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This March - April 2019 plan two strong open events in Sharjah and Dubai

by Sagar Shah - 25/01/2019

Planning trips out of India is not easy. You have to take care of the flight, then the hotel accommodation, communication with the organizers, entry fee and not to forget the Visa! In all of this planning you lose so much of your time that many people simply feel planning an overseas trip is impossible. With ChessBase India Power, we want to change that notion. We want to help you with all your logistics related issues so that you can play tournaments outside the country. From 21st of March to 11th of April, you have two super strong open events taking place in UAE - the Sharjah Masters (21st to 31st March) and the Dubai Open (1st to 11th April). ChessBase India Power not only has packages for you to travel to the event, but also has the option of group tour so that youngsters can travel to this tournament without their parents and guardians! 

ChessBase India Power is the official partner of Sharjah Masters 2019

The Sharjah Masters 2019 will be held from the 21st to the 31st of March 2019 in the city of Sharjah, UAE. It is one of the strongest open tournaments in the world. This is the third edition of the event. The first two were in 2017 and 2018. Let's have a look at the top ten seeds of previous two years:

Starting rank of 2017

1GMWojtaszek Radoslaw1118358POL2745
2GMKryvoruchko Yuriy14109182UKR2708
3GMMatlakov Maxim4168003RUS2702
4GMNaiditsch Arkadij4650891AZE2702
5GMWang Hao8602883CHN2683
6GMAdhiban B.5018471IND2682
7GMAreshchenko Alexander14109530UKR2682
8GMSafarli Eltaj13402129AZE2680
9GMAnton Guijarro David2285525ESP2676
10GMJones Gawain C B409561ENG2676

Complete list

Starting rank of 2018

No. NameFideIDFEDRtgsex
1GMWang Hao8602883CHN2707
2GMKryvoruchko Yuriy14109182UKR2703
3GMArtemiev Vladislav24101605RUS2701
4GMNaiditsch Arkadij4650891AZE2701
5GMAmin Bassem10601457EGY2700
6GMEljanov Pavel14102951UKR2700
7GMInarkiev Ernesto4162722RUS2680
8GMKravtsiv Martyn14113147UKR2680
9GMJones Gawain C B409561ENG2675
10GMKuzubov Yuriy14112906UKR2663
11GMAdhiban B.5018471IND2661

Complete list


As you can see in both the years you had top ten seeds above 2660. In both the years Adhiban was the top Indian player, being the sixth seed in 2017, and eleventh in 2018. This year in 2019 he isn't going to play. So, it will be interesting to see who the top rated Indian player is going to be. One interesting question to be asked is, what is the reason for so many strong players to take part in this open event?

The first prize at Sharjah Masters ($15,000) is sometimes the total prize fund of strong open events!

But prize money is not the only reason why the Sharjah tournament is so well frequented.

The playing hall is the Sharjah Chess Club which spacious, well lit and all the players can enjoy their chess!

Also not to forget that you have a single round each day which gives you ample time to rest and prepare

One of my favourite pictures from the Sharjah Masters 2017 was the following:

This picture shows some of the best Indian talents having a very nice time with each other! | Photo: Sharjah Masters

Yes, both of them went on to become GMs - Pragg is the 52nd GM of India and Gukesh is 60th! | Photo: Sharjah Masters

Some of the best Indian chess players have played at the Sharjah Masters in 2017 and 2018 | Photo: Sharjah Masters

Entry fee

– Standard Elo above 2400, GM, IM, WGM, and WIM are free.

– Players with a standard Elo of 2000-2399 $125.

– Players with a standard Elo of 1500-1999 $150.

Dubai Open 2019

Immediately after the Sharjah GM 2019 ends, you have the Dubai GM 2019 that begins. The last round of Sharjah ends on the 30th of March and the Dubai GM 2019 begins on the 1st of April. While the Sharjah Masters is relatively young and only into its 3rd edition, the Dubai GM has already had 20 editions in the past. This is the 21st edition.

The schedule of Dubai Open 2019 

The Dubai Chess and Culture Centre which is in the shape of a rook is where the tournament will be held

The spectacular playing hall

The main prizes of Dubai GM open 2019

Entry fees for the Dubai Open 2019

I have played at the Dubai GM Open 2013 and 2015 and it was a great experience. I got to play against many strong 2600+ GMs. Of course, if you are not in great form you might fall back and face lower rated oppositions, but this is true for just about any tournament. The main advantage of Sharjah and Dubai Opens is that you get to face strong opponents which you generally wouldn't be able to get in any other open events.

Player's list of 2018

No. NameFideIDFEDRtg
1GMKryvoruchko Yuriy14109182UKR2703
2GMAmin Bassem10601457EGY2700
3GMJones Gawain C B409561ENG2675
4GMAkopian Vladimir13300032ARM2667
5GMAnton Guijarro David2285525ESP2653
6GMSafarli Eltaj13402129AZE2653
7GMRakhmanov Aleksandr4173708RUS2652
8GMKovalev Vladislav13504398BLR2648
9GMMareco Sandro112275ARG2645
10GMGanguly Surya Shekhar5002150IND2642

Complete list

Download the Dubai Open 2019 circular here

Total Package for both Sharjah and Dubai Opens

ChessBase India Power has two type of options for you - the normal package and the group tour.

Normal package:

The difference in price is only because of the entry fee of Sharjah Masters:


Package price for 2000-2399: starts from Rs.1,00,000

Package price for 1500-1999: starts from Rs. 1,02,000

Package price for above 2400 and titled players: starts from Rs.92,000

With this package we are trying to provide you with all the best amenities like a good hotel on double sharing basis, which is close to the venue, two airport transfers, transfer from Sharjah to Dubai, visa facilities, insurance, appropriate flight timings and more. If you are looking for other budget options, like a hotel which is far away from the venue, or you are a group of four or more people and would like to have alternative hotel arrangements, you can contact ChessBase India Power representative (contact details at the end of the article) and inquire about the cost of the package based on your needs.


Onward to Europe:

Once you play in the Sharjah and Dubai in UAE you can plan further tournaments in Europe in continuation. A smart idea can be to book a flight ticket from India to Europe and return with a stopover in Dubai, so that you can play the Sharjah and Dubai Open and then play events in Europe. This technique will make your flight tickets from India to UAE free of cost! You can plan your European events with the help of the ChessBase India calendar.

Group Tour:

What does Group Tour mean: The group tour will consist of maximum 12 players. The idea is that young chess players whose parents or guardians are unable to travel to the tournament can send their children with the ChessBase India Power representative. We tried this concept at the Catalan circuit from June to August 2018 for five events and it was a big success, with the entire group gaining a hefty 4359 Elo points! Ankit Dalal, the head of ChessBase India Power was the tour manager for the Catalan circuit and he will be the one who will travel with the players to UAE as well. Says Ankit, "There were a lot of things that I learnt as the group manager at the Catalan circuit. I am sure that with the lessons that I have learnt, I will be able to assist the players in the best possible way so that they can focus on their games and play their best chess at the Sharjah and Dubai Open."


The group tour will cost slightly more than the normal tour, but in general you will make massive savings because one of the parents/guardian will not have to travel with the group. For the package cost of the group tour, please contact the ChessBase India helpline at the end of the article.

Ankit Dalal (second from right) with the ChessBase India Group at Barcelona

All those who book with us before the 31st of January 2019 will get the desert safari in Dubai free of cost included in the package price

What is included in the package price?

* Flights
* Accommodation
* Visa
* Insurance
* Entry fees (Only Sharjah because we have a tie-up with the organizers)
* Airport Transfer
* Transfer from Sharjah To Dubai

Terms & Conditions

• Package rate depends on the flight fare which may vary at the time of Booking.
• Dubai Tournament Entry fee is not included ( As it depends on your rating) It can be added to the package.
• Flight rates given are ex-Mumbai and ex-Delhi. If you are travelling from some other city, the rates may differ.
• Rates are per person on Double sharing basis.
• Airport transfers are on SIC basis.
• Any mismanagement by the vendor we will try to co-ordinate but the responsibility will be of the ground handler.
• Food and Internal Transportation cost extra for which all the cost will be divided among the group.
• We will provide all support regarding visa and but the decision is of Visa Consulate and we will not be hold to account for the same. All the documents which are required will have to be presented and should be authentic.
• As granting or rejecting the visas and immigration clearance is the sole prerogative of the concerned soverign governments we shall neither be responsible in case of non-granting of such documents nor liable for any delay, denial or other related act /omission or any loss, expense damage or cost resulting there from.
• If it’s advised to book the flight tickets prior to Visa then the cancellation charges will be borne by the players.
• Normal Visa Process is about 3-4 working days.
• Any damage to the property will be bourne by the one who has damaged and for the same the personal guide will be the decision maker.
• Cancellation of the tour is non refundable and in emergency circumstances Insurance will take care of the same.
• Sightseeing Cost will be extra.

Places to visit in UAE:

World's tallest man-made structure - Burj-Al-Khalifa is something worth seeing from the outside. But also you can spend a bit of money and go right upto the top and get a splendid view of the city of Dubai and beyond!

The Burj Al Arab Hotel is a work of art!

The Jumeirah is shaped like a palm tree!

Although in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World is a very interesting place for all adventure lovers. It hosts the world's fastest roller coaster ride!

On a parting note, we would like to leave you with a Trivia. Who is this person in the picture above and where was this picture taken? The right answer will get one month ChessBase premium account!

Contact details for booking:

Hotline and Whatsapp: 09106908500/ 07878860008 (10 a.m to 8 p.m.)


Important links:

Sharjah Masters official website

Dubai Open official website

Sharjah 2019 circular

Dubai 2019 circular

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