Dubai: Dubai, UAE (June 12, 2016) – Grandmaster (GM) Bassem Amin of Egypt maintained his half-point edge after Saturday night’s final round to claim the champion’s cup in the 13th edition of the Allegiance to Zayed Chess Tournament at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.

Amin split the point with GM Elmar Magerramov of Azerbaijan in the ninth round to hike his tally to eight points, safely ahead of Emirati top-seed GM Salem A.R. Saleh, who took the runner-up spot with 7.5 points after beating untitled Ernesto Yap of the Philippines. Magerramov also had 7.5 points, but settled for third place with an inferior tiebreak score.

GM Bassem Amin in action

The champion and runners-up received their prizes from Ahmed Khalifa Al Thani, Secretary General of the Arab Chess Federation and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Chess and Culture Club, Jamal Al Abdouli, General Secretary of the club, and Nagueb Mohammed Saleh, Technical Director of the club.

Cuban coach GM Walter Arencibia had a chance to tie for first place, but he was stopped in his tracks by Amin’s teammate at the Egyptian national team, GM Ahmed Adly, in the final round. Amin also posted 7.5 points, but was relegated to fourth place on tiebreaks.

Arencibia dropped to fifth place with seven points, ahead of six others who had the same output. The Philippines’ Marlon Mortel finished sixth after registering the round’s biggest upset win, beating seventh-seed GM Efstratios Grivas of Greece. The UAE’s Fide Master (FM) Saeed Ishaq placed seventh after outplaying Candidate Master (CM) Ihsan Jawad of Palestine.

Mohammad Hayel Rafee of Syria, FM Roman Zemtsov of Russia, Mihir Bhalchandra Khanolkar of India and Montaser Kamil of Sudan took the eighth to 11th places also with seven points each. The top 10 placers received cash prizes during the awarding ceremony.

Candidate Master (CM) Nagueb Mohammed Saleh received the special award for the best UAE player, while Woman International Master (WIM) Amna Nouman was the top lady from the UAE.

WIM Amna Nouman of the UAE.

International Master (IM) Ibrahim Sultan won the special award for best player from the Dubai Chess and Culture Club. Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Bashaer Khalil was awarded the top woman player from the host club.

The club also revealed that Khanolkar earned the most rating points during the tournament with 87, followed by Rajesh Reshma (77) and Kush Devnani (67).

Meanwhile, the club announced that the team blitz chess tournament it is organising has been moved to June 19-20. The tournament, which was earlier scheduled for June 18-19, will feature teams of two players plus a reserve who will battle it out in nine rounds of action-packed blitz chess. Registration is still open at the club’s website (

Around 160 players from 22 countries took part in the annual tournament that was held in honour of the late UAE President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.


Top 10 (Final standings)

Rank Title Name Fed Rtg Pts
1. GM Amin Bassem EGY 2647 8,0
2. GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2712 7,5
3. GM Magerramov Elmar AZE 2552 7,5
4. GM Adly Ahmed EGY 2624 7,5
5. GM Arencibia Rodriguez Walter CUB 2539 7,0
6.   Mortel Marlon PHI 2107 7,0
7. FM Saeed Ishaq UAE 2259 7,0
8.   Rafee Mohd Hayel SYR 1923 7,0
9. FM Zemtsov Roman RUS 2293 7,0
10.   Mihir Bhalchandra Khanolkar IND  1459 7,0