Thursday, April 27, 2006


The 8th Dubai Open Chess Championship

By Emman

The Dubai Chess Open for the Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup has always attracted huge chess fans and top titled players around the world. In this year's tournament, The 8th Dubai Open Chess Championship which is currently being held from 23 April 2006 to 2 May 2006 at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club, a total of 146 participants ranging from distinguished grandmasters, international masters to rated players from various countries have emerged.

Grandmaster Izoria Zviad (GEO) and Grandmaster Darmen Sadvakosob (KAZ) with an international ELO rating of 2647 and 2619 respectively are the top seeds in this tournament.

In the opening ceremony which commenced with an opening remark from Mr. Ibraheem Al Bannai, President of the Arab Chess Federation who welcomed the participants, Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum, the guest of honour of this tournament, together with other royal dignitaries has been honoured and celebrated.

The tournament has been scheduled for 9 round Swiss System with 90 minutes on the clock allocated to each player plus a 30 second bonus on each move.

Looking across the tournament hall, Consul General Antonio Curameng of the Philippines has also attended the opening ceremony. Stunned by the high profile of this tournament, Consul General Curameng commented "I was surprised with the size and magnitude of this event".

The presence of Mr. Casto Abundo, the Chief Arbiter of this tournament and currently holds a prominent position in FIDE as Chief Arbiter, was highly revered by the Dubai Filipino community.

Wesley So, FIDE master at age 12, is the sensation top seed among the powerhouse of the Philippine delegation. Not only has he raised the morale of the Filipino chess players in this tournament, Wesley So is also perceive as the pride of the Filipino participants in this event. Wesley has an international ELO rating of 2254. Being such a young and talented chess master, there will definitely many more great things ahead of him.

The Filipino chess community in Dubai also takes pride of its own chess club, The Filipino Chess Players League ("FCPL"). FCPL has produced at least 1 FIDE master, Mr. Antonio Molina and 4 rated players who are currently fielded in this tournament. Among the promising Filipino rated players are, Mr. Augusto Marcial, the President of the FCPL club, Mr. Danny Baltazar, Mr. Antonio Marbella and Mr. Axl Valerio.

The first pairing of the first round is as follows:

White -v- Black

1. N. Dagupta (1778) -v- Wesley So (2254)
2. Antonio Molina (2220) -v- D. Sadvakasov (2619)
3. Augusto Marcial (2110) -v- A. Adly (2460)
4. Danny Baltazar (2094) -v- P. Negi (2445)
5. Antonio Marbella -v- H. Aryanejad (2263)
6. Axl Valerio -v- S. Schmid (2224)

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