Nodiberk Abdusattorov receives the trophy from Sheikh Salem Bin Abdul Rahman Al Qasimi as Issa Hilal Al Hazami, Arkady Dvorkovich and Sheikh Saud Bin Abdul Aziz Almualla look on.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Uzbek Grandmaster Nodirbek Abdusattorov clinched the 5th Sharjah Masters International Chess Championship 2022 title on Sunday.
The winners were given prizes by Sheikh Salem Bin Abdul Rahman Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Office of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President, Sheikh Saud Bin Abdul Aziz Almualla, President of the Arab Chess Federation and Chairman of the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club, Issa Hilal Al Hazami, Chairman of the Sharjah Sports Council, and Rajai Al Susi, Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab Federation.
After the completion of nine rounds, Abdusattorov and UAE Grandmaster Salem Abdul Rahman Saleh were locked in a thrilling battle for first place with 7.0/9, but Uzbek won the competition courtesy his better tiebreak.
Abdusattorov, who demonstrated the potential of the Sicilian Paulsen-Taimanov, scored a crucial game against Saleh Salem in round seven which paved the way for his victory.
Abdusattorov was on top after seven rounds, with 6.0/7. He was half a point ahead of Bogdan-Daniel Deac (5.5).
Five 5.0/7 players were behind them, trying to catch up.
In rounds eight and nine, Abdusattorov just saved his advantage with two draws against Deac and Indian Grandmaster Abhijit Gupta, while his opponents stole points away from each other.
Only Saleh Salem, who won his past two games, was able to close the gap on Abdusattorov in terms of points.
Finally, Uzbek had the better tiebreak to wrap up the crown.
The fifth edition of the prestigious Sharjah Masters International Chess Championship 2022 was organised by the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club under the patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
The event brought together 80 players representing 48 countries competing for the prize purse of $60,000.
After a series of impressive results, Salem Saleh increased his international ranking by 18 points, reaching his career-high, and now is ready to cross the 2700-barrier.
The Sharjah Challengers International Chess Championship 2022, held on the sidelines of the Masters, drew 56 international players.
Egyptian International Master Mohsen Elgabry finished on top in the Challengers Championship with an excellent score of 7½/9.
Dubai Chess & Culture Club’s Ibrahim Sultan finished second, a half-point behind the winner, after making a draw in the last round with John Calvin Klaasen from South Africa.
Ahmed Al Khatib of Jordan scored a very important last-round victory and took third prize. Lile Koridze of Georgia is fourth, Sona Assatryan from Armenia ended up fifth in the final standings.
Shakhnoza Sabirova of Uzbekistan closed on the top-six prize winners.
The Sharjah Masters is billed as one of the strongest events held at the global level, bringing together the best international masters, international players, and titleholders from around the world.
The tournament’s rating this year was 2551 points, making it the highest rated at the global level of all tournaments organised over the past three years.
Fast Contracting Company, National Paints, and Centro Sharjah Hotel were the sponsors of the 5th edition of the Sharjah Masters International Chess Championship 2022.