Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is the sixth-highest-rated player of all time in chess history and ranked No.1 in Azerbaijan. File
Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov bagged top honours at the World Stars Sharjah Online International Chess Championship which concluded on Saturday.
Grandmaster Mamedyarov won the coveted title and pocketed $3000 with 7.5 points from 10 rounds Indian Grandmaster Pentala Harikrishna finished second with 6.5 points after losing his 10th and final round game to Radoslaw Wojtszek.
Both Mamedyarov and Harikrishna had chances to win the title as at the start of the final round they were on 6.5 points each. Luck eluded the Indian as he lost his 10th and final round game to Poland’s Radoslaw Wojtszek. Harikrishan finished second with 6.5 points.
Mamedyarov, who remained the only unbeaten player in the double round-robin tournament, got the better off UAE Grandmaster Salem Abdulrahman Mohamed Saleh to grab the victory.
Hosted by the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club, the event was held under the patronage of Sheikh Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Sports Council. The championship kicked off on Friday and carried a total prize purse of $10,000.
Former FIDE World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan), Bassem Amin (Egypt) were the other Grandmasters who took part in the competition.
“I am happy with the victory as I played much better today comparing to the opening day of the tournament. On the first day of the competition I didn’t play that well but managed to win a few games,” said Mamedyarov, who is ranked as No.1 in Azerbaijan.
His personal best rating of 2820 makes him the sixth-highest-rated player of all time in chess history.
“It was a really nice event for me. I had never won an online tournament before this and so winning here was that much more special. Also, I didn’t lose a single game during the course of the event which was good,” said the 2012 Chess Olympiad gold medallist.
Hailing the organisers of World Stars Sharjah Online International Chess Championship, Mamedyarov said: “The event has been well supported by the fans online and was conducted in a very good atmosphere and we should thank the sponsors and the organisers as well.”
Mamedyarov, who has won three times the European Team Champion (2009, 2013 and 2017) with Azerbaijan, will be spending some quality time with his family as due to the coronavirus pandemic most of the chess events are now being played online.
“I don’t have any tournament at the moment. For now, I am just working on my game and also spending quality time with my family,” he added.
He is also a two-time winner of the Tal Memorial (2010 joint and 2014 Blitz) and Shamkir Chess (2016 and 2017), as well as the winner of 2018 Biel Chess Festival where he beat the reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen.
The Organising Committee for the championship was headed by Sheikh Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla, President of the Arab Chess Federation and Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club, while Omar Noaman, Rajai Al Susi, Faisal Mohammed Al Hammadi, Saud Mohammed Ahmed, Efstratios Grivas and Adeeb Zahrawi were the other members of the committee.
Sheikh Saud thanked and appreciated the Sharjah Sports Council for sponsoring the championship.
More than 1,300 male and female players from 20 countries are competing in the Arab Individual Chess Championship hosted by Abu Dhabi remotely.
The much-anticipated, annually held Sharjah International Chess Championship will be held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
Sharjah Masters International Chess Championship is being held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
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