(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Woman Grandmaster Mariya Sergeyeva from Kazakhstan was crowned as the Champion of the recently concluded AAB Chess Open FIDE rated tournament edition 5.
The tournament was held and organised by Abdullah Abdulghani & Bros Co (AAB), distributor of Toyota and Lexus in Qatar, in collaboration with Qatar Chess Association (QCA).
The finals was held over two weekends with the participation of 22 players, including six Qataris: Qatar national team star Abdullah al-Homaid, WCM Ghada al-Khulaifi, Rayan Mohamed, Mohamed al-Qasabi, Saad al-Sulaiti, and Fahd al-Mansoori.
Held with seven rounds of Classical chess action“60 minutes + 30 seconds per move” according to the Swiss system, the matches were intense and built up the thrill towards the final round with the 38-yearold Sergeyeva pushed into a corner by Ryan Mendoza of the Philippines. A loss loomed large but the Kazakh managed to wriggle out of the situation and forced a draw to eventually emerge as the champion with 5.5 points to her credit. Mendoza, who ended with 5 points, settled for the second place.
FM Sidi Boidiya (MAU) placed third with five points, Alvin Ping (PHI) came fourth with 5 points, equal with Mohamed Sadiq (IND), who finished fifth. Rookie player Taksh Sharma (IND) ranked sixth with 4.5 points in addition to being named the Best Under-16 player in the tournament. At the level of the national players, Abdullah Mohamed al-Homaid, won the title of Best
Qatari Player in the tournament, as he ranked 10th with 3.5 points. Rayan Mohamed came in the 16th position with 3.0 points, while Mohamed al-Qasabi came in the 19th position with 2.5 points. At the women's level, WCM Ghada al-Khelaifi finished 15th in the general standings, with 3 points.
The awarding ceremony took place at the Al Abdulghani Tower, home to the AAB Chess Open FIDE Rated Tournament editions since 2018, in the presence of Hamad al-Tamimi, QCA Executive Director; Hussain Aziz, Tournament Director; and AAB officials. The event marked a fruitful decade of partnership between the Qatar Chess Association (QCA) and AAB.
QCA President Mohamed al-Mudhahka said the tournament achieved the desired goal and was an important opportunity for all participants to interact after an absence from competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He praised the efforts made by AAB towards the resumption of 'Over-the-Board' (OTB) games with the AAB Chess Open FIDE Rated Tournament Edition 5. Tournament Director Hussain Aziz applauded the competent matches and strong focus of the young players.
“The final round turned out to be an engrossing battle and Mariya Sergeyeva used her experience to force an exciting draw and emerge as the Champion.”
About the Qatari players, he said,“They have shown good levels during the past rounds in addition to the emergence of several new talents. To encourage them, we aspire to hold more open tournaments in the next phase.”
The Tournament Director pointed out that organizing the tournament in partnership with AAB achieved important gains for the players and everyone showed high technical levels in both the preliminaries and the finals.
AAB Chess Open FIDE Rated Tournament is a CSR initiative and is the first of its kind in Qatar when it began in 2018. It has been held twice a year since it started but had to be postponed in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. It has made its comeback with the 5th Edition as OTB games with social distancing and safety measures protocols in place.
AAB is committed to building a new generation of world rated chess players in Qatar as part of its commitment to develop strategic thinkers in the community.
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