The Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival can usually reckon to be the major local news story for its duration but today we were upstaged by the elements. A howling gale blew across the rock all day, ripping scaffolding from high buildings, bringing rocks down from on high, flooding low-lying areas of the docks and closing roads either side of the chess venue so that many players other than we lucky people who reside in the Caleta Hotel were unable to journey to the venue on time.
The organisers took prompt action to ensure that play in round seven went ahead on time where two players were at the board, and where one or both players were missing, the players were granted an hour's grace so that they could start as late as 4pm rather than the appointed start time of 3pm. As it turned out, this concession was sufficient to allow all bar one of the competitors in the Masters to get to the board and start their game without losing time on their clock. Thankfully the venue hotel was unaffected by the raging storm and there were no power cuts or other service deficiencies.