Wang Hao Awesome In Al Ain

Wang Hao Awesome In Al Ain

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jan 3, 2016, 8:47 AM |
14 | Chess Event Coverage

With a score of 8.0/9 Wang Hao became the convincing winner of the Al Ain Chess Classic in the United Arab Emirates. The Chinese player finished 1.5 points ahead of the pack.

Wang Hao victorious in Al Ain. | Photo WGM Emkhtuul Altan Ulzii courtesy of the Al Ain Chess Classic.

The Chess Classic was held for the fourth time in the Garden City located 120km southeast of Dubai. It took place 23-30 December in the Hili Rayhaan by Rotana Hotel in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

This year 127 players participated from 31 federations, including 52 GMs, 6 WGMs and 17 IMs. The top seeds were Yuriy Kryvoruchko (UKR, 2711), Wang Hao (CHN, 2707), Igor Kovalenko (LAT, 2680), Alexander Areshchenko (UKR, 2677) and Alexei Shirov (LAT, 2676).

There's a link with our previous report, because last year this tournament was won by Gaioz Nigalidze. This year the former Chinese number one (now number eight) Wang Hao emerged victorious.

Five rounds into the tournament Wang was the only player to start with a perfect score. Let's start this report with a puzzle: how did he beat Indian Babu Lalith in round five?

Alexei Shirov was the first to “stop” Wang; the two drew their game in round six. But the Chinese player duly continued winning the next day. 

In a game where Georgian grandmaster Mikheil Mchedlishvili was doing more than fine, he grabbed a poisoned pawn just before the time control.


Wang secured first place with a round to spare as he also won in round eight. He defeated another strong Indian grandmaster: Abhijeet Gupta. Again, the material distribution of BN-R was seen, but this time the Chinese player had the two minor pieces.

He won a complicated endgame that might have been holdable for Black.


Wang Hao vs Abhijeet Gupta. | Photo WGM Emkhtuul
Altan Ulzii  
courtesy of the Al Ain Chess Classic.
 

The prize fund was $57,000; Wang took home a first prize of $13,000. No less than nine players tied for second place: GMs Kryvoruchko, Shirov, Pashikian, Pantsulaia, Areshchenko, Oleksiyenko, Kravtsiv, Efimenko and Hovhannisyan.

Al Ain Chess Classic 2015 | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Rtg Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 rtg+/-
1 2 GM Wang Hao CHN 2707 8 41,5 40,25 21,8
2 5 GM Shirov Alexei LAT 2676 6,5 44,5 34,75 10,9
3 21 GM Pashikian Arman ARM 2606 6,5 42,5 33 15,2
4 24 GM Pantsulaia Levan GEO 2598 6,5 41,5 31 15,2
5 1 GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy UKR 2711 6,5 40,5 34 0,4
6 4 GM Areshchenko Alexander UKR 2677 6,5 39,5 32,5 4,3
7 17 GM Oleksiyenko Mykhaylo UKR 2616 6,5 38 33,25 1,8
8 16 GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2623 6,5 37,5 32,5 3,8
9 15 GM Hovhannisyan Robert ARM 2624 6,5 37 34,25 5,6
10 9 GM Efimenko Zahar UKR 2647 6,5 37 29,75 6,7
11 13 GM Mchedlishvili Mikheil GEO 2635 6 42,5 31,75 4,4
12 19 GM Onischuk Vladimir UKR 2612 6 40,5 31 1,6
13 12 GM Rakhmanov Aleksandr RUS 2640 6 39,5 29 2,3
14 26 GM Andriasian Zaven ARM 2594 6 39 29,25 5,4
15 8 GM Motylev Alexander RUS 2653 6 38 28,5 -1,2
16 7 GM Zhigalko Sergei BLR 2655 6 38 27,5 0,3
17 25 GM Azarov Sergei BLR 2595 6 37 26,75 0,5
18 30 GM Kulaots Kaido EST 2574 6 35,5 26,75 3
19 10 GM Anton Guijarro David ESP 2640 6 33,5 26,75 -8,3
20 37 GM Zeng Chongsheng CHN 2530 5,5 44,5 29,5 15,7
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