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Iranian Chess Championship 2008

3/30/2008 – If you search the phrase “Iran Chess” in one of the search engines, what will appear on your monitor hardly has anything to do with chess as a sport. Most of the search results refer to the politics, the chess battle of Iran and USA, or the nuclear chess game the IAEA has accused Iran of playing. But this is not all that is happening in Iranian chess. Big pictorial report by Arash Akbarinia.
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Iranian Chess Championship 2008

Report by FM Arash Akbarinia

Just a few years ago the idea of having a single Iranian grandmaster was only a fond wish, but currently there are five in the country, and one woman grandmaster to boot.


The Foreign Ministry of Iran. In the middle is the old building of the Foreign Ministry from the Qajar era. The new Ministry offices are on the right.

Thirty years ago there were only three volumes of the Chess Informator in Iran, so you can imagine how hard it was at that time to train chess. In contrast to those years, today just in Tehran almost eight chess schools are working quite intensively to raise champions, although it is not their only aim. Spreading chess as a sport and as an activity, which can improve brain abilities, is also one of their important goals.


Iran Chess Team at the second Asian Indoor Games, Macau, October 2007, won the Bronze Medal in the Team Rapid section. After that Bronze Medal In Doha Asian Games, this Medal was expected. From left to right top: IA Hamid Reza Pourshahmari, IA Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, FIDE delegate, Dr. Mohammad Ebrahim Maddahi, the President of Iran Chess Federation, GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, GM Elshan Moradi, FM Homayoun Tofighi. From left to right front row: IO Hadi Karimi, the General Secretary of Iran Chess Federation, WFM Mitra Hejazipour, WIM Shayesteh Ghaderpour, WIM Atousa Pourkashiyan, WGM Shadi Paridar, IM Khosro Harandi, Iran Capitan, Super-GM Nigel Short, Iran Team Trainer

It goes without saying that, in all sports, the national championship is one of the most important and most interesting events, even when all favourites do not take part. The importance comes from the champion sitting for a full year on the throne of the kingdom. So, let’s take a brief look at this year Iran Chess Championship, which took place, same as the last year, in the building of Iran Chess Federation, from the 14th to 27th March 2008, with the standard Fide time control (90 minutes + 30 seconds per move)

The women section started with 12 players, including one WGM, two WIMs and four WFMs. The number of players was reduced to 11 after the first round, due to the drop-out of WGM Shadi Paridar, the defender of championship. Finally, after 11 rounds or fight, the 19-year-old WIM Atousa Pourkashiyan became Miss 2008 of Iranian Chess , with 8.5 points.


WIM Atousa Pourkashiyan, student of Physical Education and Sport Sciences in Tehran University, World former U-12 Champion, added one more trophy to her uncountable international and national gallery! This photo was taken at the Asian Indoor Games, with Atousa worrying about her team’s match.


The very young WFM Mitra Hejazipour from Mashhad, the former U-10 World Vice-Champion, became in this tournament Vice-Champion as well! Mitra, who turned to 15 in the fifth round, managed to win the silver medal with 8 points.

Third place went to the most honoured Iranian Chess Family!! WIM Shayesteh Ghaderpour, GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami’s spouse, achieved the bronze medal ahead of Sareh Tajik who grabs the fourth place with 6.5 points.


WIM Shayesteh Ghaderpour, student of Hardware Engineering, who was the youngest player of Chess Olympiad of Armenia 1996 (at 12), received the Bronze Medal.


18 years-old Sareh Tajik, student of Civil Engineering, took the forth place

Final Ranking cross table after 11 Rounds

Rk.

 

Name

Rtg

FED

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Pts.

 TB1 

1

WIM

Pourkashiyan Atousa

2282

IRI

*

½

1

½

1

½

1

1

0

1

1

+

8.5

42.25

2

Hejazipour Mitra

2114

IRI

½

*

0

0

1

1

½

1

1

1

1

+

8.0

37.00

3

WIM

Ghader Pour Shayesteh

2185

IRI

0

1

*

1

1

½

½

0

1

1

½

+

7.5

37.75

4

Tajik Sareh

1992

IRI

½

1

0

*

0

1

1

0

½

½

1

1

6.5

30.75

5

WFM

Salman Mahini Mona

2085

IRI

0

0

0

1

*

1

½

1

½

½

1

+

6.5

27.75

6

WFM

Hakimifard Ghazal

2066

IRI

½

0

½

0

0

*

0

1

1

1

1

+

6.0

25.50

7

WFM

Bayat Shohreh

2055

IRI

0

½

½

0

½

1

*

½

1

0

½

+

5.5

25.75

8

Hemmatizadeh N

1915

IRI

0

0

1

1

0

0

½

*

1

0

1

+

5.5

23.75

9

Alavi Homa

1632

IRI

1

0

0

½

½

0

0

0

*

1

1

+

5.0

22.00

10

WFM

Navabi Shirin

2120

IRI

0

0

0

½

½

0

1

1

0

*

1

+

5.0

19.50

11

Fardi Matin

0

IRI

0

0

½

0

0

0

½

0

0

0

*

+

2.0

6.50

12

WGM

Paridar Shadi

2225

IRI

-

-

-

0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

*

0.0

0.00


WGM Shadi Paridar dropped of the tournament after the first game, in which she lost to Sareh Tajik. Shadi won the Silver Medal of Asian Indoor Games in the Individual Women Section. It must be added, that medal was the only Silver Medal of Iran Chess Team in Macau.

 
WFM Shirin Navabi, student of Physical Education, was not in a good form and finished the tournament in the tenth place. It is not such a big deal; she has won the Iran Championship many times already!

In the men section, something strange occurred. Only one of the grandmasters decided to take part in this tourney. The others did not participate, due to absence of fund prize, which personally I think is a fair reason. But the President of Iran Chess Federation, Dr. Mohammad Ebrahim Maddahi, did not share this view. After all these issues, the tournament kicked off with 14 players, includes one GM, one IM and four FMs.

GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, won the tournament one round in advance, with 11 wins and two draws. Therefore he is now the record holder of Iran, with seven championships, ahead of IM Mehrshad Sharif, the six times Iran Chess Champion. In the last 11 years, Ehsan has collected all these trophies.


25-year-old GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, student of law, chairman of Novin Chess School, occupies for another year the throne of Iran Chess!


GM Shojaat Ghane, who achieved Grandmaster title a few days ago, formerly was a judo player! IM Mehrshad Sharif, who on the Fide rating list belongs to France and currently live in Dubai, trains the Emirates’ chess players. I am hundred percent sure, if chess had not been banned in Iran, he would have been a GM by now.

FM Mohsen Sharbaf, who has just half point behind of Ehsan Ghaem Maghami till the tenth round, managed to get the Silver Medal with 9.5 points. FM Arash Roghani, the President of Karaj Chess Association, grabbed Bronze with 8.5 points. Ebrahim Ahmadinia, the 21-years-old from southwest of Iran, took the forth place, thanks to his better tie-break.


FM Mohsen Sharbaf, 24-year-old student of Physical Education, became the new vice-champion of Iran. It is interesting that he refused four draw offers of GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami during their games!


Bronze medallist FM Arash Roghani, student of MBA at Sharif University, has three IM norms and only needs to reach 2400 to become an International Master.


21
-year-old Ebrahim Ahmadinia, student of Civil Engineering in Ahvaz University, played well and deserved the forth place.

Final Ranking crosstable after 13 Rounds

Rk.

 

Name

Rtg

FED

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

Pts.

 TB1 

1

GM

Ghaem Maghami Ehsan

2589

IRI

*

½

1

½

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

12.0

70.25

2

FM

Sharbaf Mohsen

2407

IRI

½

*

½

½

0

½

1

½

1

1

1

1

1

1

9.5

52.75

3

FM

Roghani Arash

2362

IRI

0

½

*

0

1

1

1

1

½

1

1

½

0

1

8.5

48.75

4

Ahmadinia E

2227

IRI

½

½

1

*

½

0

1

1

½

0

0

1

1

1

8.0

49.00

5

FM

Moosavian S.Hamed

2349

IRI

0

1

0

½

*

0

0

1

1

½

1

1

1

1

8.0

43.00

6

IM

Ghorbani Mohsen

2347

IRI

0

½

0

1

1

*

½

1

½

½

0

1

1

0

7.0

43.50

7

Momeni E.

2263

IRI

0

0

0

0

1

½

*

½

1

0

½

½

1

1

6.0

31.00

8

Golizadeh Asghar

2296

IRI

0

½

0

0

0

0

½

*

1

1

1

0

1

1

6.0

29.25

9

FM

Mohammadi H.R.

2308

IRI

0

0

½

½

0

½

0

0

*

1

1

½

½

1

5.5

28.00

10

Vaghar Mohsen

2237

IRI

0

0

0

1

½

½

1

0

0

*

0

½

½

1

5.0

28.25

11

Sadeh Shahin

2200

IRI

0

0

0

1

0

1

½

0

0

1

*

0

1

0

4.5

27.00

12

Doostkam P

2241

IRI

0

0

½

0

0

0

½

1

½

½

1

*

0

½

4.5

24.25

13

Dalir Faradj

2200

IRI

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

½

½

0

1

*

1

4.0

20.75

14

Salehian Sina

2101

IRI

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

½

0

*

2.5

13.75

The Iran Chess Championship was coincided with Fide Arbiters’ Seminar in Tehran, which took place from the 20th to the 24th of February. The number of participates was extremely high, which surprised the lecturers of this seminar, Panagiotis Nikolopoulos and Casto Abundo.


The participants of the Fide Arbiters’ Seminar in Tehran. The two gentlemen seated in the middle of the picture (wearing ties) are Asian Chess Federation Deputy President Casto Abundo from Philippines and Arbiters Council Chairman Panagiotis Nikolopoulos from Greece. They conducted this seminar.

Let’s finish with some pictures of Tehran. Maybe one day you will visit the city, so you need a little bit information. And if you do not intend to travel to Iran soon, I am sure these photos can give you a good apolitical view of Tehran and Iran.


Toopkhaneh Square (currently Imam Khomeini Square), Tehran, in the early to mid-20th century. This is the most important square in Tehran


Tehran Theater. Are you interested in culture and theater? Visit this place; sometime even non-Farsi programs will be performed

 
The
Azadi Football Stadium. The 7th Asian Games were held from September 1, 1974 to September 16, 1974 in Tehran, Iran. The Azadi sports complex was made for the Games. The Asian Games were hosted in the Middle East for the first time. Tehran, the capital of Iran, played host to 3,010 athletes coming from 25 countries, the highest number of participants since the inception of the Games.

 
A restaurant in Darband, a well-liked resort for the people of Tehran to spend their weekend, next to the Alborz Mountains range.

 
The ski resort of Dizin is situated to the north of Tehran in the Alborz Mountains range. Skiing and snowboarding are very popular amongst the young generation in Iran, although these sports are relatively expensive to practice. If you want to meet modern, stylish boys and girls, I recommend this place!


A b
eautiful view of the city of Tehran, where more than twelve million people live


The author: FM Arash Akbarinia, 2300

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