Sethuraman, Iturrizaga Share Lead in Dubai Open

Indian Grandmaster S.P. Sethuraman beat compatriot S.L. Narayanan to share the lead with GM Edurado Iturrizaga Bonelli of Venezuela at 4 points each after 4 rounds of the 20th Dubai Open Chess Championship at the Dubai Chess Club in Dubai, UAE.

Sethuraman, 25, 2016 Asian Continental champion, transposed to an English Opening to outwit Narayanan, 24, three-time Asian junior champion, in 33 moves by inevitable mate. Iturrizaga, 29, the only Venezuelan Grandmaster and former American continental co-champion, beat top seed Yuriy Kryvoruchko of Ukraine in 41 moves. Iturrizaga was about to promote a pawn or win a Rook in the endgame.

Indian GMs Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Abhijeet Gupta follow a half point behind the leaders with 3.5 points each together with Alexander Zubov of Ukraine and Aleksandr Rakhmanov of Russia.

Ganguly, former Asian continental champion, and Zubov drew a Guioco Piano game in 37 moves while Gupta, 2011 Dubai Open champion, crushed the King’s Indian defense of compatriot M.R. Venkatesh in 30 moves. Rakhmanov smased the Queen’s Gambit Declined of Petr Kiriakov of Russia in 50 moves.

Thirty-five players follow with 3 points each in the race for a total of $50,000 in cash prizes with a top prize of $13,000 for the champion.

A record 164 players from 33 countries are seeing action in the strong tournament including 36 Grandmasters, 24 International Masters, 5 Woman Grandmasters, 7 Woman International Masters, 16 FIDE Masters and 4 Woman FIDE Masters.

Under the Patronage of Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the tournament is a 9-round Swiss system with games scheduled 5:30 pm daily except for Saturday, 7 April, when two rounds are scheduled 10am and 6pm. Top games are broadcast live on the internet. Visit official site www.dubaichess.ae or find full results and standings in chess-results.com.