Third Asian Indoor Games in Ha Long, Vietnam

12/21/2009 – The first were held in 2006 in Doha, Qatar; the second a year later in Macau. The third edition in Vietnam saw 4500 athletes from 45 Asian countries competing in 24 sports – including chess. There 19 countries participated. China won three Gold, two Silvers and a Bronze, India won Bronze in all four categories. Pictorial report by Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh.

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3rd Asian Indoor Games in Ha Long, Vietnam

Report by Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh

The Asian Games 2006 in Doha, Qatar, were the start of including chess in a series of other official sport competitions that were organized by the AOC (Asian Olympic Committee) in 2007. This could open the way for chess to become part of the NOC (National Olympic Committee), which is interested in any sport that can bring them medals. Chess, with three series of medals, could attract them as well as any other sport.

One year later, in the Second Asian Indoor Games in Macau, 2007, the number of participants doubled, bringing the total to 24 teams. The competition was in standard, rapid and blitz chess. For each category there were mixed team competitions and individual competitions for both men and women, with nine gold medals at stake.


Huge duck balloons play chess at the opening ceremony ...


... of the 2nd Asian Indoor Games in Macau 2007 (photos from newspaper!)

In the year 2008 the First International Mind Sport in Beijing more or less followed the same system, but this time even with ten series of medals. And now in the year 2009 we had the Third Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam, with four series of medals. Next year the Asian Games of Guangzhou will have also Chess Competition as official Sport. Official Web Site of the 3rd Asian Indoor Games.

The Third Asian Indoor Games saw 4500 athletes from 45 Asian countries competing in 24 sports. In the chess competition 19 countries participated. It was held in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, and was very well organized by the National Olympic Committee of Vietnam, with the assistant of the Vietnam Chess Federation. Because of this number of competitions many Asian chess federations had good support for their National Olympic Committee to prepare and participate in this competition. It proves how important it is for chess to be an official sport in the Olympic Games.


Tournament Venue in Halong Bay City


Motto of the competition: "For a rising Asia"


Opening ceremony with a local dance group


Everybody was welcomed with flowers and nice gifts!

Team Blitz Competition

Fifteen teams participated in the Blitz Team Competition. The teams played on four boards, two for men and two for women (with one reserve each for men and women). The time control was 3 min + 2 second increment for each player. After the announcement of the pairings the team captains had five minutes to submit their lineup and ten minutes after that to start play. The nine-round preliminary Swiss mixed started at 15:30 and finished at 20:00. See the results on www.chess-results.com.


A panorama view of the tournament hall

In the list India with a rating average of 2574 was No. 1, China with 2572 No. 2; Vietnam 2509; Iran 2483; Kazakhstan 2443; Uzbekistan 2405 and the Philippines 2323.


GM Rogelio "Joey" Antonio from the Philippines with 8.5/9 in the Blitz!


WIM Ghaderpour from Iran with 5/5! (Iraqi delegate behind her)

 In the end China with 17 Match points (eight wins and only one draw – with the Iran team in round seven), Vietnam 14 (seven wins and two defeats – against China and Philippines) , India 12 (six wins and three losses – against China, Vietnam and Philippines), and Iran 12 (five victories, two losses – to India and Vietnam and two draws with Qatar and China) qualified. The Philippine team that beat and drew with many strong teams was eliminated with a last-round loss to the Iranian team 2.5-1.5. WIM Ghaderpour from Iran got five points out of five games and played a great role in the qualification of the Iran team.

Semi Final and Final

In the first round of the semifinal match Iran was able to stop China 2-2, and India and Vietnam also finished with the same result. But in round two Vietnam beat India 2.5-1.5, and in this match the 2-0 victory of the Vietnamese girls was critical. The Iran vs. China match was also drawn, with the Iranian men beating the Chinese 2-0, and the Iranian girls losing 2-0. The tiebreak was sudden death games on three boards, two for the men and one for the women. The time control was five minutes for White and four minutes for Black, with a draw defined as victory for Black. The Iranian team chose black for boards 1 and 3. Iranian GM Elshan Moradiabadi once again beat his Chinese opponent easily, and the Iranian WIM Ghaem Maghami lost very quickly on the last board match against Ni Hua with a queen blunder deciding the outcome of the match. Vietnam and China would play for the final. The Iranian team was badly affected by the semifinal and couldn't continue at the same level of play.

In the final match of round one China lost 2.5-1.5 and couldn't get more than a 2-2 result in round two.


Standing for the national anthem of Vietnam


The Vietnam team with Hisham Al-Taher, the General Secretary of Asian Chess Federation


Blitz team prize-giving: Vietnam Gold, China Silver, Iran and India Bronze!

Individual Rapid – Men and Women

In the individual competition every country could have two representatives and the competition was in a nine-round Swiss wit time controls of 25 min + 5 sec. The top four players qualify for the semifinals, which was a double round knockout elimination.

Men Preliminary
35 players from 19 Asian countries competed in this section. GM Bu Xiangzhi, 2702, from China was the top seeded player and fought very hard in the preliminary. He did not accept a draw by repetition against GM Sasikiran in round six and lost that game, but he was able to qualify as the third player, with Wang Hoa as first with eight points, Kazhgaleyev from Kazakhstan second with seven points and Sasikiran with 6.5 points. [Full results]

Men Semifinal and Final Part
In the semifinals Bu lost his first game to Kazhgeliev, but came back in game two and beat his opponent with the white pieces in the sudden death tiebreak game. In the other match Wang Hao beat Sasikran 1.5-0.5. In the final game Bu Xiangzhi beat his opponent in the first game with white, and in round two was able to successfully defend his position in a rook vs rook and bishop ending, which ended in a draw by the 50-move rule. With that Bu achieved the first Gold medal for China in this competition! [Full results]


Bu Xinagzhi 2702 fought hard and received first Gold for China!

Women Rapid

33 players from 18 Asian countries competed in a nine-round Swiss. GM Hou Yifan 2585 from China was the top seed, and she qualified for the semifinal together with GM Zhao Xue 2542 from China, Zhu Chen from Qatar 2488 and IM Harika Dronavalli 2474 from India. In the semifinals Hou Yifan beat Zhao Xue and Zhu Chen beat Harika. In the final between Zhu Chen and Hou Yifan the first game ended in a draw, but in the second game Zhu Chen lost a drawish rook ending to Hou Yifan. [Full results]


Zhao Zue, Harika, Hou yifan and Zhu Chen during the National Anthem for China

Team Rapid

The Rapid Mixed Team Competition had the same format of a nine round Swiss System to choose the four best teams for the semifinals. Again 15 teams competed. China strengthened its team by bringing in GM Wang Yue, 2736, as a reserve player. India also exchanged IM Luxman for GM Negi Parimarjan, 2615. China (17 points, eight wins and one draw with India in round four), Vietnam (14 match points, seven victories and two losses, to China and India), India (13 points, six wins, two losses, to Uzbekistan and Qatar, and a draw against China) and Uzbekistan (13 points, six wins, two losses, to Vietnam and China, and a draw with Iran) qualified for the semifinals. [Full results]


Khamboo Monalisa and Adhikari Asmita from the newly active Federation of Nepal,
which showed a very good performance in this tournament

The semifinal match between China and Uzbekistan ended in favor of China by 3:1 in the first and 4-0 in the second round. The match between India and Vietnam started with a 2:2 result, with all games drawn. In the second round a single victory, by Le Quang Liem over Sasikiran, decided the result of the match. [Full results]


Following the games of the Final on a flat panel monitor

Final: China managed to win both round one and two against Vietnam with the minimum win requirement of 2.5:1.5. This was sweet revenge for the defeat in the Blitz Team Final. [Full results]


The China Team with Federation delegate and vice General Secretary Tian Hongwei


The China Team with GM  Ye Jiangchuan, the national team captain

 
India got Bronze in all four events!


The Uzbek team with only five players got Bronze in the team competition

 
The international arbiters and officials

 
The
Vietnamese arbiters worked hard to show a very good organizational performance


The Asian Chess Federation delegates held a meeting during the event


Volunteers in blue...


… and in pink, for the medals ceremony

 
The General Secretary of FIDE from Singapore, Ignatius Leong,
designer and technical director of the new format


Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh receives his award from Ignatius Leong

Event / Medal

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Bronze

Blitz Team

Vietnam

China

India

Iran

Rapid Individual Men

China

China

India

Kazakhstan

Rapid Individual Women

China

Qatar

China

India

Rapid Team

China

Vietnam

India

Uzbekistan


Rank

Country / Medal

Gold

Silver

Bronze

1

China

3

2

1

2

Vietnam

1

1

 

3

Qatar

 

1

 

4

India

 

 

4

5 & 6

Iran

 

 

1

5 & 6

Uzbekistan

 

 

1


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