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August 18th - 22nd
The Gibraltar Junior International Chess Festival takes place from Friday 19th August to Monday 22nd August. The event is run under the auspices of the English Chess Federation and in association with the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival.
Wales has 2 players in the 1st Gibraltar International. There are 2 sections U16 and U12 and we have Megan Owens and Kristian Prosser competing in the U16.
Monday 22nd August
Today was the final day and in each section we had a sole leader who only needed a draw to clinch first place. They duly accomplished this leaving Ruben Valhondo Morales U16 Champion and Miguel Santos Ruiz U12 Champion. Runner up in the U12s was Alejandro Perez Garcia whilst Joshua Higgs was third. There was a close fight for the other prizes in the U16s. In the end Gordon Scott, Efren Garcia del Campo and Aiden McGiff shared the money for 2nd= with Gordon 2nd and Efren 3rd on tie break.
1st Ruben Valhondo Morales, Ruben.. ESP 5.5/6 2nd Efen Garcia Del Campo...........ESP 5/6 3rd Aiden McGiff................... ENG 5/6 4th Gordon Scott................... ENG 5/6 5th Henry Broadley..................ENG 4/6 6th Oskar Hackner...................ENG 4/6
7th..Megan Owens.....................WLS..4/6 (3 wins and 2 draws)
33rd Kristian Prosser............... WLS. 2/6 (1 win and 2 draws)
Today was a double round day and in the morning at U16 there were wins on the top three boards for Gordon Scott, Ruben Valhondo Morales and Aiden McGiff which meant that in the afternoon Gordon was white against Ruben whilst Aiden (on 3½) floated down with black to play Adam C Taylor. The only other players on three were Oskar Hackner who had white against Efren Garcia del Campo. Unfortunately Gordon lost his game whilst Aiden leapfrogged in to second place by beating Adam C. Gordon was joined on 4 by Efren. As they had played the pairings were Jorge Santamartina Gonzalez v Gordon, Efren v Craig Whitfield and Jamie Tilston floating up to play Daniel Sutton. At U12 Miguel Santos Ruiz and Alejandro Perez Garcia both won and played in the afternoon whilst there were only three players on 3, Joshua Higgs who was white against Stephen Whatley and Jorge Calvo Simon who floated down with black and played David Iglesias Santos. Miguel won, Joshua beat Stephen whilst Jorge and David drew. This left the top pairings as Joshua(4) v Miguel (5), Alejandro (4) v Jorge (3.5) and also on 3.5 Kai Pannwitz v Rodrigo Iglesias Santos.
Kristian lost his morning game to Jorge Gonzalez Santamartina but gained a draw against Joshua Cavendish giving him 2 out of 3 against the English team. Megan played steadily and gained two draws against Jennifer Ehr and Raunak Rao.
The evening event was a master class with Stuart Conquest and was very well attended. Stuart did some middle game positions leading to sacrifices and presented it in both Spanish and English.
Saturday 20th August
At U16 Gordon Scott, Efram Garcia del Campo and Ruben Valhondo Maorales won whilst Stephen Whatley, Alejandro Perez Garcia and Miguel Santos Ruiz won in the U12s. In both tournaments there are 3 on a perfect score whilst at U16 Henry Broadley and Aidan McGiff are the only two players on 2.5. Megan and Kristian both played England internationals with Megan beating Jake Manton and Kristian drawing with Daniel Sutton..
In the afternoon we went on an extended Rock Tour. We went through the newly reopened tunnel and had some time at Europa Point where they are completely revamping a formerly run down area. We then continued to the nature reserve on the rock where we explored St Michael’s Cave with its many stalactites and stalagmites. After the visit some of the kids decided to buy ice creams. Now there is a £500 fine for feeding the apes but the speed with which an ape removed Jamie Tilston’s ice cream I am sure no magistrate would convict him. The final visit was to the Great Siege Tunnels where we all had a good look round before heading back to the hotel via the City Centre. During the bus journeys we had a full commentary about the history of Gibraltar and the interesting places we passed en route. We then had a break before dinner and the evening entertainment which was a simultaneous display by Jovanka Houska with Stuart Conquest taking on 14 adults. Jovanka very bravely took on 39 players but with time going on Daniel Eskabar and Stephen Hogg took some of the games over. Megan gained a draw but Kristian lost.
Friday 19th August
Today it was down to business. We had two rounds and, as expected, these were hard fought. In the U16s there were only 6 players on 2\2, three Spaniards and at this level we had three Anglo Spanish clashes due on the Saturday morning. The top English players were Oskar Hackner, Gordon Scott and Adam C Taylor. The U12s had 5 perfect scores, four Spaniards and Stephen Whatley. In the evening Pia Cramling gm and her husband Juan Bellon gm gave a masterclass attended by over 50 parents and players and the games that were analysed kept the audience engaged for an hour. Megan and Kristian are both on 1\2. Megan has played two Englishmen defeating Sam Aggarwal but losing to British U15 Champion Oskar Hackner. Kristian lost to the Spaniard Alberto Mateos Atienza in the morning but recovered well to defeat the English international Matthew Saunders.
The first Gibraltar Junior International Chess Festival started on Thursday 18th August. There are 62 players from 6 countries taking part, 38 in the U16s and 24 in the U12s. This number includes 3 British Champions, one runner up, 2 Spanish regional champions and one runner up. There are 27 Spaniards, 24 English, 6 Gibraltarians, 2 Hungarians, 2 Welsh and 1 Scot.
Most players arrived Thursday morning and took what could be their only chance to go in to town for souvenir shopping. This was followed by a blitz tournament of 7 rounds and Kristian scored 2.5.
Reports from Peter Purland