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9th Beirut International Open Championship 2017

Sergey Volkov wins, again!!


With the same score as in the previous 8th edition in 2015, the Russian Grandmaster Sergey Volkov won the 2017 edition with the score of 8 points out of 9, conceding 2 draws, on the 5th round to the Russian GM Anton Demchemko, and another quicker one in the last round to his compatriot GM Petr Kiriakov.

What distinguished this year’s edition are a lot of things. First of all, there are 104 players listed in 13(!) different national federations. With 7 Grandmasters, 2 Women Grandmasters, 2 International Masters, 1 Woman International Master, 6 Fide Master and 1 Candidate Master, this forms the strongest open tournament ever organized in Lebanon. Not only this, but the participation of the most top Lebanese players, and the young promising ones put a lot of values and raised the competition level to a tense degree that caused a lot of technical problems for the foreign players to overcome (Hey Fadi! We missed you there).

The playing hall was divided into 2 sections: the e-section and the regular one. The electronic-section was reserved for the first 8 tables equipped with electronic boards, transmitting the moves live on the internet. Most probably, the highly seeded players didn’t expect that the local Lebanese players will occupy 3 or 4 of those tables, showing their potential, skills and ambitions. Just ask Antoine Kassis, or Faisal Khairallah or Amr ElJawish or Ahmad Najjar about what I am saying. The first 3 missed an IM norm each due to pairing with low rated players in earlier round. These potentials gave the organizers the hint to enlarge the next tournament edition to 2 groups: the Masters section and the Open one, creating an ideal opportunity for the Lebanese players to score norms.

Let’s move now to the performance of the players.

The best Lebanese scorer was FM Antoine Kassis, 6.5 points (no loss!), (seeded as the 15th, finished as 5th-9th shared, with 43 points to be added to his Elo rating!) followed by FM Faisal Khairallah, 6 points (with 6 gained Elo points).

Ralph Ghnatos profited well from this tournament to win 82! Elo points. The young Hrag Lakhoyan won 73! Elo points, Abdallah Khallouf 118! The highest Elo improver was the 10 years old Adib Arcadan, who won 134 Elo points! This is the proof that the Lebanese young players have talent and potential enabling them to compete on international level. What they need is a systematic training with short term investment (or sponsorship) to prove what they are capable of. (2-3 years training is a very short term for the chess player’s carrier!)

On the guests ‘side, a good performance by the Georgian WGM Keti Tsatsaselshvili, who scored 6.5 points (6th in the final sanding) and made an IM norm!

A fantastic work, as she was the official live commentatoron the games of the Fide Grand Prix in Tbilisi for more than 20 days (which ended with the victory of the Armenian GM Aronian) then joined Beirut Open 2 days later!

A vexing performance was shown by the amiable Egyptian GM Ahmad Adly. Seeded 4th, he scored 6 points, pushing him to the 10th place.

Final Standing:

Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts
1 2 GM Volkov Sergey 2638 RUS 8
2 1 GM Demchenko Anton 2650 RUS
3 3 GM Yilmaz Mustafa 2633 TUR 7
4 6 GM Pruijssers Roeland 2507 NED 7
5 5 GM Kiriakov Petr 2543 RUS
6 11 WGM Tsatsalashvili Keti 2264 GEO
7 7 GM Kotanjian Tigran 2496 ARM
8 15 FM Kassis Antoine 2152 LBN
9 19 Khader Aram 2101 SYR
10 4 GM Adly Ahmed 2631 EGY 6
11 10 FM Khairallah Faisal 2271 LBN 6
12 12 FM Mohannad Farhan 2264 JOR 6
13 8 IM Ibrahim Hatim 2329 EGY 6
14 14 FM El Jawich Amro 2234 LBN 6
15 20 Koniahli Malek 2089 SYR 6
16 22 Shamieh Jamal 2066 LBN 6
17 24 Asmar Elie 2062 LBN 6
18 18 Ammoun Hani 2116 LBN 6
19 13 FM Najjar Ahmad 2255 LBN
20 27 Ghannam Kotayba 2022 SYR
21 16 WGM Wafa Shahenda 2150 EGY
22 48 Ghnatios Ralph 1746 LBN
23 37 Habash Mohamad 1846 LBN
24 21 CM Abdulaziz Mahmoud 2088 LBN
38 Djikerian Rafi 1835 PLE
26 53 Khalili Moustafa 1696 LBN
27 28 FM Sursock Sameer 2017 LBN
28 32 Sharbel Marwan 1973 LBN
29 80 Abou Dahr Ezzeddine 0 LBN
30 33 Altorky Amer 1940 SYR 5
31 29 Novikova Margarita 2004 UKR 5
32 9 WIM Gevorgyan Maria 2294 ARM 5
33 34 Muhssen Fared Saleh 1910 IRQ 5
34 30 IM Khechen Nabil E 1985 LBN 5
64 Khallouf Abdallah 1530 LBN 5
36 100 Saeed Riad 0 SYR 5
37 42 Hanna Elie 1790 LBN 5
38 49 Kaloust Giorgio 1734 LBN 5
39 62 Khoder Akram 1547 LBN 5
40 82 Amer Majied 0 LBN 5
41 89 Eid Wissam 0 LBN 5
42 54 Mikati Hani 1693 LBN
43 31 Zeidan Mohammad 1981 LBN
44 103 Torossian Hovhannes 0 LBN
45 61 Lakhoyan Hrag 1560 LBN
46 43 Moughames Ronald 1773 LBN
47 83 Bitar Joe 0 LBN
48 60 Farhat Jawad 1599 LBN
49 70 Arcadan Adib 1349 LBN
86 David Courtney Fugate 0 LBN
51 50 Ward Serge 1730 LBN
52 52 Bedrosian Danielle 1696 LBN
53 57 Iaali Abdelrahman 1670 LBN
54 81 Abou Mrad Camil 0 LBN
55 35 Nassar Marc 1879 LBN 4
56 44 Khairallah Ralph 1772 LBN 4
57 55 Terzian Kevork 1693 LBN 4
58 56 Berbari Imad 1688 LBN 4
59 58 Tarraf Tarraf 1653 LBN 4
60 69 Fakoua Khalil 1383 LBN 4
61 51 Fawaz Kassem 1727 LBN 4
62 47 Jabr Bernard 1753 LBN 4
63 68 El Saleh Riham 1466 LBN 4
64 67 Kassar Paul 1480 LBN 4
65 66 Toufayli Adnan 1509 LBN 4
66 45 Abdo Moussa 1765 LBN
67 36 Ghassan Houmsi 1863 LBN
68 75 Badieh Mahmoud 1262 LBN
69 41 Saad Charbel 1795 LBN
70 85 Chaaya Antoine 0 LBN
71 96 Khoury Rabih 0 LBN
72 93 Housseiny Ali 0 LBN
73 94 Kassar Bashar 0 LBN
74 72 Fakhoury Dory 1335 LBN 3
75 71 Elghazzawi Omar 1335 LBN 3
76 76 El Jawich Muhammad 1245 LBN 3
77 73 Abchee Alexandre 1292 LBN 3
78 97 Louak Milad 0 LBN 3
79 91 Hijazi Asma 0 LBN 3
80 99 Saab Riad 0 LBN 3
81 59 Kassas Mohamad 1633 LBN
82 79 Abi Nader Charles 0 LBN
83 88 Edelby Ahmad 0 LBN
84 101 Schoucair Matteo 0 LBN
85 39 Said Riad 1812 PLE 2
86 25 Moudallal Tarek 2062 LBN 2
87 104 Vayanos George Marwan 0 LBN 2
88 87 Demerjian Mark 0 LBN 2
89 98 Milan Sami 0 LBN 2
90 92 Hmedeh Ali 0 LBN
91 95 Ali Khan Amani 0 LBN
92 102 Schoucair Thomas 0 LBN 1
93 17 Kaouri Mahdi 2118 LBN 0
23 Alshaar Nabil 2065 SYR 0
26 Maasarani Mahmoud 2038 LBN 0
40 Salameh Wassim 1797 LBN 0
46 Jouni Hassan 1759 LBN 0
63 Kamar Mohamad 1530 LBN 0
65 Moghnieh Hussein 1509 LBN 0
74 El-Bittar John Fadi 1270 USA 0
77 Chlela Karen 1238 LBN 0
78 Kattan Ghada 1163 LBN 0
84 Boulos Robert 0 LBN 0
90 El Khechin Imad 0 LBN 0

 

Click here to download the games.

I added some pictures with few comments on them.

Samir Sursock, the first lebanese Fide MasterSamir Sursock, the first Lebanese Fide Master, awarded a trophy of appreciation by Asian Chess Federation executive member Mr. Rajai ElSoussi

the determined Lebanese IM Nabil ElKhechen, facing Volkov

Hani Ammoun, glad to return to chess competition after a short 18 years break!!

The always smiling Egyptian Hatem Ibrahim, vs Elie Asmar

Margarita Novikova and Danielle Bedrossian. Chess is also played by  beatiful ladies

Each one of us needs its own special weapon to see better moves

Adib Arkadan (trained by Sayed Shamiyeh at Ahli Saida Chess Academy) facing another trainer,  Mohamad ElHabash . Result of the encounter? Draw! Note that Adib drew Hani Ammoun in round 1, then beat the Egyptian WGM Wafa Shahanda in round 2!!! Keep an eye(or two)  on this kid.

The Arbiters’ team. Nice work guys!

No chess without the Lebanese Army blessing.

the top 2 seeded players: Demchenko vs Volkov

A critical encounter for Faisal, and Volkov!

the encounter of 2 generations (Alexandre Abchee vs IM Nabil ElKhechen), where the experienced one prevailed.

Another generation confrontation (Mohammad El Jawish vs Danielle Bedrossian): Same result as above

GM Tigran Kotanjian vs Hrag Lakhoyan. Well, as above

(Men in Black) having the Black pieces, didn’t succeed in overcoming the White ones.

Shake hands by different generations

FM Ahmad Najjar vs Tigran Kotanjian: watching the game, you got the feeling that they were playing Blitz, not classical chess, due to the speed of their movement of the pieces.

Even Superman is playing Chess!!

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