Nigel Short wins the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters
Friday, 03 February 2012 16:36
The 10th Tradewise Gibraltar Festival ended yesterday at the Caleta Hotel with England’s Nigel Short winning the tournament for a record third time after tying for first with tournament sensation Hou Yifan of China and then winning a pulsating rapidplay play-off by 1½-½.
Short and Hou Yifan had finished on 8/10, with Michael Adams (England), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Viktor Bologan (Moldova), Emil Sutovsky (Israel) tying for third place on 7½ points.
For winning, Nigel Short netted the £20,000 first prize and also the £5,000 special prize (set up in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee) for the best placed Commonwealth competitor. 17-year-old Hou Yifan takes home £12,000 for finishing second plus the £10,000 women’s prize and the £600 Junior prize. The four players in the next score group shared £26,500 equally.
The last round saw keen competition for the big prizes. It was still barely possible to believe that Hou Yifan was out ahead of the field but her three wins against 2700+ wins proved her right to be there beyond all shadow of a doubt. Could she go the extra mile and win outright?
She came pretty close. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was her highest rated opponent yet but she played in the same way that had brought her success in previous rounds. She showed no fear and sustained pressure throughout, and was not afraid to give up material (in this case a pawn) to maintain her positional edge.
The last few moves were played with both players in considerable time pressure, relying purely on the 30-second increment for thinking time. No mistakes were made and the position petered out to a draw.
Read the full report on the official website
Replay the games with computer analysis