Sharjah: Seven Indian players form the biggest group of players sharing early lead in the second Sharjah Masters Chess Championship at the Sharjah Chess Club on Friday. Grandmasters S.P. Sethuraman, S.L. Narayanan, Prasanna Vishnu, Abhmanyu Puranik and International Masters Arjun Engaisi and N.R. Vignesh are all tied at two points each.
Untitled Nutakki Priyanka, the giant killer of India, seeded 93rd with a low rating of 1,957, upset compatriot GM Shardul Gagare, rated 2,502, in 69 moves of the latter’s English opening. In the previous round one, Priyanka upset GM Mohamed Haddouche of Algeria.
Defending champion GM Wang Hao of China beat GM Efstratios Grivas of Greece to bolster his title-defence. Wang, 29, former Chinese national champion, turned back the English opening of Grivas in 43 moves. Wang won the inaugural event last year and is heavily favoured as the top seed with a rating of 2,707.
Tied with two points each are Grandmasters Yuriy Kryvoruchko and Martyn Kravtsiv of Ukraine, Vladislav Artemiev and Ernesto Inarkiev of Russia, Arkadij Naiditsch and Eltaj Saffarli of Azerbaijan, Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus, Rinat Jumabayev of Kazakhstan, Parham Maghsoodloo and Alireza Firouzja of Iran, Manuel and Tigran Petrosyan of Armenia, Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Nodirbek Yakubboev of Uzbekistan and Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli of Venezuela.
A total of 118 players from 26 countries are seeing action including 31 Grandmasters and 14 International Masters, 2 Woman Grandmasters, 3 Woman International Masters and 10 FIDE Masters.
Over $57,000 in cash prizes, with a top prize of $15,000, are at stake in the nine-round tournament.
Visit the official web site at http://shjchessmasters.com/ and chess-results.com for full results and standings.