Matlakov wins Dubai Open Chess C’ship - GulfToday

Matlakov wins Dubai Open Chess

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Chief Arbiter Mahdi Abdulrahim of UAE starts the game between champion Grand Master Maxim Matlakov of Russia (left) and Aleksandar Indjic of Serbia.

Grand Master Maxim Matlakov of Russia won the 8-way tie to take the Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup and the top prize of $13,000 in the 21st Dubai Open Chess Championship at the Dubai Chess Club in Dubai.

Matlakov, 28, drew a 56 move 5-hour game in the final round against the Benoni Defense of Aleksandar Indjic of Serbia. The Russian won the European Individual Championship in 2017 and was a member of the Russian team which won silver in the World Team Championship.

Matlakov, second seed with a high rating of 2692, won by the Buccholz Cut 1 tie break system which measures the strength of all player’s opponents except the weakest.

Tied with Matlakov at 7 points each in the 9-round Swiss were 15-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan who won second prize of $7,000 , top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam in third for $5,000, Yuriy Kuzubov of Ukraine, Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli of Venezuela, Sanal Vahap of Turkey, Indjic and the surprise winner P. Iniyan of India, the only International Master among the prize winners.

Iniyan used the King’s Indian Defense to win in 37 moves against a savage attack by his compatriot, S.P. Sethuraman. In the other decisive games, Le Quang Liem used the Sicilian Defense against Grand Master Alan Pichot of Argentina to win an endgame of Rook and opposite colored Bishops in 65 moves. Sanal Vahap beat Amin Tabatabaei of Iran as the Turk was about to promote a pawn in 48 moves of a Guioco Piano game. The other games of leaders were draws between Abdusattorov and Grand Master Mikheil Mchedlishvili of Georgia, and between Kuzubov and Iturrizaga.

The top 15 received cash prizes. Also in the money were 6.5 pointers Grand Masters Mchedlishvili, Ahmed Adly of Egypt, Emre Can of Turkey and Indians Deepan Chakkravarthy, Aravindh Chithambaram, Debashhis Das and IM NR Vignesh.

Winnning Best Women were WGrand Master Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim of Uzbekistan with six points followed by FM Assaubayeva Bibisara of Kazakhstan with 5.5 points.

Best Arab Player was Bellahcene Bilel of Algeria with 5.5 points. IM Ibrahim Sultan emerged Best UAE Player with 4.5 points. Winning Best Dubai Players were FM Ahmed Fareed with four points followed by Ali Abdulaziz with 3.5 points.

Runner-up Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan (right) vs. Grand Master Mikheil Mchedlishvili of Georgia.

Third placer Grand Master Le Quang Liem of Vietnam (left) beat Grand Master Alan Pichot of Argentina.

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Team Emirates’ Pogacar claims podium finish

A monumental final push in the UAE heat from Tadej Pogacar wasn’t enough to take the win in the third stage of the team’s home country as Adam Yates...


The 184km Emirates Stage finished with an exhausting 10.8km climb as Yates launched a surprisingly early attack with 6km to go. Pogacar didn’t react to Yates’ initial acceleration but then ripped clear of the chasing group with 5km remaining, finishing second in the stage, claiming the young rider’s jersey and ending the day second in the GC in a successful day for the team.

Pogacar said “It was extremely hot today, so for me on a climb like that in those temperatures it was a really good ride and I’m pleased.

“There is still three stages with another big mountain stage and the chance of crosswinds tomorrow so it’s not over yet. We have a strong team here so will try something for sure.”

Pogacar will get another chance to claim back the one minute GC deficit as the fifth stage of the Tour finishes at the same Jebel Hafeet summit.

Pogacar will wear the white young rider’s jersey in Wednesday’s stage as the race sees the riders return to the flats which will come as welcome relief for the sprinters.

The Emirates NBD Stage starts from Zabeel Park, crosses Mushrif Park and Motor City before finishing at Dubai City Walk where the popular walkway has been transformed as part of the racing route.

British climber Yates pulverised the opposition on the tough, final ascent of stage, winning by over a minute and taking the overall race lead.

His compatriot Chris Froome was dropped early in the race.

The four-time Tour de France winner again struggled on his comeback from injuries sustained last May.

The 27-year-old Yates is also making his 2020 debut and looks favourite to win in a competitive field after his stunning attack from 6km out at the end of a warm day with temperatures passing 30C.

“I attacked maybe a little too early, but in the end I felt good,” said Yates, whose win gives him a 1min 07sec lead in the overall.

“A minute is a lot, but we have to do this climb again, and maybe my legs won’t be so good then,” Yates said in reference to stage five.

“Also tomorrow I heard a rumour there are going to be crosswinds, so we’ll see.”

Yates was followed up the final 10.6km Jebell Hafeet climb at a 7 per cent gradient by a trio of challengers with Slovenian prodigy Pogacar finishing 1min 03sec adrift.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko was third at 1min 30sec accompanied by up-and-coming Frenchman David Gaudu.

Yates came fourth at the 2016 Tour de France and is targeting the Grand Boucle this summer where he will lead the Australian team ahead of his brother Simon.

Wednesday’s flat stage, the fourth of seven, is a 173km run to Dubai City Walk where a mass bunch sprint is expected.





Stage 3 Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 4h42’34”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:03

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:30

General Classification Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 12h30’02”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:07

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:35

22 hours ago