Round 3

After the numerous upsets witnessed in round 2, a more normal service was resumed yesterday. While Vachier-Lagrave ground down Gormally in an endgame after having been slightly better throughout most of the game, Adams took advantage of a tactical oversight by his young opponent Van Foreest to wrap up the game in only 21 moves.


There were however some remarkable exceptions to the favourites’ domination, notably on board 3, where birthday boy Gil Popilski exploited a blunder by Gupta to take his total to 2.5/3.


                          Happy (belated) birthday Gil! J

Down on board 10 Keith Arkell honoured his reputation of being one of the UK’s very best endgame players (have you ever heard of his R+B vs R record!?) as he ground down Hillarp Persson in a dramatic, 80-move long rook and knight ending.

The most striking upset of the round however took place on board 15, where Alan Merry (2269) got the better of Harika Dronavalli (2528), after he showed impressive opening preparation and dominated the game from start to finish.


Back on the top boards, Elisabeth Paehtz continued her good run by holding Tiviakov to a draw in an unpleasant endgame, while on board 6 David Howell couldn’t get past young Nitzan Steinberg either. Sargissian however didn't fail to let the rating difference tell as he won against Williams. Short against Raznikov, Fridman against Nakar and Marin against Skripchenko also all went the way of the higher rated player.

At the end of the day these results mean that we now have a sole tournament leader: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. It is interesting to note that the Frenchman was the top seed for most of the run-up to the tournament, but then Mickey Adams overtook him by just 1 mere rating point on the October list. Maxime lost some points at the Saint Louis super-tournament and the European Club Cup in Bilbao, dropping out of the world's top 10 as a result. However, I am glad to report that thanks to yesterday’s victory he has now reclaimed the number 10 spot. You can follow the live rating evolution of +2700 players on the following website:


Elsewhere in the Villa Marina the Major and Minor sections kicked off yesterday, with the very notable participation of multiple Isle of Man Champion Neville Gill, who started into the tournament with a win over Robin Kirkwood. 14 players are playing in the Major and 20 in the Minor, taking the tournament’s total participants number to 107.   


Round 4 will see Vachier-Lagrave face Hebden on the top board, while board 2 has the interesting confrontation between current joint British Champion Jonathan Hawkins and the UK’s number one player, Mickey Adams. Down on board 5 we find another match-up between two legends of British chess as Keith Arkell faces Nigel Short.

You can of course follow all the action and excitement live here:

Fiona Steil-Antoni (Press Officer)

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Latest News

Round 9 Report
Published: 29 Oct 2018

Round 9 Report

John Saunders reports: the 2018 Isle of Man International was won by Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland after a play-off match with Arkadij Naiditsch of Azerbaijan. The two players led going into the last round and drew their ninth round game to finish on 7/9 while none of the four players on 6/8 managed to win in order to tie with them. They each take home a cheque for £37,500 with Wojtaszek also receiving a further £500 for winning the blitz play-off. The initial two-game blitz was tied on 1-1 but Wojtaszek chose White in the Armageddon game and duly won. Seven players finished on 6½: Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk (both Russia), Hikaru Nakamura, Jeffery Xiong (both USA), Wang Hao (China), Gawain Jones (England) and Baskaran Adhiban (India).

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Round 8 Report
Published: 28 Oct 2018

Round 8 Report

John Saunders reports: another pulsating day’s chess saw four 2700+ rated players bite the dust, all bar one beaten by players less highly rated than themselves, and in one case more than 200 points adrift. Two leaders emerge from the smoke of battle, Arkadij Naiditsch (Azerbaijan) and Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), who now both have 6½/8, while four more players are half a point behind them and are still in with a chance of a share in the top prize – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Wang Hao (China), Gawain Jones (England) and Jeffery Xiong (USA).

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Round 7 Report
Published: 27 Oct 2018

Round 7 Report

John Saunders reports: another remarkable round at the Villa Marina saw the number of leaders increase by one – the same names as per the round six leader board, plus England’s perennial numero uno, Mickey Adams. There was some fantastic chess played, which it gives me great pleasure to report upon. Before we move on, let’s just record the seven leaders’ names for the record: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), Wang Hao (China), Arkadij Naiditsch (Azerbaijan), Mickey Adams (England) and Jeffery Xiong (USA) all have 5½ out of 7.

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