2nd Asian Team Chess Championship: Auckland 1977

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Basic data

2nd Asian Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 18th - 27th November 1977
City: Auckland, New Zealand
Venue: N/A
Tournament Director: N/A
Chief Arbiter: N/A
Teams participating: 10
Players participating: 53 (incl. 1 GM and 5 IMs)
Games played: 180 (11 games were forfeited)
Competition format: Four board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points
Time control: N/A
Downloadable game file: 77asiatch.zip
Special thanks to Paul Bennett for providing the tournament bulletin.

Tournament review

/ Taken from New Zealand Chess Magazine, December 1977 /

Unlike many such events held in overseas countries where a local club or regional association undertakes the organisation on behalf of the national body (a. g. the first Asian Teams held In Penang), this tournament was organised by the New Zealand Chess Association itself. New Zealand's hosting of this important event can be attributed to two factors: first, the desirability of all countries in Zone 10 contributing to the chess "life" of the region. This is the second FIDE tournament to be held in New Zealand, the first being the Zonal of 1966 — over ten years ago.

The second factor was the interest shown by Philips Electrical Industries of N.Z. in sponsoring a large chess event as part of their Golden Jubilee celebrations. Several ideas were mooted with the Asian Team Championship finally being decided upon after several meetings with Philips.

The original plans made provision for an eight-round event. With 19 countries eligible to compete a Swiss system event seemed most likely although it was realised that not all countries would wish to come so far. When the closing date for entries passed we had received ten entries but subsequently late entries were received from India and Iran and these were accepted. Thus we had 12 teams — not a very satisfactory number for an eight round Swiss. The alternative, however, of an eleven-round all-play-all meant extending the tournament for another three days and the budget would not permit this. A last minute appeal from Dr Lim Kok Ann, the Zone 10 President, following submissions from Australia and the Philippines, to have an eleven rounder without any rest days would have meant only a one day extension but, as arrangements were virtually completed, this was not feasible. At about the same time, i.e. a week before the tournament, Japan and Iran withdrew, leaving only ten teams. Naturally the schedule was changed to nine rounds at the expense of one of the two rest days — and everyone was happy.


The pre-tournament favourite was the Philippines, winner of the first Asian Team Championship two years ago. The late withdrawal from their team of GM Rosendo Balinas, following a disastrous performance in the recent Manila international tournament, left a small question mark hanging over this favouritism.

Australia, runner-up in Penang, came with a turn quite inexperienced internationally except, of course, for their number one, IM Robert Jamieson a winner over Torre at Haifa. Likewise Indonesia was expected to do well, its lack of more than a couple of name players balanced by its known strength in depth.

Our own team was perhaps the strongest we have ever fielded in an international event. New Zealand was the only team with two titled players and the only one in which all players had FIDE ratings.

The dark horse of the tournament seemed likely to be the People's Republic of China, playing in its first event outside China. Thus none of the Chinese players were rated but they had lost a series of matches against a visiting Philippine team in 1975 25-35 so quite clearly they would not be outclassed in Auckland.

India also was somewhat of an unknown quality while Singapore lacked one or two of its regulars. Of the Papua New Guinea team only three members turned up — nobody knows what happened to the other two!


Excepting the People's Republic of China, the strongest teams were all drawn in the top half with Philippines no. 1, New Zealand no. 2, Australia no. 3 and Indonesia no. 4. Unfortunately perhaps, this meant that these four would complete their own "mini round robin" in the first six rounds possibly relieving the tournament of any tension in the latter rounds. China, however, would meet the other four in the last four rounds, starting with the Philippines.


Round 1 did little to confirm or deny any pre-tournament prophecies since the five most highly favoured teams each met weaker opposition. The Philippines, New Zealand, Indonesia and the People's Republic of China each won 4-0 against India, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Malaysia respectively while Australia, a little surprisingly, demolished Singapore 3½-½. The Papua New Guinea top board had not arrived at the start of play and Sarapu, sans opponent, played 1. a3. The highlight of the round was Ardiansyah's bright finish involving a queen sacrifice.

Round 2 saw the Philippines playing the home team. GM Torre saddled Sarapu with isolated pawns galore and eventually broke through, winning in 64 moves. Newest IM Murray Chandler won a pawn from Mascariñas but could not convert it to a win in a protracted rook and opposite-coloured bishop ending. Small played a game he will want to speedily forget, allowing Bordonada an easy win while Garbett, after losing three pawns versus Maninang, found a beautiful swindle. In other matches China beat India 3-1, Thailand & Malaysia drew 2-2, Indonesia beat Singapore 2½-1½ and Australia scored 4-0 against Papua New Guinea to take the lead with 7½/8. The game Hsu Hung Hsun v Ghosh from the China v India match produced a tragicomic finish after a number of sessions when Ghosh, with R+B versus Hsu's R, refused a draw offer .... and then LOST ON TIME one move before the fifth time control!

Round 3 was a good one for New Zealand winning 3½-½ over India. Our top two boards were rested, so Vernon Small was on board one — he won in 26 moves when his opponent overlooked a mate-in-one! Garbett and Anderson also won. The Philippines put paid to Australia by winning 3½-½ with Mascariñas, who needs one more norm to gain his IM title, particularly impressive. On top board Torre reversed their Haifa result by beating Jamieson after the latter gave away pawns as though they were going out of fashion. The Chinese kept up their challenge by accounting for Thailand 3½-½ while Singapore beat neighbour Malaysia 3-1 and Indonesia white-washed hapless Papua New Guinea. Bill Puru essayed 1. a3 against Sampouw but did not meet with Sarapu's success.

Round 4: The Philippines continued impressively by bowling co-leader Indonesia 3-1. Torre took command of the white squares in an English, winning without any fuss in 47 moves. Ardiansyah gained Indonesia's point with a nice win on board 2. On the home front things did not go so well; on first board Jamieson recovered from his loss to Torre to beat Sarapu in 40 moves. In the other three games New Zealand had the advantage at some stage but only Chandler could take the full point — Small lost and Anderson drew. In other matches India drew 2-2 with Thailand, Malaysia won 3½-½ versus Papua New Guinea and the People's Republic of China was held to 2½-1½ by Singapore.

Round 5 saw the two leaders score 4-0 wins, the Philippines against Malaysia and China at the expense of Papua New Guinea. These two had now opened up a gap ahead of the rest of the field but China had much the harder draw in the remaining four rounds. The next three teams maintained their positions with Indonesia and New Zealand halving their match while Australia scored a narrow 2½-1½ victory over India. In the other match Singapore beat Thailand 2½-1½.

Round 6: The two leaders met with the Philippines taking the match 2½-1½ thus virtually ensuring their ultimate victory. On top board Chi's combination lost two pieces for a rook but his active rooks were a match for Torre's R+B+N and a draw resulted. Another good day for New Zealand — a 4-0 win over Malaysia. Of mixed blessings was the Indonesian 3½-½ victory over Australia; it meant that Indonesia stayed a point ahead of New Zealand, although Australia had now dropped 2½ points behind. India adjourned leading 2-0 but Singapore won the two adjourned games to tie the match while Thailand won 4-0 in the other match.

Round 7: The Philippines beat Thailand 4-0 and were obviously not going to be headed so the interest switched to the fight for the minor placings. China won 3-1 against New Zealand — an unfortunate result as Sarapu played very well before ruining his position in the endgame while Anderson contrived to lose an endgame from a position in which he was a pawn up. Small sacrificed a piece to gain two connected passed pawns on the queenside but eventually Chen returned the material leaving a hopelessly drawn position. Garbett emerged from complications a pawn in arrears but drew after a painstaking defence. Indonesia strengthened its claims to a high place with a 2½-1½ win over India and Australia overtook New Zealand again after its 4-0 victory over Malaysia. It was Singapore's turn to wallop Papua New Guinea.

Round 8: The fight for the minor placings intensified as Australia held China to a 2-2 tie and Indonesia dropped a point against Malaysia, scoreless for the last three rounds. New Zealand scored a comfortable 3½-½ win against Thailand. Sarapu, Chandler and Small all won but Garbett conceded a draw when careless play allowed Rasmussen a powerful attack. In the other matches Philippines beat Singapore 3-1 (Torre drawing with Lim Seng Hoo) and India beat Papua New Guinea 3½-½.

Round 9: New Zealand still had a chance for third place if it could beat Singapore convincingly and if Indonesia lost to China. The second condition was fulfilled as Indonesia went down 1-3 to the Chinese but New Zealand lost 1½-2½ to Singapore where a 3-1 victory was required. Again material advantages were squandered with Small winning two pawns then losing the exchange and finally — drawing while Anderson, the exchange up, overlooked the winning move and lost Instead. These two results made the difference between third place and fifth because Australia beat Thailand to move a half point ahead. The Philippines beat Papua New Guinea 3½-½ with only one game actually played as the other two Papua New Guinea players had gone home early. Alistair Pope drew that one game against Mascariñas! In the other match India defeated Malaysia.

Individual medals

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Torre, Eugenio The Philippines PHI 6 7 85.7
2. Qi Jingxuan China CHN 9 83.3
3. IM Jamieson, Robert Murray Australia AUS 8 68.8

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Ardiansyah Indonesia INA 8 81.3
2. Chen De China CHN 7 9 77.8
3. Mascariñas, Rico The Philippines PHI 6 8 75.0

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Bordonada, Glenn The Philippines PHI 8 93.8
2. Prods, Arvids Australia AUS 8 81.3
3. Small, Vernon New Zealand NZL 4 7 57.1

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Maninang, Jesús Rafael The Philippines PHI 7 8 87.5
2. Garbett, Paul Anthony New Zealand NZL 7 78.6
3. Hsu Hung Hsun China CHN 7 64.3

1st Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Li Chung Tsien China CHN 4 87.5
2. Kusnadi, Herman Indonesia INA 5 6 83.3
3. Chiong, Luis The Philippines PHI 4 5 80.0

2nd Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Sarjono, Bing Indonesia INA 6 7 85.7
2. Ghalib, Nasiruddin India IND 4 6 66.7
Only two players played at least half of possible games.

Interesting games

White saved the game with 31. Ng6+!!.
Garbett, Paul Anthony (NZL) - Maninang, Jesús Rafael (PHI) ½ - ½

A neat way to win a pawn.
Hassan, Mohamed (IND) - Qi Jingxuan (CHN) 0 - 1

The game finished nicely, but what is unusual about it,
is that the players stem from countries lying over 10,000 miles away.
It makes Syria-NZ match plausible all-time Continental Championship record holder.
Anderson, Bruce (NZL) - Nasir Ali, Syed (IND) 1 - 0

As I was a junior player I always wondered why White must not trade light-squared Bishop
in the King's-Indian lines. Now I well know why!
Tan Bian Huat (MAS) - Lim Seng Hoo (SIN) 0 - 1

Torre was by far the strongest Asian player by that time,
but this struggle vs unrated player was exceptionally hard-fought.
Torre, Eugenio (PHI) - Sitanggang, Salor (INA) 1 - 0

Black traded all of his attacking pieces and he jabbed himself on attack of pair of white Rooks.
Ardiansyah, Haji (INA) - Mascariñas, Rico (PHI) 1 - 0

White's chances were on the line, but it all turned out well.
Jamieson, Robert Murray (AUS) - Ravisekhar, Raja (IND) 1 - 0

10. Bd5?! was risky and unsuccessful attempt.
Chandler, Murray (NZL) - Ardiansyah, Haji (INA) 0 - 1

Shortest decisive game (Black was a piece up as he gave up!).
Mascariñas, Rico (PHI) - Kavakul, Maijai (THA) 1 - 0