7th Sharjah Masters 2024: Preview

The 7th Sharjah Masters is right around the corner and is jam-packed with incredibly strong chess players.

Sharjah Masters

The Sharjah Masters, hosted by the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club, is quickly becoming one of the strongest chess events on the calendar. Since its inception in 2017, it has been attracting a large contingent of the world's strongest chess players. In this year's edition, there are over 42 players rated above 2600 in the Masters section, with many household names, such as Arjun Erigaisi, Parham Maghsoodloo, Yu Yangyi, Teimour Radjabov, and Amin Tabatabaei, among many others, in the mix. In short, the field is stacked, and it's almost impossible to make any predictions on who will win the event. That said, it's fun to try, and it's also important to know what's at stake for the players, so below you will find more information about the players and their current "form".

Lichess Coverage

IM Irene Sukandar will be covering the event for Lichess on our YouTube and Twitch from 13:00 UTC tomorrow and 11:00 UTC the following days until 22 May!



Arjun Erigaisi

Arjun Erigaisi has built up a reputation, especially in the past few months, as the "king of opens". After finishing in shared second in the Grenke Open, and tying for 1st in the Menorca Open and TePe Sigeman, Erigaisi is at his peak rating of 2761. Of course, it is important for Erigaisi to cement his place in the top so that he can get more invites to superGM closed tournaments, so he will be looking to add another win to his long list of open conquests — and conquests in opens. Moreover, Erigaisi will be looking to win some points for the 2024 FIDE Circuit, where currently he's second behind Abdusattorov.

Parham Maghsoodloo

Maghsoodloo also seems to be in good form, having reached his peak rating of 2742 in December 2023. As of now, he sits at 2732, and he had a good showing in the 2024 Prague Festival, finishing in tied 2nd, ahead of the likes of Gukesh, Rapport, and Navara. For Maghsoodloo, who's the world #19 as of May 2024, winning a few rating points — and the event itself — would definitely make for a very good result.

Yu Yangyi

Yu Yangyi has been at the top for a long time, having won the 2014 Qatar Masters half a point ahead of Anish Giri and Vladimir Kramnik. His long and illustrious career has been marked by very solid and technical play, which is perhaps not so well-suited for open tournaments, where he struggled at the recently concluded Dubai Police Global Chess Challenge, finishing in 22nd place as the 1st seed of the tournament. At 2728, though, Yu is still a favorite to win the event, and, in contrast to the Dubai Police Global Chess Challenge, the Sharjah Masters is much higher rated, with the lowest rated player, 88th seed prodigy Shreyas Royal, sitting at 2463.

Teimour Radjabov

Radjabov has been a perennial top player, with significant chess achievements, including nearly (2799.6 on the live rating list!) making it to 2800 in classical, a rare feat of chess strength only shared by a select few. Radjabov is not as active as he once was, however. His last classical tournament, the European Team Championship, was five months ago. He lost 22 rating points there and was unable to win any game. That being said, Radjabov has shown tremendous class throughout the years, so if he's able to bring his A game to the Sharjah Masters, he will definitely be a top contender, and possibly win the event outright.

Amin Tabatabaei

Like Erigaisi and Maghsoodloo, Amin Tabatabaei has also been rising through the ranks. However, he's also been largely inactive in 2024, only playing the Chessable Masters three months ago and the Bundesliga more recently. After having finished in 2nd in the 2023 London Chess Classic in December, though, Tabatabaei should also be in good form and is definitely one of the contenders to win the Sharjah Masters.

Honorable Mentions

The field is absolutely stacked. 6th to 20th place? Alexey Sarana, Vladislav Artemiev, Andrey Esipenko, Vladimir Fedoseev, Samuel Sevian, S L Narayanan, Daniel-Bogdan Deac, Sanan Sjugirov, Hans Moke Niemann, Javokhir Sindarov, Nihal Sarin, Haik Martirosyan, Sam Shankland, Chithambaram Vr. Aravindh, and Nodirbek Yakubboev. Any of these players could win the event and even players down the list could win it, too. The Sharjah Masters promises to be a very exciting tournament and with such a big field, wild games are guaranteed, so make sure not to miss the action!

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