Daneshvar wins Sharjah Masters, Divya clinches Challengers

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
5/23/2024 – Four players finished the Sharjah Masters atop the standings with 6½ points — and it was 17-year-old Bardiya Daneshvar who was declared the winner on tiebreak criteria. Volodar Murzin and Sam Shankland completed the podium, while Shamsiddin Vokhidov grabbed fourth place after scoring a full point in Thursday’s ninth round. In the Challengers, 18-year-old Divya Deshmukh emerged victorious, as she finished the event with a better tiebreak score than Leya Garifullina and Sina Movahed. Pictured on the right is Agshin Alizada, who won the Futures section. | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

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Three youngsters and a relieved ‘veteran’

A 48-move draw against top seed Arjun Erigaisi allowed Bardiya Daneshvar, aged 17, to claim tournament victory at the Sharjah Masters. The rising star collected as many points as Volodar Murzin, Sam Shankland and Shamsiddin Vokhidov, and obtained the highest tiebreak score in the leading pack. Murzin and Shankland grabbed second and third place respectively.

The turning point for Daneshvar was his round-7 victory over former sole leader Aravindh Chithambaram. In a double-edged game, Aravindh first failed to make the most of an advantageous position and then faltered decisively in time trouble. After obtaining that crucial win, Daneshvar was tied for first place with Shankland, and draws in rounds 8 and 9 were enough for him to end the event atop the standings.

The open tournament was extremely competitive, with the likes of Teimour Radjabov, Andrey Esipenko and Vladimir Fedoseev finishing around the middle of the tournament table (88 players registered to participate). Thus, this was the biggest success in Daneshvar’s career. The youngster, nonetheless, had won the 2022 Iranian Championship and had knocked out elite GM Alexander Grischuk in the second round of the 2023 FIDE World Cup.

Second-placed Murzin was born in 2006, like Daneshvar, while Vokhidov, who obtained fourth place, is 22 years old. This makes Shankland, at 32, a veteran next to his ‘co-champions’ — as he described them in a sincere recap of the event shared on Facebook:

I tied for first in the Sharjah Masters with 6½/9. Mathematical tiebreaks left me with the bronze, but I’m still counting it as a tournament victory, my first in a long time.

After 2 years of going through hell and back, I’m so incredibly relieved to finally be playing like my old self again.

[...] I’m amazed at how young chess has become. My 3 co champions are 17, 17, and 22. My opponents’ average age was 22, and I was the only player over 30 to finish with a plus score! At the prehistoric age of 32, I am proud to have represented the old guard successfully and honorably. Upward and onward!

Eight players finished the tournament a half point behind the leading group, including the three highest-rated players that made their way to Sharjah: Arjun Erigaisi, Parham Maghsoodloo and Yu Yangyi.

A few of the participants, including Daneshvar and Radjabov, will make the short trip from Sharjah to Dubai to play in the upcoming Dubai Open, which should not be confused with the Dubai Global Police Challenge that took place earlier this month.

Volodar Murzin

Volodar Murzin | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Sam Shankland

Sam Shankland | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Divya clinches Challengers ahead of Garifullina and Movahed

The seventh edition of the Sharjah Festival also featured a Challengers section and a Futures section. A total of 13 players in the 2400-2500 rating band participated in the Challengers.

Much like in the Masters, tournament victory in the Challengers was decided according to tiebreak criteria, with Divya Deshmukh (aged 18) edging Leya Garifullina (19) and Sina Movahed (13) to clinch the title after all three youngsters ended the event with 7/9 points.

Remarkably, two women players finished in the top two places of the 98-player open. Divya and Garifullina were seeded 8th and 10th, respectively, in the starting rank.

Divya Deshmukh and Leya Garifullina analysing their round-9 encounter

Divya 1 - 0 Dcunha (Round 7)

Divya Deshmukh

Divya Deshmukh | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Leya Garifullina

Leya Garifullina | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Sina Movahed

Sina Movahed | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Final standings - Masters

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Daneshvar, Bardiya 6,5 0
2 Murzin, Volodar 6,5 0
3 Shankland, Sam 6,5 0
4 Vokhidov, Shamsiddin 6,5 0
5 Tabatabaei, M. Amin 6 0
6 Sarana, Alexey 6 0
7 Erigaisi, Arjun 6 0
8 Yu, Yangyi 6 0
9 Maghsoodloo, Parham 6 0
10 Suleymanli, Aydin 6 0
11 Zemlyanskii, Ivan 6 0
12 Mishra, Abhimanyu 6 0
13 Aravindh, Chithambaram Vr. 5,5 0
14 Puranik, Abhimanyu 5,5 0
15 Niemann, Hans Moke 5,5 0
16 Salem, A.R. Saleh 5,5 0
17 Iniyan, Pa 5,5 0
18 Nguyen, Thai Dai Van 5,5 0
19 Sindarov, Javokhir 5,5 0
20 Sargsyan, Shant 5,5 0
21 Sankalp, Gupta 5 0
22 Maurizzi, Marc`andria 5 0
23 Pranav, V 5 0
24 Gurel, Ediz 5 0
25 Artemiev, Vladislav 5 0

...88 players

All games - Masters

Final standings - Challengers

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Divya, Deshmukh 7 0
2 Garifullina, Leya 7 0
3 Movahed, Sina 7 0
4 Lashkin, Jegor 6,5 0
5 Burmakin, Vladimir 6,5 0
6 Aradhya, Garg 6,5 0
7 Harsh, Suresh 6,5 0
8 Mendes, Aaron Reeve 6,5 0
9 Wang, Yanbin 6,5 0
10 Delgado Ramirez, Neuris 6 0
11 Anwesh, Upadhyaya 6 0
12 Pang, Tao 6 0
13 Viani, Antonio Dcunha 6 0
14 Hakobyan, Erik 6 0
15 Piliposyan, Robert 6 0
16 Baranciuc, Alexandr 6 0
17 Dhruva, Thota 5,5 0
18 Nitish, Belurkar 5,5 0
19 Liyanage, Ranindu Dilshan 5,5 0
20 Suyarov, Mukhammadzokhid 5,5 0
21 Mohammad Fahad, Rahman 5,5 0
22 Ammar, Sedrani 5,5 0
23 Rios Gomez, Cristhian Camilo 5,5 0
24 Ezat, Mohamed 5,5 0
25 Al Qudaimi, Basheer 5,5 0

...98 players

All available games - Challengers


Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.
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