Fide Master (FM) Mohammad Fahad Rahman of Bangladesh crowned himself this year’s champion of the 14th Dubai Juniors Chess Tournament – Sheikh Maktoum Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup following an exciting final-round victory over the UAE’s Candidate Master (CM) Omran Al Hosani on Tuesday at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.
Rahman’s English Opening did not yield any significant advantage against Al Hosani, who was able to seize the initiative in the endgame with his rook, bishop and centralised king pressing against Rahman’s weak e-pawn. The Emirati, however, committed a strategic error on the 32nd move with a pawn push that seriously weakened his kingside pawn chain, while allowing Rahman to activate his rook and knight.
Although Al Hosani managed to cover his weaknesses, his missed an actively counter play that would have allowed his rook to penetrate the white fortress via the f-file, keeping the game unbalanced. Instead, the Emirati chose to passively defend his kingside pawns, which ultimately proved ineffective as Rahman gradually consolidated his position and eventually won more material en route to a 46-move victory.
Rahman scored eight points, half a point ahead of Indian second-seed Rahul Srivatshav P, who defeated fifth-seed Kazybek Umbetov of Kazakhstan, and top-seed FM Viktor Matviishen, who won over Armenia’s 11th-seed Hayk Kocharyan. Srivatshav, however, claimed the runner-up prize with a superior tiebreak score, relegating Matviishen to third place.
CM Sultan Al-Zaabi emerged the top scorer among UAE players with seven points after winning over compatriot Amer Sultan in the final round. Fourth-seeded Ahmad Ahmadzada of Azerbaijan, who also had seven points following a victory over the UAE’s Sultan Al Darmaky, secured fourth place with a higher tiebreak score, with Al-Zaabi securing the fifth spot.
Omran Al Hosani and compatriot Ebrahim Ahmed Ebrahim joined seven others in the next rung of the standings with 6.5 points each. Omran Al Hosani and Ebrahim placed 11th and 14th respectively after the tiebreaks.
Others with 6.5 points in order or ranking were Umbetov, Korcharyan, Armenia’s Eduard Hakobyan and India’s Ranjan Aryan, Gurmeher Singh, Kush Devnani and Pranav.
Rahman received the Sheikh Maktoum Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup and the US$2,000 champion’s prize from Khalid Khalid Al Midfa, Assistant Secretary-General of the Public Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, Ahmad Khalifa Al Thani, Secretary-General of the Arab Federation Chess Federation and Vice-President of Dubai Chess and Culture Club, Ali Al Mutawa, Director of Corporate Support Department of the Dubai Sports Council, and Jamal Al Abdooli, Secretary-General of the club. The rest of the top 10 winners also received cash prizes.
The best Emirati award went to CM Omran Al-Hosani, while the top Dubai Chess Club player was Ebrahim Ahmed Ebrahim.
1 FM Mohammad Fahad Rahman BAN 2157 8
2 Rahul Srivatshav P IND 2273 7.5
3 FM Matviishen Viktor UKR 2390 7.5
4 CM Ahmadzada Ahmad AZE 2099 7
5 CM Al-Zaabi Sultan UAE 1674 7
6 Umbetov Kazybek KAZ 2002 6.5
7 Hakobyan Eduard ARM 1753 6.5
8 Kocharyan Hayk ARM 1573 6.5
9 Aryan Ranjan IND 1836 6.5
10 Singh Gurmeher IND 1401 6.5
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– GM Susan Polgar