Pranav Tops All-Indian Podium Ahead of Ivanchuk, Niemann At New Dubai Tournament

GM Pranav V won the strong Masters section of the inaugural Dubai Police Global Chess Challenge, held May 4-12 in Dubai. The 17-year-old grandmaster from Bangalore edged out GM Aravindh Chithambaram on tiebreak, both with seven points, to win the trophy and $16,000.

GM Pranesh M came third on tiebreak with 6.5 points, the same score as six other players including GMs Vasyl Ivanchuk and Hans Niemann.

Apart from the Dubai Open and the Sharjah Masters, the UAE now has a third very strong open tournament. The sponsor is an irregular one: the Dubai police. As their representative Abdulla Ali Aal Barket explained in an interview with ChessBase India, many police officers are playing chess among each other online, and their commander came with the idea for a big international tournament.

The Masters tournament was hard-fought till the end. Among the five players on six points going into the final round, Pranav and Aravindh were the only ones to win their games on Sunday. On board three it was the eventual winner Pranav, at 17 one of India’s youngest grandmasters (number 75, back in 2022!) who defeated one of his many compatriots in this tournament. It was nice to see this happening with the Center Game, an ancient opening that is seeing a bit of a revival.

Pranav Aravindh Dubai 2024
Aravindh and Pranav drew each other in the eighth round in Dubai. Photo: ChessBase India.

The 24-year-old Aravindh, from Thirunagar, Tamil Nadu, is already a rather seasoned player who won the national championships back to back in 2018 and 2019. He beat the strong German grandmaster Alexander Donchenko with the black pieces, using an offbeat opening that seemed intended to play for a win. Black was better from move 15 following a puzzling decision from Donchenko, who missed several chances to draw the game later on.

The legendary Ivanchuk, now 55 years old, showed his permanent class by beating the top seed in the final round in a truly magnificent game. He played the Najdorf/Scheveningen in “Kasparov-style,” deviated from theory early on, and then nicely outplayed his strong opponent in the middlegame and endgame.  

Vasyl Ivanchuk. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Grenke Open winner Niemann had chances to finish in shared first place as well, but despite being a pawn up he eventually had to settle for a draw in the final round. He won a nice game with the black pieces in round eight in a 6.Rg1 Najdorf:

Niemann and Sethuraman Dubai 2024
Niemann and Sethuraman at the start of their round-eight game. Photo: ChessBase India.

Dubai Police Global Chess Challenge 2024 | Final Standings (Top 10)

Dubai Police Global Chess Challenge 2024 Final Standings

The Dubai Police Global Chess Challenge took place May 4-12 in in the Dubai Police Officers Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and had a $125,000 prize fund. The main event, the Masters, was a nine-round open. The time control was 90 minutes per player for all moves, with a 30-second increment added after each move. You can find all games at our Events Page.

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