GibChess ‘Battle Of The Sexes’ Match-Tournament

The GibChess ‘Battle of the Sexes’ match-tournament will take place Monday 24th January - Thursday 3rd February 2022 at the Garrison Library.

A statement from the Gibraltar International Chess Festival follows below:

International chess returns to Gibraltar in a new and exciting format in January 2022, with play commencing on  24 January with the final round and prize giving dinner taking place on 3 February. Minister Joe Bossano of  GibInvest said “chess is more than a sport, it is a challenge to the human intellect.” Ten top-rated women players  will meet a team of ten similarly-rated men at classical chess in the #GibChess Battle of the Sexes match tournament. With ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ still fresh in everyone’s mind, this Classical Battle of the Sexes is sure  to be a big hit. 

Men vs women match-tournaments have been held previously, notably the series of Veterans vs Women dance themed match-tournaments of the 1990s, but we believe this is the first time that teams of men and women  players have been selected to match each other closely in terms of average rating and age. Over the course of  ten rounds and 100 games, this match-tournament will contribute some socio-scientific evidence to the debate  as to whether men or women of similar ratings are likely to outperform the opposite gender, or whether the  rating system gets this right. 

Swedish grandmaster Pia Cramling is the women’s captain. Pia, twice European Champion and an iconic figure  in the chess world is greatly looking forward to an exciting contest. She has participated in every Gibraltar  Masters tournament since the series began in 2003. Her husband, Juan Manuel Bellón, also a grandmaster, is a  former Spanish champion, and their daughter Anna is an accomplished player and chess streamer. 

Men’s captain Sabino Brunello, 32, will be making only his second visit to the Rock. The Italian grandmaster  played in the Gibraltar Masters in 2012, exactly ten years ago. 

The venue for this match, with the support of the Department of Culture and Minister Dr John Cortes, is the GARRISON LIBRARY. In the elegant surroundings of the Upper Reading Room, the two teams will begin battle  on Monday 24 January. The final day’s play will be on Thursday 3 February. The prizegiving dinner will be held  at the CITY HALL, courtesy of the Mayor of Gibraltar His Worship Christian Santos. The World Heritage Site GORHAM’S CAVE will be part of the programme. 

Minister Vijay Daryanani will host a dinner at the Rock Hotel on Saturday 29th for participants and guests. 

Prize money is £100,000. The ‘Battle of the Sexes’ fun match played on a giant chessboard has been an innovative  and popular part of Gibraltar Chess Festivals for many years - but now it’s got serious! 

Games will be shown online move by move, and a daily show will be broadcast from the library itself, with expert  commentary on the latest play, all can be viewed at 

The event will be run in accordance with Public Health advice. Owing to its size limitations, access can only be  for accredited visitors. Accreditation can be obtained by application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.