Thursday, 06 August 2015 09:34

Asian Opening ceremony

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Round 4

Co-leaders GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly of India and compatriot GM Prasanna Vishnu drew with each other in the fourth round to maintain a share of the lead with 3.5 points each in the $87,000 Asian Continental Chess Championship at the Hilton Hotel in Al Ain, UAE. The draw between the co-leaders allowed two others, 27-year-old IM Lin Chen of Jiangsu, China and 24-year-old GM Darini Pouria of Iran, to catch up and tie with 3.5 points each.

Ganguly used the Queen’s Gambit Declined but neither side could gain the advantage and the game reached a drawn Queen and pawn endgame in 43 moves. Lin used the Slav Defense to turn back GM Saleh A.R. Salem of the UAE. Salem played aggressively with the white pieces embarking on a kingside pawn storm. In classical response, Lin countered with a break in the center to create passed pawns which he managed to promote to Queen and force resignation on the 57th move.

Pouria outmaneuvered GM Chanda Sandipan of India in 59 moves of a Ruy Lopez. In the transition to the endgame, Darini had the better pawn structure and a centralized King when Sandipan resigned on the 59th move.

Indian GMs Lalith Babu, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, Abhijeet Gupta, Deep Sengupta and six others trail a half point behind the leaders. Tied with them at 3 points each are top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, GM Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan, GM Gao Rui and IM Wang Chen of China, GM Idani Pouya of Iran and GM Rustam Khusnutdinov of Kazakhstan.

In the women’s division, Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi, 36, six-time national women’s champion of India, beat Chinese WGM Zhang Xiaowen to barge into a 3-way tie for the lead. Vijayalakshmi comes from Chennai and in 2001 became the country’s first Woman Grandmaster and their first to earn the man’s International Master title. Tied with her at 3.5 points each are WGM Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran and WGM Aulia Medina Warda of Indonesia who drew with each other in 32 moves of a Scotch Four Knights game.

Five Indian women are among 11 players trailing the leaders at 3 points each, namely WIM Pratyusha Bodda, IM Padmini Rout, WGM Soumya Swaminathan, WGM Mary Ann Gomes and IM Eesha Karavade. Tied with them are WGM Lei Tingjie and Wang Jue of China, Li Ruofan of Singapore, Mitra Hejazipour of Iran and WGM Madina Davletbayeva and Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan.

The event is organized by the Asian Chess Federation in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and UAE Chess Federation. Six tournaments are scheduled with a top prize of $11,000 for first place in the Men’s and $6,000 first prize in the women’s championship. Rapid chess and blitz tournaments are scheduled in both the men’s and women’s divisions with a total of $12,000 in cash prizes. Tournaments will be conducted as 9 round Swiss System events with cash prizes for the top 30 places.

The top five advance to the World Cup next month in Baku, Azerbaijan. The women’s champion shall represent Asia in the FIDE Women’s World Championship. Games are scheduled 3pm daily. Top boards are broadcast live for Men and Women, and are available for download in the official site asianchess.com with pairings in chess-results.com and livestream on youtube, facebook and instagram.

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GM Vishnu Prassana of India

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WGM Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi of India



Round 3

Indian GMs Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Vishnu Prasanna share the lead with perfect 3 point slates after as many rounds of the $87,000 Asian Continental Championship at the Hilton Hotel in Al Ain, UAE. In the women’s division, 18-year-old WGM Aulia Medina Warda of Indonesia and Iranian WGM Atousa Pourkashiyan are tied for the lead with 3 points each. Ganguly, 32, 6-time Indian national champion from Kolkata and winner of the Asian Continental championship in 2009, used the Maroczy Bind against the Sicilian defense of GM Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan and won in a marathon 72 moves. Well known as one of the seconds in the team of former world champion Viswanthan Anand, Ganguly works as a Deputy Manager at the Indian Oil Corporation.

Vishnu Prasanna crushed the Caro Kann Defense of compatriot Lalith Babu. Prasanna penetrated with his Rooks on the open c-file and controlled the dark squares. He pried open the castled king with a Knight sacrifice and weaved a mating net with Queen and Bishop to force resignation on the 36th move. Prasnna, 26, hails from Chennai and works for the Airports Authority of India.

Three more Indians are in a group of eight, a half point behind the leaders, namely GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, Chanda Sandipan and Abhijeet Gupta. Tied with 2.5 points each in second slot are local hero Saleh A.R. Salem of the UAE, Chinese IM Lin Chen and IM Wang Chen and Iranians GM Idani Pouya and GM Darini Pouria.

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Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran (left) vs. Padmini Rout of India

Gujrathi, 21, winner of the World Youth Under-14 in 2008, used the Gruenfeld Defense to beat GM Nguyen Duc Hoa of Vietnam in 34 moves. Gupta employed the Tartakower System against the Modern Defense of GM Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan to win in 35 moves. Sandipan and Chinese IM Wang Chen drew in a marathon 100 moves of a Queen’s Gambit Declined. In the women’s division, three Indians follow a half point behind the leaders, namely WGM Soumya Swaminathan, WGM Mary Ann Gomes and IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman. Tied with them at 2.5 points each are WGM Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan and WGM Zhang Xiaowen of China.

Pourkashiyan crushed the Sicilian defense of erstwhile leader Padmini Rout of India delivering checkmate on the 41st move. Aulia Medina Warda used the French Defense against Iran’s Raana Hakimifard to force resignation in 34 moves.

The event is organized by the Asian Chess Federation in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and UAE Chess Federation. Six tournaments are scheduled with a top prize of $11,000 for first place in the Men’s and $6,000 first prize in the women’s championship. Rapid chess and blitz tournaments are scheduled in both the men’s and women’s divisions with a total of $12,000 in cash prizes. Tournaments will be conducted as 9 round Swiss System events with cash prizes for the top 30 places.

The top five advance to the World Cup next month in Baku, Azerbaijan. The women’s champion shall represent Asia in the FIDE Women’s World Championship. Games are scheduled 3pm daily and are available for download in the official site asianchess.com with pairings in chess-results.com, livestream on youtube and pages on facebook and instagram.

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GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly of India (left) vs. GM Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan


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Saleh A.R Salem

Round 2

Four Indian Grandmasters are in the lead pack after two rounds of the Asian Continental Chess Championship at the Hilton Hotel in Al Ain, UAE. Grandmasters Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Chanda Sandipan, Lalith Babu and Vishnu Prasnna lead with perfect two point slates together with four others. Tied at 2 points each are Chinese International Master Wang Chen, Uzbek GM Jahongir Vakhidovand Iranian GMs Idani Pouya and Darini Pouria.

Ganguly used the Classical variation of the French Defense to beat GM Gundavaa Bayarsaikhan of Mongolia. The Indian star embarked on a kingside pawn storm and sacrificed the Rook for Bishop exchange to penetrate and force resignation on the 42nd move.

GM Chanda Sandipan of India used the rare Dutch Defense to threaten mate on the 46th move against Tsegmed Batchuluun of Mongolia. GM Lalith Babu smashed the Gruenfeld Defense of Lou Yiping of China in a marathon 76 moves.

Wang Chen kept Chinese hopes alive as he used the Sicilian defense to beat Amin Tabatabaei of Iran in 67 moves. But Idani Pouya countered for Iran as he essayed the Queen’s Indian defense and controlled the center to reach a won endgame in 45 moves against Indian GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan. Iranian Darini Pouria also scored at the expense of local master Ishaq Saeed of the UAE in 58 moves of a Ruy Lopez game. Young Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan essayed the symmetrical English opening to beat K. Rahnakaran of India in 36 moves.

Local hero Saleh A.R Salem was held to a draw by the Sicilian defense of untitled Chinese Xu Yinglun in 46 moves of an opposite colored Bishop endgame. Salem and 18 others including top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam trail with 1.5 points each.

In the women’s division three Indian women also have a share of the lead, namely IM Padmini Rout, IM Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi and WGM Mary Ann Gomes. Tied at 2 points each are Indonesian WGM Aulia Medina Warda, Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan, WGM Zhang Xiaowen of China and Iranians Atousa Pourkashiyan and Raana Hakimfard.

Six tournaments are scheduled with a top prize of $11,000 for first place in the Men’s and $6,000 first prize in the women’s championship. Rapid chess and blitz tournaments are scheduled in both the men’s and women’s divisions with a total of $12,000 in cash prizes. Tournaments will be conducted as 9 round Swiss System events with cash prizes for the top 30 places.

The top five advance to the World Cup next month in Baku, Azerbaijan. The women’s champion shall represent Asia in the FIDE Women’s World Championship. Games are scheduled 3pm daily and are available for download in the official site asianchess.com with pairings in chess-results.com.

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Emirati players Grandmaster Saleh A.R. Salem and FIDE Master Saeed Ishaq scored stunning victories yesterday at the opening of the $87,000 Asian Continental Chess Championships at the Hilton Hotel in Al Ain, UAE.

Salem used the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defense to crush International Master S. Nitin of India. The local ace used his opposite colored Bishop and threatened his opponent’s weak back rank. Salem stunned his opponent with a Queen sacrifice on the 31st move to force resignation on the next move.

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Salem, playing black, sacrificed his Queen with 31… Qxc2+! Against IM S. Nitin of India.

Not to be outdone, compatriot Saeed Ishaq followed suit with a Queen sacrifice on the 24th move against the Slav defense of GM Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy of Vietnam threatening mate two moves later.

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Saeed Ishaq, playing white, sacrificed his queen (24.Qxg6!) against GM Minh Huy of Vietnam.

Top seed GM Le Quang Liem of Vietnam was held to a draw by 22-year-old IM Haridas Pascua of the Philippines. The young Filipino went on the attack with a kingside pawn storm against the Dutch defense of his seasoned opponent and seized the draw after 35 moves of an opposite colored Bishop endgame.

Twenty one year old GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi led the onslaught by the 19-man Indian delegation with a victory over GM Enamul Hosain of Bangladesh as other Indian GMs scored opening round wins. GM Krishnan Sasikiran beat GM Petr Kostenko of Kazakhstan, GM S.P.Sethuraman won over compatriot P. Karthikeyan, GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly defeated GM Dashzegve Sharavdorj of Mongolia, K. Rathnakaran beat GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore, GM Deep Sengupta won over IM Zhanat Saiyn of Kazakhstan, GM Chanda Sandipan beat FM Semetey Tologontegin of Kyrgyzstan, GM Lalith Babu outplayed FM Li Di of China, GM Vishnu Prasanna outmatched FM Abdulwahab Ahmed Abdulstarrar of Iraq, GM Abhijeet Gupta beat Mamyrbay Assad of Kazakhstan and IM S.L. Narayanan smashed Nassar Marwan of Lebanon.

GM Gao Rui led the 13-man Chinese delegation, beating the French defense of compatriot Yuan Qingyu in 33 moves. IM Wang Chen smashed the Sicilian defense of compatriot IM Chu Wei Chao in 45 moves. IM Lin Chen outmatched Candidate Master Hajiri Bader of Kuwait. Xu Yinglun outplayed Ezizov Jumamuhammet of Turkmenistan and IM Lou Yiping beat Mohammed bukhari of Saudi Arabia.

The Chinese were stronger in the women’s division as top seed WGM Tan Zhongyi beat Le Kieu Thien Kim of Vietnam. Other leading Chinese women are IM Shen Yang who beat Ghazal Hakimifard of Iran, WIM Zhai Mo winner against Akter Liza Shamima of Bangladesh, WGM Zhang Xiaowen who beat compatriot Chu Ruotong and WGM Wang Jue who won over compatriot Liu Manli.

Second seed WGM Padmini Rout of India kept pace by beating WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An of Vietnam. Mongolian Sengeravdan Otongjargal also won against Lei Tingjie of China. Other first round winners were from different federations, namely Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, Mitra Hejaziour, Raana Hakimifar and Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran, Aulia Medina Warda of Indonesia, Nguyen Thi Mai Hung and Pham Le Thao Nguyen of Vietnam, Dinara Saduakassova and Medina Davletbayeva of Kazakhstan, Aseel Faqeeh of Palestine Sarvinoz Kurbonboeva of Uzbekistan and Indians Eesha Karavade, Subbaraman Vijaylakshmi, Bhakti Kulkarni, Nisha Mohota, Soumya Swaminathan and Mary Ann Gomes.

In accordance with the strict new FIDE Laws, Chief Arbiter Haroon or Rashid of Bangladesh forfeited newcomer Houd Alhouti of Oman for inadvertently bringing his mobile phone during the game.

Six tournaments are scheduled with a top prize of $11,000 for first place in the Men’s and $6,000 first prize in the women’s championship. Rapid chess and blitz tournaments are scheduled in both the men’s and women’s divisions with a total of $12,000 in cash prizes. Tournaments will be conducted as 9 round Swiss System events with cash prizes for the top 30 places.

The top five advance to the World Cup next month in Baku, Azerbaijan. The women’s champion shall represent Asia in the FIDE Women’s World Championship. Games are scheduled 3pm daily and are available for download in the official site asianchess.com with pairings in chess-results.com.

Local hero Saleh A.R. Salem already qualified for the World Cup from last year’s Asian Continental. The top two seeds from Vietnam, namely GM Le Quang Liem, rated 2669, and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, rated 2662, have also qualified from the Southeas Asian Zonal. Also qualified from their respective Zonal tournaments are GM S. P. Sethuraman of India, Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh, and from the Middle East Zonal, GM Idani Pouya of Iran. Should any of these pre-qualified players make it to the top five, the next in line qualifies to the World Cup.

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In photo, Asian Chess Federation Deputy President Bharat Singh makes the ceremonial moves between local bet GM Saleh A.R. Salem (left) and top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam. Looking on are, from left, Saeed Al Muhairi of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, ACF Secretary General Hisham Al Taher and FIDE Zone President Husan Turdialiev of Uzbekistan.

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