Top Seed Korobov, GM Salem Get Upset Axe in 19th Dubai Open

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Top Seed Korobov, GM Salem Get Upset Axe in 19th Dubai Open

Top seed Anton Korobov of Ukraine got the upset axe in the first round as other favorites won their opening round assignments in the 19th Dubai Open Chess Championship at the Dubai Chess Club in Dubai.

Vusal Abbasov of Azerbaijan, 109th seed with a rating of 2211, crushed the Sicilian Defense of Korobov in only 32moves. Abbasov sacrificed a Bishop on the 18th move to strip the Black king of its pawn cover. Korobov resigned as he was unable to stop the loss of his Queen.

In another upset, untitled V. Pranav of India, 2149, essayed the Four Knights Game to beat local hero GM Salem A.R. Saleh. Pranav won the Rook by a Knight fork forcing resignation on the 59th move.

Grabbing the early lead with 1 point each are 102 players including Alexander Areshchenko and Myhkhaylo Oleksiyenko of Ukraine, Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan, David Anton Guijarro and Ivan Salgado Lopez of Spain, Vladimir Akopian and Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia, Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli of Venezuela, Gawain Jones of England, Gujrathi Vidit Santoshi and Abhijeet Gupta of India,  Aleksandr Rakhmanov of Russia, Dr. Bassem Amin of Egypt, Sandro Mareco of Argentina, Zhang Zhong of Singapore, Sergei Zhigalko of Belarus, Mustafa Yilmaz of Turkey and Benjamin Bok of The Netherlands.

A record 150 players from 40 countries are competing in the 9 round Swiss. The biggest delegation is from India with 91 players followed by Turkmenistan with 14 players, 9 from the UAE and 8 from Azerbaijan. Among the women, 6 Women Grandmasters and 6 Women International masters and 11 Woman FIDE masters are seeing action.

The tournament is held under the Patronage of Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at stake is a total of $50,000 in cash prizes. Games are scheduled 5:30 pm daily except on Friday. Two rounds are scheduled on Saturday at 10am and 6pm. Visit for pairings, results and standings.

In photo:  Making the ceremonial moves on the top board match between Anton Korobov of Ukraine (right) and Vusal Abbasov of Azerbaijan are HE Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant General Secretary, Dubai Sports Council and HE Ibrahim Al Bannai, Chairman of Arab Chess Federation, Chairman of the Dubai Cultural and Chess Club.  Among those looking on are HE Ahmad Al Thani, General Secretary of Arab Chess Federation, Mr Mahdi Abdulrahim, Assistant General Secretary, UAE Chess Federation and Mr Jamal Al Abdouly, General Secretary, Dubai Cultural and Chess Club. (Photo by Saeed Yousuf)