The Eight Eight International Chess Open, organised by XYChess, came to a close at the Windsor Hotel hall, in Sliema, earlier this week.

Marco Viela of Portugal, outsmarted all opposition to clinch first place in Open ‘A’ and Englishman Steve Clare showed total domination in Open ‘B’ to seal the title.

In Open ‘A’, current Malta champion Robert Zerafa started with an impressive run of five wins but ultimately had to settle for third place after successive upsets in the last two rounds.

Romanian Iount Deaconu, having won a decisive game against Zerafa in Round Seven, was the runner-up behind Viela.

Dejan Lekic remained undefeated to secure second place in Open ‘B’ with 5.5 points while rating favourite Gabriel Mirza, from Ireland, only managed third place on a tie-break.

The Open ‘B’ tournament also saw various players achieving their first international rating.

The tournament was well received, reaching the maximum capacity possible with 66 players taking part. More than half of those on the entry list hailed from abroad and made the journey to Malta to compete.

Foreign players came from as far as Vietnam, China and Palestine. The organiser also hosted a group of players from Tunisia besides others from different European countries.

The XYChess tournament was made possible through the sponsorship of Eight Eight design agency.

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