BOTW: 2017.01.23

2017 Tradewise Gibraltar
Jan. 22-Feb.2, 2017

The 15th anniversay edition of the Gibraltar Chess Festival begins this week. 

The big event is the Masters tournament -- a 10-round swiss from January 24 to February 2 -- which has 72 GMs, 32 players over 2600, and 12 players over 2700: 

  1. Caruana, Fabiano...USA, 2827
  2. Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime,   FRA,   2796
  3. Nakamura, Hikaru, USA, 2785
  4. Ivanchuk, Vassily, UKR, 2752
  5. Adams, Michael, ENG, 2751
  6. Svidler, Peter, RUS, 2748
  7. Topalov, Veselin, BUL, 2739
  8. Yu, Yangyi, CHN, 2738
  9. Vitiugov, Nikita, RUS, 2724
  10. Gelfand, Boris, ISR, 2721
  11. Naiditsch, Arkadij, AZE, 2702
  12. Matlakov, Maxim, RUS, 2701

 Other notable players include: Nigel Short, Ivan Cheparinov, Sam Shankland, and current Women's World Champion Hou Yifan.

Five Canadians are playing in the Masters' section: GM Kevin Spraggett, FM Shiyam Thavandiran, IM Leon Piasetski, FM Victor Plotkin (Men's Olympiad team Captain), and Olympiad team member Lali Agbabishvili. Christopher Day plays in the Challengers' A&B.

Women at Gibraltar
Gibraltar does not have a separate women's section, but has generous prizes for the top women's finishers -- (15,000 pounds for 1st) -- and has again attracted some of the world's best women players: 

  • Hou Yifan 2651 current World Champion and current world #1
  • Ju Wenjun 2583 World #2
  • Anna Muzychuk  current Women's World Blitz and Rapid Champion
  • Mariya Muzychuk  Women's World Champion, 2015-16
  • Kateryna Lagno 
  • Valentina Gunina 
  • Antoaneta Stefanova  Women's World Champion, 2004-06
  • Elisabeth Paehtz
  • Pia Cramling

 Six of these nine women -- Ju Wenjun, Anna Muzychuk, Gunina, Stefanova, Paehtz and Cramling -- will be playing in the 2017 Women's World Championship knock-out tournament in Iran, Feb.10 - March 5, 2017.

Gibraltar Live

Round 1 for the Masters is January 24.
Masters games begin each day at 3 p.m. local time (GMT+1), 9 am EST.
Live Coverage with Commentary by GM Simon Williams and IM Jovanka Houska


Masters Results

 TATA Steel (continues)

The 79th Wijk aan Zee event has five more rounds to go, and rest days on Monday 23rd and Thursday 26th.

After 8 rounds, only one player in the two round robins is undefeated: GM Wesley So, who leads the Masters section with +3 =5 -0, a half-point ahead of Pavel Eljanov and Wei Yi, and a full point ahead of Magnus Carlsen, who lost in round 8 to the erratic Richard Rapport.

Marcus Raggar and Gawain Jones lead the Challengers secion with 6/8. Eric Hansen is 6th with 4.5/8, having played Black in 5 of his 8 games. He has scored 2.5/3 when White, and has the white pieces against two of the top three seeds, Jones (Friday) and Smirin (Sunday), and so could leap up the standings with good games against them.

Live Commentary is by Yasser Seirawan (and guests) can be found from the homepage:

Replays can be found on Livestream, including three appearances by Eric Hansen:

Grandelius - Hansen, round 8 postmortem:

Lei - Hansen, round 7 postmortem (starts at 1:42:00)

van Foreest - Hansen round 4 postmortem:

 won his Round 9 game; you can see the postmortem for Hansen - Dobrov here: 

- Xiong, round 6
You can replay Eric's win over Jeffrey Xiong, the current World Junior Champion, with notes by Tiger Hillarp-Persson here: 

 PRO Chess League
Round 3: Wednesday, January 25

Montreal ChessBrahs vs Buenos Aires Krakens
R3 Wed. Jan. 25; 6:30 pm. 

Toronto Dragons vs Columbus Cardinals
Jan. 25; 6:40 pm. 

Expect Toronto to win big over Columbus, which is one of the lowest-rated teams in the PRO League.
Montreal is =1st after wins over New York and Toronto, but could be challenged by Buenos Aires if they field their best team.

Live Games
with commentary by various GMs and other titled players (Dlugy and Krush did the Division with the Canadian teams in round 2) will run on

IM Miodrag Perunovic did the play-by-play on the Montreal vs Toronto match in round 2 on the ChessBrah twitch channel. If you want enthusiasm and up-to-date opening analysis, watch him: