Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bassem and Anastasian share lead in Masters
By Our Sports Reporter, Khaleej Times, 21 August 2007

ABU DHABI - Young Egyptian Grand Master Amin Bassem clawed back to share the lead with Armenian GM Ashot Anastasian in the penultimate round of the 17th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation on Sunday night.

Bassem, the reigning Arab Under 20 champion, defeated IM Enamul Hossain of Bangladesh to enter the final round tied on 6-1/2 points with the 2005 champion, who was held to a draw by Ukrainian GM Valeriy Neverov in the top of the table clash in the Masters division.
Neverov shared third place with Armenian GM Karen Asrian, who tamed bottom seeded GM Baadur Jobava of Georgia, to stay in the race on six points apiece.

The next chasing pack on 5-1/2 is Ehsan Maghami of Iran, Vasif Durarbevil and Rasul Ibrahimov of Azerbaijan, top seed Evgenij Miroshichenko of Ukraine, third seed Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia and WGM Humpy Koneru of India.

Maghami and Durarbevil split points on table four while compatriot Ibrahimov took full points from Iranian Elsan Moradiabadi. Miroshichenko got the better of Iranian Morteza Mahjoob, Pantsulaia outclassed Sarhan Guliev of Azerbaijan and Koneru overcame Liem Le Quang of Vietnam to emerge as the leading women player in the competition. However, the highlight of the penultimate evening was the splendid performance of Iranian Hasan Kolyaie, who clinched a fantastic win over Filipino Virgilio Javier, to win the Open title. Kolyaie’s pipped Mamatkya Khaylayev of Uzbekistan for the title in the rating system of the tournament after the two ended on eight points each. Khaylayev got the better of Syrian A. Raes in the final round.

Sadegh Mamoody of Iran (7.5) finished third ahead of Javier and compatriot Abdulla Tato, Raes, top seeded Ali Mahmoud of the UAE, Filipinos Danny Baltazar and Gardy Sorita.Ulvi Badjarani of Azerbaijan took the junior crown with 6.5 points. Amna Nouman Mohammed (6) took second spot from UAE team-mates Ibrahim Sultan (6), Abdulla Ali (5.5) and Abdulla Abdul Aziz (5).

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ashot prevails
By Our Sports Reporter, Khaleej Times, 20 August 2007

ABU DHABI — Armenian Grand Master Ashot Anastasian claimed a splendid win over IM Morteza Mahjoob of Iran to take a slender lead with two rounds left in the 17th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation on Saturday night.

Playing black in the top of the table clash, the seventh round victory took his tally to six points, half-a-point ahead of both, GM Amin Bassem of Egypt and Ukrainian GM Valeriy Neverov. Bassem, who led for two rounds with a five-match winning streak, split points with Armenian GM Karen Asrian while Neverov sent third seeded Georgian GM Levan Pantsulaia to his second defeat to share second spot.

Enamul Hossain of Bangladesh clinched a fine victory over GM Elshan Moradiabad of Iran to lead the next chasing pack on five points apiece that also included Asrian, Vasif Durarbevil of Azerbaijan, bottom seeded Georgian GM Baadur Jobava, Iranians GM Ehsan Maghami and IM Morteza Mahjoob.

Maghami won against GM Liem Le Quang of Vietnam, Jobava outplayed Eltaj Safarli of
Azerbaijan and Durarbevil got the better of Georgian GM Zurab Sturua to stay in the race for the Masters title.

The Open division is headed for a tight finish with five players sharing the lead on seven points after Mamatkya Khayalayev and Javier Virgilio figured in a stalemate. A.Raes, Sadegh Mamoody and Hasan Kolyaie joined them with victories over Yacine Boulkrouche, Mazen Akkam and Hany Al Sharif respectively. Top seeded Ali Mahmoud took his tally to 6-1/2 with a fine victory over Rashwan Saad Kilani.

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