Asian Team Chess Championship

Asian ChessThe Asian Team Chess Championship was proposed by the Malaysian Chess Federation in 1974 as the World Chess Federation was celebrating its golden jubilee. The event was held in Penang with assistance from the Malaysian Government — the late Tun Abdul Razak, who was the Prime Minister at that time, donated a specially designed Kelantan Silver trophy costing US $10,000 for the grand occasion. The challenge trophy was handed to the winners of consecutive events and could not be won in perpetuity. Eight teams competed in the inaugural edition; the Philippines won ahead of Australia. The event was not a true Asian Championship as it was open only to Oceanian and Malayan nations. The Filipino team repeated their performance in 1977, newcomers China took silver (one year later they showed their paces in Buenos Aires). For the first time teams from Western Asia were allowed to play. The Philippines took firm grip on the following two occasions in 1979 and 1981 when they won convincingly ahead of China in the two stage contests.

In 1983 China took their first title in the first championship held according to Swiss rules, making up for its disappointing home run in 1981. The 1986 edition was actually scheduled in Kuwait in 1985 but was postponed due to withdrawal of the organizers. The Philippines regained the title in the fabulous scenery of Dubai, under the absence of the title-holders. In 1987 the Philippines were missing in turn and China took easy win. Xu Jun scored 100% at top board to receive three gold medals. The Chinese retained the title in 1989 and Indonesia came second, equal to their 1987 performance. Young Vishy Anand won top board scoring impressively 7 out of 7.

China won again in 1991, the very last championship with absence of post-Soviet Asian nations. In Malaysia in 1993 Kazakhstan, a newly emerged country, won ahead of Uzbekistan. 11th edition in 1995 saw The Philippines on top again, which was already a sensation those days, edging out China by fraction of a Buchholz point. The event attracted a record number of 20 teams. Then the length of the cycle was extended up to four years. Uzbekistan won the next edition in 1999 in one of tightest competitions ever seen — the top six finished within one point! The 2003 championship in India saw China back on top; as the biennial cycle was re-introduced the 14th championship took place in 2005, India won for the first time with just six teams taking part, least in the history of the Asian Team Championship.

Winners: 6x Philippines, 6x China, 1x Kazakhstan, 1x Uzbekistan, 1x India




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