Looking back at Dubai 2014: winner's comments

4/22/2014 – The 2014 Dubai Open turned oout to be a battle between former Junior World Champion Abhijeet Gupta and the very talented French GM Romain Edouard. Abhijeet was leading 4.0/4 when he was stopped by Romain in round five. Romain went on to with the tournament alone, a full point ahead of his nearest rival. He has kindly sent us some pictures and notes on two key games.

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16th Dubai Open Chess Championship

It is the strongest Open tournament in the Middle East and one of the most popular chess events on the world calendar. The tournament, which ran from 7th-15th April, is held in the Dubai Chess and Culture Centre, which is the biggest than most modern dedicated chess club in the world.

The event attracted 148 players from 39 countries, including 79 titled players. There were 38 GMs in the field, and the average rating of the tournament was 2214. The time control was one hour 30 mins + 30 seconds increment per move. The first prize for the event was US $10,000, with the total prize fund of $50,000.

Winner Romain Edouard comments

Indian GM Abhijeet Gupta (2630) started the 2014 Dubai Open with a ferocious 4.0/4 points. The talented Indian, who in 2008 won the World Junior title and at one point in his career had an rating of 2667, witnessed a slump in form in 2013. But since then he has been regaining the lost ground and is now on 2630.

Abhijeet was in full flow, but he met his match in round five. The game was analysed by Sagar Shah in our report after round six. After the event was over the man who put a damper on Abhijeet's meteoric start – and, to really exploit the metaphor, cause him to burn up in the atmosphere – kindly sent us some notes on this fateful encounter. French GM Romain Edouard went on to the the tournament.

Round five: Abhijit Gupta vs Romain Edouard

[Event "16th Dubai Open 2014"] [Site "Dubai UAE"] [Date "2014.04.12"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Gupta, Abhijeet"] [Black "Edouard, Romain"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D20"] [WhiteElo "2630"] [BlackElo "2670"] [Annotator "Romain Edouard"] [PlyCount "96"] [EventDate "2014.04.07"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 e5 4. Nf3 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 exd4 6. Nxd4 Nd7 7. Bxc4 Ngf6 8. O-O O-O 9. Bg5 $5 Ne5 10. Be2 c6 11. a3 Be7 $6 {Too slow.} 12. h3 Qc7 13. Be3 Rd8 14. Qe1 $5 {White should be able to face ...Ng6 with f4.} Ng6 15. f4 $1 Bc5 {[%csl Rf4][%cal Yc5g1]} 16. Rd1 Bxd4 (16... Nxf4 $2 17. Rxf4 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Rxd4 19. Rxf6 $18) 17. Bxd4 (17. Rxd4 $5 Rxd4 18. Bxd4 Nxf4 19. Bxf6 Nxe2+ 20. Nxe2 gxf6 21. Qh4 $40) 17... Nxf4 18. Bxf6 Nxe2+ 19. Nxe2 Rxd1 20. Qxd1 gxf6 21. Nf4 $1 Kh8 $6 (21... Qd7 $1 {[%cal Yd7d4] had to be played, but I not only missed it, but also underestimated White's attack after 21...Kh8.}) 22. Nh5 Be6 23. Nxf6 Qe5 24. Qd2 Kg7 25. Rf3 (25. Nd7 $1 {was very strong but after} Rd8 { I guess both my opponent and I missed} (25... Bxd7 26. Qxd7 Rf8 27. Qxb7 $16) 26. Rf5 $3 $18 {[%cal Gd2g5]}) 25... c5 26. Kh1 c4 (26... h6 {had to be played with the idea to face} 27. Nd7 {with} Rd8 $1) 27. a4 (27. Nd7 $1) 27... b6 28. Rf4 Rc8 29. Qf2 h6 30. Nd7 $1 Qd6 $1 31. Qg3+ Kh8 32. Qc3+ Kg8 33. Qg3+ Kh8 34. Qc3+ Kg8 35. Nf6+ {The position looks so good that it is difficult for White to repeat moves. However I believe it is no longer so clear and my opponent is already in a time trouble.} Kf8 36. Rf3 (36. Rh4 Rc5 $1 37. Rxh6 Qe5 $44) 36... Rd8 37. Rg3 Qc5 38. Kh2 Rd3 39. Rg8+ Ke7 40. e5 Bd7 41. Qe1 Ke6 42. Ng4 $2 (42. Nxd7 {had to be played and after} Rxd7 43. Qg3 Re7 (43... Qd4 $5) 44. Qg4+ Kxe5 45. Qh5+ Ke6 46. Qxh6+ f6 {the game should be a draw.}) 42... h5 {White's attack does not work.} 43. Rh8 (43. Qh4 hxg4 44. Qf6+ Kd5 $19) 43... hxg4 44. Rh6+ f6 $1 45. exf6+ Re3 46. f7+ Kxf7 47. Qf1+ Bf5 48. hxg4 Qe5+ 0-1

Video report on round five by Vijay Kumar

16th Dubai Open Chess Championship 2014 round five

Before the last round Romain Edouard was half point ahead Abhijeet Gupta, who had fought back bravely and had 6.5 to Romain's 7.0/8 points. In his final game the French GM had a formidable opponent in the form top seeded Anton Korobov (2698) from Ukraine, who was on 6.0/8 and desperately eager to jump to the top of the scoreboard. Korobov had the white pieces and it was clear that the game was going to be a bloody affair – especially when the Ukranian player made his intentions clear from the start: to play for a complicated and tense struggle by going for the London System. The game was analysed in our final report by Sagar Shah – here we bring you the commentary that the winner of the tournament kindly sent us.

[Event "16th Dubai Open 2014"] [Site "Dubai UAE"] [Date "2014.04.15"] [Round "9.1"] [White "Korobov, Anton"] [Black "Edouard, Romain"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2698"] [BlackElo "2670"] [Annotator "Romain douard"] [PlyCount "64"] [EventDate "2014.04.07"] 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. Nf3 g6 4. e3 Bg7 5. h3 O-O 6. Nbd2 c5 7. c3 b6 8. a4 (8. Be2 $142) 8... Nc6 9. Be2 Nd7 $5 10. Qb3 e5 $6 {Playing in my usual style, but maybe not in the most appropriate moment!} (10... c4 $1 {followed by ...e5 was totally fine.}) 11. Qxd5 (11. Bg5 Qc7 $132) 11... exf4 12. Qxc6 fxe3 13. fxe3 Rb8 14. O-O Nf6 15. Rae1 $1 Qe7 (15... a6 16. Nc4 $14 {[%cal Yc6d6]}) 16. Bd3 Bb7 17. Qb5 Nh5 (17... Nd5 $5) 18. Qb3 Kh8 19. d5 Ng3 20. Rf2 f5 21. e4 $1 fxe4 22. Nxe4 Nxe4 23. Rxe4 Qf7 24. Bc4 Rbd8 25. Rfe2 (25. Rd2 Bc8 {[%csl Rh3] is not that clear.}) 25... Bxd5 26. Bxd5 Rxd5 27. Re7 Qf5 28. Rxa7 Qd3 $2 (28... Rd3 29. Qe6 Rxf3 30. gxf3 Qxf3 31. Qe3 Qf1+ 32. Kh2 Bh6 33. Qe5+ Kg8 $11) 29. Qc2 c4 30. Rae7 $6 (30. Qxd3 $1 cxd3 31. Ree7 $1 Bf6 32. Rad7 Rd8 33. Rxd8+ Rxd8 34. Re1 $16) 30... Rxf3 31. gxf3 Qxf3 $6 (31... Bf8 $1 {[%cal Rf8c5]} 32. Qxd3 cxd3 33. Re8 dxe2 34. Rxf8+ Kg7 35. Re8 Rd2 {should be a draw.}) 32. Qe4 $4 $138 (32. Rd2 $1 $16) 32... Rg5+ 0-1

Final video report by Vijay Kumar

Round nine of the Dubai Open 2014 – a brief interview with Romain Edouard begins at 7:10 min

Romain also sent us some pictures from Dubai.

Full concentration during the event...

... and relaxing at dinner with friends in Dubai

Dubai Fountain at night – I took this picture myself with my Sony Xperia M

Tough shot for a cellphone camera at night: me in front of the famous
Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made structure in the world (829.8 m = 2,722 ft)

Enjoying Japanese/Lebanese food and the traditional chicha, just before my
flight back home, with Saud Al Marzouqi, a manager at the UAE Chess Federation

Top final ranking (after nine rounds)

Rk. SNo   Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB2   TB3 
1 3 GM Edouard Romain FRA 2670 8.0 51.5 47.0
2 10 GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo VEN 2635 7.0 48.5 44.5
3 8 GM Kuzubov Yuriy UKR 2639 7.0 48.0 44.5
4 12 GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 2630 6.5 52.0 48.5
5 17 GM Andriasian Zaven ARM 2603 6.5 52.0 48.0
6 16 GM Stevic Hrvoje CRO 2607 6.5 50.0 45.5
7 14 GM Petrosian Tigran L. ARM 2627 6.5 47.5 43.0
8 4 GM Istratescu Andrei FRA 2667 6.5 47.0 43.0
9 7 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2650 6.5 46.5 42.5

Links

The games were broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Topics: Dubai, Dubai Open
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