GM Mahammad Muradli wins 24th Dubai Open Chess Tournament, Yousef A. Alhassadi claims Category B title

This post is also available in: Arabic (U.A.E.)

Grandmaster (GM) Mahammad Muradli claimed the championship of the 24th Dubai Open Chess Tournament after a draw with China’s GM Changren Dai in Sunday’s final round at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club. Muradli finished undefeated with seven points on five wins and four draws in the nine-round tournament, half a point ahead of Dai and five other players.

In Category B, Libya’s Yousef A. Alhassadi took the title after a draw with the young Chinese player Zilong Yang in the final round. Alhassadi finished with 7.5 points, while Yang took second place with seven points.

After the second-board match between India’s GM Raunak Sadhwani and China’s GM Di Li ended quickly in a draw, it was down to the first-board match between Muradli and Dai to decide the tournament winner, with Muradli only needing at least a draw to claim the title and Dai in a must-win situation to snatch the championship.

Muradli and Dai did not disappoint, showing up for the game with strong intentions to win and claim all the marbles. Playing the popular Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defence, both players followed a game by world number one Magnus Carlsen and former Dubai Open champion Wesley So. Muradli, playing the black pieces, deviated on move 12 and soon found his queen being chased around the board.

The Azerbaijan player decided to give up his queen for a bishop and a rook and tried to establish a fortress. Dai probed black’s defensive set-up for nearly 20 moves before agreeing to a draw on move 41.

Sadhwani and Li had a chance to move further up the standings, but the duo elected to play a risk-free game, blitzing out their moves on the way to a 31-move draw in a completely equal rook endgame to secure their spots at joint second place with 6.5 points each. Dai placed second on tiebreaks, Sadhwani was fourth, while Li placed seventh. Other players who finished with 6.5 points were IM Yuanhe Zhao of China (third place), IM Sina Movahed of Iran (fifth), and GM Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan (sixth).

Completing the top 10 in Category A were FM Erik Hakobyan of Armenia, IM Yagiz Kaan Erdogmus of Turkey, and GM S.P. Sethuraman of India, who finished with six points each.

The special awards went to IM Lee Junhyeok of South Korea (2300-2399 rating category) and GM Iniyan Pa of India (2400-2499).

In Category B, FM Bakhyt Temirov of Kazakhstan, the UAE’s Saif Ahmed and AGMVishal Choudary of India also finished with seven points to take the third to fifth places. Wang Hao of China, WIM Srishti Pandey of India, FM Prince Daniel Mulenga of Zambia, Anas Khwaira of Jordan, and Menandro Redor of the Philippines completed the top 10 with 6.5 points each.

The special awards winners were Saeed Alnuaimi Gaith of the UAE (1600-1799 rating category) and AIM Vihaan Dumir of India (1800-1999).

Check Also

Four in the race for first in FIDE Candidates; Tan solely on top in Women’s event

This post is also available in: Arabic (U.A.E.)The FIDE Candidates Tournament is getting more and …