Thursday 26 January 2017

2017 Gibraltar Masters - Day 2

Day 2 of the 2017 Gibraltar Masters saw two different blackouts, one at the venue and the other at the board. During the morning session (Challengers and Amateur) the power went out across Gibraltar, leaving the players at the venue relying on natural light to illuminate their games. The blackout also affected the DGT boards, as some boards did not restart correctly, leaving some games un broadcast. The power outage lasted an hour, although the games continued as scheduled.
The blackout at the board involved Vassily Ivanchuk, who lost on time in a winning position, against IM Ori Kobo. With one move to make the time control, Ivanchuk let his clock run down, and was surprised when his opponent claimed the win. At first it seemed his was arguing that his clock still showed time (as it moved to the next time control), and then he claimed to made played 40 moves. It turns out that he left move 24 blank on his scoresheet (writing it as move 25) and therefore only played 39 moves, even though he had written move "40" down.
The other top boards had a tough time of it as well, with Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave both drawing with IM's and the top 10 boards only "winning" 7-3 against the lower rated players.
IM Bobby Cheng had a tough opponent in the form of GM Vadim Zvjaginsev and went down. FM Zachary Loh had a nice win on the board next to mine, while I played a lot better than yesterday, until I dropped a rook in a time trouble blunder.
Despite the upsets, there are still 19 players on 2/2,but only 3 of the original top 10 seeds are in this group. Hikaru Nakamura is one of these players, and a win on top board tomorrow will put him in a good position for the next third of the tournament.

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