO22926.02388
59Illner Achim DrFMGER23456.02375
60Zygouris HristosGRE22156.02355
61Slavin AlexeiIMRUS24176.02351
62Daurelle HerveFRA22436.02350
63Gaponenko InnaIMUKR24666.02334
64Montero Melendez RafaelESP22656.02270
65Rapport RichardGMHUN25315.52566
66Speelman Jon SGMENG25245.52488
67Forsaa EspenFMNOR23065.52485
68Nezad Husein AzizIMQAT24205.52480
69Felgaer RubenGMARG25855.52478
70Valgmae ToomasEST21905.52461
71Krush IrinaIMUSA24835.52457
72Calzetta Ruiz MonicaWGMESP22845.52423
73Battaglini GabrielIMFRA24375.52415
74Thomassen JoachimIMNOR24045.52380
75Getz NicolaiFMNOR23345.52379
76Karim IsmaelIMMAR23755.52368
77Nuri KambezSUI23005.52366
78Al-Sayed MohammedGMQAT24905.52357
79Stokke KjetilFMNOR24135.52351
80Bellon Lopez Juan ManuelGMESP24045.52345
81Sipila VilkaFIN22695.52338
82Kolbus DietmarIMGER23325.52326
83Navarrete Espi SamuelESP20955.52325
84Stefanova AntoanetaGMBUL25465.52320
85Garcia Jimenez Francisco JavieFMESP22745.52304
86Malmdin Nils-AkeSWE22725.52286
Urbina Perez Juan AntonioCMESP21895.52286
88Meskovs NikitaLAT22435.52281
89Bergstrom RolfFMSWE23075.52277
90Cramling PiaGMSWE25165.52267
91Sanchez LouisFMFRA22625.52264
92Daumen MichaelGER21305.52190
93Valhondo Morales RubenESP19485.52079
94Wilson AlexandraWFMSUI20375.52054
95Weber TomFMLUX23105.02427
96Zaremba AndrieFMUSA23395.02388
97Tscharotschkin MichaelGER21815.02379
98Szuper PaulUSA21745.02362
99Karavade EeshaIMIND23535.02356
100Oberhofer AndreGER22705.02340
101Monroy CharlesIMFRA24215.02330
102Estrada Nieto JulianIMMEX23095.02319
103Cummings David HIMCAN23665.02311
104Dougherty MichaelFMCAN21835.02304
105Hoffmann MichaelGMGER25065.02300
106Pogonina NatalijaWGMRUS24725.02295
Vogel JaapFMNED22075.02295
108Kantans TomsFMLAT23425.02284
109Andreasen PerFMDEN22395.02263
110Avalos Parra JoaoFMCHI22525.02244
111Dittmar PeterFMGER23285.02226
112Tozer Philip A AENG21405.02205
113Daoudi KamalMAR21555.02204
114Sreeves ClementSCO20935.02202
115Scholzen WolfgangGER20575.02198
116Tabatt HendrikGER23425.02187
Wahlbom MagnusSWE23055.02187
118Arnott Jonathan WENG21765.02159
119Osuna Vega EnriqueCMESP21405.02149
120Lipecki AlexanderSUI21265.02148
121Chapman Terry P DENG22505.02136
122Groffen HansNED21695.02131
123Vinas Guerrero Carlos AESP21215.02088
124Hvenekilde JorgenFMDEN21215.02085
125Stebbings Anthony JENG22855.02063
126Fairbairn StephenCAN20585.02053
127Ungureanu SanduROU20005.02018
128Marder SimonSWE19905.02010
129Sarkar JustinIMUSA24184.52356
130Mullon Jean-BaptisteIMFRA24204.52353
131Bellin RobertIMENG23674.52326
132Peek MarcelIMNED23424.52305
133Vaarala EricSWE21524.52302
134Seyfried ClausGER21734.52223
135Itkis HanaWFMUSA20844.52205
136Wheldon PhilipENG21064.52195
137Lacrosse MarcFMBEL21814.52177
138Lochte ThomasGER21734.52169
139Jaunooby Ali RENG22074.52150
140Kandic MilanSRB21434.52144
141Montabord ManuelFRA20634.52102
142Tari AryanNOR20974.52094
143Steil-Antoni FionaWIMLUX21184.52089
144Suez-Panama GillesFRA20964.52088
145Spanton Tim RENG20074.52070
146Compton AlistairNZL20464.52069
147Hegvik Leif TrygveNOR18144.52048
148Lee Kai Jie EdwardSIN18334.52029
149Bous FlorianGER20884.52009
150Freuler RomanSUI20924.52006
151Georgieva EmiliaBUL19074.51996
152Zanetti BrunoSUI20174.51986
Shepherd MichaelSCO19994.51986
154Kuehnast VolkerGER18994.51933
155Moreno Cervera Jose LuisESP19034.51929
156Nikolaidis KonstantinosFMGRE22844.02215
157Aerni AndiSUI21824.02209
158Mckenna Jason PENG20624.02150
159Spence David JENG22314.02143
160Hauge Lars OskarNOR19424.02131
161Collier David OENG21084.02082
162Sommerhalder EricSUI20004.02066
163Knudsen Jes WestDEN20004.02051
164Brown DavidENG19234.02048
165Becking Franz JosefGER20294.02044
166Memarian MiladIRI20284.02041
167Dasaolu AdeoyeENG21074.02018
168Eman LennartSWE04.02015
169Winkler StefanGER18674.02011
170Messam-Sparks LateefahENG19044.01978
171Henderikse BertNED20584.01974
172Cebada Benitez FernandoESP19974.01965
173Kuenitz KlausGER16954.01949
174Henrichsen JensDEN19254.01944
175Becker ThomasGER21574.01943
Boesch HeinzGER18994.01943
177Fogg MartinENG18904.01923
178Phillips Owen SENG19924.01913
179Flores Chico JorgeESP19994.01816
180Kotronias VasiliosGMGRE25993.52632
181Piasetski LeonIMCAN23033.52273
182Carlsten PeterSWE21103.52045
183Salomon JohanNOR18363.51990
184Hamer MartynENG20413.51979
185Obiamiwe PaulNGR20153.51959
186Costello Colin AENG19753.51955
187Fomani MehdiESP20133.51948
188Gillespie GarySCO18483.51947
189Perez Reisler JosePUR18933.51945
190Sigamoney Cyril SUSA19783.51921
191Schweizer ManfredGER20753.51920
192Garcia de Lomas Guerrero CarloESP19403.51902
193Helin MikaelSWE19143.51878
194Haga HalvorNOR20243.51865
195Khachatourian YerazikNOR19963.51859
196Zaky TamirFRA18613.51849
197Jorgensen Line JinNOR18923.51837
198De Lillo MicheleITA19643.51826
199Leimeister WinfriedGER19063.51819
200Reid VanessWFMAUS18413.51811
201Lasinskas PovilasFMLTU21643.02080
202Jameson DavidWLS20543.01942
203Lochte SzilviaHUN20153.01797
204Bishop PeterLUX17843.01767
205Forsa EliseNOR17263.01755
206Gonzalez Amaya MillanESP18173.01749
207Bihi MehdiFRA19363.01739
208Grainger BenjaminENG18023.01726
209Kympergr VojtechCZE16313.01720
210Birkestrand OddNOR18943.01703
211Whatley StephenGIB15703.01688
212Bauder HerbertGER20053.01646
213Connor Stephen JENG20422.52106
214Martinez Gonzalez Francisco IiESP18702.51897
215Gholami ArminNOR17792.51879
216Havik VictorNOR21072.51823
Neumanova MonikaCZE17122.51823
218Berggren KlasSWE14632.51788
219Lundback KarlSWE19692.51724
220Matto ManuelGIB18382.51697
221Wright JonathanENG18952.51689
222Vea Odin BlikraNOR22142.02162
223Byron Alan MENG21922.02037
224Kelly PaulWLS19462.01874
225Siddiqui NidaPAK17392.01643
226Rough Robert ESCO17422.01641
227Stene VegardNOR16081.51946
228Rudd JackIMENG22971.51945
229Christiansen Johan-SebastianNOR19551.01684
230Andersson UlfGMSWE25791.00
231Veiga Rodriguez PabloESP15280.51380
232Jaime Montalvan Luis FelipeFMESP21860.00
232 players

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