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Gupta leads Dubai Open Chess Championship

Dubai: Upsets rocked the second round of the $50,000 Dubai Open Chess Championship the other day at the Dubai Chess Club in Dubai as former champion Abhijeet Gupta and four other Indian players maintained their share of the lead after two rounds of the tournament.

Young Indian players remained tied with the leaders at 2 points each. GM Debashis Das, 21, GM Shyan Sundar, 22, GM Grover Sahaj, 19, IM Ghosh Diptayan and 15-year-old Karthik V. Ap kept pace with the lead pack.

The teenager, who is accompanied by his mother, upset Grandmaster Athanasios Mastrovasilis, rated 2535, of Greece. In a Closed Ruy Lopez game, Karthik, rated 2250, had two pawns up in the minor piece ending to win on the 58th move.

Gupta needed only 31 moves of a Gruenfeld defense to outplay International Master Nezad Husein Aziz of Qatar.

Grover also made short work of Gustav Halvarsson of Sweden in 34 moves of a Scotch Four Knights Game. Diptayan used the Slav Defense to threaten mate after 35 moves.


Untitled Filipino Jobannie Tabada, president of the Dubai-based Filipino Chess Players League, upset the French Defense of GM Petr Kostenko (2506) of Kazakhstan in a marathon 75 moves to tie for the lead at 2 points.

The Filipino was about to promote his pawn when the Kazak resigned on the 75th move.

It was a day for upsets as FIDE Master Hatim Hadarani (2249) of Yemen used the Gruenfeld Defense to shock GM Goran Dizdar (2513) of Croatia in 38 moves.

Grandmasters with perfect scores after two rounds are Zaven Andriasian of Armenia, Stevic Hrvoje, Jankovic Alojzige and Ante Brkic of Croatia, Amin Bassem of Egypt, Edouard Romain and Andrei Istratescu of France, Csaba Balogh of Hungary, Ehsan Ghaem Maghami of Iran, Rinat Jumabayev, Pavel Kotsur and Anuar Esmagambetov of Kazakhstan, Axel Bachmann of Paraguay, Constantin Lupulescu of Romania, Anton Korobov of Ukarine, and Eduardo iturrizaga of Venezuela and FM Amin Tabatabaei of Iran.

At stake in the tournament is the Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup.

The event will be played as a 9-round Swiss system competition.

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.

The tournament is scheduled until 16th April at the Dubai Culture and Chess Club.

Top boards are broadcast live at the Dubai Chess Club web site with photo gallery and games download.

See results and standings in