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Sir Joe makes first move in ‘Battle of the Sexes’ chess tournament

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

The “Battle of the Sexes” chess tournament was launched on Monday at the Garrison Library, and the Minister for Economic Development Sir Joe Bossano made the first move.

Traditionally held at the Caleta Hotel, the new venue is as a result of the hotel’s closing down as plans are afoot for a Hilton hotel to be developed on the site.

Laurent Freyd, director of the Gibraltar International Chess Festival, introduced Sir Joe, in the presence of players and Brian Callaghan, the owner of the Caleta Hotel who founded the event, and the hotel’s executive director, Franco Ostuni.

“I think one important issue is that surprisingly I remember Brian [Callaghan] telling me that there was a theoretical view in chess that men have a superior performance to ladies and this is why they were separated,” Sir Joe said.

“I think it goes contrary to everything that science tells us about the ability of the female of the species to run things more efficiently than men.”

“Therefore, I hope and expect that it will prove that theory wrong on this occasion and have the opportunity to put that theory to bed once and for all.”

Sir Joe made the opening move for Pia Cramling against Bilel Bellahcene.

In the Battle of the Sexes two teams of ten leading professional chess players, men and women, play ten rounds of classical chess against each other for a prize fund of £100,000, of which £75,000 would go to the winning side and £25,000 to the runners-up.

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