Sharjah Masters 1-2: Prodigy watch by Colin McGourty

sontu1296
sontu1296
Mar 26, 2017, 4:36 AM |
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The inaugural Sharjah Masters got off to a bumpy start on Thursday with no shows and forfeits, but it’s a fascinating event to watch. In Shakhriyar Mamedyarov’s absence Radek Wojtaszek is the top seed, but the main focus may be on a group of kids likely to transform the chess world by the middle of the 2020s. India’s 11-year-old Praggnanandhaa and 12-year-old Nihal Sarin and Uzbekistan’s 11-year-old Javokhir Sindarov and 12-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov have already claimed some GM scalps and impressive draws.

 

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Radek Wojtaszek is top seed, while Arkadij Naiditsch stands by his Round 1 opponent - 11-year-old Praggnanandhaa | photo: Maria Emelianova, official website

 

The 1st Sharjah Masters is a 200+ player 9-round open taking place in the world’s biggest dedicated chess club, the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club – the same United Arab Emirates venue that saw the recent Sharjah Grand Prix. The top seed at the event looked set to be Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, but when the delayed pairings finally appeared it turned out that he was missing alongside some other top players who had been listed such as Etienne Bacrot. There was worse to come, since it soon became clear the paired players including many more absentees, leading to multiple forfeits, including three on the top five boards!

 

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Gawain Jones was one of the few top players to both play and win in Round 1 - earlier this year the Englishman won the Tata Steel Challengers, while last year he won the nearby Dubai Masters | photo: Maria Emelianova, official website 

 

An accelerated pairing system that meant the top players immediately faced strong opposition in the 2450-2500 rating range, led to a very unusual set of results for the first round of a big open – on the top 13 boards only Adhiban and Gawain Jones managed to win without a forfeit. Only in Round 2 was normal service restored, with the favourites winning on 7 of the top 8 boards. You can replay all the games from all rounds of the tournament using the selector below – hover over a player’s name to see all their results:

 

1
GM Wang, Hao (3) 2683
FM Sadhwani, R. (3) 2218
2
WGM Safranska, A. (3) 2217
GM Adhiban, B. (3) 2682
3
CM Aditya Mittal (3) 2183
GM Jones, G. C. (3) 2676
4
CM Mendonca, L. (3) 2110
GM Fressinet, L. (3) 2662
5
GM Oleksiyenko (3) 2643
WFM Srija, S. (3) 2166
6
GM Kravtsiv, M. (3) 2641
WFM C. Sahajasri (3) 2120
7
GM Akopian, V. (2½) 2675
Al Yaghshi, M. Hisham (3) 2056
8
GM Kryvoruchko (2½) 2708
Arjun K (2½) 2232
9
GM Amin, Bassem (2½) 2660
Kavinda, A. (2½) 2084
10
GM Kuzubov, Y. (2½) 2643
CM N. Magizhnan (2½) 2077
11
N. Malhotra (2½) 2198
GM Adly, Ahmed (2½) 2593
12
GM Gledura, B. (2½) 2588
Sameir, Ramez (2½) 2062
13
P. Nutakki (2½) 2084
GM Svane, Rasmus (2½) 2570
14
CM Al Khateeb (2½) 2005
Ashwath, R. (2½) 2242
15
GM Wojtaszek, R. (2) 2745
FM M. AlRashedi (2½) 2018
16
FM Saeed, Ishaq (2) 2312
GM Naiditsch, A. (2) 2702
17
GM Areshchenko (2) 2682
IM S. Mahadevan (2) 2363
18
WGM Mamedjarova (2) 2267
GM Safarli, E. (2) 2680
19
GM Anton Guijar. (2) 2676
WIM Mammadova, N. (2) 2240
20
WIM Khalafova, N. (2) 2255
GM Iturrizaga B. (2) 2673
21
GM Sargissian (2) 2666
CM Rowe, Duane (2) 2162
22
GM Mareco, S. (2) 2664
Harini, S. (2) 2150
23
Dodeja, Pawan (2) 2235
GM Bluebaum, M. (2) 2632
24
GM Sethuraman, S.P. (2) 2629