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Saparmurat Atabayev entered the top three chess players at the zonal tournament of the World Cup in Dushanbe


The international master from Ashgabat Saparmurat Atabayev entered the top three at the zonal tournament of the World Chess Cup held in Dushanbe. After 9 rounds, he scored 6.5 points. The Uzbek grandmaster Nodirbek Yakubboev and international master Alisher Suleimenov from Kazakhstan had the same number.

As a result, according to the site "Turkmenistan: Golden Age", the champion of Zone 3.4, which is one of the eight zones of the Asian Chess Federation and includes five Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, had to be determined according to additional criteria. They turned out to be better for Nodirbek Yakubboev, the champion of the World Chess Olympiad 2022 as part of the Uzbekistan national team. Suleimenov took second place, and Saparmurat was on the third line of the standings.

The intrigue in the men's category persisted to the very last. Saparmurat started the tournament not very well, while Yakubboev, who had the highest rating among the participants (2630) and was considered the favorite of the tournament, took the lead from the first rounds and showed a game befitting an Olympic champion. After the 7th round, Nodirbek was the sole leader of the tournament with 5.5 points, and four participants were half a point behind him at once - Rinat Dzhumabaev (2590), Murtas Kazhgaleev (2506), Alisher Suleimenov (2471, all from Kazakhstan) and Saparmurat Atabaev (2433). In the 8th round, Nodirbek met with Saparmurat, who defeated him in the last year's Asian continental championship in India. Obviously, Nodirbek was eager to take revenge on his offender from Turkmenistan. But Saparmurat, once again showing grandmaster technique, was able to beat Nodirbek and prove that he was not inferior to his opponent in the class.

Thus, before the last round, Alisher Suleimenov and Saparmurat Atabayev were in the lead in the tournament, and they were supposed to meet each other in the 9th round. Victory guaranteed a gold medal for any of the opponents and access to the FIDE World Cup 2023. Playing black, Saparmurat showed colossal technique throughout the entire period of the game until the very endgame and had an advantage, but in the endgame, he made a small blot, and this was enough for his opponent to bring the game to a draw.

And Nodirbek Yakubboev, on the contrary, won his last game and "jumped into the last car of the departing train", becoming the champion of the zone. Suleimenov was also pleased, having received the second of the available "tickets" to the World Cup.

In addition to Saparmurat, in the men's category, Turkmenistan was represented by his brothers-grandmasters Maksat and Yusup Atabaev, as well as FIDE master Azat Nurmammedov. All of them completed the tournament with 4.5 points out of 9 possible.

Three athletes from Turkmenistan participated in the women's category of the tournament - candidate for master of sports Ogulsuray Bayrambayeva (rating - 1902), FIDE master Lala Shohradova (2033) and first-class athlete Meryem Agajanova (1897). The best result among the Turkmen chess players was shown by Ogulsuray Bayrambayeva, who took 9th place with 5 points out of 9 possible. The first six lines in the final position of the tournament were occupied by the representatives of Kazakhstan.

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