Eighth Gibtelecom Chess Festival 2010 Print
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 21:00
gibraltarThe 2010 Gibtelecom International Chess Festival got underway today at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar. At precisely 2.45pm (Gibraltar time) Charles Isola from Anglo Hispano Ltd, representing all sponsors, made the first move with Etienne Bacrot from France who is the highest rated player in the Gibtelecom Chess Masters. Play began at 3pm.

Famous Grandmaster Boris Spassky, following last years successful visit has made a return to the Gibtelecom  International Chess Festival, and today made the first move with Alexandra Kosteniuk, the Women’s World Champion, in Gibraltar for the first time.

The top three seeds: Etienne Bacrot (2713 France), Sergei Movsesian (2708 Slovakia) and Francisco Vallejo Pons (2705 Spain), are all participating in the tournament for the first time.

The draw for the pairings was held on Monday night at which the Minister for Sport, Heritage and Culture, Edwin Reyes was also present. The draw was carried out by Maxine de la Rosa, Miss Gibraltar 1st Princess. Master of Ceremonies was GM Stuart Conquest.

The First Princess wished everyone the best of luck, and Minister Edwin Reyes welcomed everyone to the Rock. "Gibraltar is very proud to hold this tournament and we thank you for travelling such long distances to be here. Good luck to you all," he said.

This year there are 35 Grandmasters playing in the Open Masters with over 228 players, a record for this type of event and open tournament of this nature. The tournament itself is a 10 day festival which boasts an impressive field. The other competitions running simultaneously are the Challengers with 84 players and the Amateurs with 40.

Live streaming with commentary is available every afternoon with Grandmaster Stuart Conquest. This year the tournament boasts a new broadcasting suite with the very latest technology installed by Gibtelecom. These commentaries are broadcast live on the congress website www.gibraltarchesscongress.com

The festival's total prize fund of £112,500 is one of the highest in the world for an event which is open to all. The Masters has £96,600 in prizes, and there are two Challenger Tournaments, each lasting five days, with prizes for each of £5,500. Two five-day Amateur Tournaments are also played with prize money of £2,300 each.  

Returning to Gibraltar Grandmaster Boris Spassky made the first move with Alexandra Kosteniuk, the Women's World Champion who is in Gibraltar for the first time.

Charles Isola from Anglo Hispano Ltd, representing all sponsors, made the first move with Etienne Bacrot from France

Alice Mascarenhas
Chess Press Officer Gibraltar International Chess Festival

The Gibtelecom International Chess Festival 26th Jan - 4th Feb can be followed on-line at www.gibraltarchesscongress.com

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