Gibraltar Congress gets under way

The 15th edition of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Congress got under way today, with the first round of the Masters event.   This 254-player Open, probably the strongest open tournament in the World, features no fewer than 72 Grandmasters, of whom 12 are rated over 2700.

There are no local entrants, but three of England’s top GMs are playing.   Both Michael Adams and David Howell enjoyed comfortable wins, but Nigel Short was extremely fortunate to escape with a draw against his 2314-rated Dutch FM opponent.   In the position below, Short (Black) has just played 43… Qe8.

White now played 44. Rb4??, to which Short replied … Qe1, threatening both rook and the h4 pawn.   White was virtually forced to play 45. Qd4 and after the exchange of rooks and 46…Qxd6, it was relatively easy for Short to draw the game.   Instead, White could have played 44. Rb1 (covering e1) or c5, with a huge and winning advantage.

To view results and live games, go to the Congress website.

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