OPENING night of the Tradewise Gibraltar International Chess Tournament is always hectic – arrival, registration and of course catching up with old friends.

Miss Gibraltar 2015 Hannah Bado with last year's Gibraltar Champion Hikaru. Hannah helped in the draw of the pairings at the opening ceremony, Photo: Sophie Triay.

The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly ahead of what will be another highly competitive event. 2016 is another record year for the tournament as players have over the last few days been arriving from some 58 countries from around the world.

The Caleta Hotel was buzzing as players, guests, organisers and sponsors gathered for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival last night.

The first of the pairings was drawn – with the help of Miss Gibraltar 2015 Hannah Bado – to first determine who would play the top seed in this year’s tournament, last year’s Gibraltar Champion,  Hikaru Nakamura. He is ranked No.6 in the World and is the US No.1.

Also present was Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Steven Linares who was as always thrilled to be back and to welcome all the players to the tournament. In his speech he first listed the top names playing this year highlighting, he said, the “high calibre” of the event. Linares assured Gibraltar was very proud of the festival and the fact that it has become the best open tournament in the world.

“The Gibraltar Government is proud and privileged to sponsor with Tradewise this championship. It is an example of all the events the government promotes and uses Tradewise as an example of how to organise an event,” he said congratulating the organisers and sponsors.

The top seeds in this years Tradewise Gibraltar International Chess Tournament, Hikaru Nakamura, Viswanathan Anand and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, together with Miss Gibraltar 2015, tournament organisor Bruno Callaghan, Tradewise chairman James Humphreys and Minister for Culture Sport & Heritage Steven Linares. Photo: Sophie Triay.

Take note that the Gibraltar Masters starts at 3pm (Gibraltar time) and remember we will be going live once again from our studio here at the Caleta Hotel with Grandmaster Simon Williams and International Master Elisabeth Pähtz. There are more than 250 chess players in the Gibraltar Masters this year with some 350 people as part of the festival. Once again some 60 countries are being represented.

Round 1 on 2016/01/26 at 15:00
Bo.    No.        Name    Rtg    Pts.    Result    Pts.        
1    1    GM    Nakamura Hikaru
2787    0        0    IM    Bellin Robert
2350    132
2    129    FM    Shachar Ehud
2353    0        0    GM    Vachier-Lagrave Maxime
2785    2
3    3    GM    Anand Viswanathan
2784    0        0    IM    Lazarne Vajda Szidonia
2359    127
4    134    FM    Tate Alan
2345    0        0    GM    Harikrishna P.
2755    4
5    5    GM    Li Chao B
2751    0        0    IM    Wemmers Xander
2352    130
6    128    IM    Vuilleumier Alexandre
2356    0        0    GM    Yu Yangyi
2747    6
7    7    GM    Jakovenko Dmitry
2732    0        0    WGM    Vojinovic Jovana
2352    131
8    133    GM    Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan
2346    0        0    GM    Wojtaszek Radoslaw
2727    8
9    9    GM    Rapport Richard
2721    0        0    IM    Gara Anita
2339    135
10    136    IM    Foisor Cristina-Adela
2338    0        0    GM    Fressinet Laurent
2700    10