Fifteen players still on 100% in Gibraltar after three rounds
Fifteen players started with three wins at the Gibraltar Masters, among them favorites like Michael Adams and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The second and third rounds saw a few more upsets, most notably the loss of Radek Wojtaszek of Poland against Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria.
Two Knights Game at Gibraltar beach | Photos © Zeljka Malobabic, Monroi & ChessVibes
After a number of draws in the first round, an even bigger upset occurred in the second round of the Gibraltar Masters. England's Nigel Short, last year's winner, suffered a loss against Ismael Teran Alvarez. The Spanish IM felt that Black's c5-c4 was too slow, and as soon as he got his pawn on f6 he felt he was winning.
IM Ismael Teran Alvarez beats Nigel Short in an excellent game
Mickey Adams played a model game with Black against the London System, such a popular opening at club level but not very suitable against a 2700 player who has a positional playing style anyway.
Sven Telljohann vs Michael Adams in round 2
In the third round another favorite suffered his first loss. Radek Wojtaszek of Poland went down against Antoaneta Stefanova who didn't really give her opponent a chance in fact.
Antoaneta Stefanova beat Radek Wojtaszek
Interestingly, three English players played the English (1.c4) in this round: Mickey Adams, Nigel Short and Gawain Jones, and they all won. Here's an instructive rook ending:
The playing hall with Nigel Short watching Ju Wenjun's game
Joe Gallagher, a poker professional who rarely plays chess these days, remained true to his style against Le Quang Liem. The ending should have been a draw but time pressure got him to play inaccurately.
We'll quote from the round report by John Saunders as we hadn't mentioned the following details yet:
One of the joys of coming to Gibraltar is to escape the arctic winter being experienced further north in Europe and elsewhere in the world. I’ve had fun taunting my UK Facebook friends with pictures of people eating outside, beautiful sunrises and the like. But the downside of the severe weather in Europe was that it cost us some competitors because of the flight cancellations in the UK and France. One of casualties was French grandmaster Marie Sebag who had been hoping to play here for the first time but was unable to travel from France.
Another top woman player who we feared might not be able to come was reigning European Women’s Champion Valentina Gunina, who had just had an operation to extract her wisdom teeth and was told she shouldn’t travel. But Valentina was determined to come and both her chess and her health are doing fine here. She’s on 2/2 and is going to have her stitches removed [on Friday morning].
Again we'll mention that tournament is providing live online commentary by GM Simon Williams (ENG) and IM Irina Krush (USA) which can be followed here.
Gibraltar Masters 2013 | Round 3 standings
|3||GM||Le Quang Liem||VIE||2705||3.0||3204||4.7|
|9||GM||Jones Gawain C B||ENG||2632||3.0||3148||5.2|
|12||GM||Salgado Lopez Ivan||ESP||2606||3.0||3120||5.1|
|17||IM||Teran Alvarez Ismael||ESP||2399||2.5||2682||11.2|
|24||FM||Fenollar Jorda Manuel||ESP||2325||2.5||2613||17.1|
|32-33||IM||Ibarra Jerez Jose Carlos||ESP||2538||2.5||2549||0.8|
|34||FM||Villuendas Valero Adrian||ESP||2301||2.5||2546||14.9|
|36||GM||Gordon Stephen J||ENG||2533||2.5||2525||0.2|
|42||IM||Larino Nieto David||ESP||2497||2.5||2430||-1.2|
|50||GM||Gallagher Joseph G.||SUI||2499||2.0||2486||0.6|
The list of participants includes highly experienced GMs like Jaan Ehlvest (USA)...
...and Artur Jussupow (Germany)...
and, as always, a high number of strong female players like Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia)...
...Elisabeth Paehtz (Germany)...
...Tania Sachdev (India)...
...WGM Ju Wenjun (China)...
...and Anna Zatonskih (USA)...
...who gave a masterclass on Wednesday night which can still be watched online
A charming Zatonskih explaining her chess to Stuart Conquest and the rest of the world
The "Four Queens" team (Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, Salome Melia, Elisabeth
Paehtz, Valentina Gunina) during the team blitz event on Thursday night
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