14th Asian Team Chess Championship: Esfahan 2005

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[ Basic data | Tournament review | Individual medals | Interesting games ]

Basic data

14th Asian Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 20th - 28th December 2005
City: Esfahan, Iran
Venue: Kowsar Hotel
Honorary Chairman of Organizing Committee: Dr. Saghaeeyan Nejad (IRI)
Tournament Director: Mr. Amir Hossein Sistani (IRI)
Chief Arbiter: IA Hosseingholi Saloor (IRI)
Arbiter for men's event: IA Abolghasem Najib (IRI)
Teams participating: 6 (incl. Iran "B")
Players participating: 29 (incl. 10 GMs, 4 IMs and 5 FMs)
Games played: 120
Competition format: Four board double round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points; 3. Berger; 4. Median Berger
Iran "B" and Turkmenistan came equal and no tie-break helped. Iran "B" were given fourth place by virtue of better head to head record.
Time control: all moves in 90 minutes + 30 sec. increment per move
Official poster: ESFAHAN 2005
Website: http://www.iranchess.ir/index-5.htm (photos only)
Other websites: Final note at www.fide.com
ChessBase report
Photo album at www.iranchess.ir
News from All India Chess Federation
Rediff.com reports: r1, r2, r5&r6, r8&r9
The Hindu reports: r1, r2, r3&r4, r5&r6, r7, r8&r9&r10
Downloadable game file: 05asiatch.zip

Tournament review

The game hallOnly four foreign teams came to visit the ancient city of Esfahan (or Isfahan in alternative spelling) in Iran to take part in the 14th Men's Asian Team Championship. The length of the cycle was reset back to two years after 12-year long period in which the events were held quadrennially.

Apart from two decent Irani teams (with two GMs at top boards of "A" team) only India, Vietnam, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan came to Esfahan. India (lead by Sasikiran, Elo 2663). Vietnam had four GMs at their disposal and were expected to have monopoly for race for gold. Turkmenistan and Iran were aiming at reaching third position. Afghanistan's arrival was warmly welcomed after years of international isolation. China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and The Philippines were the main absentees.

GM Ghaem Maghami of IranIndia started off with a 3½-½ over Afghanistan but tied vs Iran "A" on day two and Vietnam took over the lead. Two rounds were played on December 23rd and India beat Turkmenistan in the morning to only draw with Vietnam in the evening. Vietnam retained the lead (although they lost 1½ point vs Iran "B"). Iran "A" levelled on points with the leaders wiping out Afghanistan 4-0 and defeating Turkmenistan. India took the lead in the halfway beating Iran "B" while Vietnam and Iran "A" fought hard and Vietnam won by the smallest possible margin. Standings in the halfway: India 14½; Vietnam 14; Iran 13; Turkmenistan 9½. Turkmenistan did not do as good as they were hoping and the host "A" team was sort of pleasant surprise. In round six India won again but dropped another fraction vs amateur team Afghanistan. Vietnam moved into joint lead hammering Turkmenistan 4-0. On round seven Vietnam scored another 4-0 win vs Afghanistan and India definitely denied Iran "B" to win by 3 to 1. With three rounds to go it was clear that it is all about Vietnam and India. Iran "A" were certain to get bronze medals. India earned extra half of a point advantage in round eight whipping Turkmenistan 3½-½ and watching Vietnam struggle vs Iran "B" (whom they finally beat 3-1).

The decisive match Vietnam vs India was played in penultimate round. Vietnam had the half point advantage in pocket but on the last day they had to face Iran "A", considerably stronger that India's opponents Iran "B". They needed at least to draw the match, or at best get a minimal win. Đào Thiên Hải drew quickly with white pieces at top board vs Sasikiran. Then Ganguly beat Nguyễn Anh Dũng and Lê Quang Liêm conducted desperate exchange sacrifice which failed and he lost to Sandipan. It was virtually all over as India were in 2½-½ lead. Nguyễn Ngọc Trường Sơn had an extra pawn in a B+R ending but had to give up his efforts on 113th move and agreed draw. India won 3-1 then, moving into indisputable lead. On the last day India easily sealed gold running over Iran "B" with ease. Vietnam beat Iran "B" 3-1 to keep runner-up position while the Iranian team won bronze medals. Turkmenistan and Iran "B" came in tied fourth. Afghanistan came last, but they won one game and showed good chess (Farazi performed at 2219 from 9 games making him Afghan leader on the consecutive FIDE rating list).

India the winnersIndia took their first ever Asian Team Championship title in style. They earned safe 2½ point margin over Vietnam. India conceded only one game loss and no match loss. Team leader Sasikiran scored 7/9. The best players were Ganguly (7/8 and performed at 2709!) and reserve Sandipan (8/9 but weaker opposition). Vietnam won two gold individual medals (Nguyễn Anh Dũng and Lê Quang Liêm - but those two lost their games in the decisive match vs India). Only Đào Thiên Hải's result at top board (4½/8) may not be fully satisfactory. Iran "A" cannot be disappointed with third place. Ghaem Maghami's result at first board (8/10 without loss) was enough for him to be awarded individual gold medal.

Whether India will qualify for the 2009 World Team Championship is not clear. This will come true only if 2007 Asian Team Championship is abandoned.

Individual medals

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Ghaem Maghami, Ehsan Iran IRI 8 10 80.0
2. GM Sasikiran, Krishnan India IND 7 9 77.8
3. GM Đào Thiên Hải Vietnam VIE 8 56.3

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Nguyễn Anh Dũng Vietnam VIE 9 72.2
2. GM Moradiabadi, Elshan Iran IRI 7 10 70.0
3. GM Kunte, Abhijit India IND 4 7 57.1

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Ganguly, Surya Shekhar India IND 7 8 87.5
2. IM Mahjoob, Morteza Iran IRI 9 72.2
3. GM Nguyễn Ngọc Trường Sơn Vietnam VIE 9 72.2

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. FM Lê Quang Liêm Vietnam VIE 10 85.0
2. IM Sundararajan, Kidambi India IND 7 78.6
3. FM Darban, Morteza Iran IRI 2 6 33.3

Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Soleimani, Shantiya Iran IRI2 5 90.0
2. GM Sandipan, Chanda India IND 8 9 88.9
3. Khaghani, Mehdi Iran IRI 2 5 40.0

Interesting games

The desperate try to level match result and save the title for Vietnam failed.
Sandipan, Chanda (IND) - Lê Quang Liêm (VIE) 1 - 0

Find beautiful, finishing tactical shot: 24. b4 ......?
Kakageldiev, Amanmurad (TKM) - Sasikiran, Krishnan (IND) 0 - 1

Kakageldiev did not manage to take the revenge as Sasikiran played another brilliant game.
Sasikiran, Krishnan (IND) - Kakageldiev, Amanmurad (TKM) 1 - 0

Shortest decisive game.
Bayramsahatov, Serdar (TKM) - Sandipan, Chanda (IND) 0 - 1

White received an unusual gift.
Bayramsahatov, Serdar (TKM) - Darban, Morteza (IRI) 1 - 0

This is so called Van Geet opening (learn more here).
Sharbaf, Mohsen (IRI2) - Simonenko, Sergei (TKM) 1 - 0

The way White played is NOT recommended.
Ryahi, Naser (IRI2) - Nguyễn Ngọc Trường Sơn (VIE) 0 - 1

Yes! The Philidor opening was enough for unrated player to scrape a draw vs a 2550!
Kunte, Abhijit (IND) - Fidaeyi, Habibullah (AFG) ½ - ½