Abu Dhabhi Chess Festival Penultimate Round: Zahar Efimenko, Mikhailo Oleksienko in Joint Lead
Abu Dhabi: Ukrainian Grandmasters Zahar Efimenko and Mikhailo Oleksienko became the joint leaders of the Masters Championship of the 20th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival with six points each and will face each other in the final round to decide the winner.
Efimenko was held to a tie by GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov in the eighth and penultimate round, while Oleksienko beat Russian GM Sergey Volkov to join his compatriot at the top of the standings. Former leader and top seed, GM Igor Kurnosov, was forced to settle for a tie with Indian International Master Suri Vaibhab, leaving both players on 5.5 points along with Rakhmanov and GM Avetik Grigoryan.
In the final round, Vaibhab will face Grigoryan and Kurnosov will play his compatriot Rakhmanov.
Iranian Behrang Kaboodi became the sole leader of the open tournament with 7.5 points from eight matches after beating Filipino Francis Erwin Dimarucut, while IM Ahmad Al Zayat from Libya was second with seven points after his tie with Greek Theodoros Varvadoukas.
Five players share third spot with 6.5 points: Haitham Mahmoud, Theodoros Varvadoukas, Manuel Alberto and Esmail Namir.
In the final round, Kaboodi will face Namir, Al Zayat will play against Mahmoud and Alberto against Varvadoukas.
UAE youngsters dominated almost all the junior competitions. Sultan Al Darmaki won the under-9s category by beating Haitham Al Kindi, Hareb Al Shamsi won the under-11s after defeating Saeed Al Hussaini, and Tilal Al Hammadi won the under-13s with a win over Mohammad Marshool. Esmail Shahalyiv, from Azerbaijan, won the under-15s title by beating Iranian Borna Derakhshani. (Gulf News)
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