The Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is the “best in location, in construct, in spirit and built on that Gibraltarian belief in inclusivity, diversity and excellence” said Governor Lieutenant General Edward Davis yesterday at the start of the fourth round of play in the Gibraltar Masters.
Visiting the tournament for the third year running he told the players of how the tournament spoke for itself and how it had been recognised by the Association of Chess Professionals as the best chess event of 2017 something which he believed was “a phenomenal achievement”.
The Governor was accompanied by his wife Lorraine and saluted all the chess players in the 16th edition and was shown round by organiser Brian Callaghan and director Stuart Conquest.
Addressing the players in the main area he commented on how the festival had grown 460% over its 16 year history and today included members of federations from 30% of the countries of the world. This he stressed was “just an indictment of how successful” the festival had become.
He congratulated everyone who was involved with the organisation of the tournament and paid tribute to organiser Brian Callaghan for having had the vision and taken it from “conception to constellation”.
Limited in his knowledge of chess, as a military man and with his experience in the military, Mr Davis said he recognised chess was one of the most demanding, competitive disciplines in terms of gaming strategy, tactical ability and mental stamina.
“So be very proud of your achievements in terms of competing at this level. Good luck and I hope this will provide the space for you to be the best that you possibly can be and that you achieve your goals for this competition,” he added.
With a record number of entries in the main event, the Gibraltar Masters, when the Amateurs and Challengers B tournaments begin today the record number of players set in the first week is again expected to be broken.
From a Gibraltar perspective the amateur tournament will also see a record number of local entries with some 10 players expected.