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Vassily Ivanchuk at the Gibraltar Chess Festival in 2013 (he was the highest ranked player there that year)

The Gibraltar International Chess Festival is a chess tournament held annually at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar. Its eleven days of competition usually run from late January to early February. The inaugural edition, then known as the Gibtelecom Gibraltar Chess Festival, took place in 2003, when fifty-nine competitors took part, of whom 24 held the FIDE Grandmaster title. In 2011 the festival was renamed to the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival when Tradewise Insurance Company Ltd became the new primary sponsor.[1] Beginning in 2019 Tradewise no longer sponsored the tournament and the name was changed to the Gibraltar International Chess Festival [2].



The main event, the Masters, is open to all, and was voted the best open event in the world by the Association of Chess Professionals in 2011,[3] 2012,[4] 2013[5] and 2014.[6] Since 2011 an annual Gibraltar Junior International Chess Festival, also held at the Caleta Hotel, has been organised. It lasts five days and takes place in August and it comprises two events: under-16 and under-12.

The Director of the Gibraltar International Chess Festival has been Stuart Conquest since 2011.

In 2012, special stamps were issued by the Gibraltar Post Office to commemorate the tenth edition of the chess festival.[7]

In 2012 Chinese grandmaster Hou Yifan, at the time ranked number two female chess player in the world, scored 8 points from a possible 10 in the Masters, tying for first place with Nigel Short before losing a play-off match for the first prize.[8] During this event Hou Yifan defeated Judit Polgar, number one rated female chess player in the world from 1989 to her retirement as a professional player in 2014.[9]

The highest score achieved in a Gibraltar Masters event has been 9 points from a possible 10, by Vassily Ivanchuk in 2011, with a performance rating of 2968.

In 2017, Hou Yifan caused controversy by intentionally throwing her final game of the tournament in 5 moves against Babu M.R. Lalith to protest the pairings. Hou had grown dissatisfied in recent years with playing in women-only tournaments, and had just dropped out of the Women's World Chess Championship cycle. In Gibraltar, she faced 7 women in her 10 games when the men/women ratio in the tournament was 4:1. The incident was resolved as an extremely unlikely series of computer-generated pairings which nevertheless actually happened, and the result of the protest game stood.

List of winnersEdit


  1. ^ Crowther, Mark (2011-02-03). "Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2011". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  2. ^ "New Name for Chess in 2019: 'Gibraltar International Chess Festival'". Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Gibraltar Tradewise Chess is the Tournament of the Year 2014. ACP. 2015-04-16
  7. ^ ChessBase News: Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival, Chessbase News, accessed 21 September 2014
  8. ^ ChessBase News: Hou Yifan, Short win Gibraltar, Short wins play=off
  9. ^ ChessBase News: Hou Yifan beats Judit Polgar in an historic encounter
  10. ^ 2012 Tradewise Gibraltar Festival Hou Yifan ties, Nigel Short wins

External linksEdit