Akopian, Hua share lead

GM Vladimir Akopian of Armenia beat compatriot GM Zaven Andriasin in yesterday’s games to tie GM Ni Hua of China for the lead with 4-1/2 points after five rounds of the Dubai Open Chess Championship at the Dubai Chess Club in Dubai.



By Kt Report

Published: Sat 21 Apr 2012, 11:42 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:47 PM

Akopian, third ranked in the tournament with a rating of 2684, won the exchange of rook for knight on the 28th move, promoted his a-pawn to a queen and threatened mate to force resignation on the 52nd move.

In the match of solo leader Ni Hua, top seed GM Baadur Jobava of Georgia essayed the queen’s gambit. He exchanged queens early in the game to ease the tension on the board. After the required 30 moves, the two players agreed to halve the point. In the tournament rules, draw offers are not allowed before the 30th move. The truce by Ni Hua allowed Akopian a share of the lead with 4-1/2 points.

At the halfway mark of the nine-round Swiss System, Jobava and 17 others follow a half point behind the two leaders.

Tied at 4 points each are Armenian GMs Tigran Petrosian and Robert Hovhjannisyan, Georgian GMs Baadur Jobava, Mikheil Mchedlishvili and Levan Pantsulaia, Ukrainian GMs Evgenij Miroshnichenko, Vladimir Baklan and Yuri Kuzubov, GM Miezis Normunds of Latvia, GM Viorel Iordachescu of Moldova, GM Zhou Weiqi of China, GM Amin Bassem of Egypt and Indian GMs G.N. Gopal, Chanda Sandipan and Parimarjan Negi, Abhijeet Gupta and Surya Shekhar Ganguly, and FIDE Master Yusup Atabayev of Turkmenistan, the only non-Grandmaster in the four-point slate.

Atabayev, ranked 53rd in the tournament with a rating of 2404, upset Dutch GM Loek Van Wely, second ranked with a rating of 2691. Miezis crushed GM Ivan Sokolov of The Netherlands, Zhou beat IM Kore Akshayraj, Bassem outclassed Basheer Al Qudaimi of Yemen while Hovhannisyan outplayed IM Tania Sachdev of India.

In matches between Indians, young Negi beat IM Sundar Shyam, Ganguly beat IM Dhopade Swapnil and Gupta beat IM Srinath Narayanan. Gopal outshone WIM Ghader Pour Shayesteh of Iran.

In the biggest upset of the tournament, 18-year-old Atabayev shocked Van Wely with a positional sacrifice of rook for knight on the 17th move. Atabayev used his two bishop advantage to advance his Queenside pawns and force resignation on the 41st move.

The homestretch is a battle among the elite Grandmasters at the top tier of the tournament. A total of 164 players from 32 countries are competing for the Shaikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup and $50,000 in cash prizes.

A strong contingent of 36 Grandmasters are seeing action in the Dubai Open, of which 21 are in the high level rating of 2600 and above, and 5 Woman Grandmasters, 23 International Masters and 15 FIDE Masters.

The tournament is a nine-round Swiss System event with games scheduled 5.30pm daily. Two rounds are scheduled on Saturday at 10am and 6pm. Closing ceremony is set for 7pm on Tuesday.


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