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Gibraltar Chess Festival

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On August 4, 2004 Gibraltar celebrates the tercentenary of its acquisition by the British crown. The strategic 2.2 square miles of limestone rock at the mouth of the Mediterranean was captured by forces of Admiral Sir George Rooke after a three day assault during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704. Gibraltar was ceded to Britain, “for ever” by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. The treaty was signed for Britain by the diplomat and bishop John Robinson.

How appropriate that an Admiral Rooke and a Bishop should be principal players in a location which has quickly become a major port of call on the international chess circuit. The second GibTelecom Masters, took place at the Caleta Hotel, January 26 to February 5. The event boasted an impressive field headed by 37 grandmasters. No.1 seed Nigel Short of England was at his imperious best as he dominated play to take the top prize of £4,000 with an unbeaten 8/10.

The field included most of Scotland’s top players including all three GMs. Paul Motwani, currently resident in Belgium, was the top perfomer, suffering defeat just once to Short and finished in 6th= position with 6.5/10. Other Scottish scores: GM Colin McNab (Dundee) 6 (a return to top form with just one defeat), GM Jonathan Rowson (Troon) a double loss in the final rounds prevented any repeat of his Hastings Premier triumph) and IM Andrew Muir (Dumbarton) 5.5 (an excellent performance including wins against John Shaw and Russian GM Beshukov 2499); IM Kete Arakhamia (Edinburgh), IM Steve Mannion (Cathcart), IM John Shaw (Kilmarnock) and Tim Upton (lives Luxembourg) 5; Helen Milligan (London) 4.5; and Paul Roberts (Edinburgh) 3.5. Full crosstable.


Ketevan Arakhamia
Steve Mannion
Paul Motwani
Jonathan Rowson
Tim Upton
Short v Muir
Short v Motwani
Colin McNab


Gib photos by Helen Milligan

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