Egypt’s Pharaohs reign after five rounds in Ramadan team blitz chess
Dubai, UAE (June 20, 2016) – Grandmasters (GMs) Ahmed Adly and Bassem Amin of the Pharaohs team wrested control after the first-day of action in the 38-team Dubai Cup – Ramadan Blitz Chess Team Tournament 2016 at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club. The top-seeded Egyptian duo collected nine points from four shutout victories and draw in the first five rounds of play.
Second-seeded United, comprising GM Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan and GM Alexei Barsov of Uzbekistan, follows closely with eight points at joint second place along with Universal Players of GM Walter Arencibia of Cuba and International Master (IM) Ali Sebbar of Morocco and Filipino Chess Players League (FCPL) of Jobannie C. Tabada and Rocky Pabalan.
Pharaohs scored 2-0 blowout wins over teams DU30, FCPL, Siberia and Filipinas, but the Egyptians were held to a 1-1 draw by Guseinov and Barsov in the fourth round.
Universal Players, who drew their match with United in the fifth round, will challenge Pharaohs for the leadership in the sixth-round top-board match-up on Monday night. On second board, United will be heavily favoured against title pretenders FCPL, which scored a 1.5-0.5 win over Abu Dhabi’s GM Viorel Iordachescu and Candidate Master (CM) Sultan Al-Zaabi in the fifth round.
Six teams – Arab Unity, Dubai B, Egypt-Syria, Gilas Filipinas, Soldiers and KHL – round up the top ten standings with seven points apiece.
The tournament, one of the events organised by the club during the holy month of Ramadan, pits teams of two players each in nine rounds of blitz chess, where each player is allotted three minutes plus a two-second increment for each move to complete a game. Each team is also allowed one alternate player. A total of 99 players from 18 countries are taking part in the tournament.
His Excellency Ahmed Khalifa Al Thani, Secretary General of the Arab Chess Federation and Vice-Chairman of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, officially opened the tournament. He was joined by Mr. Issa Lutfi, member of the club’s board of directors, and Mr. Khaled Ezzedine, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Federation of Chess.
The annual Ramadan Blitz Chess Team Tournament, which was inaugurated in 2010, has become one of the most awaited team chess events in Dubai during Ramadan. This year’s event will award the Dubai Cup and Dh4,500 to the champion team, while the first and second runners-up will received Dh3,000 and Dh1,500 respectively. The last four rounds of the tournament will be played Monday night, followed by the awarding ceremony.