After three rounds of the Gibraltar Masters at the Caleta Hotel, the players on a maximum score of 3/3 are now down to fifteen.
All of them are grandmasters, including three of the top-rated players, and two women competitors, and they come from no fewer than twelve countries. The full list: Michael Adams (England), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Le Quang Liem (Vietnam), Nikita Vitiugov (Russia), Yu Yangyi (China), Eduardo Iturrizaga (Venezuela), Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria), Vladislav Tkachiev (France), Gawain Jones (England), Jaan Ehlvest (USA), Dariusz Swiercz (Poland), Ivan Salgado Lopez (Spain), Kaido Kulaots (Estonia), Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia) and Artur Jakubiec (Poland).
Former women’s world champion Antoaneta Stefanova, from Bulgaria, has played several times in Gibraltar and has previously won the prestigious Gibraltar women’s prize. Yesterday she used all her experience to become the first player this year to defeat one of the top eight players who have an international rating in excess of the 2700 number which is generally regarded as conferring elite status on a player. Her victim was Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland, who ranks fourth in the Masters line-up.
Gibraltar’s junior international chess player Stephen Whatley, aged 12, has a half point from a possible three points after losing in the third round to Khalil Nafri of Morocco but, with the extremely tough opposition he has faced so far, this is still enough to gain Stephen three international rating points. On Friday afternoon he meets Roman Freuler of Switzerland in the fourth round.