RTA engineer Ishaq wins UAE chess title
Unbeaten Saeed Ishaq hits fine streak with seven wins at UAE men's tournament. (Supplied photo)
Dubai - I was overjoyed to win this second straight national title, said Ishaq
Fide Master (FM) Saeed Ishaq has hit a golden patch in his chess career, his latest conquest coming at the UAE Men's Chess Championship, at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.
The modest soft spoken RTA engineer won his second consecutive national crown after yet another sterling show.
For Ishaq who recently took part in the Chess Olympiad in Baku, the title form is another important phase of his career. He was out of touch for some time to be able to complete his post graduate engineering studies in the US.
The DCCC stalwart maintained a clean slate in the UAE tournament, winning all his seven engagements against a top draw field during the one-week long championship.
He gained an unassailable top board advantage when the sixth round was over, gaining a 1.5-point lead over his nearest rival. With his final-round win over Khaled Ahmed, Ishaq further extended his lead to two points in the final tally.
DCCC teammate, International Master (IM) Ibrahim Sultan, reaffirmed the host club's domination in the event after scoring five points to end up at joint second with Candidate Master (CM) Omran Al Hosani. Sultan eventually finished third when the tiebreaks were applied.
"I was overjoyed to win this second straight national title," said Ishaq, who has won multiple championships in various age-group competitions before stamping his class on the men's championship.
"I have to hand it to our coach Grandmaster Elmar Magerramov for the timely tips and advice," Ishaq who is also the defending champion in the prestigious UAE President's Cup, added.
"Becoming a national level player was never easy as I have had to fine balance the timings between my work at RTA and my chess training especially while preparing for the Chess Olympiad which is a team event," he said.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Al Bannai, chairman of DCCC, said Ishaq's string of national titles has inspired many players, especially in light of his spirited comeback to the national team after a brief hiatus to pursue his studies. He said the club would support Ishaq to become the UAE's third Grandmaster. Al Bannai also credited the strong performance of the club's players to the leaders of the nation.
Meanwhile, DCCC announced the dates of the Dubai Open Chess Tournament 2017, one of the world's strongest open tournaments, which will be held from April 3-12, 2017.
This year the club will host a rapid chess tournament on October 14-15 and a blitz event on October 28. It will also host a junior tournament on November 11-12 and the UAE 45th National Day Rapid Chess Tournament on November 30 to December 2.