CHESS

THE GIBTELECOM Masters finished last Thursday in victory for a quintet of players on 7.5/10: Alexei Shirov (Spain), Emil Sutovsky (Israel), Lev Aronian (Armenia), Kiril Georgiev (Bulgaria) and Zahar Efimenko (Ukraine).

In an event unusual for its high scores, there was a further five-way tie on 7 between Alexander Areshchencko (Ukraine), Vasilios Kotronias (Greece), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Gabriel Sargissian (Armenia) and England's Danny Gormally.

As mentioned on Thursday, there was a live web broadcast every day by Stuart Conquest. This was a great success, attracting more than 12 million hits over the 10 days - more than twice the population of Gibraltar. The festival is only in its third year, but attracted more than 160 players, 120 of them in the Masters, and it is already becoming established as a seriously strong Open and a great success.

While he wasn't one of the joint winners, the greatest success of this year's tournament was Gormally who, after years of near misses, has finally made his last grandmaster norm to become England's newest grandmaster.

Gormally, who will be 29 in May, played a blinder of a tournament with a rating performance of nearly 2,700 against a field that included five players over 2,600. He completed his norm in style with this gutsy victory against the current World No 14. Gormally's opening choice was extremely brave, going for victory but with a high risk of defeat when a couple of draws would have been enough for the grandmaster norm.

Garry Kasparov himself took Dreev on in this line in the recent Russian Championship, and eventually won after choosing the even sharper 12.f3. As played, it became extremely unclear but the tide started to turn in Gormally's favour after Dreev missed 28.Rxa7, which, while it may not objectively gain the advantage - 28...Rab8, for example, is still very unclear - clearly shocked Dreev. Indeed, just five moves later White was already winning by force.

Danny Gormally

vs Alexei Dreev

Gibraltar 2005 (round 8)

Queen's Gambit Anti-Meran

1. d4 d5

2. c4 c6

3. Nf3 Nf6

4. Nc3 e6

5. Bg5 h6

6. Bh4 dxc4

7. e4 g5

8. Bg3 b5

9. Be2 Bb7

10. h4 g4

11. Ne5 h5

12. 0-0 Nbd7

13. Qc2 Nxe5

14. Bxe5 Bh6

15. b3 cxb3

16. axb3 0-0

17. Bd3 Re8

18. Ne2 Nd7

19. Bg3 e5

20. f3 Be3+

21. Kh2 exd4

22. fxg4 Ne5

23. g5 Nxd3

24. Qxd3 c5

25. Nf4 Bxe4

26. Qxb5 Bxf4

27. Rxf4 Qd5

28. Rxa7 Bf5

29. b4 Rac8

30. Qf1 Bg6

31. Rf6 Rc6

32. Qb5 Rec8

33. Qb7 Qe4

34. Rxf7 1-0

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