The Gibraltar Chess Festival 2015 is going to take place 26 January – 5 February in the Caleta Hotel, Gibraltar. The long traditions of the festival, the fantastic organization, and the hefty 175 000 pounds prize fund have attracted many of the top world grandmasters.

Veselin Topalov, whose current ELO is exactly 2800 (making him world number 3 on FIDE’s January list), will be the highest rated player ever to take part in Gibraltar. His main opponents from the 2700 club include Hikaru Nakamura, Peter Svidler, Nikita Vitiugov, Dmitry Jakovenko, Pentala Harikrishna, Yu Yangyi, and Richard Rapport.

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Last year’s winner Ivan Cheparinov is 10th seeded, right after Maxim Matlakov and ahead of Maxim Rodshtein.

Hou Yifan, the reigning Women’s World Chess Champion, the youngest ever to win the title, as well as the youngest female player ever to qualify for the title of Grandmaster, is seeded 13th in Gibraltar. She will be joined by several compatriots including Wey Yi (currently playing Tata Challengers), Ju Wenjun, Guo Qi, and Xu Jun.

England will be represented by Gawain Jones, David Howell, Nigel Short, Jovanka Houska, Robert Bellin, Lawrence Trent, andNigel Povah among many others in the Challengers and Amateur sections.

USA will be aiming for the top positions with a mix of young and experienced players. Besides the second seeded Nakamura, Gribraltar 2015 will have Varuzhan Akobian, Daniel Naroditsky, Alexandr Lenderman, Kayden Troff, Irina Krush, James Tarjan, and John Watson.

Gibraltar Chess Festival 2015 – participants Masters (top seeds)

Title Country Rating

1 Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2800
2 Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2776
3 Svidler, Peter g RUS 2739
4 Vitiugov, Nikita g RUS 2735
5 Jakovenko, Dmitry g RUS 2733
6 Harikrishna, Pentala g IND 2727
7 Yu, Yangyi g CHN 2724
8 Rapport, Richard g HUN 2716
9 Matlakov, Maxim g RUS 2695
10 Cheparinov, Ivan g BUL 2681
11 Rodshtein, Maxim g ISR 2680
12 Wei, Yi g CHN 2675
13 Hou, Yifan g CHN 2673
14 Jones, Gawain C B g ENG 2671
15 Howell, David W L g ENG 2670

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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