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Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Cup R1-3: Nihal makes an incredible queen sacrifice

by Shahid Ahmed - 07/12/2021

The last time Nihal Sarin played a tournament which took place at the same venue as the world championship was back in 2013 when he won the National Under-9 Boys with an unbeaten score of 9.0/11. The uber strong Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Cup, an invitational Rapid and Blitz Rating tournament for players above 2600+ male and 2450+ female, witnesses the participation of 24 players including 22 GMs and 2 IMs across 22 nations. The tournament average rating is 2547. Total prize fund - US$ 30000, first prize in Rapid - US$ 6000 and first prize in Blitz - US$ 2000. Top Russian and third seed of the tournament, Vladimir Fedoseev leads with a perfect 3.0/3. Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Nihal starts unbeaten

Nihal won the first game against Loek van Wely (NED). Then he drew the next two games against Gabriel Sargissian (ARM) and Georg Meier (URU) respectively. He will face former world junior champion, Parham Maghsoodloo (IRI) in Round 4 today. Nihal had a 1-1 score at the last month's Tata Steel Chess India 2021 Blitz, he would definitely like to improve his Rapid score against him.

Top seed Nodirbek Abdusattorov is back at the top | Photo: Patricia Claros Aguilar

Round 1: Nihal - Loek van Wely: 1-0

Nihal Sarin started his tournament with an incredible win over Netherland's legendary GM and Dutch Senate, Loek van Wely.

Position after 32...Rc6

Can you find out the brilliant finish which Nihal did in the game after 32...Rc6 ?

Nihal Sarin's beautiful queen sacrifice against Loek van Wely | Video: ChessBase India

Nihal in action against Loek van Wely | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Nihal drew his second and third round games against Gabriel Sargissian (ARM) and Georg Meier (URU) respectively.

Nihal Sarin - Georg Meier (URU): 0.5-0.5 | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

A glimpse of the playing arena | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

IM Irene Kharisma Sukandra (INA) won UAE 50th National Day Rapid Chess Tournament 2021 on 2nd December | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE
Interview with Nihal Sarin, a day before the tournament | Video: ChessBase India
Irene Sukandar becomes the 1st woman ever to win a tournament at the Dubai Chess Club | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 1-3 games

The tournament is taking place at Expo 2020 Dubai, Dubai Exhibition Center, Dubai in UAE from 6th to 8th December 2021. Every day, three rounds of Rapid games will be played. Time control is 15 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move starting from move 1.

Round 3 results

13GMFedoseev Vladimir269221 - 0GMSargissian Gabriel26932
218GMNihal Sarin2500½ - ½GMMeier Georg26564
35GMKovalev Vladislav26471 - 0GMJumabayev Rinat256212
49GMErdos Viktor26011 - 0GMAbdumalik Zhansaya244919
520GMSantos Ruiz Miguel24401 - 01GMIvanisevic Ivan259310
61GMSalem A.R. Saleh272910 - 11GMMaghsoodloo Parham251217
716GMPichot Alan252311 - 01GMAmin Bassem26148
811GMMchedlishvili Mikheil25891½ - ½1GMKadric Denis254215
914GMFridman Daniel254210 - 11GMNiemann Hans Moke232723
107GMIordachescu Viorel2623½0 - 1½GMSocko Bartosz256213
1122IMSukandar Irine Kharisma23810½ - ½0GMVan Wely Loek26356
1224IMSaeed Ishaq230900 - 10GMBellahcene Bilel239721


Round 4 pairings

15GMKovalev Vladislav26473GMFedoseev Vladimir26923
220GMSantos Ruiz Miguel2440GMErdos Viktor26019
323GMNiemann Hans Moke232722GMPichot Alan252316
417GMMaghsoodloo Parham251222GMNihal Sarin250018
54GMMeier Georg26562GMMchedlishvili Mikheil258911
62GMSargissian Gabriel2693GMSocko Bartosz256213
712GMJumabayev Rinat2562GMAbdumalik Zhansaya244919
815GMKadric Denis25421GMAmin Bassem26148
921GMBellahcene Bilel239711GMSalem A.R. Saleh27291
1010GMIvanisevic Ivan259311GMFridman Daniel254214
116GMVan Wely Loek2635½½GMIordachescu Viorel26237
1224IMSaeed Ishaq23090½IMSukandar Irine Kharisma238122



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Tournament Details