The Gibraltar Masters served as a good comeback result for mercurial grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk, who played his last several games on board one. However, he was caught in the last round by Nikita Vitiugov and Ivan Cheparinov, all with scores of 8-2. In a bizarre elimination playoff where the player with the worst tiebreaks got a bye to the finals, Cheparinov took the title and a good chunk of extra cash. French star Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, known affectionately to his many fans as MVL, fell a bit short after a spirited draw with Ivanchuk in the last round, but he did produce a stirring attacking game in round five. His victim, Argentine grandmaster Sandro Mareco, was the surprise leader at the time, having opened up with four straight wins. MVL often earns high praise for his attacking play, and though there were some hidden possibilities that might have altered the result, he did make it look surprisingly easy.