Chief Minister Fabian Picardo met the youngest Grandmaster at the 2019 Gibraltar International Chess Festival yesterday.
Also the second youngest Grandmaster in the history of the game, 12 year old Dommaraju Gukesh from India, exchanged a few moves on the chess board with Mr Picardo after which he commented: “Impressive, he beat me in three moves.”
The Chief Minister of Gibraltar visited the main playing areas ahead of play in the Eighth Round and was shown round by Chief Arbiter Laurent Freyd.
He was to make the first move on the top board where Vladislav Artemiev was playing against last year’s Gibraltar winner Levon Aronian.
Mr Picardo welcomed all the players to the tournament and took the opportunity to announce that a large scale communal chess board would be set up and become a feature in the new park outside of the new Midtown development.
On the web show the Chief Minister spoke of the festival as a remarkable success.
Mr Picardo’s message was clear: “Gibraltar wants to continue to be the home of chess, and we want to grow this festival. We want it to appeal to all nationalities to all demographics within the chess world. We also want Gibraltar’s children to be tuned into chess.”
He spoke of his keenness that the schools chess programme locally should continue to grow in all schools.
On arrival at the Caleta Hotel he was met by festival founder Brian Callaghan and was presented with a bunch of flowers for his wife Justine by nine year old chess player Chloe Kou who participated in the first ever Chess Seminar on the Rock this month.
Pic by Johnny Bugeja