Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Al Sherif emerges champion in government chess
By Yasir Abbasher, Senior Reporter, Gulf News, Published: February 28, 2008, 00:40

Abu Dhabi: Syrian Mohammad Hani Al Sherif won the title at the Abu Dhabi Government Departments 2008 Chess Singles championship in style, collecting nine points from as many rounds.

Al Sherif, representing the Agricultural Means Co., defeated Egyptian Saeed Kulani, from the Egyptian Embassy, in the last round in a closely contested encounter despite the fact that he would have emerged champion even if he lost the point of the match.

Al Sherif played a simple match without much tactical combinations - hoping to split the point but Kulani played an attacking encounter in his quest to win the point which would have earned him one of the top three places.

As time ticked on, Kulani felt the pressure and started committing strategic mistakes which led to him finishing fifth with six points.

Filipino Ronald Fernando and Briton Nicholas Du Piar collected seven points each, but Fernando finished second after applying the Swiss Tie Breaking system. Fernando beat the UAE's Abdullah Al Marzougi while Du Piar defeated local player Zayed Ali.

Pakistan's Khalid Habib finished fourth with 6.5 points after beating Filipino Armando Nachor.

Zayed Ali won the Best UAE Player in the tournament while his countryman Saleh Al Suwaidi was the Best Junior in the contest.

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