Sharjah Masters 03: Creative chess

by Albert Silver
3/26/2017 – After three rounds, The Sharjah Masters still sees a generous number of players enjoying perfect scores. The nature of the accelerate pairings the organizers are employing does bring about a few oddities, with players in the second half, having faced very low-rated players, also at the top. Once again, some gems were to be found, and do not miss Daniel King and winner analyzing the astonishing (and lovely) game Ahmed Adly v Stany G A!

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All photos by Maria Emelianova

Usually, these little signs will either point out board numbers or even a 'Please be quiet' message. Showing their intent to truly exploit social media, this one shares all the codes and links to Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and even Facebook pages.

Wang Hao is one of the 13 leaders on 3.0/3. In round three he defeated Indian GM Sethuraman with a lovely final shot to cap off his game in just 24 moves.

Wang Hao vs Sethuraman S P

Not all players were worried about their extremly young (and strong) opponents. Kuzubov reads his book while the game against 11-year-old Sindarov (2374 FIDE) has not started.

The players who did worry about their young prodigy opponents did so with good reason too though. 11-year-old IM Praggnanandha drew his third top GM player in a row. After a draw against Naiditsch (2702 FIDE) in round one, then a draw against Safarli (2680 FIDE) in round two, he drew against Salem (2652 FIDE) in round three. There were no mercy draws here either, and Salem pushed for a full 101 moves before conceding the half point.

Laurent Fressinet watches the arbiter set the clocks

Gawain Jones vs Alan Pichot


In this game, Gawain Jones shares his game against the talented young Argentine GM Alan Pichot, in which he explains some of the challenges Black faced in the queenless middelgame/endgame resulting from the Sicilian 2.c3 line. A worthy lesson.

16-year-old GM Parham Maghsoodloo from Iran has 2.0/3

White uncorked the really odd looking Nh4 here, even worse as it carries no direct threat, and the g6 pawn makes the knight look even sillier. However, White is not some 1500 player, but rather a 2600 GM who had some truly fascinating ideas.

Some moves later, this is how things stood, and now it is Black's knights that look bad, while White's knight is a beast witha beautiful f5 square awaiting it. He is down a piece, but has plenty of compensations, such as the huge pawn center. How did White pull of this miracle? See his analysis with Daniel King below.

Ahmed Adly v Stany G A

Not exactly names that are at the top of your 'must watch' list, but the game was extremely creative and well-played. Watch the analysis by Daniel King and the winner, GM Ahmed Adly.

GM Vladimir Akopian has 2.5/3

The answer to the question in the tweet above is related to the unfortunate way the event started. No fewer than 40 players failed to make the first round, and were defaulted. Of those 40, were 13 GMs, including four Russians such as GM Maxim Mtalkov (2702 FIDE) and Sunan Sjugirov.

Venezuelan GM Iturrizaga is one of the South American contingent playing there

Also originating from South America is Brazilian GM Fier, who now resides in Georgia

Watch the games live on the Live Replayer



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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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