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Gibraltar Masters Tournament

Kiril Georgiev8.5/10(+7 -0 =3)[games]
Nigel Short7.5/10(+5 -0 =5)[games]
Emil Sutovsky7.5/10(+6 -1 =3)[games]
Vladimir Akopian7/10(+5 -1 =4)[games]
Alexander Areshchenko7/10(+4 -0 =6)[games]
Zahar Efimenko7/10(+5 -1 =4)[games]
Mikhail Gurevich7/10(+5 -1 =4)[games]
Zoltan Gyimesi7/10(+5 -1 =4)[games]
Alexey Shirov7/10(+5 -1 =4)[games]
Sergey Volkov7/10(+6 -2 =2)[games]
Mohamad Al-Modiahki6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Juan Bellon Lopez6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Victor Bologan6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Mikhail Kobalia6.5/10(+4 -1 =5)[games]
Viktor Korchnoi6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Milos Pavlovic6.5/10(+6 -3 =1)[games]
Yannick Pelletier6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Sandipan Chanda6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Kevin Spraggett6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Antoaneta Stefanova6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Sundararajan Kidambi6.5/10(+4 -1 =5)[games]
Chen Zhu6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Natalia Zhukova6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Anton Aaberg6/10(+4 -2 =4)[games]
Mohamad Naser Al Sayed6/10(+4 -2 =4)[games]
Julen Luis Arizmendi Martinez6/10(+5 -3 =2)[games]
Viktorija Cmilyte6/10(+4 -2 =4)[games]
Pia Cramling6/10(+5 -3 =2)[games]
Surya Shekhar Ganguly6/10(+5 -3 =2)[games]
Abhijit Kunte6/10(+3 -1 =6)[games]
Gary Quillan6/10(+5 -3 =2)[games]
Petra Schuurman6/10(+4 -2 =4)[games]
* (126 players total; 94 players not shown. Click here for longer list.) Chess Event Description
Gibraltar Masters (2006)

The 4th Gibraltar Masters was a 126-player 10-round Swiss tournament held in the Caleta Hotel, La Caleta (Catalan Bay), Gibraltar, from 24 January to 2 February 2006, as part of the Gibtelecom Gibraltar Chess Festival. Prize fund: GBP 30,000, with GBP 4,000 to the winner.

Kiril Georgiev won with 8.5/10, ahead of Short and Sutovsky with 7.5/10. Best Game award: Efimenko vs J Arizmendi Martinez, 2006.

Chess Mix:
Lubomir Kavalek in The Washington Post, 6 February 2006:
Jonathan Speelman in The Guardian, 12 February 2006:
Anton Aaberg in Tidskrift för Schack, 2/2006, pp. 26-28:

Previous: Gibraltar Masters (2005). Next: Gibraltar Masters (2007)

 page 1 of 22; games 1-25 of 538  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Shirov vs N Zhukova ½-½302006Gibraltar MastersC18 French, Winawer
2. P Carlsson vs V Akopian  0-1602006Gibraltar MastersB07 Pirc
3. Short vs K Arakhamia-Grant 1-0312006Gibraltar MastersB33 Sicilian
4. J Bellon Lopez vs Bologan  0-1372006Gibraltar MastersA40 Queen's Pawn Game
5. M Kobalia vs G Welling  1-0302006Gibraltar MastersB06 Robatsch
6. W Kobese vs K Georgiev  ½-½242006Gibraltar MastersB87 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin with ...a6 and ...b5
7. M Gurevich vs P Lagowski  1-0302006Gibraltar MastersD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. S R Chowdhury vs S Volkov  0-1332006Gibraltar MastersD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Sutovsky vs A Aaberg ½-½302006Gibraltar MastersB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
10. M Peek vs Korchnoi ½-½592006Gibraltar MastersD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
11. Z Gyimesi vs N Speck  1-0432006Gibraltar MastersE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
12. H Grooten vs E Agrest  ½-½382006Gibraltar MastersE12 Queen's Indian
13. K Spraggett vs G Quillan  1-0432006Gibraltar MastersC18 French, Winawer
14. J Houska vs M Al-Modiahki  0-1242006Gibraltar MastersB50 Sicilian
15. Ganguly vs M Klinova 1-0282006Gibraltar MastersC41 Philidor Defense
16. A G Ashton vs Pelletier  ½-½532006Gibraltar MastersB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
17. A Kunte vs N Mohota  1-0782006Gibraltar MastersD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. S Bakker vs Speelman 0-1322006Gibraltar MastersA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
19. J Arizmendi Martinez vs H Borchgrevink  1-0352006Gibraltar MastersB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
20. G Swathi vs S Chanda  0-1462006Gibraltar MastersB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
21. P Cramling vs L Jaime Montalvan  1-0292006Gibraltar MastersE60 King's Indian Defense
22. A Stefanova vs K Nadig  1-0392006Gibraltar MastersA45 Queen's Pawn Game
23. P Schuurman vs S Kidambi  ½-½322006Gibraltar MastersD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
24. M Pavlovic vs M A Gomes  1-0442006Gibraltar MastersB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
25. M Tscharotschkin vs C Zhu  ½-½432006Gibraltar MastersB22 Sicilian, Alapin
 page 1 of 22; games 1-25 of 538  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-03-06  shr0pshire: <Eric Schiller> Well if I go next year, which is a remote possibility I better start training now. Because I will have to aim for fourth place, because it looks like it will cover most of my expenses. And how cool would that be if I could take off a week or so of law school to play in an all expense paid chess trip. lol. You are going to have me day dreaming at the thought of this all through classes. lol.

Time to put the axe to the grind stone. :)


Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <shr0p> Come on, Best Game Prize 1000 pounds. that's the one to aim for!

I'll be posting a photo spread on Monday, when I'm back home. That might provide even more incentive.

But watch out for the competition! Pia Cramling's daughter will be 4 years old at next year's event, and with two GMs for parents (she's married to Juan Bellon Lopez) she's going to cause trouble!

Feb-03-06  plimko: <Eric Schiller> How about Fabiano Caruana? He's now MI and is born in 1992.
Feb-04-06  diagonal: ... and of course the notorious' Peter K. Wells and Shirov for a third consecutive and decisive encounter (they played each other in a row at the Gibtelecom Festival last and this year *smile*), they should open the first round next year, really! (e.g. in soccer world championships there is also a "pre-fixed" open game)

... then certainly the medal winners Kiril Georgiev as Champ, Short and Sutovsky; the young ones as already pointed out, especially Nakamura, more women, one or another guy aged over 75 years and as a personal wish, additional nomination: "Big Al" (Alexander Beliavsky), he recently had really bad luck in crucial last rounds, but he will strike back!

PS: Why Mr Karpov does not want to compete in an Open Swiss chess event?

Feb-04-06  walker: < diagonal><Why Mr Karpov does not want to compete in an Open Swiss chess event?>

Here is an exert from Karpov's interview on this matter and a link...

Tournaments are shrinking in size, and disappearing altogether from the calendar – this is a huge problem. Linares and Dortmund have significantly reduced the number of participants. Just consider, in the world’s five biggest tournaments (that is, the two above, plus Wijk aan Zee, the Poikovsky tournament that bears my name, and Sofia), there are a total of just 41 places! This only leaves open tournaments, which I, for example, would never play in. I am firmly convinced that, for a world class player, playing in open tournaments is a big mistake, because such tournaments destroy one’s style.

Feb-04-06  Jim Bartle: "Such tournaments destroy one's style..."

I think that's a highly questionable claim. It's true if the player has no discipline, but only if a player begins to think he can defeat anybody. Sounds as if Karpov just doesn't want to be exposed to new situations.

Plus, as I've commented concerning Viktor Korchnoi in Gibraltar, it's a great opportunity for lower-ranked players to test themselves against one of the greats.

Actually we ought to convince Kramnik and Leko to play some open tournaments, shake 'em up a bit.

Feb-05-06  diagonal: thanks a lot, both! Interesting interview with Karpov and amazingly the title is "chess could disappear from the face of the earth" - exactly that could happen to some extend, if all the greats are refusing Opens! Then there would only rest a very, very small de-facto closed group of ELO 2700+ rated players (there is already a strong tendency to such concentration).

What about the unique ambience of an Open with hundreds of members of the chess family playing together, and – possibly maybe - get a chance to test themselves with a real big shot?!

I suppose that it's - first of all - more difficult to defense a high rating in an Open event than in a closed (double-) rounded tournament with well known opponents (and no danger of loosing against a so-called nobody) and enough time to prepare the plannings... honesty is sometimes rare.

My claim: Playing an Open or not reveal one's true character!

I did not realize concerning Kramnik, Leko: are there other candidate's for a "watch list" of players notoriously refusing competing in Opens?

Feb-05-06  Jim Bartle: Kramnik/Leko: I don't think they play opens often at all, but haven't heard them argue against them. My point above is you need to play a more aggressive style in Opens, not just draw and draw until you get a good position to go for a win.

I think part of Karpov`s resistance is that there's no way for him to "win" an Open, since it would be expected. Meanwhile even second place would be a terrible loss, plus everybody else would be gunning for him. Sort of like tossing Roger Federer into your state amateur tennis championships. (Well, not that extreme, but to some degree...)

Feb-04-06  diagonal: well, I obviously agree, that you can't just make draws in Opens (with black and then win one or the other white game); the analysis of Karpow's real reasons to stay absent sounds highly plausible – but for instance for Shirov or other Elo 2700+ top players (besides, Karpov is now about no. 29 in the FIDE rating – saying "about" because "frozen" Kasparov is still in the FIDE-lead as no. 1), there is even more strongly the same dilemma: Not to win the Open is already quite a big loss!

Furthermore, there is evidence that Karpov is one of the rare real nature born talents, a prodigy and strategic genius; no wonder he is still absolutely world top in (closed) rapid chess tournaments, it seems to me that he is concentrating on such "rapid exhibition", and as usual of course his financial & chess-political business stuff.

Nevertheless, the chess family lives in principal from those who are willing to play regularly and not from those who are (most of the time or even totally) volunteerly absent!

Please keep in mind that in tennis even the no.1 of the entry list (with exact tableau) is always facing in the first rounds minor players (e.g. Federer lost at the Olympics in Athen spectacularly soon and was then knocked-out, it’s pure k.o.-system, not appropriate for chess tournaments) and the top (eight) players do not only play the for Grand Slams and the final Masters at the end of the year but are also widely competing in other major (and even minor) tournaments – and an Open as the now traditional Gibtelecom is a major event, certainly with more validity (no offense) than a rapid exhibition.

Accidentally, I still wonder whether somebody seeing behind the curtains can figure out the reputated players afraid of playing Chess Opens...

Feb-04-06  Jim Bartle: Do players at the elite closed events get guaranteed advances? That could be a reason they play only those events, since I don't think Opens pay appearance fees.
Feb-04-06  diagonal: The monetary implications: good point, I didn't think of that!

At least partly an understandable "professional" explanation; although for instance Short - who took part - is quite well known for good counting (FIDE - separation with the splitting world chess championship 1993!!) and there are good prices at the top of the Open but logically only for the very best classified of the crowd. It could be a mix of various reasons (including sadly individualistic anxiety).

Feb-04-06  Knight13: 3 Players with White played 1. f4 and all of them lost. Not a good opening to play against IMs and GMs these days.
Feb-05-06  Joshka: <EricSchiller> Well thanks Eric for asking Korchnoi his opinion! That was very kind of you!:-)
Feb-06-06  Stefan Lukke: <Eric Schiller> while I was at Gibtelecom Chess Festival (2006) I heard a rumour that there was to be a rating restriction for the Open in 2007 (over 2100 maybe?) to strengthen the field somewhat. Do you know if this is a serious consideration?

I think it would be a very good idea as there appears to be a growing popularity. This would surely also increase the number who enter the Challengers tournament which is below 2100s and has had a relatively low entry previously. What do you think?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <knight13> I'm thinking of trying to improve the score at the People's Open in 2 weeks :-)

<stefan> it is just an idea being tossed around, I doubt it will happen. Reuben is examining all sorts of options next year. I'm sure he'll look at the discussion here for ideas.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: I've posted a bunch of photos at
Feb-06-06  nescio: <Eric Schiller:> I see that Cramling's daughter was also present. That should be done more. Some toddlers chasing each other, a few parrots in the corners insulting the participants, a nightclub band playing soft music, and, to make the picture perfect, a cat sleeping and purring next to the board, only briefly awakening when one of the players has fetched a glass of milk. It would improve the atmosphere in the playing hall no end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <nescio> She's a cute and talkative kid, and next year she'll be playing chess. I talked with Pia about working with very young kids, teaching them chess with just kings. queens, rooks and bishops. The pawn and knight moves can be too confusing. I look forward to seeing her next year, and encourage families with young kids to come play. Maybe we can set up a giant chess set for them to play with!
Feb-07-06  nescio: <Eric Schiller: Maybe we can set up a giant chess set for them to play with!> That would be nice.:) January last year I took my granddaughter, aged 5, to Wijk aan Zee, but she didn't approve of the chess scene. I put her on my shoulders and walked along the beach in the snow to the IJmuiden pier where we had a hot chocolate. We didn't see much chess, but had a great day.
Feb-07-06  Stefan Lukke: Thanks <Eric>. Nice Photos.
Feb-08-06  FICSwoodpusher: Is there a link to the game Efimenko vs Arizmendi Martinez?
Feb-12-06  yoozum: Are they not doing a chessbase report on this tournament?
Feb-12-06  suenteus po 147: <Eric Schiller> Thanks for posting and linking the photos. Very cool!
Mar-24-06  bishop2pawn: ghjkghjkj
Mar-29-09  Mikhail Tal fan: lol! Khaled El Amari is my mate in the local chess club
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