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GM Salem Saleh sustains assault as junior standout Ibrahim Sultan holds Azeri grandmaster to a draw

GM Salem Saleh sustains assault as junior standout Ibrahim Sultan holds Azeri grandmaster to a draw

Lead pack down to eight as Saleh takes on Cuba’s Arencibia in Allegiance to Sheikh Zayed Chess Tournament’s anticipated first all-GM clash

Standings after four rounds

Rank       Title        Name                                                           Fed          Rtg           Pts.

1               GM          Amin Bassem                                         EGY          2647      4,0

2               GM          Sokolov Ivan                                           NED         2634      4,0

3               GM          Adly Ahmed                                             EGY          2624      4,0

4               GM          Salem A.R. Saleh                                  UAE         2712      4,0

5               GM          Arencibia Walter                                CUB         2539      4,0

6                                 Dimarucut Francis Erwin               PHI          2108      4,0

7                                 Mortel Marlon                                      PHI          2107      4,0

8                                 Rafee Mohd Hayel                              SYR          1923      4,0

9               GM          Grivas Efstratios                                  GRE         2491      3,5

10                              Abdulla Abdulwahab                        UAE         1978      3,5

Dubai, UAE (June 9, 2016) – Ibrahim Sultan, the UAE’s youngest international master (IM), held his own against seasoned Grandmaster (GM) Elmar Magerramov, the Azeri coach of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, to score one of the surprise results in the second day of the Allegiance to Sheikh Zayed Chess Tournament on Wednesday night at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.

Sultan, the UAE’s top junior player and gold medallist in the 2015 Arab Under-18 Championship, however, failed to sustain the momentum as he dropped his fourth-round match against Greece’s GM Efstratios Grivas. The Greek grandmaster was also held to a draw by Dubai women’s coach Woman Fide Master (WFM) Elena Nekrasova of Lebanon in the third round.

Salem A.R. Saleh, the tournament top-seed and UAE top-ranked grandmaster, continued his winning ways after beating Palestine’s Ihsan Jawad in the third round and Russian Sergey Ermachkov in the fourth round. Also protecting their perfect slates were UAE national coach GM Ivan Sokolov of the Netherlands, Sharjah’s Cuban coach GM Walter Arencibia and Egypt’s top two players, GM Bassem Amin and GM Ahmed Adly. Completing the list of four-pointers are Syria’s Mohamad Hayel Rafee and the Philippines’ Francis Erwin Dimarucut and Marlon Mortel, who upset ninth-seed Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Andjelija Stojanovic of Serbia and eighth-seed Fide Master (FM) Roman Zemtsov of Russia respectively in the fourth round.

Grivas remains within striking distance with 3.5 points along with the UAE’s Abdulla Abdulwahab, while Magerramov leads a huge pack at joint third place with three points each after he was again held to a draw in the fourth round by Nekrasova. Sultan has 2.5 points.

Thursday night’s main feature will be the top-board clash between the Asian champion Salem and Arencibia in a much-awaited all-grandmaster encounter. Amin will take on Mortel, Sokolov will play Dimarucut and Adly goes up against Rafee.

Around 160 players from 22 countries are taking part in the annual tournament that is held in honour of the late UAE President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The nine-round Swiss system tournament, which has been held annually for the past 13 years, also serves as the kick-off event of the club’s activities during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The club is also organising other competitions such as a team blitz chess tournament on June 18 and 19 that is open to all clubs, schools and companies.

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