5th Asian Team Chess Championship: New Delhi 1983

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Basic data

ORKAY 5th Asian Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 18th - 31st October 1983
City: New Delhi, India
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
Chairman of Organizing Committee: Mr. Kapal Mehra (IND)
Chief Executive Councellor: Mr. Jag Parvesh Chandra (IND)
Chief Arbiter: IA Nasiruddin Ghalib (IND)
Head sponsor: Orkay Silk Mills Ltd.
Teams participating: 10
Players participating: 58 (incl. 1 GMs and 12 IMs)
Games played: 180
Competition format: Four board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours 30 minutes, then each next 16 moves in 1 hour
Downloadable game file: 83asiatch.zip
Special thanks to Michael R. Freeman for providing the tournament bulletin.

Tournament review


By Bernard Carpinter (team captain)

The New Zealand, chess team nearly didn't go to the Asian Teams Championship in New Delhi. After some members of the original team defected, NZCA decided to cancel the trip. Then the net was cast wider, and lower, in the search for prospective members, a young and not particularly strong team materialised, and it was all on again. We got to India, and spent quite a bit of the time there wishing we hadn't. The team, in board order, was Jonathan Sarfati, Bernard Carpinter (captain), Michael Hopewell, Mark Noble, Anthony Ker and Michael Freeman. The tournament was scheduled for the middle of Sarfati's first-year university exams, but Victoria University co-operatively agreed to allow me to supervise tour of his papers in New Delhi.

A pleasant couple of days in Singapore broke the long trip to India, but landing in the seething chaos of Bombay Airport in the middle of the night administered a sharp shot of culture shock. The shock deepened when we arrived in Delhi and were shown to the room (singular) in which the six of us were supposed to live for the two weeks. It was in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium where the play was to take place. The room was not large. It was dirty and smelly, and had a broken window and a thriving mosquito colony. The toilet leaked and the bathroom floor was constantly covered in water. No hot water (no hot water in the whole stadium, actually), no soap, no towels, and not enough bedding. It was noisy too.

We made many complaints and requests for better conditions but it seems that in India things happen very slowly or, more usually, not at all. Noble and I moved into a hotel at our own expense, but the others could not afford to leave. Eventually we did get an additional room, similar to the first but less smelly. Freeman got 20 mosquito bites on his first day in the room and Delhi belly on the second; four of us were to get sick in varying degrees and the other two seemed quite run down. One good point was the food, although we had to pay for it ourselves and some of the team would eat only fish, bread and ice cream.

Ten countries turned up in the end, notable absentees being Australia and Indonesia. The top three teams were obviously going to be the Philippines, led by Candidate Eugene Torre, China and India. Curiously, India did not have their strongest team. They had been hoping for an odd number of entrants, which would have allowed them to field two teams, and they had selected two teams of roughly equal strength instead of the usual top team and reserve team. When an even number of entrants arrived they played one of these teams, led by young IM Dibyendu Barua whose successes included a win over Korchnoi.

The weaker teams seemed to be Brunei, Bahrain and Kuwait. The two Arab countries had expert assistance, however - Bahrain had Filipino GM Balinas as their coach and Kuwait the Polish IM Filipowicz. The other teams were Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Our team agreed that we should each play six of the nine rounds, and should try to equalise the strength of opposition that each team member met. We would also try to equalise colour distribution but that proved difficult.

Round I: We thought 2-2 against Pakistan was a moderate result. but as the tournament progressed it became obvious they were actually pretty strong; they beat China and their young board two scored 2½/3 against IMs. Sarfati had a bad day, I had an up-and-down draw after sacrificing pawns for the initiative, Hopewell a good positional win, while Noble had a space advantage but reached a position where neither side could think of anything constructive to do.

Round II: Hopewell and Ker crunched through quickly with aggressive play. Freeman's opponent played good sensible chess all the first session, sealed an anti-positional shocker and self-destructed with remarkable rapidity in the second session. Noble's opponent played some imaginative chess but Mark got on top and at one point wrote the winning move on his score sheet.

Unfortunately he crossed it out, found himself plagued by a quite unreasonable number of passed pawns, and couldn't quite find a swindle.

Round III: I accidentally fell into a grotty position but recovered and nearly won. Hopewell quickly won a pawn while keeping a good position. Ker blew a fuse in a winning position and found his queen pinned to his king but, with some adjournment help from Noble, won a strange ending with rook plus two pieces versus queen and extra pawns. Freeman was always dominant.

Round IV: A bad day. Sarfati and I both found that one careless move is all that is needed to spoil a good position, while Noble was the exchange up when he donated a rook to a one-mover. Freeman was probably losing at the adjournment but his opponent unwittingly repeated the position three times.

Round V: Mascariñas again stumbled for the Philippines while in the first meeting among the big three India's IM Thipsay on board two continued his 100 per cent record to score his country's sole point against China. Sarfati was pleased to score his first half-point, with Black against IM Murshed, who offered the early draw when he realised he had overpressed. Hopewell's opponent had no idea what to do against the King's Gambit and was positionally squelched as Michael marched to 4/4.

Noble sealed to be doing all right in a most unclear position until an enemy invasion by queen and bishop mated him before he could queen his advancing pawns. Ker was better at the first adjournment and lost at the second. However, there followed a free day during which Ker, Noble and Sarfati found some imaginative swindling attempts; in the third session Rezaul Haque made two blunders and Ker only one, so the match swung our way.

Our points total after five rounds was all right but we had not yet played any of the big three. The four-man Philippines team was well led by Torre, who had scored 100 per cent although he was looking quite unhealthy, but were handicapped by Mascariñas' erratic play. China had six players (plus an interpreter and manager) but were playing their top four almost all the time.

The first rest day followed, on which we were provided with a rough but worthwhile four-hour bus trip to the beautiful Taj Mahal and the huge Agra Fort.

Round VI: Our only whitewash, perhaps not surprising in view of the strength of the opposition (all rated around 2400) but disappointing nonetheless. I attacked Qi Jinxuan, found a nice manoeuvre he had missed, but failed to work out a complicated tactical win found by Noble afterwards. Insufficient preparation saw Hopewell lured into an opening variation his opponent had already used to crushing effect earlier in the tournament. Noble opened the h-file only to see his opponent get there first and Freeman suffered a hallucination in a position that was inferior but not clearly lost.

Round VII: Torre won yet again, with black in a Ruy Lopez, but Mascariñas list and the other two games were drawn, leaving China with a healthy points lead.

Our performance was more respectable than in the previous round. Sarfati had a difficult manoeuvring game in a closer Giucco Piano but adjourned with what looked like a satisfactory position. However, it was not as good as we thought and a slip allowed Barua to infiltrate and mate with queen and knight.

I had an equalish position against Thipsay and a big time advantage, then general debilitation caused my brain to cease functioning. Noble was grovelling in the middle game on the black side of a QGD Exchange but grovelled extremely well and was nearly winning at the second adjournment. Ker always had the upper hand but couldn't get through.

Round VIII: Pakistan struck again and indeed nearly scored 3½ but the Philippines were held by India and remained a point behind the Chinese. Torre maintained his 100 per cent scored against Barua, but Thipsay did the same against Mascariñas. Yap eat Mohanty and Rafiq Khan beat De Guzman.

Sarfati had another closed Giucco Piano and when his position started going sour accepted his opponent's respectful draw offer. I won the exchange but then my head went fuzzy again and I played very badly until Freeman got me some coconut biscuits and i started seeing things again. Ker's pressure eventually netted a pawn. Freeman calculated some nice tactics and felt disappointed when his opponent preferred to lose simply.

Round IX: So China won by 2½ points and qualify for the World Cup; this was the first time the Philippines had not won the championship. India beat Pakistan to make sure of third, though Thipsay surrendered his 100 per cent score when Omar Khan held him to a draw.

Sarfati had his moment of glory when he held Torre to a draw. The grandmaster, who had scored 8/8 before this game, had the initiative but Sarfati defended resourcefully. Hopewell seized the initiative with a pawn sacrifice and the pressure was enough to win the pawn back; thing went a little awry in the ending, but it was still a clear draw. Ker suffered his first loss when he failed to come to grips with his RQP position in a Sicilian with 2 c3 d5. Freeman played imaginatively and probably had a plus in as unclear position when De Guzman accepted his draw offer. We had reason to be grateful to Brunei this round, as the point they took off Bangladesh enabled us to finish sixth.

M.R.Freeman receives his prizeSummary: We scored just half a point below 50 per cent. Hopewell's excellent result (4½/6) won him the bronze medal on third board, while Ker went one better with a silver medal on fifth board. Freeman had the best result of the few board sixes who played a significant number of games, but for some reason was given a silver medal (Editor's note: two gold medals were awarded to tied players on board 3; thus there was none for board 6).

As I said at the start of this article, we did not enjoy this tournament. If we had known about the accommodation, the health problems and the difficulty in getting anything done there, probably none of us would have gone. Noble and I actually tried to leave early but after three phone calls and two visits to their office, the Delhi Lufthansa office decided we couldn't change our tickets.

We developed a sort of siege mentality, with Sarfati's continual complaining being counter-balanced to some extent by Hopewell's silent serenity. All the problems made captaincy a difficult task but after I absconded to the hotel Freeman became an unofficial and very helpful vice-captain. It was nice to represent New Zealand and to meet some really good players, but we could have played in better conditions. It was a lot of money to spend for six games and a ruined digestive system.

/ Taken from New Zealand Chess Magazine, December 1983 /



The Orkay Fifth Asian Chess Team Championship was inaugurated on Otc. 18, 1983 by Mr. H.K.L.Bhagat, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting. Only ten teams out of 29 countries comprising Zone 10 & 11 have participated in this event. The tournament was played on all play all basis, 9 rounds, were played with two off days in between. China emerged victorious with a tally of 30 points out of possible 36. Hence ended the monopoly of Philippines over the Tun Abdul Razak Trophy, the symbol of supremacy in Asian Chess. On earlier three occasions, Chinese were runners up to Philippines. With 27½ points to their credit, star stud Philippines team finished second, while the host India who obtained 26 points secured 3rd place. The Philippines team did not loss a match, while the winners, China suffered a shocking defeat from Pakistan.

All the moves made in this championship were well recorded in the daily bulletins, thanks to the efficient work of the Bulletin Editor, Mr. Aaron and his team of scorers, typist etc. Before concluding, I thank all the players, delegates, for their sponteneous co-operation. My thanks are due to the Arbiters, volunteers, and the workers, all of them did excellent job, for the success of this championship. Above all, the Govt. of India, Ministry of Sports deserves special mention here for their prompt assistance and of course, the Sponsor, ORKAY SILK MILLS, which came in a big way to help the organisers of this memorable event, richly deserves the commendations.


Nasiruddin Ghalib, Chief Arbiter
New Delhi, Oct. 30, 1983

Individual medals

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Torre, Eugenio The Philippines PHI 9 94.4
2. IM Qi Jingxuan China CHN 9 83.3
3. Liew Chee Meng, Jimmy Malaysia MAS 5 8 62.5
3. IM Barua, Dibyendu India IND 5 8 62.5

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Thipsay, Praveen Mahadeo India IND 8 93.8
2. IM Li Zunian China CHN 6 8 75.0
3. Hon Kah Seng, Christie Malaysia MAS 8 68.8

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Yap, Andrónico The Philippines PHI 8 9 88.9
1. IM Ye Jiangchuan China CHN 8 9 88.9
3. Hopewell, Nigel New Zealand NZL 6 75.0

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Liang Jinrong China CHN 9 83.3
2. IM De Guzman, Ricardo The Philippines PHI 9 72.2
3. Hassain, Ghulam Pakistan PAK 4 6 66.7

1st Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Mirza, Shahzad Pakistan PAK 5 6 83.3
2. Ker, Anthony New Zealand NZL 6 75.0
2. Goh Yoon Wah Malaysia MAS 6 75.0

2nd Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Freeman, Michael R. New Zealand NZL 4 6 66.7
Only one player completed required number of games.
Note! Freeman received silver medal since two players obtained gold medals for sharing best results at board #3 and there were no spare medals at the stock!

Interesting games

Shortest decisive game.
Khan, Mohamed Rafiq (IND) - Mohsin, Abdul Karim (BRN) 1 - 0

Torre cold bloodily repelled Black's Kingside attack.
Torre, Eugenio (PHI) - Barua, Dibyendu (IND) 1 - 0

Seemingly Black was just shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
All of a sudden, he trapped White King into a mating net.
Al-Ostath, Mansoor (KUW) - Freeman, Michael R. (NZL) 0 - 1

Young Pakistani made good use of Black's erratic play to go on to an unexpected win.
Khan, Mohammad Omer (PAK) - Mascariñas, Rico (PHI) 1 - 0

A RBvR ending led to a 112 move marathon.
Both players lost some opportunities before draw was agreed on a 50 move rule.
Lodhi, Mahmood (PAK) - Liew Chee Meng, Jimmy (MAS) ½ - ½

White was totally smothered. The Lady checkmated!
Said, Dhaif (BRN) - De Guzman, Ricardo (PHI) 0 - 1

Another sensational and well-deserved win of Khan.
This game sealed Pakistan's win over China, soon gold medal winners.
Li Zunian (CHN) - Khan, Mohammad Omer (PAK) 0 - 1

White managed to take the Rook, but not the game.
Mascariñas, Rico (PHI) - Hon Kah Seng, Christi (MAS) ½ - ½