GM Dubov Wins Abu Dhabi Masters On Tiebreaks
GM Daniil Dubov is back to 2700 with this tournament victory. | Photo: Maria Emelianova, Chess.com.

GM Dubov Wins Abu Dhabi Masters On Tiebreaks

Rakesh
IM Rakesh
Aug 23, 2018, 8:30 PM |
19 | Chess Event Coverage

The Russian GM Daniil Dubov won the 25th edition of the Abu Dhabi Masters Open held at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE. This is the largest and strongest grandmaster open of Asia.

The Abu Dhabi Masters Open was a part of the Abu Dhabi Chess festival. The event was a nine-round Swiss-system for a players with a 2100 rating or more. The tournament was held from August 6-16 (with a rest day on August 10). Some 158 players from 32 countries participated. The tournament featured 121 titled players, including 47 grandmasters. 

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Le Quang Liem (rated 2727) of Vietnam was the top seed, followed by 43 GMs above 2500. | Photo: Maria Emelianova, Chess.com.

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Nigel Short (rated 2659) of England played his last event before his upcoming FIDE presidential election. | Photo: Murad Abdulla/Abu Dhabi Chess Festival.

GM Dubov started as the sixth seed and led from start to finish, with the exception of one round. He then won the last round, winning the tournament with 7.5/9 and a monstrous 2861 performance rating, gaining 18 Elo points to cross 2700 again. He won six games and drew three including the podium finishers.

GM Dubov who is well known for his opening preparation and is quite outspoken especially about cheating in chess, blazed out with 4/4 and stormed into sole lead. His play was active, sharp and dynamic. He also managed to keep it fresh and dug out new and interesting ideas against his younger opponents.

Here is his second-round game against the Indian GM-elect, Iniyan P (rated 2464).

This was followed up by another nice tactical win against the young Iranian phenom, GM Alireza Firoujza (rated 2561).

In the next four rounds, GM Dubov then slowed down with a solitary win and three draws, two of them against the other top finishers, GM Anton Korobov of Ukraine and local GM Salem A.R. Saleh of UAE. 

This allowed GM Korobov to collect some wins and enjoy a slender half-point lead going into the last round, where he quickly agreed a draw with GM Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia.

While on the third board, local GM Salem A.R. Saleh and Indian GM Aravindh Chithambaram played a thoroughly fighting game, which GM Salem won.

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Winning bronze on tiebreaks, GM Salem AR Saleh of UAE had a great event on his home soil. | Photo: Murad Abdulla/Abu Dhabi Chess Festival.
Until now, GM Dubov had demolished the opposition and played on the top boards throughout the tournament. Half a point behind, but with the best tiebreaks, Dubov entered the last round knowing a win would guarantee him tournament victory.

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The start of a highly eventful game between GM Daniil Dubov and GM Ivan Cheparinov | Photo: Marwa Safar/Abu Dhabi Chess Festival.

He tried from the onset, but his opponent, GM Ivan Cheparinov of Georgia, complicated matters and was also better at some point. Time pressure played its part and the advantage was back to Dubov. The position was far from clear and Black defended stoutly and also managed to stumble into a fortress, which is bound to enter chess literature.

This all important win leap-frogged GM Dubov into first place on tiebreaks. GM Anton Korobov of Ukraine and GM Salem A.R. Saleh of UAE had to be content with the second and third positions respectively. Strangely, GM Gabriel Sargissian was the sole finisher on seven points ahead of 11 players with 6.5/9. 

Rk. SNo Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 n w we w-we K rtg+/-
1 6 GM Dubov Daniil 2691 7.5 0 2619 54 9 7.5 5.66 1.84 10 18.4
2 10 GM Korobov Anton 2664 7.5 0 2610 54 9 7.5 5.43 2.07 10 20.7
3 16 GM Salem A.R. Saleh 2636 7.5 0 2577 47 9 7.5 5.44 2.06 10 20.6
4 8 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2680 7 0 2585 55 9 7 5.89 1.11 10 11.1
5 2 GM Rapport Richard 2719 6.5 0 2608 50.5 9 6.5 6.09 0.41 10 4.1
6 4 GM Wang Hao 2711 6.5 0 2587 51 9 6.5 6.21 0.29 10 2.9
7 3 GM Cheparinov Ivan 2718 6.5 0 2586 51.5 9 6.5 6.3 0.2 10 2
8 5 GM Fedoseev Vladimir 2707 6.5 0 2575 51.5 9 6.5 6.27 0.23 10 2.3
9 7 GM Amin Bassem 2684 6.5 0 2549 52 9 6.5 6.29 0.21 10 2.1
10 15 GM Maghsoodloo Parham 2636 6.5 0 2538 47.5 9 6.5 5.89 0.61 10 6.1
11 22 GM Karthikeyan Murali 2609 6.5 0 2495 46 9 6.5 6 0.5 10 5
12 27 GM Jojua Davit 2583 6.5 0 2491 47 9 6.5 5.81 0.69 10 6.9
13 51 IM Harsha Bharathakoti 2454 6.5 0 2484 45.5 9 6.5 4.54 1.96 10 19.6
14 35 GM Abdusattorov Nodirbek 2539 6.5 0 2473 48.5 9 6.5 5.53 0.97 10 9.7
15 36 GM Debashis Das 2539 6.5 0 2459 44 9 6.5 5.62 0.88 10 8.8

(Full standings, here)

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GM Daniil Dubov with his glittering trophy and the winner's check of $13,000. | Photo: Murad Abdulla/Abu Dhabi Chess Festival.

Norm achievers in the tournament:

No Fed Name Norm
1 Bharathakoti Harsha GM
2 Erigiasi Arjun GM
3 Iniyan P GM
4 Kuybokarov Temur GM
5 Sarin Nihal GM
6 Gupta Sankalp IM
7 Muthaiah AI IM
8 Rathanvel VS IM

This event will also be remembered as the event where the Indian prodigy Nihal Sarin became the 12th-youngest grandmaster in history.

The Abu Dhabi Chess Festival also included an open tournament, a blitz tournament, a youth tournament, a family tournament, a senior tournament, a "homeland protectors" tournament and a simultaneous exhibition by Chinese GM Wang Hao.

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WFM Jemal Ovezdurdiyeva of Turkmenistan won the open section with a score of 8/9 on her birthday! | Photo: Jemal Ovezduriyeva

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 Speed Chess specialist GM Vladimir Fedoseev of Russia won the blitz tournament by scoring 9.5/11. | Photo: Murad Abdulla/Abu Dhabi Chess Festival.

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Various winners of the youth tournament in different categories. | Photo: Abu Dhabi Chess Festival

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Chinese GM Wang Hao (rated 2711) gave a simultaneous exhibition. | Photo: Marwa Safar/Abu Dhabi Chess Festival.

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GM Dmitri Komarov of Ukraine and GM Viorel Iordachescu of Moldova were the official commentators of the event. | Photo: Murad Abdulla/Abu Dhabi Chess Festival.

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