Friday, December 17, 2010

2011 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival

January 24 - February 3, 2010
Caleta Hotel, Gibraltar
10-Round Swiss, FIDE Rated
Official Website

When this event started some years ago, the organizers went out of their way to invite strong female players in an open format in the Masters Tournament where they could butt heads with higher and lower-rated male players.  A separate and generous prize structure for the women guaranteed that in short order this would prove to be a popular event with the best female players in the world. 

The 2011 version has a very strong line-up of female players in addition to (at present) top-level male GMs from all over the world.  Here are the women (confirmed as of December 4, 2010):

GM Koneru Humpy (IND 2600)
GM Hou Yifan (CHN 2591)
GM Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS 2581)
IM Nadezhda Kosintseva (RUS 2576)
GM Nana Dzagnidze (GEO 2551)
GM Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL 2548)
GM Pia Cramling (SWE 2526)
IM Harika Dronavalli (IND 2525)
GM Viktorija Cmilyte (LTH 2514)
IM Irina Krush (USA 2495)
IM Anna Zatonskih (USA 2478)
GM Zhu Chen (QAT 2477)
WGM Natalia Pogonina (RUS 2472)
IM Inna Gaponenko (UKR 2469)
WGM Shen Yang (CHN 2461)
GM Natalia Zhukova (UKR 2447)
IM Jovanka Houska (ENG 2421)
IM Eesha Karavade (IND 2369)
WGM Tatiana Fatianova (RUS 2289)
WGM Monica Calzetta Ruiz (ESP 2284)
WIM Fiona Sgteil-Antoni (LUX 2142)
WFM Alexandra Wilson (SUI 2042)

I wasn't able to scroll down any lower on the enrollment list to see if there were any chess femmes listed below Alexandra Wilson.  The "frames" used to construct this website just did not view correctly on my browser.

This is Hou Yifan's first appearance at Gibraltar.  Former Women's World Chess Champions Antoaneta Stefanova and Zhu Chen are playing.  USA's dueling chess femmes Krush and Zatonskih are playing.  India has a strong contingent of players this year.  Who will take the women's top prize in 2011? 

In 2010 GM Michael Adams won first place and is back again in 2011 to defend his title.  Natalia Zhukova earned a GM norm in 2010 and won the women's top prize.  She's back again in 2011 and will be fighting for a repeat.  In 2010, Zhukova finished in 10th place overall, an excellent result, with 7.0/10.  Adams took the title after a play-off and finished with 7.5/10.  The competition was fierce. Koneru Humpy finished in 12th place overall with 7.0/10. The Masters field in 2010 was 224 players strong.  Here are the 2010 Masters Tournament final standings

Here is the prize structure, of interest to all for its generous prizes in addition to excellent class ("Ratings Band") prizes.

These are the separate prizes offered for female players in addition to one prize they may qualify for from the prize structure noted above:
1st Prize
2nd Prize
3rd Prize
4th Prize
5th Prize
6th Prize
7th Prize
8th Prize
9th Prize
10th Prize

  • If there is a tie for the top women’s prize, the tie is resolved in favour of the woman with the highest performance rating, who will receive the prize of £10,000.
  • All other prizes will not be subject to a tie-break and prize money other than the first prize will be divided equally amongst the players.

   This is going to be a great event -- and Aeroflot and Moscow are coming too - and Tata Steel (formerly known as Corus) - oh my.  My head is spinning!  I will be well occupied during the long, dark, bone-chilling below-zero days of winter in Milwaukee following all the action, and dreaming I could play as well...

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