Chess News

Gibraltar Chess Festival, Record Numbers For 2012

The 2012 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is set to take place from 23rd January to 2nd February 2012 at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar. The main event of the Festival will be the 10-round Masters tournament from 24th January.

In addition, there will be the 1st Amateurs and Challengers events from 23rd to 27th January, the 2nd Amateurs and Challengers from 28th January to 1st February, two evening blitz events and Master classes with elite players.

It is now official! Every chess player in the world wants to play in Gibraltar this year to celebrate 10 years of chess.

The popularity and over subscription of the 2012 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival Masters tournament has meant that organisers have had to close the Masters tournament to any further entries. The record number of entries and its overall success is a reaffirmation that the tournament in its tenth edition will be the most important open tournament in the world.

It boasts the participation of 57 Grand Masters, 11 of which are rated 2700 or over, attracting some of major names in both the men’s and the women’s game with a total of 240 players competing in the 2012 Gibraltar Masters. This is a record on both counts for Gibraltar.

The Amateur and Challenger tournaments played simultaneously remain as popular as ever and entries are still being taken for these.

Organiser Brian Callaghan, who received an OBE in the New Year’s honours list appointed by Her Majesty The Queen for his services to tourism and chess (see below), is delighted with the growth and success of the festival.

“I am ready to welcome all the top chess players in the world to our tournament at the end of this month, and looking forward to the best 10 days of chess yet. It is indeed an honour to be hosting the 10th edition of the festival in Gibraltar, important too because it falls in the Diamond Jubilee year,” he said.

The 2012 tournament promises to be stronger than ever before and will be enjoyed by a huge internet audience, thanks to Gibtelecom’s innovative technology and the unique, built-for-purpose webcasting suite installed at the Caleta Hotel. Hosting the broadcasts this year is Macauley Peterson, a freelance mediamaker. He was voted 2008 “Chess Journalist of the Year” by the Chess Journalists of America, and has written in Chess Life, Chess Life Online (U.S.A.), New in Chess (Netherlands), “64” (Russia), Chess (U.K.), and elsewhere.

Callaghan receives an OBE

Her Majesty The Queen appointed Brian Callaghan to be Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (“OBE”) for services to tourism and chess. Brian Callaghan is the driving force behind the Gibraltar Chess Festival, which will shortly celebrate its 10th anniversary and now attracts 300 players from over 40 countries, including some 50 grand masters. He is also a former Deputy Chairman of the Gibraltar Heritage Trust.

Make a note in your diary… Masters (Open to all): Tues 24 January – Thurs 2 February (10-round Swiss, FIDE rated) Challengers A (Under 2250): Mon 23 January – Fri 27 January (5 rounds, FIDE rated) Challengers B (Under 2250): Sat 28 January – Wed 1 February (5 rounds, FIDE rated) Amateurs A (Under 1800): Mon 23 January – Fri 27 January (5 rounds, FIDE rated) Amateurs B (Under 1800): Sat 28 January – Wed 1 February (5 rounds, FIDE rated). Play starts every morning at 9am. The Masters start every afternoon at 3pm.

For more information contact: Alice Mascarenhas , Chess Press Officer
Email: or Website:

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