Ivanchuk rocks the Rock
Apologies (once again!) for the long break between postings, I will endeavour to ensure at least one blog post a month from now on. My first tournament of the year was Gibraltar (I had won a couple of 4NCL games beforehand). The event was even more formidable with the usual very strong selection of female players. Brian Callaghan pulled another rabbit out of his hat last year by making Stuart Conquest tournament director, a move that worked very well. Simon Williams proved an excellent replacement in the commentary room.
Unfortunately first Tara, and later I, went down with the ’flu which took a bit of the fun out of proceedings. My best bit of preparation ever remains when I had a ‘flu shot before Wijk aan Zee and later learned Kasparov had taken the same precaution! It goes without saying – I was not as switched on this year! I don’t think it made too much difference to my final score: my reasonable start foundered against solid play by my later opponents. Congratulations to Nigel Short and Vasily Ivanchuk who were in a class of their own.