13-year-old Emirati joins grandmasters in the lead at the Allegiance to Zayed Chess Tournament

A 13-year-old Emirati player from Fujairah pulled off big upsets  victories to join an elite cast of grandmasters (GM) in the lead after four rounds of play in the Allegiance to Zayed Chess Tournament 2017 at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club. Fide Master (FM) Sedrani Ammar, who is seeded only 48th in the tournament, zoomed to the top with four straight wins, capping his impressive streak with an upset win over 10th-seed International Master (IM) Fouad El Taher of Egypt in Monday night’s fourth round.
Sedrani also earlier upset IM Pantev Veselin of Bulgaria in the second round and will next face a much tougher task against second-seed GM Bassem Amin of Egypt in Tuesday night’s fifth round.
Amin, who defeated Syria’s Talal Hilwani in the fourth round, also has four points along with top-seed GM Bartosz Socko of Poland and Serbia’s GM Igor Miladinovic. Socko defeated Morocco’s IM Mohammad Tissir, while Miladinovic outplayed Spain’s FM Javier Fidalgo in the fourth round. Socko and Miladinovic take on each other in the fifth round.
The UAE’s FM Saeed Ishaq and IM Noaman Omar are at joint second place along with six others with 3.5 points apiece. Ishaq drew his fourth-round game with GM Viorel Iordachescu of Moldova, while Omar likewise split the point with GM Ahmed Adly of Egypt. Iordachescu  and Adly also have 3.5 points along with GM Elmar Magerramov of Azerbaijan and Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Adriana Nikolova of Bulgaria, who drew their fourth-round match, as well as Spain’s GM Viktor Moskalenko, who won over Woman International Master (WIM) Ljilja Drljevic of Serbia, and Cuba’s GM Walter Arencibia, who defeated the Philippines’ Franz Barretto.
Third-seed GM Salem Saleh of the UAE, who was derailed with an upset loss to Drljevic in the third round, rebounded with a victory over the Philippines’ Rocky Pabalan in the fourth to lead a big chunk of players at joint third place with three points each.
Blitz team tournament
The Dubai Chess Club announced a blitz team tournament to be held on June 8-9. Each team will consist of two players and a reserve. Teams can register at the club’s headquarters in Mamzar.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Khalifa Al Thani, vice-president of the Dubai Chess Club, said the club will collaborate with other clubs in organising various tournaments during Ramadan to avoid problems such as overlapping schedules. He said the series of tournaments held during Ramadan has consistently attracted top-calibre players from around the world, providing a good training ground for local talents.
The ongoing nine-round rapid chess tournament, which has attracted 130 players from 25 countries, holds two games each playing day from 10:30pm. Each player is allotted 15 minutes plus a five-second increment per move to complete a game.
The tournament will award a total of Dh14,000 in prizes to the top 10 finishers and the special awardees. The champion will receive Dh3,000 and the championship cup.
Overseeing the tournament are International Arbiter (IA) Saeed Shakari as tournament director with IA Mahdi Abdul Rahim as chief arbiter, assisted by IA Jamal Qasim, National Arbiter (NA) Moheb Serag El Din, NA Mohammad Al Halak and NA Majed Ali Abdouli.