BOTW: 2018.01.24

Gibraltar 2018

January 21-Feb 1, 2018

The "World's Best Open Tournament" returns, this year with 12 players over 2700 and 35 over 2600 competing in a 10-round Swiss Top seeds are Lev Aronian, MVL and three-time winner Hikaru Nakamura. Other notable players include Le Quang Liem, Ivanchuk, Adams, Gelfand and Short.

Only one Canadian is playing in Gibraltar this year, but FM Victor Plotkin is playing in both the Masters and the Challengers A groups. In Rounds 1, he drew GM Ju Wenjun (2572) and CM David Coleman (2055).

Special Events (start at 8:30 or 9 pm local, 2:30/3pm EST)
Starting Wednesday Jan 24, there are special events scheduled every night, including Masterclasses (where top players discuss one or two games), and Team Blitz events (played on a jumbo board where players take turns running to move and hit the clock). All events can be followed live online.

Live Games (commentary by GM Simon Williams and IM Jovanka Houska)
Start at 3pm local, 9am EST (except round 10, which begins four hours earlier).


Gibraltar on YouTube

Results and Standings

PRO Chess League: Rounds 2 and 3

January 25 and 31, 2018

The Professional Rapid Online (PRO) Chess League returns for its second season. 32 teams play in four RR divisions, each round playing one other team of four in a Schevenningen format (a RR against everyone on the other team) at 15min + 2 sec per game. 

Top players include: Magnus Carlsen (Norway Gnomes), Hikaru Nakamura (Seattle Sluggers), MVL (Marseille Migraines), Fabiano Caruana (St.Louis Arch Bishops), Vishy Anand (Mumbai Movers), Yu Yangyi (Chengu Pandas), Le Quang Liem (Webster Windmills).

As a sign of how seriously players take the PRO League:

  • Magnus Carlsen spent part of his rest dat at TATA Steel to play in round 1, scoring 4/4. 
  • Hikaru Nakamura is scheduled to play in round 2, despite playing in Gibraltar that same day.

Teams enter from all over the world, including: India (2), Russia (1), Armenia, Latvia, Estonia, Norway (2), France (2), England (2), Canada, USA (12), Argentina, Australia and China. To accommodate their different time-zones, matches begin at different times, ranging from 11am EST for th Eastern Division, to 9:45pm for the Pacific Division.

Canada has only one team entered this year, the Montreal ChessBrahs

  • GM Robin van Kampen
  • GM Eric Hansen
  • IM Renier Castellanos
  • GM Aman Hambleton
  • IM Michael Kleinman
  • FM Lefong Hua
  • Elias Oussedik
  • Maroun Tomb

Each team is allowed two "free agents" -- players who have no affiliation with that city -- and this year Montreal lost Fabiano Caruana, but gained GMs Hou Yifan and Ivan Saric.

Montreal won its first round match against Miami 8.5-7.5, and plays Pittsburgh (Jan 25) and Monclair (Jan 31) next. Eric Hansen is busy doing live commentary at TATA Steel, so Montreal will field Van Kampen, Castellanos, Hambleton and Kleinman on Jan 25.


Live Games see and twich (start  11am to 9:45pm EST)

Montreal ChessBrahs

TATA Steel/Wijk aan Zee

January 13-28, 2018.

The 80th running of the 14-player RR Dutch classic continues. With three rounds to go, Anish Giri, Magnus Carlsen, and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov lead with 7/10, with former World Champions Vladimir Kramnik (6.5) and Vishy Anand (6) just behind. Round 11 sees Mamedyarov - Carlsen, and the final round a return to the previous World Championship match, with Karjakin - Carlsen.

Live Games and Commentary (start 7:30 EST)

GM Eric Hansen continues onsite commentary with guests from rounds 6-13. During round 10 he had back-to-back postmortem visits with Anand and Kramnik.