Olga om Gibraltar

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11. februar 2013 av Redaktør

Window view from the Caleta hotel

Window view from the Caleta hotel

Vår kvinnelige stormester Olga Dolzhikova deltok nylig på den store sjakkfestivalen i Gibraltar. Der gjorde hun meget gode prestasjoner, og Olga har sendt en rapport fra festivalen. God fornøyelse!

Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2013

Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is one of the best chess festivals, offering a wide variety of events for chess lovers.  Gibraltar is a picturesque place, but due to the rather intense chess schedule, I almost never had a chance to see more than was visible out of my hotel window 🙂

The “festival package” included a master tournament, 2 challengers, 2 amateurs, 2 blitz tournaments, several master classes, “battle of the sexes”, several social dinners and super entertaining professional live commentary every round. I know some players who went for the marathon of all the available events, but frankly speaking, it is extremely tiring. I myself played in the masters and both challengers, and, have to admit, towards 8th round felt loss of concentration.

The main event is “Masters”, an incredibly strong and attractive tournament. Organizers do a great job every year to invite a range of top players, as well as a many strong GMs.


Norwegian players Odin and Tormund Blikra Vea singing together with Shirov at the hotel lounge.

It is fascinating to come across such legends as Ivanchuk or Short at breakfast, and chat, say, with Adams at dinner.

Gibraltar is well-known also for wild monkeys. Despite staying most of the time in the hotel, I got my chance to see them anyway.


Guests on my balcony

First time it came as a shock to see four primates on my balcony. Trying to get inside and paying zero attention to my presence. After a while I realized that it is actually rarer to see a cat in Gibraltar than a monkey 🙂 But that day I got so involved in taking pictures, that even came late for the game.

Of course, playing chess was the most interesting part of the trip and I am glad to have had some exciting chess battles.

Poetsch, Hagen (2437) – Dolzhikova, Olga (2239)
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 a6 6.g3 Bg4 7.Bg2 Nc6 8.0–0 0–0–0 9.d5 Ne5 10.Bf4 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Nxf3+ 12.Qxf3 e5 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bxf6 Qxf6 15.Qe3 This is where the theory ended for me. The book says that position is equal. I had played it for both colors before, and to me the white’s chances for attacking on the queen side look a little bit more dangerous. 15…Kb8 16.Rad1 h5 17.Rfe1 Bd6 18.Ne4 Qg6 19.c4 I believe it is the main mistake of the white, lack of prophylaxis against my possible attack on the kingside. 19.h4 would be a good option. 19…Bb4 20.Nc3 h4!



Playing against Hagen Poetsch

After this pawn sacrifice, the rest of the moves from my side came just naturally. Getting rid of the pawn on e5, the black gets an opportunity to bring their bishop to the attack and the defence for white becomes very difficult. 21.Qxe5 hxg3 22.hxg3 f5 23.Kg2 Bd6 24.Qe2 f4 25.Qd3 Qg4 26.Rh1 Rdf8 27.Rxh8 Rxh8 28.Rg1 fxg3 29.fxg3 Qh3+ 0–1

Most of all I enjoy tactical opportunities during the games. I always try to play most aggressive possible and avoid boring opening lines 🙂 Of course, tactics often brings lots of chances to both sides in the practical game, and one can never be sure a 100% of the result of their aggressive play. But this adrenalin rush  is exactly what I love about chess.

This tournament was not an exception, and I was lucky to play several extremely sharp games, some of them rather successfully 🙂


Pinho,Paulo – Dolzhikova,Olga, 28… Ne4-g5!

I was very happy with my result before the closing ceremony. I won the female price in both challenger tournaments, got 5,5 out of 10 points in the masters and raised 30 points of rating.


Closing ceremony. Getting the prize from one of the sponsors

But the closing ceremony came as another wonderful surprise. It appeared that I had won the best rating achievement prize in my category (2200-2300).

All in all, the most valuable part of the trip was the intensive training with 20 games and everyday opening preparation, and I hope this will contribute to good chess results in the future as well.

Olga Dolzhikova



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