Romain Edouard First in Dubai With 8.0/9
Romain Edouard of France won the 16th Dubai Open with a tremendous score: 8.0/9, good for a 2856 performance rating. He won 22 rating points, getting pretty close to 2700. The Frenchman won the cheque of $10,000, while Yuriy Kuzubov (Ukraine) and Eduardo Iturrizaga (Venezuela) shared the second and third prizes.
All photos courtesy of the Dubai Open
After three rounds five GMs and one FM were tied for first place in Dubai, as was reported: GM Romain Edouard of France, GM Axel Bachmann of Paraguay, GM Abhijeet Gupta of India, GM Eduardo Iturrizaga of Venezuela and GM Anuar Ismagambetov of Kazakhstan as well as FM Hatim Al-Hadarani of Yemen.
In round 4, Edouard and Bachmann drew on board one, and so did Ismagambetov and Iturrizaga on two. Gupta was the “lucky one” to get paired against the FM, and won quite a nice game against him:
The very next day one of the top matches in the tournament took place, and it was a dramatic one. Gupta was outplaying his French opponent from the opening, but then, getting closer to the time control, he missed several chances for a big advantage. After move 40 the Indian got confused, and lost a game he should never have lost.
In the same round Vladimir Akopian had a nice finish. Can you play like him?
That was nice, but the next day Akopian was less sharp. He got an advantage in the middlegame against Edouard, but allowed his opponent to reach a complicated ending. And then he blundered big time.
In the same round there was a typical opening mistake, untypically played by a 2660 grandmaster!
Meanwhile, Gupta got back to half a point behind Edouard as his winning attempts in a drawn position were rewarded:
Round 7 saw 7 draws at the top, so let's skip that and move on to round 8. Edouard played an excellent game:
So did Gupta:
With one round to go, Edouard was on 7.5/8 and had a full point lead over Gupta. A draw was enough for the Frenchman, who didn't shy away from complications in the final round:
Gupta collapsed and lost without a chance against Iturrizaga.
And so Edouard won the Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup and the first prize of $10,000, having survived several worse positions. Was he lucky? Yes. But he certainly had the strongest nerves at the decisive moments, and he didn't play for a draw in the last round. Perhaps it's time to start calling the 23-year-old Frenchman Mr Cool.
Dubai Open 2014 | Final Standings (Top 30)
|2||10||GM||Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo||VEN||2635||7||20242||0||48,5|
|8||14||GM||Petrosian Tigran L.||ARM||2627||6,5||19325||0||47,5|
|9||7||GM||Jones Gawain C B||ENG||2650||6,5||19260||0||46,5|
|12||27||GM||Ghaem Maghami Ehsan||IRI||2556||6||20372||0||48,5|
|13||39||GM||Shyam Sundar M.||IND||2481||6||20319||0||47,5|
|24||21||GM||Lalith Babu M.R.||IND||2594||6||19447||0||46|
Full standings here
The Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup, more known as the Dubai Open, took place 7-17 April, 2014 at the Dubai Chess & Culture Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In the 16th edition 148 participants from 39 countries played, including 38 GMs and 8 WGMs, 16 IMs, 3 WIMs, 10 FMs and 5 WFMs. Games via TWIC.