Wang Hao Wins Sharjah Masters

Saturday, April 1, 2017
Wang Hao Wins Sharjah Masters

Chinese GM Wang Hao won the Sharjah Masters International Chess Championship and the top prize of $15,000 yesterday at the Sharjah Chess Club.

Wang and five others finished with 7 points each but the Chinese won the Buccholz tie break which measures strength of the opposition a player faced. Tied with Wang were local hero Saleh A.R. Salem of the UAE, Indian GMs Baskaran Adhiban and S.P. Sethuraman, and Ukrainians Martyn Kravtsiv and Yuriy Kryvoruchko.

Wang, 27, completes the trilogy, having won the Dubai Open in 2005 and the Al Ain Open in 2015. He is currently ranked 52nd in the world with a FIDE rating of 2690. “My next tournament will be the Bangkok Open and then the Asian Continental championship in Chengdu, China,” Wang said after the awards ceremony.

In the final round, Wang used the Open Catalan to draw with Yuriy Kryvoruchko who exchanged Queens to simplify the position and forced repetition of position on the 28th move. Salem had to beat Alexander Areshchenko of Ukraine in 41 moves of a Sicilian Najdorf. Sethuraman followed suit and beat Vladimir Akopian of Armenia in 60 moves of a Ruy Lopez game.

Adhiban, who was a co-leader through most of the tournament, got the second prize of $10,000. Since cash prizes were decided by tie break, games were hard fought as players shunned safe draws in the race for the total prizes of $60,000.

Also finishing in the prize money with 6.5 points were GMs Arkadij Naiditsch of Azerbaijan, Laurent Fressinet of France, Dr. Bassem Amin and Ahmed Adly of Egypt, Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland, Alan Pichot of Argentina and untitled Xu Yinglun of China.

Best Female player was GM Harika Dronavalli of India, best UAE female was WIM Essa Al Zarouni Kholoud. Aside from Salem, best UAE players was GM Ishaq Saeed followed by IM Noaman Omar. Best Sharjah players were FM James Alhuwar followed by Ali Abdulkarim. Karthik Thrish of India won best under-10, IM R. Praggnanandhaa of India won best under-12 while FM Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan won best under-14. Visit for results and standings.

In photo, Wang Hao receives the champion’s trophy. From left are Chief Arbiter Sultan Taher, Sharjah Chess Club General Secretary Omran Allah, Wang Hao, Sharjah Chess Club president Sheikh Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla, UAE Chess Federation General Secretary Husain Al Shamsi and Talal Al Zaabi, Organizing Committee Deputy President.