Egypt’s GM Bassem Amin leads Emirati top-seed GM Salem Saleh by half point


Fans await exciting clash between the top two seeds in Friday night’s seventh round at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club

Dubai, UAE (June 10, 2016) – Egyptian Grandmaster (GM) Bassem Amin picked up his sixth straight point to grab the solo lead after the third day of action in the Allegiance to Sheikh Zayed Chess Tournament on Thursday night at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club. The second-seeded Amin scored two wins at the expense of Filipinos Marlon Mortel and Francis Erwin Dimarucut in the fifth and sixth rounds respectively.

Top-seed GM Salem A.R. Saleh of the UAE follows closely with 5.5 points after the Asian Continental champion was derailed by a draw with sixth-seed GM Walter Arencibia in the fifth round. Saleh returned to his winning ways by beating Egyptian fourth-seed GM Ahmed Adly in the sixth round.

Arencibia and Adly, along with seventh-seed GM Efstratios Grivas of Greece and GM Elmar Magerramov of Azerbaijan, are at joint third place with 13 others on five points. Grivas scored 1.5 points in the third day of action with a win over the UAE’s Abdulla Abdulwahab in the fifth round and a draw with Arencibia in the sixth round. Magerramov, the club’s resident coach who was held to two draws on day two, rebounded with back-to-back wins on Thursday, beating Egypt’s Ashraf Ahmed Ramadan in the fifth round before eking out a win in a worse position against Mortel in the sixth round.

Others with five points are the UAE’s Fide Master (FM) Saeed Ishaq and Candidate Master (CM) Najib Saleh, Serbia’s Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Andjelija Stojanovic, Russia’s FM Roman Zemtsov and Sergey Ermachkov, and the Philippines’ Dennis San Juan, Jumar Abo, Jobannie C. Tabada and Dimarucut.

Ibrahim Sultan, the UAE’s youngest international master (IM), leads a big group at joint fourth with 4.5 points each.

Saleh will challenge Amin for the leadership at the top board in the first of two games on Friday night, while Adly will face Tabada on second board. Magerramov will take on his student Ishaq on third board, while Najibb Saleh will challenge Arencibia on fourth board.

Other seventh-round top-bard matches will pit Grivas against Ermachkov, Zemtsov against Dimarucut, Abo versus Stojanovic, San Juan against fellow Filipino Ernesto Yap and Sultan taking on Abdulwahab.

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 19-20 that is open to all clubs, schools and companies.

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