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Ernesto Inarkiev wins Sharjah Masters 2019, Nihal Sarin up to 2598 on the live rating list

by Sagar Shah - 02/04/2019

The Sharjah Masters was a big event for Indian chess. Out of 178 participants, 84 were Indians. However, none of the Indian players could finish in top 10. The best performing Indian player was Nihal Sarin, who was 13th and Stany GA who finished 14th. Ernesto Inarkiev won the tournament in a seven way tie at the top. The Russian GM went back home richer by US $15,000. Second place went to Wang Hao and Kryvoruchko took the third place. In this article we acquaint you with the performance of all the Indian players who did well. Apart from this we also give you an update of how the ChessBase India Power Group Tour fared. Mrudul Dehankar, who was part of the group tour, won the best woman prize of US$500. 

GM Ernesto Inarkiev won the Sharjah Masters 2019 with 7.0/9 and a performance of 2790. It was a seven way tie at the top, but Inarkiev edged out everyone else with a superior tiebreak. Inarkiev's two most important wins were against Indian players - Nihal Sarin and Abhijeet Gupta.

Inarkiev receiving the top prize of US$ 15,000 | Photo: Niklesh Jain
Niklesh Jain caught up with Inarkiev after the tournament and asked him about the last round exciting draw against Matlakov, his favourite game of the event, how he found the conditions in Sharjah, his views on Russia winning the World Team Championships, Kramnik's retirement and the upcoming talents of Indian chess.

Things you didn't know about Inarkiev:

1. He was named after Ernesto Che Guevera, the famous Argentinian Marxist revolutionary.

2. He was born in Kyrgyzstan and played two Olympiads for the Kyrgyz team in 1998 and 2000.

3. He moved to Elista and started representing Russian Chess Federation on the invitation of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

4. He is the first GM from the region of Kalmykia

5. He was the European Champion in 2016

Performance of Ernesto Inarkiev

Final standings. Click here for the complete standings.

Here are two of Inarkiev's best games from the event. The first one against Nihal Sarin in round four and the next one against Abhijeet Gupta in round 6. In both the games you can see that the Classical variation of the Sicilian was played. Inarkiev's play had a nice blend of good opening preparation and logical moves one after another. He didn't make a mistake which would swing the evaluation in favour of his opponent. Both Nihal and Abhijeet were not able to keep the same amount of control. Quite a lot to learn from Ernesto's handling of the Sicilian.

Wang Hao, the top seed of the event, had to be content with the second spot | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Yuriy Kryvoruchko finished third | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Nihal Sarin was the top finishing Indian. He finishing 13th by scoring 6.5/9 and gained precious 9 Elo points. He has pumped up his live rating to 2598. You can expect a big report on him in the days to come. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Stany GA finished off the tournament in style by scoring three back to back wins. He ended up 14th of the final standings list. His last three rounds ended in victories against Boudriga Mohamed Ali (2369), GM Darini Pouria (2474), GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo (2639).

Deepan Chakkravarthy - 19th place gaining 9 Elo points | Photo: Niklesh Jain

In spite of his numerous coaching assignments, Vishnu managed to gain seven Elo points and finished 21st | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Abhijeet was going strong in the event with 4.5/5, But in the last four rounds he could score only 1.5 points out of four rounds. He lost two crucial games to Inarkiev and Vishnu | Photo: Niklesh Jain

GM R.R. Laxman performed admirably at the event. He scored 6.0/9, gained 15 Elo points and also beat GM Pouya Idani from the black side of a Nimzo Indian | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Ratnakaran beat two strong Indian players Leon Mendonca and M.R. Venkatesh, scored 6.0/9 and finished 29th | Photo: Niklesh Jain

After 2850 performance at the World Teams, a lot more was expected from Surya Sekhar Ganguly, who could manage 6.0/9 and lost 7 Elo points | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Aditya Mittal, who recently became an IM, showed at the event that he is not too far from a GM norm. He beat Eduardo Iturrizaga and Pouya Idani and was on 5.5/7, on track for a GM norm, before losing the last two rounds to Yuriy Kryvoruchko and Parham Maghsoodloo. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Aditya with his IM norm certificate | Photo: Niklesh Jain

IM Raghunandan KS played a fine tournament gaining 23 Elo points. In the penultimate round he managed to beat Gukesh as well | Photo: Niklesh Jain

12-year-old Bharath Subramaniyam had an excellent tournament as he drew with three strong Indian GMs Harsha Bharathakoti, Stany GA and Karthik Venkatraman. He also beat Urtnasan Nasanjargal (2503) in round 7. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Rohit S was the highest point gainer in the entire event. He gained 133 Elo points | Photo: Niklesh Jain

After some excellent tournaments - AICF Velammal, Aeroflot and HD Bank, Divya couldn't keep up her momentum and lost 12 Elo points. She played with an Elo of 2266. Her new Elo is 2432 now as on 1st of April | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Mrudul Dehankar ended the tournament on a high by beating G. Akash in the last round, gaining 54 Elo points and also winning the best woman prize of the event. The game was filled with a lot of mistakes and it was Akash who made the final error. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Mrudul receives the best woman prize at the Sharjah Masters 2019 for scoring 5.5/9 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Rishabh Gokhale, son of IM C.S. Gokhale gained 70 Elo points! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

How did the ChessBase India Power Tour do?

ChessBase India Power had seven players who were part of the Group Tour. The manager of the tour Niklesh Jain, his wife Angela Franco and the five players - Mrudul Dehankar, Sanskriti Goyal, Souuradip Deb, Rakshith Srinivasan and Kaushik Iyer. This is how the players fared.

Name Elo Points Rating
Angela Franco 2141 4.5 -3
Mrudul Dehankar 2078 5.5 54
Sanskriti Goyal 2006 4.5 5
Soumyadip Deb 1899 4 19
Rakshith Srinivasan 1923 3.5 -9
Kaushik Iyer 1771 3 -11
Total     55


Mrudul winning the best women's prize was a moment of great joy for us | Photo: Niklesh Jain

With the champion! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

In front of the Dubai Mall where you see the famous sound and water show | Photo: Angela Frank

The group will now play at the Dubai Open 2019. We wish them the best in the next event. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Souradip Deb is the fifth member of the tour and will also be playing at the Dubai Open 2019

The Group Tour Manager and also ChessBase India Hindi head Niklesh Jain provided fantastic photos, videos and coverage from the Sharjah Masters 2019. He was playing the tournament until round 6, but later decided to focus exclusively on the coverage. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

All the winners captured in one frame | Photo: Niklesh Jain

A big thanks to the organizing committee for putting up such a grand event! | Photo: Niklesh Jain
A final summary video by Niklesh Jain on the Sharjah Masters 2019

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