5-Way Tie At Strong Abu Dhabi Masters

5-Way Tie At Strong Abu Dhabi Masters

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Aug 29, 2015, 1:01 AM |
4 | Chess Event Coverage

At the strong Abu Dhabi Masters, five players are tied for first place with three rounds to go: GMs Nils Grandelius, Martyn KravtsivAlexander Areshchenko, Richard Rapport and Abhijeet Gupta.

All photos courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Chess Club.

As part of the Abu Dhabi Chess Festival, the Masters tournament includes no fewer than 438 players from 44 federations, including 106 titled players (49 grandmasters).

The group is intended for players rated 2000 and above, but an exception is made for local players. The tournament is a nine-round Swiss with a $12,000 first prize. 

At 2700 exactly, Hungarian GM Zoltan Almasi is the top seed in Abu Dhabi (as Latvian GM Igor Kovalenko didn't show up), but so far he isn't showing it.

After six rounds, Almasi only collected 3.5 points. For example, he lost to GM Vladimir Belous in round two as the latter played an excellent game:

22-year-old Belous then also beat Abhijeet Gupta, but then lost to Nils Grandelius, the only player to reach 4.0/4. That was after Tuesday's double round, the only day with two rounds in the tournament.

Bishops are supposed to be slightly stronger than knights, but not the way Belous played it:

The spacious playing hall in Abu Dhabi.

At the time of writing, Grandelius is tied for first with GMs Martyn Kravtsiv, Alexander Areshchenko, Richard Rapport and Abhijeet Gupta. These players are on five points, closely followed by nine players on 4.5. One of them is GM Baadur Jobava.

Kravtsiv might be relatively unknown name among the leaders. A point shy of a 2600 rating, the 24-year-old GM from Lviv is the number-22 player in Ukraine. Among his scalps so far are his compatriot Yuriy Kuzubov and Gawain Jones of England.

The latter played the Dragon, the opening he's written his first series of books about! It didn't go according to plan in this game though. It looks like Kravtsiv found an excellent setup against the Topalov variation, with a novelty as late as move 24:

Richard Rapport is among the leaders, perhaps because he hasn't played too wild so far. The craziest opening by the Hungarian GM was the Snake Benoni from round four. It worked out wonderfully; look at Black's bishop and knight in that middlegame. Beasts on the board.

Richard Rapport: no crazy stuff, not a bad score.

The other player known for his creative play, Baadur Jobava, started with three wins, but then drew his next three. Especially his game in round six was fascinating. It started with one of Jobava's pet lines: 1.d4, 2.Nc3, 3.Bf4 which Hikaru Nakamura plays sometimes as well.

Jobava vs Grandelius, in round five, ended in a draw. 

Three more rounds will be played, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The Abu Dhabi Chess Festival takes place August 23-31 in the capital city the United Arab Emirates.  The festival includes an open for under-2000 players, a youth tournament and a blitz tournament. 

GM Sam Shankland in good spirits at the opening ceremony, but now on a disappointing 3.0/6.

2015 Abu Dhabi Masters | Round 6 Standings

Rk. SNo Title Naam FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 rtg+/-
1 12 GM Grandelius Nils SWE 2628 5 0 2579 23,5 12,8
2 24 GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2599 5 0 2577 23 14,7
3 7 GM Areshchenko Alexander UKR 2661 5 0 2535 19 8,1
4 4 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2671 5 0 2509 21 5,9
5 17 GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 2619 5 0 2478 22 6,8
6 5 GM Jobava Baadur GEO 2664 4,5 0 2595 23 5,1
7 3 GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy UKR 2697 4,5 0 2575 21 3,1
8 13 GM Iturrizaga Eduardo VEN 2625 4,5 0 2565 21,5 8,4
9 11 GM Kuzubov Yuriy UKR 2638 4,5 0 2550 23,5 5,4
10 31 GM Kulaots Kaido EST 2573 4,5 0 2540 20 9,7
11 9 GM Akopian Vladimir ARM 2647 4,5 0 2526 19 3,2
12 19 GM Swiercz Dariusz POL 2617 4,5 0 2522 20,5 4,8
13 22 GM Prohaszka Peter HUN 2602 4,5 0 2502 19 4,4
14 15 GM Petrosian Tigran L. ARM 2623 4,5 0 2446 20,5 0,1
15 35 GM Belous Vladimir RUS 2566 4 0 2643 23,5 11,1
16 53 IM Pascua Haridas PHI 2447 4 0 2630 24,5 17,9
17 27 GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2595 4 0 2571 23 5,5
18 29 GM Romanov Evgeny RUS 2586 4 0 2549 21 4,4
19 14 GM Vovk Yuri UKR 2624 4 0 2548 20,5 -0,2
20 39 GM Nevednichy Vladislav ROU 2549 4 0 2513 20,5 4,8

(Full standings here.)

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