Sanan Sjugirov wins GM tournament in Belgrade

by André Schulz
3/15/2022 – With 6.5/9 (four wins, five draws, no loss) Sanan Sjugirov concinvingly won a strong Grandmaster tournament in Belgrade that was played in parallel to the FIDE Grand Prix. Nihal Sarin, Velimir Ivic and Nodirbek Abdusattorov shared places two to four with 5.5/9 each. | Photos: Tournament page

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


In parallel to the FIDE Grand Prix in Belgrade, which was won by Richard Rapport who beat Dmitry Andreikin in the final, a ten-player Grandmaster tournament took place in the Serbian capital. Four Serbian Grandmasters, of whom Robert Markus had the highest rating, met six international grandmasters. Among them were promising young talents such as Parham Maghsoodloo, Nihal Sarin and Nodirbek Abdusattorov. Serbian chess fans put their hopes on the 18-year-old Velimir Ivic.

The top seeds were Parham Maghsoodloo, Sanan Sjugirov and David Navara. 

Best outfit: David Navara

But it was Sjugirov who had the best start into the tournament. In the first round he defeated Maghsoodloo and in round two he also won against David Navara. After draws in rounds three, four and five, Sjugirov continued to win: in round six he scored against Ivan Ivanisevic and in round seven he defeated Nodirbek Abdusattorov. After a draw in round eight against Markus he was a full point ahead of Nihal Sarin before the final round.

The young Indian Grandmaster started the tournament with a win against Velimir Ivic in round one and a win against Abdusattorov in round three. After a loss against Navara in round seven and a win against Aleksandar Indjic in round eight the Nihal Sarin needed a last-round-win against Sjugirov to catch up to him. 

Nihal Sarin

As luck would have it, Sjugirov and Nihal Sarin faced each other in the final round. However, Sjugirov took no chances and did not have much trouble to get the coveted draw in a line of the Four Knights Variation of the Scotch.

But this was the only draw in the final round: the other four games all ended with a decision: Navara won against Alexey Sarana, Alexandar Indjic defeated Maghsoodloo, Ivic won the Serbian duel against Markus and Abdusattorov scored against Ivanisevic.

The shortest game of the tournament was played in round seven: in a complicated and tense Najdorf Maghsoodloo won in just 25 moves against Sarana.

Parham Maghsoodloo

P. Maghsoodloo (2701) - A. Sarana (2685) B96

GM Tournament Belgrade 2022 (7.1), 12.03.2022

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Nbd7 8.Qe2 More common is 8.Qf3.

8...Qc7 9.0–0–0 b5


10.a3 Rb8 10...Be7 11.g4 1–0 (54) Maghsoodloo,P (2601)-Navara,D (2758) Riga 2021

11.g4 h6 12.Bh4 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Bg2!? (Too hasty is 13.g5 hxg5 14.fxg5 Nh5 15.g6 Ng3 0–1 (50) Maksimovic,B (2398)-Bok,B (2624) INT 2020)

12...Be7 12...b4!? 13.axb4 Rxb4 14.Bg2 g5!?

13.Bg2 b4 14.axb4 Rxb4 15.Be1 The chances in this exciting position are about equal.



16.Bf2 Rxb2 Black accepts the challenge. 16...Qc7!? to ask how White wants to continue was the alternative.

17.Ndb5 This was White's idea.

17...Qa5 18.Kxb2 Qb4+ 19.Kc1 axb5 White is an exchange up but Black has a pawn for the exchange and White's king is slightly exposed.

20.Kd2 0–0


21.Rb1 Qa5 22.Rxb5 Qc7? Leading to an abrupt end of the game. 22...Qa8 - threatening ...Ba6 - would have prevented White's next move.

23.Ra1 Rd8? More stubborn was 23...Nc5 24.Bxc5 dxc5 25.e5 Nd7 though White is still clearly better.

24.Ra7 Sealing Black's fate. Black's queen is in trouble.

24...Qc6 25.Nd5 Catching the queen. 25...exd5 (25...Bf8 26.Nb4) 26.exd5


Officials and participants

Final standings




Translation from German: Johannes Fischer


Tournament page...

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


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register