Qatar Masters Open



The ‘Qatar Masters Open’, organized and carried out by the “Qatar Chess Association”, began on November 25 and ended yesterday evening. The stunning prize fund of 100,000 USD, 25,000 USD of which were the victor’s reward, lured in many chess players from all over the world. Amongst them were fourteen top-class players with ELO-ratings of over 2700 points, such as Anish Giri, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Vladimir Kramnik, Arkadij Naiditsch, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Doha at the Arabic Gulf was temporary home to 154 players who had high hopes in winning a share of the prize money.

The participants played nine rounds in Swiss Tournament System.

Anish Giri was able to secure the position as favorite tournament competitor in the early stage of the event and won the first six rounds flawlessly. When facing his strongest opponent, Vladimir Kramnik, in round seven his winning series came to an end. After Kramnik had prevailed, the two of them shared first rank with each six points.

And the suspense did not cut off: In round eight Kramnik defeated Salem (ELO 2586), which was not surprising, and thus scored his seventh point. Giri, on the other hand, had a  hard time and finally lost against Chinese player Yangi Yu (ELO 2705). With 6.5 points on his account Yu enhanced to 2nd place, leaving Giri in 3rd at 6 points.

The ninth and final round of the tournament ended with Kramnik losing against Yu, who then advanced to 1st rank. Giri was able to prevail over the Armenian player Vladimir Akopian, scored a whole point, and ended up with a shared 2nd rank.

Therefore, twenty year-old Yangi Yu takes come 25,000 USD reward money, which he certainly deserves after the 2905 ELO point performance at this tournament.

Kramnik and Giri share 2nd and 3rd place at 15,000 and 10,000 USD prizes, and even 4th place, taken by Russian player Sanan Sjugirov, was rewarded with 7,000 USD.

Georgian player Bela Khotenashvili came off Best Female Player at the tournament and takes home 5,000 USD for her great 27th rank (ELO 2504).


written by Sarah, translated by Birthe