Tunisian Zoubaier Amdouni clinched a much coveted International Master norm when he topped the XYChess IM Group tournament held in Sliema, recently.

The tournament featured four Tunisian national team members, including Amdouni.

The XYChess competition produced a spectacular game bet-ween top seed IM Bernd Kohl-weyer and Ahmed Bouzidi.

The contest stretched to 158 moves before coming to an end when Bouzidi forced a stalemate to survive a lost position after a five-hour struggle.

Group A was won by FM Mats Carlson followed by Duncan Vella with seven points.

Group B was a hotly contested battle but in the end George Caruana – the rating favourite – came out on top, just ahead of Ronald Sammut and Ian Refalo.

In Group C, unrated revelation Vincent Lacaba notched up eight wins to place ahead of Clarence Psaila and Stefan Beulertz.

During the tournament, GM Bartłomiej Heberla figured in a simultaneous exhibition.

The XYChess tournament was held in conjunction with international organiser and arbiter Adam Raoof.

Play was held at the Imperial Hotel.

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