Mr. Abdul Mohseen Al Dousary ass. General Secretary of Youth and Sports welfare, Champion Grandmaster Aleksandr Rakhmanov of Russia, Dr. Ahmed Al Sharif General Secretary of Dubai Sport Council, Mr. Ibrahim Al Bannai, president of Dubai Chess Club.
Russian Grandmaster Aleksandr Rakhmanov drew with Ukrainian Grandmaster Yuriy Kuzubov to win the title in the 15th Dubai Open Chess Championship alone with 7-1/2 points out of 9 rounds at the Dubai Chess Club in Dubai, UAE. He wins the Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup and the top prize of $10,000.
Rakhmanov played carefully against the Slav Defense of Kuzubov. In a symmetrical variation, the two protagonists exchanged pieces and transposed to a Knight and pawn endgame for a draw in 31 moves. Tournament regulations prohibit draw offers before Black’s 30th move.
“I started out well with 5 out of 5,” Rakhmanov boasted. “I would have settled for draws but yesterday my opponent pushed too hard and played a bad move. My best game of the tournament was against GM Ganguly in the fourth round, beautiful game with piece sacrifice. It was then that I decided to win this tournament. Now I will probably play in the European championship in Poland in May and then the World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Khanti Mansiysk, Russia” he said.
GM Salem A.R. Saleh of the UAE (left) receives the Axiom Cup from Ahmad Khalifa Al Thani of the Dubai Chess Club for his victory in the Dubai Blitz Championship.
Eight players finished in a share of 2nd to 8th places to each win $3,050. Tied with 7 points each are Kuzubov, Grandmasters Sergey Volkov of Russia, Viktor Laznicka of Czech Republic, Estonian Jaan Ehlvest, Frenchman Andrei Istratescu, Peter Michalik of Slovakia and Ivan Sokolov of the Netherlands, and Woman Grandmaster Ju Wenjun of China, the highest scoring woman player in the history of the Dubai Open Chess Championship.
Istratescu repeated position to draw the Slav defense of Volkov. Ju Wenjun used the English opening to similarly draw with Michalik by repetition of position. In the Laws of Chess, three time repetition of position leads to a draw.
Others had to win their last round games to finish on top. Laznicka used the Semi Slav defense to beat GM Salem A. R. Saleh in 37 moves. Sokolov turned back a sacrificial attack by GM Adhiban of India to win the endgame in 47 moves.
International Masters Diptayan Ghosh, 14, and Das Debashis, 20, both of India, earned Grandmaster norms in the tournament as well as $630 each for those finishing with 6-1/2 points apiece. Ten players tied from 10th to 19th places, namely GM Vladimir Akopian of Armenia, Yuriy Kryvoruchko and Mikhailo Oleksienko, both of Ukraine, Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia, Surya Ganguly, Babu Lalith and Abhijeet Gupta, all of India, and Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia.
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