13th Asian Continental with exciting battles

by Sagar Shah
4/23/2014 – At the midway point, some of the players have already begun to stake their claim to fame, and a qualifying spot into grander events yet. Though the road is long, it is one of the lower rungs toward the world championship, but so far the Elo leaders have been unable to assert their dominance. Nevertheless the players are all showing grit with exciting battles and imaginative chess.

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In our introductory article on the Asian Continental championship, I had mentioned that it would be a battle between Indians and the Chinese players for the top honors. After five rounds, I need to change the statement a little. Seven players are leading the tournament with the score of 4.0/5. In the leading pack are:     

  • Two Indians B Adhiban(2609) and S P Sethuraman (2576),
  • One Chinese, the reigning world junior champion Yu Yangyi (2667)
  • Iranian Ghaem Maghami Ehsan (2556)
  • Former World Champion from Uzbekistan Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2693)
  • Jumabayev Rinat (2580) from Kazakhstan
  • Last but not least, the man who has played the best chess in the tournament so far, Bangladeshi GM Ziaur Rahman (2513).

Last but not least, the man who has played the best chess in the tournament so far, Bangladeshi GM Ziaur Rahman (2513).

Ziaur Rahman is already gaining 17 Elo points from this
tournament and is performing at a rating of 2767

Considered to be one of the best talents that has emerged from Bangladesh, Ziaur Rahman (39 years old) had a rating of 2570 in the year 2005. He consistently maintained his rating above 2500. However in 2013 he hit a low point in this career and his rating went down to 2470. Things were looking bad for the Bangladeshi player.

Starting from Kolkata Open in March 2014, things have started to go well for Ziaur once again. He performed extraordinarily in the Indian tournament beating the likes of Nigel Short and Sergey Fedorchuk to gain 26 ELO points. In the recently concluded Dubai Open he once again beat the strong French GM Andrei Istratescu and he carried that form into the Asian Continental tournament. Over here Ziaur Rahman has beaten two players above 2600. The in-form Abhijeet Gupta (2630) and the talented Vietnamese Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (2621).  With this wonderful performance he is currently leading the tournament.

One very nice game by Ziaur was his endgame against Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son in which he made wonderful use of his king.

[Event "13th Asian Continental Open Chess Champ"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.04.21"] [Round "5.5"] [White "Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son"] [Black "Rahman, Ziaur"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D31"] [WhiteElo "2621"] [BlackElo "2513"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "128"] [EventDate "2014.04.17"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "UAE"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. cxd5 exd5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c5 7. e3 Nc6 8. Bd3 Nge7 9. Ne2 c4 10. Bc2 Bf5 11. a4 Qd7 12. Ba3 O-O-O 13. a5 Bxc2 14. Qxc2 h5 15. Qa4 a6 16. e4 Ng6 17. O-O h4 18. f3 f5 19. Bc5 h3 20. g3 fxe4 21. fxe4 Qg4 22. Rae1 dxe4 23. Qxc4 Nh4 24. Rf4 Nf3+ 25. Kh1 Qg6 26. Ra1 Nd2 27. Qf7 Qxf7 28. Rxf7 Nb3 29. Rb1 Nxc5 30. dxc5 Rd2 31. Nd4 e3 32. Ne6 Rd7 33. Rxd7 Kxd7 34. Nd4 Nxd4 35. cxd4 {We join the game after whites 35th move. Its Black's (Ziaur's) move. What are the factors that determine black's advantage? 1. the activity of the black king. This is the biggest advantage that you will see in the game. 2. the pawn on h3 which cramps the white king and brings mating patterns into the picture and at the same time fixes h2 pawn as a weakness. 3. the e3 pawn which is just 2 squares away from queening. The advantage that white has in this position is that he has an active rook and black has a weakness on b7. All in all its an interesting battle with black having more plus points in his favour.} Kc6 36. Kg1 {the white king comes over to take control of the e3 pawn.} (36. Rb6+ Kd5 37. Rxb7 e2 38. Re7 Rf8 {is game over.}) 36... Rf8 $1 {cutting the white king off. A very logical move but sometimes we miss such chances and give counterplay to our opponents.} (36... Kd5 37. Rxb7 Kxd4 38. c6 {this shows that if the king is not cut off, then white gets a lot of counterplay.}) 37. Rb6+ Kd5 (37... Kc7 38. Re6 $11) 38. Rxb7 Kxd4 {Ziaur had a nice way to finish the game with} (38... Rf2 $1 {the threat of Rg2 is extremely strong.}) 39. c6 e2 40. Rb1 Rb8 $6 (40... Ke3 $1 41. Rb3+ Kd2 42. Rb2+ Kd3 43. Rb1 Rb8 44. Ra1 Re8 45. Kf2 Rf8+ 46. Kg1 Rf5 47. c7 (47. Ra3+ Kd4 48. Ra4+ Kc3 49. Ra1 Rxa5 $19) 47... Rxa5 48. Rb1 (48. Rc1 Rc5 $1) 48... Rc5 $19) 41. Ra1 {White has some fighting chances now as he threatens Kf2} Rf8 $1 { accepting his mistake. The problem is that white rook is better placed on a1 than it was a few moves ago on b1.} 42. c7 Kc3 43. Rb1 (43. c8=Q+ Rxc8 44. Kf2 Kd2 45. Ra2+ Rc2 {is similar to the game.}) 43... Kd2 44. Rb2+ Kd3 45. Rb1 Rc8 $1 46. Kf2 Rxc7 {Ziaur correctly assesses that the pawn ending will be winning for him.} 47. Rb3+ Kd2 48. Rb2+ Rc2 $1 49. Rb1 (49. Rxc2+ Kxc2 50. Kxe2 Kb3 $19 {of course is winning.}) 49... Ra2 50. g4 g5 {putting white in a zugzwang.} 51. Re1 Kd3 52. Rb1 e1=Q+ $1 53. Kxe1 Rxh2 54. Rb3+ Ke4 55. Kf1 (55. Rb6 Ra2 56. Rxa6 h2 $19) 55... Kf4 56. Kg1 Rg2+ 57. Kh1 Ra2 (57... Kxg4 $4 {would be a bad mistake as then white's rook starts acting as a "Mad rook"} 58. Rb4+ Kf5 59. Rf4+ Ke5 60. Re4+ Kf6 61. Re6+ Kf5 62. Re5+ $11 {its just a draw}) 58. Rxh3 Rxa5 59. Rc3 Ra2 $1 {perfect technique! The g pawn is anyway going to fall. Why not cut the white king off on the last rank.} 60. Kg1 (60. Rc4+ Kg3 61. Rc1 Kxg4 $19) 60... Kxg4 {with two extra pawns its all over.} 61. Rc4+ Kh5 62. Rc6 g4 63. Rc5+ Kh4 64. Rc3 a5 {A perfect example that shows why keeping your king active in the endgame is so important.} 0-1

Yu Yangyi is another player in the leader’s pack who is in wonderful form

The Chinese GM has been long known for his excellent preparation and attacking style of play. But his game against Salem A R Saleh was an exceptional positional game. The sacrifices at the start were just a prelude to the amazing white squared strategy that he employed in the game! As my friend IM Srinath from India said about the game, “Such was Yu’s control on the light squares that he could be booked for racism!”

Salem A R Saleh who is the highest rated player from UAE is an extremely original
and free flowing player but against Yangyi, his wings were clipped

[Event "13th Asian Continental-ch Open"] [Site "Sharjah"] [Date "2014.04.19"] [Round "3"] [White "Yu, Yangyi"] [Black "Salem, A.R. Saleh"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B82"] [WhiteElo "2667"] [BlackElo "2561"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "UAE"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. f4 Bd7 8. Qf3 Nxd4 9. Bxd4 Qa5 10. O-O-O e5 11. Bf2 Rc8 12. fxe5 dxe5 {In this position Yu starts off with a nice exchange sacrifice.} 13. Rxd7 $1 Rxc3 $5 {Salem is not a guy you can mess with. He starts his own counterplay} (13... Nxd7 {would have been the most tenacious reply. Salem was definitely worried about the move Bb5} 14. Bb5 {With Rd1 this is very similar to the game Morphy vs Duke of Brunswick, but here Black has an excellent counter sacrifice.} Rxc3 $1 (14... Rc7 15. Rd1 $18) (14... Rd8 15. Rf1 $3 $18 {the threats are irresistable now.} (15. Bh4 f6 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Qxf6 {is also winning.}) 15... f6 (15... Be7 16. Bb6 $18) 16. Qg4 $1 $18) 15. Bxd7+ Kxd7 16. Qxf7+ (16. Qxc3 Qxc3 17. bxc3 Ba3+ 18. Kd2 Kc6 $15 {only black can be better.}) 16... Kc8 (16... Be7 17. bxc3 $18) 17. Qe8+ Qd8 (17... Kc7 18. Rd1 $18) 18. Qxd8+ Kxd8 19. Rd1+ Kc7 20. bxc3 $14 { white has a small edge but I think black should be able to hold this endgame.}) (13... Kxd7 14. Qf5+ Kd8 (14... Kc7 15. Nb5+ $18) 15. Bb5 $18) 14. Rd3 Rc7 ( 14... Rxd3 15. Qxd3 Qxa2 16. Qb5+ Nd7 17. Kd2 $1 $14) 15. Kb1 Bc5 16. Bh4 Be7 17. Bxf6 $1 {I particularly like this decision by Yu. He believes that his bishop will be superior to black's bishop. Learn the Light squared strategy from the Chinese Grandmaster now.} Bxf6 {[%csl Gd5,Gf5,Rf6]} 18. Be2 {[%csl Rf7][%cal Ge2d1] the bishop will be best placed on b3. One question that came to my mind was, could black also not reroute his bishop to b6 where it will be active. And there lies the difference. The black king on g8 will be affected because of the b3 bishop while black's bishop will be shooting at nothing.} O-O 19. c3 Rcc8 20. Bd1 b5 (20... Rcd8 {seemed more prudent} 21. Bb3 Rxd3 22. Qxd3 Rd8 23. Bd5 $14) 21. a3 {Stopping b4.} Be7 $2 {this is just overambition on the part of the UAE GM. He positions his bishop in such a way that he wants to sacrifice it on a3. But the problem is that the sacrifice on a3 is not going to work. Hence this is a bad move. He should have exchanged one of the rooks.} (21... Rcd8 $1 22. Bb3 Rxd3 23. Qxd3 Rd8 24. Bd5 Qb6 $14 {Black can hold.}) 22. Bb3 {[%csl Rf7][%cal Gh1f1] Thanks to pressure on f7, its now clear advantage to white. Look how white pieces are nicely placed on light squares.} Rcd8 ( 22... Bxa3 {this doesn't work} 23. bxa3 (23. Qf5 {might be even stronger just ignoring the sacrifice.}) 23... Qxa3 24. Bd5 $1 $16) 23. Rhd1 $16 Qc7 24. Rxd8 Bxd8 25. Rd5 {Now just look how white pieces jumps from one white square to another like a monkey from one tree to another!!} a6 26. Qd3 Be7 27. Rd7 Qc5 28. Rb7 Bg5 29. g3 Qf2 30. h4 Qd2 31. Qf3 Bf6 32. Ka2 Qd6 33. g4 h6 34. Qf5 Be7 35. h5 Qd8 36. Rd7 Qe8 37. Ra7 Bg5 38. Bd5 Bf4 39. Rxa6 Qb8 40. Qd7 {The entire black position falls apart. Simply brilliant play by Yu Yangyi!} 1-0

Iranian GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan is no newcomer when it comes to achieving unimaginable feats in chess. He set the Guinness Record for playing the most number of opponents in a simultaneous display. 604 to be precise. He has even beaten former World Champion Anatoly Karpov in a match of 20 games in 2009. So it’s not really a big deal if he is jointly leading the tournament. But there is one game he can be particularly proud of. And that is his game against Krishnan Sasikiran. In a position that was equal, he outplayed the strong Indian GM to score the full point. You must watch this game to understand the famous rule made by 3rd World Champion, Jose Raul Capablanca: queen+ knight usually work better than queen+ bishop in an endgame.

[Event "13th Asian Continental-ch Open"] [Site "Sharjah"] [Date "2014.04.19"] [Round "3"] [White "Ghaem Maghami, Ehsan"] [Black "Sasikiran, Krishnan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B53"] [WhiteElo "2556"] [BlackElo "2680"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "UAE"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nc6 5. Bb5 Nf6 6. Bg5 Bd7 7. Bxc6 Bxc6 8. Nc3 e6 9. O-O-O Be7 10. Rhe1 O-O 11. e5 dxe5 12. Nxe5 Qa5 13. Qh4 Rad8 14. Ng4 Rxd1+ 15. Rxd1 Nxg4 16. Bxe7 Re8 17. Qxg4 Rxe7 18. f3 h6 19. Qf4 Re8 20. a3 Rd8 21. Rxd8+ Qxd8 {it seems as if the position is just equal. But we musn't underplay the words of the 3rd world champion Jose Raul Capablanca who said, queen+knight work better than queen+bishop in an endgame. The better combination of knight + queen and the queenside majority gives White a tangible plus in this position. The computer assesses this position as equal but that a player like Sasikiran could not defend this position shows how difficult it is for Black.} 22. b4 $1 {Ghaem starts with his queenside expansion} a6 23. a4 Qb6 24. Kb2 $1 {the king remains safe in the vicinity of a knight.} e5 $1 {Sasikiran is right on the ball. He understands that he too must activate his kingside majority. Sasikiran is not just going to sit around. That is the reason why this battle is so interesting.} 25. Qc4 (25. Qxe5 Qxb4+ $15) 25... Bd7 (25... g5 {followed by Kg7 and f5 should have been considered.} 26. a5 Qf2) (25... Qf2 26. Qg4 Qd2 {keeping the queen active would have made it difficult for white to improve.}) 26. a5 Qd6 (26... Qf2 {looked pretty good. I wonder why Sasikiran rejected it.} 27. Qd3 Bc6 28. Nd5 Kf8 (28... Qxg2 $2 29. Ne7+ Kf8 30. Nxc6 $18 bxc6) (28... Bxd5 29. Qxd5 $16 {this will be a bad endgame for Black as White is closer to queening.}) 29. Ne3 $14) 27. Ne4 $1 Qg6 28. g4 {fixing the knight on e4} Bc6 29. h3 h5 30. Qd3 {clearing the way for the c pawn.} f6 31. c4 {slowly and steadily White is making progress. Black cannot exchange his bishop for the knight, which works heavily in White's favour.} hxg4 32. hxg4 Qf7 (32... Bxe4 33. Qxe4 (33. fxe4 Qxg4 34. Qd5+ Kh7 35. Qxb7 Qe2+ {will end in a draw.}) 33... Qxe4 34. fxe4 {this is an important endgame to assess what are the chances. Is this king and pawn ending drawn?} Kf7 35. b5 $1 Ke6 36. Kb3 Kd6 37. Kb4 Kc7 38. bxa6 bxa6 39. Kc5 $18 {the main problem for black is that he is unable to create an outside passed pawn on kingside while white does so easily. Sasikiran's decision was write about not going into a pawn endgame.}) 33. b5 $1 axb5 34. cxb5 Bd5 35. Nc3 (35. a6 bxa6 36. bxa6 {could have been better but there is no point in hurrying}) 35... Be6 36. Qd6 Kh7 37. b6 {I am not sure what happened here as the game ended at this point. Maybe Sasikiran resigned or maybe he lost on time. But one thing is sure, Maghami's advantage is beyond doubt and his play in this endgame was excellent.} (37. a6 {was stronger}) 1-0

Negi shows imagination and bold fighting chess in this tournament

Maybe we can witness one battle by the young Indian GM which wasn’t flawless but was played in highly romantic spirit and with such free style that it makes you feel that chess is still alive! It’s not all computer analysis and reams and reams of theory!

[Event "13th Asian Continental Open Chess Champ"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.04.19"] [Round "3.13"] [White "Negi, Parimarjan"] [Black "Munkhgal, Gombosuren"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2640"] [BlackElo "2424"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2014.04.17"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "UAE"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Qd2 O-O 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. O-O-O Qa5 11. a3 Rd8 {this position has been reached three times before. Of considerable notice is the game Danin-Ulibin which took place just a month ago. Two of the games continued Nd4 which looks like the most logical move but Negi comes up with a completely shocking idea.} 12. Bd3 $5 {A wonderful intuitive decision by the Indian GM. I am unsure whether this was his preparation or he found this move over the board. Whatever it is it shows great courage and skills to allow the pawn fork with d4.} d4 13. Nxd4 Bxd4 (13... Nxd4 14. Bxd4 Bxd4 15. Bxh7+ {would lead to the same thing.}) 14. Bxd4 Nxd4 15. Bxh7+ Kxh7 16. Qxd4 {How should we assess this position. White has two pawns for a piece. But he has better co-ordination. Black king is a little exposed and the Knight on d7 is pinned against the d8 rook. White should have enough compensation and it is extremely difficult to play as black in this position.} Kg8 17. Ne4 (17. Rd3 {could have been an interesting choice to use the rook on the 3rd rank and as well as bringing the other rook to d1.}) 17... b6 {looking to develop the bishop and connect the rooks.} 18. h4 $5 Ba6 ( 18... Bb7 {could have been a better choice and after} 19. Nd6 Qd5 $1 {Black looks like he is consolidating} 20. Qb4 Qc6 21. h5 {White maintains the initiative but Black is better coordinated.}) 19. h5 {Negi keeps moving his h pawn} Qd5 20. Qb4 (20. Qxd5 exd5 21. Nd6 {might give White some compensation}) 20... Qa2 {Black takes his chance to create a counterattack.} 21. Nd6 Nf8 $6 { maybe too passive. Better would have been} (21... Nc5 22. h6 Bd3 $1 23. cxd3 $2 Rxd6 24. exd6 Nb3+ 25. Kc2 Rc8+ $19) 22. h6 g6 $2 {the final mistake.} (22... Rac8 23. hxg7 Kxg7 24. Rh3 {also gives white good attacking chances but black is in the game.}) 23. h7+ $1 Nxh7 24. f5 $1 {making way for the queen to go to h4.} Rxd6 25. exd6 Qc4 26. Qd2 $1 {preserving the queen and the game is all over.} Qg4 27. Rxh7 Kxh7 28. Rh1+ Qh5 (28... Kg7 29. Qc3+ $18) 29. Rxh5+ gxh5 30. Qg5 {Though not flawless it was truly an inspired effort by Parimarjan Negi.} 1-0


Video report on men's and women's events by Vijay Kumar in round four

Standings after round five

Rk SNo Ti Name FED Rtg Pts  TB3 
1 23 GM Rahman Ziaur BAN 2513 4.0 2611
2 18 GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan IRI 2556 4.0 2589
3 4 GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2667 4.0 2549
4 12 GM Adhiban B. IND 2609 4.0 2539
5 2 GM Kasimdzhanov Rustam UZB 2693 4.0 2531
6 15 GM Jumabayev Rinat KAZ 2580 4.0 2480
7 16 GM Sethuraman S.P. IND 2576 4.0 2390
8 17 GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2561 3.5 2499
9 5 GM Ni Hua CHN 2654 3.5 2424
10 29 GM Al-Sayed Mohammed QAT 2502 3.5 2341
11 1 GM Bu Xiangzhi CHN 2699 3.5 2509
12 14 GM Wen Yang CHN 2581 3.5 2507
13 9 GM Wei Yi CHN 2629 3.5 2433
14 36 GM Kunte Abhijit IND 2470 3.0 2578
15 48   Chu Wei Chao CHN 2315 3.0 2526
16 19 GM Gopal G.N. IND 2553 3.0 2394
17 27 IM Wan Yunguo CHN 2505 3.0 2294
18 26 GM Gundavaa Bayarsaikhan MGL 2507 3.0 2278
19 37 GM Vishnu Prasanna. V IND 2465 3.0 2559
20 30 IM Idani Pouya IRI 2502 3.0 2526
21 3 GM Sasikiran Krishnan IND 2680 3.0 2520
22 34 IM Vakhidov Jahongir UZB 2472 3.0 2501
23 10 GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2621 3.0 2497
24 31 GM Dao Thien Hai VIE 2490 3.0 2368
25 28 GM Debashis Das IND 2504 3.0 2607
26 6 GM Negi Parimarjan IND 2640 3.0 2517
27 7 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2631 3.0 2496
28 11 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 2610 3.0 2464
29 25 IM Nguyen Duc Hoa VIE 2508 2.5 2570
30 45 IM Omar Noaman UAE 2361 2.5 2524

The Women's Championship

The woman section is being dominated by a young, smiling and lively girl from Indonesia. WGM Irene Sukandar Kharisma is in the lead with 4.5/5. She is half point ahead of her nearest rival Khademalsharieh Sarasadat. On her way to the lead after five rounds, Irene has beaten three strong players: Mary Ann Gomes (2386), Atousa Purkashiyan (2335) and Ni Shiquin (2325).

The Indonesian Irene Sukandar Kharisma has a performance of 2639 and has
already gained 28 points from the event

These are much needed ELO points for Irene as she has already scored loads of IM norms. She needs to reach 2400 to get her IM title. In an interview after round 3, she was asked what did she think were her chances to win this championship. She gave a very cool and relaxed answer.

“I surely have chances. As I said before, this tournament is very tough and unpredictable. As you may ask many other female players, no one can be sure 100 percent about the result. But I just try to play my best. Also, I have some confidence in myself, having won this Championship two years ago. But of course, playing all the giants from Asia, no one can be sure.”

Irene is in top form and currently the hot favourite to win the Asian Women title but her round six game against the second placed Khademalsharieh Sarasadat will be the key.


Video report on men's and women's events by Vijay Kumar in round five

Standings after round five

Rk SNo Ti Name FED Rtg Pts  TB3 
1 12 WGM Sukandar Irine Kharisma INA 2319 4.5 2378
2 14 WGM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat IRI 2292 4.0 2332
3 3 IM Tania Sachdev IND 2427 3.5 2383
  11 WIM Ni Shiqun CHN 2325 3.5 2383
5 8 WGM Pourkashiyan Atousa IRI 2335 3.5 2173
6 15 WGM Hoang Thi Bao Tram VIE 2280 3.5 2330
7 2 IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag MGL 2432 3.5 2270
8 10 WIM Gong Qianyun SIN 2327 3.5 2229
9 17 WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An VIE 2237 3.0 2458
10 18 WIM Hoang Thi Nhu Y VIE 2207 3.0 2278
11 4 IM Karavade Eesha IND 2414 3.0 2119
12 9 IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen VIE 2332 3.0 2065
13 6 WIM Abdumalik Zhansaya KAZ 2379 2.5 2398
14 7 WGM Soumya Swaminathan IND 2336 2.5 2319
15 21 WFM Tohirjonova Hulkar UZB 2126 2.5 2296
16 1 WGM Tan Zhongyi CHN 2488 2.5 2260
17 13 WIM Nguyen Thi Mai Hung VIE 2312 2.5 2171
18 24 WIM Fuad Kamel Jamaliah Natalie JOR 2015 2.5 2015
19 20 WFM Derakhshani Dorsa IRI 2154 2.5 2127
20 27 WIM Saleh Nora Mohd UAE 1901 2.0 2093

Asian Continental Blitz Championship

On 19th April after the 3rd round, a blitz championship will be held, with a first prize of US $1500. The time control of the event is 3 minutes + 2 sec increment. GM Pentala Harikrishna from India, with an ELO of 2726 the fourth highest rated player in Asia after Anand, Wang Hao and Wesley So, took part in the Asian Continental Blitz Championship. He was the hot favourite to win the title.

The crucial last round battle between the two talented youngsters

Though I do not have the moves of the game, from the video I was able to arrange the last position in which the Vietnamese player resigned against Yu.

Yu who was black must have moved his rook to c8 from some
square and we get the position of a pin which is seen in so
many basic tactics book.

Thus Yu was able to emerge victorious with 7.5/9 and Pentala Harikrishna who travelled to Sharjah to play just in blitz tournament, took the silver with 7.0/9. The Iranian Ghaem Maghami had to be content with bronze.

In the women’s section of Asian blitz the Chinese girl Tan Zhogyi showed her class by scoring 8/9 and emerging as the champion by 1.5 point margin. The 2nd place went to GM Harika Dronavalli who had also specially come just to play in the blitz event. And the bronze medal was surprisingly won by the little girl from Kazakhstan, Abdumalik Zhansaya.

All the winners of Asian Blitz tournament in one frame. Bottom row from left to
right: Ghaem Maghami (bronze), Harikrishna (silver), Yu Yangyi (gold), Tan (gold),
Harika (silver) and Abdumalik Zhansaya (bronze).

It’s quite a coincidence that the first place in both the open and women category of the blitz event was won by the Chinese players and the runner’s up position by Indians. The Chinese have won the battle between the two superpowers of Asia in the blitz section. It remains to be seen what happens in the normal time control. Four rounds remain!


Video report on men's and women's blitz events by Vijay Kumar


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Sagar Shah is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder of the ChessBase India website.
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