Men Victorious In Gibraltar’s Battle of the Sexes

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The Battle of the Sexes Chess Tournament concluded on Thursday in Gibraltar with a 53-47 for the men’s team. This team event, with evenly paired men and women on opposing sides, took place at Gibraltar’s Garrison Library and replaced the traditional Gibraltar Masters.

How to watch?
You can find the games of the Battle of the Sexes Chess Tournament on our live games page.

After 18 editions of the Gibraltar Masters between 2003 and 2020, the pandemic made it impossible to organize the 19th tournament in early 2021. The organizers took care of a FIDE Women’s Grand Prix instead, although it had to be moved to May 2021. 

This year, a new event was held in a new venue because in late 2021 the Caleta Hotel, which always served as the playing venue, was taken down. At the same location, a new hotel will be built.

This year, Gibraltar’s Garrison Library hosted the chess tournament, which saw a new format as well. It was named the Battle of the Sexes, after the evening event that was part of the festival each year with a giant chess board inside a boxing ring, also between men and women. In the new format, two teams played a Scheveningen match (on regular chess boards!), meaning that each member of one team played each member of the other once. The total prize fund was £100,000 ($135,800), of which £75,000 ($101,850) went to the winning side and £25,000 ($33,950) to the runners-up.

Pia Cramling Sabino Brunello Gibraltar 2022
A friendly game between team captains Pia Cramling and Sabino Brunello during the opening ceremony. Photo: John Saunders/GibChess.

The team of women’s players, dubbed ‘Team Pia’ after their captain, GM Pia Cramling, started with two consecutive wins over ‘Team Sabino,’ (captained by GM Sabino Brunello), scoring 6.5-3.5 twice against their male adversaries.

Only in round three, the men could hit back with a 7-3 victory and continued with another 5.5-4.5 the next day, but after a 5-5 tie in round five, the women were still leading by a single point halfway through the tournament.

After that, the men took a commanding lead of five points as they won rounds six, seven, and eight. The women’s team kept hopes alive with a 6-4 win in the penultimate round, but with another 6.5-3.5 victory in the final round, the men emerged victoriously with a six-point margin: 53-47. Below are the teams and individual scores.

Battle of the Sexes 2022 | Men’s Team















Bo. Fed Title Name Rtg 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts. Games RtgAvg
1 GM Brunello, Sabino 2503 0 ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 6,5 10 2452
2 IM Bwalya, Gillan 2410

0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1,5 9 2447
3 IM Aziz, Husain 2379 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ ½ 4,0 10 2452
4 GM Bellahcene, Bilel 2508 0 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 7,0 10 2452
5 GM Krysa, Leandro 2531 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 5,5 10 2450
6 GM Haria, Ravi 2490 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 0 1 6,5 10 2450
7 GM Gallagher, Joseph G. 2447 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 4,5 10 2450
8 GM Cheng, Bobby 2550 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 6,0 10 2450
9 IM Csonka, Balazs 2474 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 7,0 10 2452
10 IM Rosen, Eric 2356 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 4,0 10 2452
11 IM Merario Alarcon, Andres 2408 ½

0,5 1 2491

Battle of the Sexes 2022 | Women’s Team















Bo. Fed Title Name Rtg 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts. Games RtgAvg
1 IM Sukandar, Irine Kharisma 2407 1 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 4,5 10 2465
2 GM Abdumalik, Zhansaya 2491 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 5,5 10 2465
3 IM Mammadzada, Gunay 2470 ½ 1 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 3,5 10 2465
4 GM Cramling, Pia 2452 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ 4,5 10 2465
5 GM Sebag, Marie 2460 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 5,0 10 2465
6 GM Muzychuk, Mariya 2539 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 6,5 10 2465
7 GM Girya, Olga 2405 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 0 0 0 4,5 10 2465
8 GM Stefanova, Antoaneta 2469 ½

1 1 ½ 3,0 4 2505
9 IM Houska, Jovanka 2365 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 0 3,5 10 2465
10 IM Efroimski, Marsel 2437 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 5,0 10 2465
11 GM Batsiashvili, Nino 2491

½ 0 0 1 0 0

1,5 6 2438

IM Irine Sukandar helped her team to get that good start in the event as the only player to start with 2/2. In the very first round, she took down the team captain of the men in a Closed Ruy Lopez as the Italian player did not respond well to her bishop maneuver:

Sukandar Brunello Gibraltar 2022
Sukandar vs. Brunello. Photo: John Saunders/GibChess.

The two top scorers were, unsurprisingly, part of the men’s team as both GM Bilel Bellahcene (Algeria) and IM Balazs Csonka (Hungary) scored 7/10. The latter scored a 2601 performance rating and won 16.8 Elo points. He won a nice game against IM Gunay Mammadzada, who missed a chance in the opening:

Mammadzada vs Cszonka Gibraltar 2022
Mammadzada vs Cszonka. Photo: John Saunders/GibChess.

Battle of the Sexes 2022 Gibraltar
The playing hall was Gibraltar’s Garrison Library. Photo: John Saunders/GibChess.

Gibraltar 2022 women chess
The women’s team. Photo: John Saunders/GibChess.

Gibraltar 2022 men team chess
The men’s team. Photo: John Saunders/GibChess.



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