Indian GM Abhijeet Gupta grabs solo lead in Dubai Open Chess Championship
Gupta turned back Al-Hadarani’s pet opening, the Colle System. The Indian GM transposed to a Rook and pawn ending and threatened to advance his pawns to force resignation on the 28th move.
In the race for $50,000 in cash prizes, six players are bunched together in second slot with 3.5 points each, namely GMs Edouard Romain of France, Zaven Andriasian of Armenia, Eduardo Iturrizaga of Venezuela, Constantin Lupulescu of Romania, Axel Bachmann of Paraguay and Anuar Ismagambetov of Kazakhstan.
Lupulescu crushed the Dutch Defense of GM Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh in 36 moves. Andriasin used the English opening and gained the Rook for Bishop exchange to force resignation on the 63rd move.
The other games among the leaders were hard fought draws. Romain essayed the Queen’s Gambit Declined against Axel Bachmann to draw in 53 moves. Iturrizaga used the Sicilian Defense against Ismagambetov and forced a draw by three time repetition of position on the 50th move.
There were no games on Friday. On Saturday, Gupta plays White against Edouard Romain. In other top matches Bachman faces Lupulescu, Iturrizaga plays Andriasian and Istratescu goes up against Ismagambetov.
Games are scheduled 5:30 pm daily except on the rest day, Friday, when there will be a blitz tournament. The strong field includes 38 Grandmasters and 8 Woman Grandmasters, 16 International Masters, 3 Woman International Masters, 10 FIDE Masters and 5 Woman FIDE Masters.
Cash prizes shall be awarded the top 16 places with a top prize of $10,000 for the champion. Special prizes shall be awarded to Arab players and ladies, local players and club players.
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