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Licudi highlights cultural value of chess festival

The Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is one of the main events of Gibraltar’s year of culture, said Tourism Minister Gilbert Licudi on Tuesday night at the annual dinner hosted by the GTB.

Having launched a new marketing initiative ‘Gibraltar a year of Culture’ at both the World Travel Market and at Fitur, Mr LIcudi said, it was particularly satisfying for him to be hosting the event as the year of culture involved celebrating the very rich cultural diversity enjoyed in Gibraltar.

“We have high calibre international events taking place week in week out throughout the year, every year. This is what ‘Gibraltar a year of culture’ is about,” he stressed paying tribute to the organiser Brian Callaghan and his team, including Stuart Conquest and Franco Ostuni, who work all year round to make this festival the success it has become.

“It really seems incredible how far we have come since the first 2003 with just 60 players, and now this year with 274, it is just amazing how the festival becomes bigger and better every single year. don’t know how you do it.”

The chess festival he was truly an amazing event and one of the most important if not the most important event of its kind in the whole of the events calendar.

But locally it was not the only event: “We have a backgammon festival, music festival, literary festival, and all of these are what we now call ‘Gibraltar a year of culture’, cultural and sporting events bringing top ranked players, visitors, families and all of you to enjoy.”

The programme over the 10 days be commented was extensive and he was certain that once again the 16th edition of the festival would once again be a memorable event.

The event also saw the participation of the Gibraltar Youth Choir from GAMPA. The youngsters proved very popular with the chess players and performed during the dinner.

Dominic Lawson, president of the English Chess Federation, spoke highly of the festival and how welcoming it always was to all chess players from all over the world. He again called for Gibraltar to be recognised by FIDE.

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