New world record for 604-board simul by Iranian GM Maghami

2/14/2011 – GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, 9-time Iran national champion, set a new world record of 604 boards for an individual simul. The simultaneous exhibition took 25 hours from 8th to 9th February 2011 at the sports stadium of the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. He broke last year's record set by Israeli GM Alik Gershon who took on 523 opponents. Pictorial report.

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World Record 604-Board Simul by GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami

By Casto Abundo


The poster of the event

GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, 9-time Iran national champion, set a new world record of 604 boards for Simultaneous Chess Exhibition by an individual. The simultaneous exhibition took 25 hours from 8th to 9th February 2011 at the sports stadium of the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran.

He broke the 2009 record of 500 opponents set by Iranian GM Morteza Mahjoob who scored 88.4%. Last year, Israeli GM Alik Gershon reportedly took on 523 opponents with an 86% result.

The opening ceremony at 10am was attended by Iran Sports Minister Dr. Saeed Lou, Iranian Chess Federation President Mohammed Jaffar Kambuzia, Asian Chess Federation Deputy President Casto Abundo, who was the official FIDE Observer, and some well known Iranian sportsmen. The main sponsor was Ansar Bank. There was a festival atmosphere and all players received T-shirts of the event, a book on the Ehsan Ghaem Maghami-Karpov match, official ID card, the chess set and board on which they played, food and drink.


Boards were arranged for GM Ghaem Maghami to conserve energy moving around
the tables. One complete circle took around 15 minutes in the early opening moves
to 30 minutes per move in the middle game or longer in complicated positions.


Some 1,500 registered on the official website http://www.nabard604.com/ and the first to come had the honor of being part of history. Of the field of 604 participants, over half were adults. One fourth were women who were seated separately, and most children were seated together. All players recorded their moves on scoresheets.


Over double the number registered for the event

With all players at their boards, GM Ghaem Maghami began play at 10:20 am on 8th February. At around 2 pm there was a lunch break for all with players remaining at their boards. The record was assured at 6 am the next morning of 9th February as GM Ghaem Maghami achieved the 80% minimum score after beating 484 opponents.


GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami varied openings in order for games on adjacent boards
to be different from each other. Video cameras recorded the moves. Arbiters (in vests)
supervised players as GM Ghaem Maghami approached the boards.


The last games ended 11:25 AM on 9th February. After 25 hours, the final results were 580 wins, 16 draws and 8 losses for a total score of 588 out of 604 or 97.35 percent. Ten more boards were added which he won but which were not counted for the record.

Chief Organizer of the event was IA/IO Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh. Chief Arbiter was Hamid Reza Pour Shahmari assisted by Deputy Arbiter IA Najib, six Senior Arbiters and 48 national arbiters.


Winners were given cash prizes at closing ceremonies held at the Iranian Chess
Federation building. Among the sponsors were Mr. Zare, head of public relations of
Ansar Bank, Iranўs biggest private bank, and Engr. Sedeghi, chairman of the biggest
Iranian telecom company.

Players ranged from 5 to 85 in age, many coming from outside Tehran. The event enjoyed massive media coverage all TV stations with more than three hours live coverage.


For setting a new world record, co-sponsor Mazda gave GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami a new car.


Iranian Chess Federation president Mohammed Jaffar Kambuzia (third from left) with
officials of the event. Others are, from left: Mohammed Zarei, Asian Chess Federation
Deputy President Casto Abundo, Manouchehr Bagheri, Chief Organizer Mehrdad
Pahlevanzadeh and Iranian Chess Federation Secretary Hadi Karimi.

Copyright FIDE/ChessBase


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