The world champions of chess will fly to Gibraltar this month to take part in the Tradewise Gibraltar Open Chess Festival in its 15th anniversary.

The top prize this year for the Masters is £23,000 with the Women’s award at £15,000 and there will be a host of smaller prizes as in other editions.

The Opening Ceremony and drawing of lots will take place at 8.30pm on Monday 23rd January in the main restaurant that will feature the top three rankings Fabiano Caruana (USA), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) and Hikaru Nakamura (USA). The event will run until the 2nd February.

The Gibraltar Open was voted the overall best tournament of the year by the Association of Chess Professionals in 2014, as well as being voted the world’s best Swiss System event for the last few years. As a result, the festival has become the blueprint for top tournaments everywhere, with the broadest possible range of standards represented, from world champions down to the humblest beginners.

The Gibraltar Masters are open to all-comers, with those interested merely needing to pay the entry fee to have a chance of taking on the world’s best.

Evening Events will include master classes, pairs and four player team blitz tournaments as well as the much maligned the Battle of the Sexes.

Last year, the Battle of the Sexes saw the presence of Gibraltar Government Minister Samantha Sacramento as she joined in the festivities.

The festival will also incorporate ‘Master Classes’ through evening lectures conducted by visiting elite players. Games or positions are analysed and questions taken from the audience and there is no charge to attend. Master Classes are also broadcast live over the internet.