13th Asian Team Chess Championship: Jodhpur 2003

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Basic data

13th Asian Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 7th - 17th April 2003
City: Jodhpur, Rajastan province, India
Venue: Abhay Days Hotel
Chairman of Organizing Committee: Mr. Jagdish Talwar (IND)
Chief Arbiter: IA Rudrani Charan Chatterjee (IND)
Teams participating: 13 (incl. three Indian teams)
Players participating: 63 (incl. 21 GMs, 14 IMs and 4 FMs)
Games played: 216
Competition format: Four board nine round Swiss.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Buchholz; 3. Match points
Time control: N/A
Official logo: JODHPUR 2003
Website: http://www.asianteamchess2003.com (cached only)
Other websites: ChessBase reports: report1, report2
Reports from Indian chess portal
The Hindu reports: format discussion, team overview, r1, r2, r3, r4&5, r6, r7, r8, r9, summary
Short summary at www.fide.com
Downloadable game file: 03asiatch.zip (about 55% of games are missing)

Tournament review

Umaid Bhawan PalaceJodhpur, an ancient city lying in the Indian province of Rajasthan, was the venue of 13th Asian Team Championship. India, making the most of the privileges of being the host, had right to enter three teams in the pool. But the Chinese were hot favourites - headed by the vastly-experienced Ye Jiangchuan (ELO 2682) accompanied by ebullient Zhang Zhong (2628), twice Asian champion Xu Jun (2624) and Zhang Pengxiang (2596). Unfortunately for India they were not able to convince Anand to play because of his well-known bias against taking part in Swiss team events. Instead Sasikiran, newly crowned champion of Asia was head of their team. Koneru Humpy, top Indian female player, lead India "B" team. Defending champions Uzbekistan from the very beginning were expected to find it difficult to retain the title despite having Kasimdzhanov and other three GMs in their ranks. Vietnam were a nation hoping to make things difficult for the contenders as their chances for a medal couldn't be written off. For Iran only Ehsan Ghaem Maghami was likely to pose any threat on the top board. Kazakhstan with two decent GMs at top boards were hoping to cause some damage. Indonesia, Singapore and Afghanistan had withdrawn before the start.

China 'A' - IndiaIndian teams got off to a roaring start as Indian "A" team beat Kyrgyzstan 3-1 while "B" team swamped Malaysia 3½-½ and "C" team defeated Macau 3½-½. Vietnam was the only team that recorded a 4-0 win. Favourites China struggled for their 2½-1½ win over Turkmenistan with Yu Shaoteng losing on the fourth board. Defending champions Uzbekistan came late so their first round was taken as a bye with two points added to their record. India "A" held China to a well-deserved draw in the most interesting match of round two. Zhang's win over Barua was compensated with excellent victory of Sasikiran over Ye at board #1. Meanwhile, Vietnam remained ahead of the field with 6½ points following an expected 2½-1½ victory over India "B". Đào Thiên Hải playing black, proved too strong for Koneru Humpy on the top board. The all-GM Uzbek combination, led by World Cup runner-up Rustam Kasimdzhanov, was surprisingly held by an unheralded Turkmenistan. Surprise packet India "C" moved up to second spot thanks to pair of IM wins, scored by Neelotpal vs Sadvakasov and Ravi vs Kostenko of Kazakhstan respectively. Top seeds China roared back to form after two ordinary rounds to thrash Iran on day three 4-0 and join Vietnam at the top of the table on 8½ points. The Vietnamese were involved in a 2-2 draw against spirited India "C" who were sitting pretty in third place just half a point behind the two leaders. India "A" tried hard but had to face stiff resistance against India "B" and the result was level, which could be considered a very satisfactory one for the latter. Standings after three rounds: Vietnam and China 8½; India "C" 8; Kazakhstan 7½.

Iran - KazakhstanOn day four China scored narrow victory over Vietnam on the top table taking the sole lead. India "C" came close to their country-mates as Ravi beat Barua at third board but of remaining three games they managed to scrape barely one draw to finally lose 1½-2½. Kazakhstan held India "B" to a draw and Uzbekistan recovered a bit from round three debacle defeating Malaysia but only 3-1 as GM Dzhumaev lost to N. Chan. China strengthened their grip after five rounds with an emphatic 3-1 win over Kazhakastan later on fourth day of the games. The win put them at 14 points, a clear 1½ point ahead of India "C" who played well above their seeding wiping out India "B" 3-1 with both wins coming from bottom boards. India "A" came from behind to hold Vietnam to a 2-2 draw, thereby keeping themselves of a striking medal distance. Asian Champion Krishnan Sasikiran went down at the top board to Đào Thiên Hải, while Abhijit Kunte pulled one back with a marathon victory over Tô Quốc Khanh at the bottom board. Turkmenistan hammered poor Sri Lanka with a clear 4-0 to move up to 4th (that's the power of Swiss!). India "C" produced by far the most sensational result of the tournament until then halving vs China. All four games went on to draws. Due to the determined show of India "C" Vietnam found themselves within a point of China after beating Turkmenistan 3-1. The second seeds India "A", too, trounced defending champions and third-seeded Uzbekistan 3-1 and joined India "C" in the third spot at 14½ points.

Victorious Chinese teamChina suffered a stunning defeat in the hands of India "B" in seventh round as Thipsay and Ramesh scored crucial wins over Zhang Zhong and Yu Shaoteng, giving them a rare victory against the Chinese. 'I don't remember China ever losing to any Asian country' said GM Thipsay, who had been part of majority of India's campaigns in major championships for nearly two decades. Before China crashed to a rare defeat, India "A" seized the opportunity to emerge as the leader for once. Playing without Sasikiran they expectedly blanked Sri Lanka 4-0 and jumped to 18½ points - one clear of China. Later, the 1-3 defeat of overnight second-placed Vietnam at the hands of Kazakhstan restricted their tally to 16 points and made them sure to get a bye in the eighth round. Looking fiercely their way back to top China swept defending champions Uzbekistan by 3½-½ in the penultimate round. The win gave China a vital one point lead going into the last round as India "A" slipped to a surprising 1½-2½ loss to Kazakhstan on the top table. What boost Chinese spirit was Ye's super win over Kazimdzhanov at top board. India "C" moved to joint second as they ran over Kyrgyzstan with an impressive 3-1. Ravi Lanka stretched his GM-norm thanks to a 21-move victory over Shukuraliev. India "B" beat Sri Lanka - but too modestly to avoid a two point bye on the last day. Standings after 8 rounds: China 21; India "A" and India "C" 20; Kazakhstan 19½; India "B" 19. The ultimate round did not bring expected tension to the home crowd as China easily swept Malaysia 4-0 taking the Asian Team title with a comfortable margin of 1½ point over India "A" who defeated Turkmenistan 3½-½. India "C" did their best completing a 3-1 rout of Iran to take bronze medals due to Ibraev's slip-up vs Annurudha of Sri Lanka to lower the margin of Kazakhstan's victory over the Lankans to 3-1, a fraction too low to grab the bronze. Annurudha contributed twice to India "C" success - he also won a game vs India "B" player the day before to pave India's "C" way to the medal zone. He was profusely congratulated and thanked by the members of India "C" for obvious reasons.

/Based on reports from The Hindu, India's National Newspaper/

Individual medals

Note!: an unplayed round - due to team's bye - was counted as draw (marked with the asterisk).

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Đào Thiên Hải Vietnam VIE 7 9 77.8*
2. GM Ye Jiangchuan China CHN 8 68.8
3. GM Sasikiran, Krishnan India IND 8 68.8

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Thipsay, Praveen Mahadeo India IND2 7 78.6
2. Mahjoob, Morteza Iran IRI 5 7 71.4
3. GM Kotsur, Pavel Kazakhstan KAZ 8 68.8

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Ravi, Lanka India IND3 9 83.3
2. GM Xu Jun China CHN 9 72.2
3. GM Từ Hoàng Thông Vietnam VIE 6 9 66.7*

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Zhang Pengxiang China CHN 7 8 87.5
2. IM Dinesh, Kumar Sharma India IND3 8 81.3
3. IM Odeev, Handszar Turkmenistan TKM 7 9 77.8*

Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Askarov, Bakhtiyar Kazakhstan KAZ 5 90.0
2. GM Kunte, Abhijit India IND 5 7 71.4
3. IM Vakhidov, Tahir Uzbekistan UZB 5 70.0*

Interesting games

White kept pressure until he finally went on to a win.
Sasikiran, Krishnan (IND) - Ye Jiangchuan (CHN) 1 - 0

The unique sequence of ten consecutive trades (includes eight piece trades).
Koneru, Humpy (IND2) - Sasikiran, Krishnan (IND) ½ - ½

Black had completely dominated the game and dubious exchange sacrifice was not much of a help.
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam (UZB) - Ye Jiangchuan (CHN) 0 - 1

That was a lesson of a totally one sided game.
Shukuraliev, Algis (KGZ) - Ravi, Lanka (IND3) 0 - 1

Black King castled straight under white's gunfire!
Kostenko, Petr (KAZ) - Sandipan, Chanda (IND2) 0 - 1