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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