Georgian Gaioz Nigalidze KOs Ukraine’s Yuri Kuzubov at Al Ain Chess Classic

Gaioz Nigalidze of Georgia defeated second-seeded Yuri Kuzubov of Ukraine to maintain sole possession of the lead, on 5.5 points, after six rounds of the Al Ain Chess Classic at the Hili Rayahaan Rotana Hotel.

AL AIN // Gaioz Nigalidze of Georgia defeated second-seeded Yuri Kuzubov of Ukraine to maintain sole possession of the lead on Wednesday with 5.5 points, after six rounds of the Al Ain Chess Classic at the Hili Rayahaan Rotana Hotel.

Nigalidze, ranked 28th in the tournament, showed no fear against Kuzubov, whose ranking of 2681 is higher than the Georgian’s 2536.

Nigalidze used the Sicilian Najdorf Defence and made a positional sacrifice on the 13th move by giving a knight in exchange for two central pawns.

Kubuzov was forced to return the extra piece on the 38th move as Nigalidze advanced his pawns to threaten promotion and force Kuzubov to resign on the 65th move.

“I had to sacrifice the knight as he was building a clear advantage,” the two-time national champion of Georgia said.

Three players are a half-point behind the leaders: top seed Yuri Kryvoruchko and Vladimir Onischuk of Ukraine and Sergei Zhigalko of Belarus.

Kryvoruchko defeated compatriot Martyn Kravtsiv, while Onischuk crushed the Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence of Romania’s Mircea Emilian Parligras in 34 moves.

Seven Indians are among the 17 players on 4.5 points in the race for US$50,000 (Dh184,000) in prize money. Four Ukrainians were on 4.5, as well as one player each from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Georgia, Russia and the United States.

The Swiss System tournament, organised by the Al Ain Chess Club, has 150 players from 27 countries, including 43 grandmasters and nine women grandmasters. It is open to the public and continues through Friday, with competition starting at 2pm and closing ceremonies set for 9pm.

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Published: December 24, 2014 04:00 AM

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