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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wasim Akram wins Pakistan national chess title

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,

There is change of guard in the chess world in Pakistan. National Master Wasim Akram dethroned International Master Mahmood Lodhi and clinched the PCPA Chess Championship for Zahiruddin Trophy which concluded here at Hotel Beach Luxury on Sunday.

The Lahore-based Wasim, ranked number three in Pakistan, beat defending champion, Mahmood Lodhi, in the third round and maintained his lead for the remaining rounds. Playing at the top table, Wasim was held to a draw in his eighth and final round by talented Faraz Saleem but it was enough to earn him the title. Lodhi also played a draw with Mohammad Waqar in the final round and finished runner-up with 6.5 points.
“Winning my first title and defeating Lodhi were my dreams that have finally been fulfilled now,” said Wasim Akram. 

British Grandmaster Nigel Short was the chief guest at the prize-distribution ceremony. 

Hunaeed Hameed and Hammad Ahmed shared the top honours in the youth category with Urooj Yamin, Rafay Siddiqui and Fatima Shabbir taking the next three positions and Afshan Bano finishing sixth.
Short said Pakistan was a ‘Sleeping Giant” in chess. “With greater activities and competitions like these, the standard of chess can be raised in Pakistan. You have the talent. All you need is to let your young guns in particular get the desired exposure,” he advised.
Short, who also held a simul with 15 kids complimented the Pakistan Chess Players Association (PCPA) for conducting the Zahiruddin Trophy.

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