Gibraltar’s Minister for Tourism Samantha Sacramento hosted her first chess- dinner for the visiting participants of the 13th edition of the Tradewise Chess Festival. Evidently wanting to confirm Government’s commitment to the tournament her message to all was simple.

“We want you to continue coming to the Tradewsie Chess Festival and making it an even greater success year after year,” she said.

The Tradewise Chess Festival is an important event, added Ms Sacramento at the Khaima at the Rock Hotel, and it is also about Gibraltar hosting successful events led tourism.

“We are fortunate to have you as our guests and for you to enjoy Gibraltar. It is interesting to see how this tournament has grown since 2003 with just 60 participants. It is also great to see that some players have attended all the events over the 13 years and that now there are second generation participants also.”

Organiser of the festival Brian Callaghan spoke of the Gib Masters always having led with a strong emphasis on the participation of women players highlighting the record number of women players for this year with a total of 54.

“This year, “ he said, “the women are led by the Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan on her return to Gibraltar, and it underpins the success of this tournament on many levels. “

Samantha Sacramento also Minister for Equality said she was pleased with the importance the festival had always given women in chess, its attempt to redress the gender balance and to also address the fact that very few women are attracted to the game.

At the end of the dinner Emile Sutovsky President of the Association of Chess Professionals, in which Gibraltar has been voted the best open tournament in the world for the third consecutive year, announced they were looking at the possibility of hosting an all women’s tournament on the Rock.

He further emphasised that it was not only the best but also the strongest open tournament in the world and an outstanding event in chess.

Mr Callaghan meanwhile also announced that the top 10 players in this year’s Gibraltar Masters had an average rating of 2731 making it the strongest leader board Gibraltar has ever seen.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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