This was my third year playing the Dubai Chess Open tournament and I had a great time both playing in the tournament and during my free time. Many players had the opportunity to get to know more about the amazing development of the city in the last few years. Tournament organizers and people there are very welcoming to all the chess players and visitors and this tournament is the strongest Open tournament in the Middle East and one of the most popular chess events on the world calendar. The tournament, which ran from April 7-15, 2014, was held in the Dubai Chess and Culture Centre, which is the biggest modern dedicated chess club in the world.
There were 148 players from 39 countries, including 79 titled players. There were 38 Grandmasters and the average rating of the tournament was 2214.The time control was one hour 30 mins + 30 seconds increment per move. The first prize for the event was US $10,000, with the total prize fund of $50,000.
There were only two chess players representing Georgia: myself (WIM Carolina Blanco) and FM Kazim Gulamali. Kazim had a great finish with his last rounds and received a plus score in the tournament. There were two top GMs from Latin-America: GM Axel Bachman, in which his latest great achievement was winning the Capelle la Grande Open in France just couple of months before Dubai; and GM Eduardo Iturrizaga who was the winner of the Dubai Blitz Open and placed 2nd in the classic tournament event. Both GMs are very promising young players in which we will see a lot of great results in the near future. Keep up the great work guys!
GM Edouard Romain from France was leading most of the time in the tournament and at the end he held on to be the sole winner; however, during the last 3 rounds there were very exciting and surprising results that could have change the pole position. 😉 See below for some of the very exciting games.
Carolina Blanco is a woman International Chess Master from Venezuela. She also is an orthodontist and teaches at several primary schools in Atlanta. She has been a columnist for Georgia Chess since 2007 and estimates that she has taught more than 3,000 students since she moved to Atlanta.