Yu Yangyi wins Alef Super Stars tournament in Sharjah

by André Schulz
12/9/2023 – On Wednesday, the Alef Super Stars 2023, a 4-player multi-format tournament featuring grandmasters Yu Yangyi, Sanan Sjugirov, Nihal Sarin and Saleh Salem, came to an end. Yu finished first in the overall standings. Nihal, who was the top scorer in the blitz portion, grabbed second place. | Photos: Sharjah Chess Club and Aditya Sur Roy

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Four players, three formats

On Wednesday in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, the Alef Super Stars 2023 quadrangular with Yu Yangyi, Sanan Sjugirov, Nihal Sarin and Saleh Salem concluded with a blitz tournament. The four grandmasters had previously played a double-round classical tournament and a double-round rapid chess tournament.

The best player in the classical section of the tournament (time control: 40 moves in 90 minutes, 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an extra 30 seconds per move) was Yu Yangyi. The strong Chinese grandmaster won two out of the six games he played. Nihal Sarin won one game and drew five; he drew the other four games. Sanan Sjugirov won one game against Saleh Salem and lost one game against Yu Yangyi. Salem suffered three defeats and was unable to score a win.

The rapid chess tournament (time control: 15 minutes plus 10 seconds per move) was won by local hero Saleh Salem. He won three of his six games and remained undefeated. Yu Yangyi came second with two wins and four draws. Nihal Sarin came third with one win and three losses, ahead of Sanan Sjugirov, who lost four games and failed to grab a single win.

Finally, Nihal Sarin won the blitz tournament (3 minutes plus 2 seconds), which was played over four rounds of all-play-all action. The young Indian grandmaster won five of his twelve games and lost none.

Naturally, points were awarded differently in each format:

  • Classical (win and draw): 6 pts, 3 pts
  • Rapid: 4 pts, 2 pts
  • Blitz: 2 pts, 1 pt

The total prize fund of the tournament was 15,000 USD, with a scale of 6,000 USD, 4000 USD, 3,000 USD and 2,000 USD according to the overall standings.

The addition of the points from the three sections produced the following final result:

  1. Yu Yangyi: 52 points
  2. Nihal Sarin 45 points
  3. Saleh Salem: 38 points
  4. Sanan Sjugirov: 33 points

Final standings - Blitz

Rg. Snr Name FED Elo  Pts 
1 Nihal, Sarin 8
2 Yu, Yangyi 6
3 Salem, A.R. Saleh 5,5
4 Sjugirov, Sanan 4,5

All games - Blitz

Final standings - Rapid

Rg. Snr Name FED Elo  Pts 
1 Salem, A.R. Saleh 4,5
2 Yu, Yangyi 4
3 Nihal, Sarin 2
4 Sjugirov, Sanan 1,5

All games - Rapid

Final standings - Classical

Rg. Snr Name FED Elo Pts  TB1   TB2 
1 Yu, Yangyi 4 0
2 Nihal, Sarin 3,5 0
3 Sjugirov, Sanan 3 0
4 Salem, A.R. Saleh 1,5 0

All games - Classical


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.