Gala Opening Dinner


15 years ago Brian Callaghan, organiser of the Gibraltar Chess Festival, had a dream.


His aim was to create a niche market for chess players at the start of every year but never in his wildest dreams would he have imagined that 15 years on the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival would become the best open tournament in the world attracting the world’s elite players.


Press Release from Alice Mascarenhas


Images by on-site photographer Sophie Triay


A Batty Place


The Upper Rock area of Gibraltar is thriving with nature. It is perhaps best known for its semi-wild population of Barbary Macaques and as a resting point for migrating birds. Less common sightings are the Red fox and the mouse eared bat.


GOHNS, the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society is monitoring Gibraltar’s sole remaining roost of bats. To protect the roost from incidental disturbance, GOHNS does not reveal their location.


Read more ...




Opening Ceremony and drawing of lots

The Opening Ceremony and drawing of lots took place at 20.30 on Monday in the main restaurant.





l to r: Festival Director Stuart Conquest, Rt. Hon Steven Linares Minister for Sport, Culture, Heritage & Youth, Miss Gibraltar, Fabiano Caruana, Tradewise Chairman James Humphreys and Festival Organiser Brian Callaghan. More images from the Opening Ceremony | Report in full |

Tandem Simul



John Saunders reports: The Tradewise Gibraltar Masters starts on Tuesday 24 January 2017, with twelve 2700+ rated players in the line-up. More of that soon, but today Sunday was the traditional informal curtain-raiser as a couple of the star players give a simul for the early arrivals amongst the amateur competitors.


We were delighted to welcome former world championship runner-up Boris Gelfand to play his first chess on the rock and he entered into the spirit of what is always a fairly light-hearted event by agreeing to play it as a tandem simul with women's world number two Ju Wenjun.



Report in full | Photo gallery |




Gibraltar border

22.1.17 - For participants travelling daily across the border, the queue can be viewed via Livestream. Please note that there may be a lag of up to one minute as measured against real time. There is also a useful Twitter feed.

World War II History – Rock & Fortress


O’Hara’s Battery, found on the highest point of the Rock, was named after General Charles O’Hara who was Governor from 1795-1802.


He believed that if he could raise a tower on the south summit of the Rock, he would be able to observe the comings and goings of the enemy at Cadiz harbour, which was over 60 miles away.


The tower unfortunately was not successful and the garrison subsequently named it O’Hara’s Folly.


Read more ...






Not long to go - are you ready?


07.1.17 - With just a short while to go before the start of the Tradewise Chess Festival we look forward to another spectacular event.


Average day temperature in January and February of 16°C, 10 hours of daylight at least, moderate winds, low rainfall, warm sea temperatures,  beautiful scenery and one of the strongest and best organised tournaments in the world. Paradise!


Preparation is everything, so get ready for play and enjoy a great occasion!

Malaga to Gibraltar Bus Transfer


04.1.17 - The organisers offer a special transfer service from Malaga Airport. Buses will leave Malaga Airport for Gibraltar from 12.00hrs to 17:00hrs on Sunday 22 and Monday 23 January 2017, returning from Gibraltar to Malaga Airport on the morning of 3 February 2017, commencing at around 7am. The cost will be as previous years: £15 one-way, £30 return.


Booking now, guarantees you a seat. More here ...

The ACP announces a special prize at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2017


The prize will be awarded to the highest-placed ACP member in the Masters who didn't win any of the regular or category prizes.


The amount of the prize will match the amount of the last regular prize paid in the main tournament, for a sum not exceeding 1000 pounds. ACP is proud to support its members participating in Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival - the best Open Tournament of 2015, according to the popular vote among our members - Emil Sutovsky, ACP President.


Partner Airlines: BA and Iberia

We are delighted to announce that British Airways and Iberia have agreed to be the official partner airlines for the 15th Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival.


All festival participants and accompanying persons flying to Gibraltar (BA) or Malaga (Iberia or BA) are invited to take advantage of a special discount in their air-fare. This applies to travel dates for up to five (5) days either side of the festival. For further details please contact Festival Director Stuart Conquest [] or Cathy Popham [].

Tradewise Gibraltar Masters 2017 - Leading Players

The organisers of the 15th Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival proudly announce the eight leading players of the 2017 Masters. In what promises to be the strongest Open ever held, the Caleta Hotel will once again host a stellar line-up, with players of all standards and from an estimated 50+ countries competing for a total prize fund of £190,000. Ratings from Jan 1 2017.




Fabiano Caruana - 2827 [USA]


2016 US champion, Fabiano's peak live rating of 2851 is the 3rd highest in history. 1st= at the 2016 Isle of Man Open. Led the USA to gold in the Baku Olympiad. Fabiano's only previous visit to Gibraltar came in 2011 - we welcome him back.



Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - 2796 [FRA]


Now firmly established as one of the very best players in the world, Maxime clearly relishes the special atmosphere and challenge of playing on the Rock. In 2016 he lost the Masters play-off to Hikaru by the narrowest margin. Will 2017 be his year? 



Hikaru Nakamura - 2785 [USA]


Three times (2008/2015/2016) Gibraltar winner, Hikaru has impressed greatly here, forcing his way to the top with drive and determination. For 2017 the field is tougher than ever - will he achieve a record-breaking 4th victory?




Vassily Ivanchuk - 2752 [Ukraine]


Winner of Gibraltar 2011 with record score of 9/10. This will be Vasil's 3rd visit to the Rock. World Blitz Champion in 2007 and 2008, and World Rapid Champion in 2016 among all his other achievements Vasil has won four Olympiad team gold medals.


Michael Adams - 2751 [England]


Five-times British Champion, scoring a spectacular 10/11 in 2016, and undefeated on top board for England in the Baku Olympiad, Mickey has been established amongst the world's super-elite for over 20 years. He has competed six times in Gibraltar, winning the tournament in 2010.



Peter Svidler - 2748 [Russia]


This will be Peter's fourth time on the Rock. His most successful visit was in 2009, when he tied 1st= with 8/10, then beat Vadim Milov in the play-off. Peter is 7 times Russian Champion. He won the 2011 World Cup, and was losing finalist (to Karjakin) in 2015. As is well-known, Peter loves cricket!




Veselin Topalov - 2739 [Bulgaria]


FIDE World Champion (2005), and former world no.1, Veselin returns to the Rock, having played in the Tradewise Masters once before, in 2015. In a career of many highs, one to point out is that Veselin was the third player in history to pass the 2800 barrier.


Boris Gelfand - 2721 [Israel]


World Championship finalist in 2012, Boris was only edged out by Vishy Anand in the rapid play-off, the score in the classical part of the match tied at 6-6. We are delighted that this legend of the game will be making his first visit to Gibraltar.


Hou Yifan - 2651 [China]


Women's World Champion. Two previous visits to Gibraltar, both times performing brilliantly. Her win against Judit Polgar here in 2012 made world-wide headlines, and she nearly won the whole event that year, only losing to Nigel Short in the final play-off.

Happy New Year! January 1st and just 22 DAYS until #GibChess





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