Spectacular! Avoid World Champion Killer, Qatar Masters Champion Nodirbek Yakubboev

Doha, Gatra.com- Uzbek grandmaster Nodirbek Yakubboev beat compatriot Nodirbek Abdusattorov in a lightning tiebreaker to win the Qatar Masters Open 2023 at Lusail MultiPurpose Hall, 10/20.

Yakubboev entered the tournament as the 19th seed and earned a 9th round victory over Karthikeyan Murali to reach the tiebreaker. Murali is an Indian chess player who “killed” Magnus Carlsen. Murali is the third Indian player to defeat world champion Magnus Carlsen in classical chess. Previously, Carlsen was defeated by Harikrishna and Viswanathan Anand.

Among the seven chess players who entered the final round with a chance to win the Qatar Masters, three were from India, three from Uzbekistan and one from the United States (Hikaru Nakamura). The leader is Arjun Erigaisi (India), 20, who beat David Paravyan on Thursday to score 6.5 points. Half a point ahead of the rest of the players.

During the 9th round, there was a battle to the death over who could catch Arjun, who seemed to be holding Abdusattorov to a draw to score 7. Until disaster struck. The movement of the rook in h4 allows the elephant to f+. Skak also threatens Arjun’s fortress. He gave up a few seconds later. A truly heartbreaking mistake. Arjun remains with 6.5 points, Abdusattorov leads with 7 points.

By then, Javokhir-Sindarov had already drawn, while SL’s Narayanan held the ever-dangerous Hikaru Nakamura in check. They end up with 6.5 points. Only Yakubboev or Khartikeyan Murali can catch Abdusattorov in the final standings.

Yakubboev, playing with White, has a better minor piece, a better pawn structure and a dangerous middle game.

Karthikeyan felt the need to stop the exchange, it was a reasonable experiment. However, Yakubboev did a good job of turning his lead into a victory. This earned him the right to challenge for the title in a whirlwind tiebreaker with his namesake teammate, Nodirbek.

Yakubboev showed more courage than his younger (and higher-ranked) opponent to win with black pieces in the first round of blitz chess. In the second game, as he only needed a draw, Yakubboev immediately exchanged his queen, but also continued to look for ways to activate his pieces.

When the draw was decided on the 49th move, it was Yakubboev who decided to take the lead, 2-0. Three victories in one day, one against Karthikeyan and two against Abdusattorov made him the tournament champion!

Yakubboev is a 21-year-old who was awarded the title of “only” grandmaster in 2019. A three-time Uzbek national champion, he does not receive as much attention as his younger compatriots, Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Javokhir Sindarov.

“He is a little less known than these players because he is a little older than them. But he is still very young and he is a universal player. He works a lot. He also works a lot in areas where a lot young players don’t work. “He’s just trying to improve his chess game, not just looking at the most promising opening variants. I also see a bright future for him,” said Ivan Sokolov, captain of the Olympic gold medal-winning national team.

In Chennai, Yakubboev finished undefeated with a score of 8/11, having earned draws against Levon Aronian, Vidit Gujrathi and Jorden van Foreest. Today in Qatar, the Uzbek player with a rating of 2616 beats players like Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura and Anish Giri!


Cheryl Tenny

"Thinker. Food advocate. Incurable coffee enthusiast. Communicator. Proud student. Zombie buff. Tv fanatic. Extreme troublemaker."

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