2007 Asian Cities Chess Championship in Tehran

by ChessBase
3/15/2007 – The brainchild of the Hong Kong Chess Federation, and dominated by the Chinese for over a decade, the Asian Cities Championship has migrated to the Middle East and is now dominated by Kazakhstan. This year's event, held from March 1–9 in Tehran, was won by Pavlodar, ahead of Tagaytay (Philippines) and Saipa (Iran). Arash Akbarinia reports.

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The 2007 Asian Cities Chess Championship

Report from Tehran by Arash Akbarinia

The Asian Cities Chess Championship was the brainchild of the Hong Kong Chess Federation. It was first held in the former British Colony in 1979 (won by Singapore) and quickly found its place in the Asian chess world as an essential item in the annual chess calendar.

The first four editions took place in Hong Kong, with the participation of many strong cities from all over the continent. The 1980s were totally dominated by the Chinese, who won all five editions. There were no championships between 1985 to 1990. Since then the tournaments take place on a biennial basis.

During 1990s the United Arab Emirates hosted the Asian teams three times, and Malaysia was the host twice. Dhaka of Bangladesh was the surprise winner in 1990, and then Jakarta took the trophy twice. In 1996 the Uzbekistani capital Tashkent won the title, followed by Shijiazhuang in 1998, the fourth Chinese city to win the Championship.

In 2000 the games arrived on Lebanese soil (the first international team tournament in Lebanon) and Pavlodar from Kazakhstan won. They managed to defend the title next time in Yemen. In 2004 the event was awarded to the Philippines and it was also the first time when a Filipino city won. [Source: Asian Cities Championship History in OlimpBase]

Tehran is the capital and the largest city of Iran, with a population of more than ten million

The Iranian Chess Federation hosted the 2007 Asian Cities Chess Championship-Dubai Cup from March 1st to 9th, 2007. The system of play was a four board tournament according to the Swiss system, with each team having the right to field up to five players. The first city which wins the tournament three times will take the trophy home.

Tehran Eram Grand Hotel, venue of the tournament

Pavlodar of Kazakhstan was the favorite to win the tournament, followed by the defending champion Tagaytay of Philippines. The only other team which could possibly fight for the trophy was Saipa from Iran. The eighteen teams from twelve countries include ten GMs, two WGMs, twelve IMs and two WIMs from all over the Ancient Continent to heat up the tournament.

Finally after nine rounds, the two times winner of the cup, Pavlodar, had won the tournament for the third time; therefore they took the trophy to Kazakhstan forever. They did it quite convincingly, four points ahead of vice-champion Tagaytay. However in the face-to-face match, the Filipinos beat the Kazaks 2.5-1.5.

These gentlemen deserved the trophy; of the thirty-six individual games they lost just one!

The Silver Medal went to the Philippines. The boy who is seated at the far left is
13-year-old IM So Wesley, rated 2451, a student of IA Casto Abando

As was expected, after the top two seeds the strongest Iranian team, Saipa, took the bronze medal, followed up by the Iranian Super League Champion Rahahan of Tehran. The only women's team, Banvan-Tehran, surprisingly finished the tournament at the eighth place.

Bronze Medalist Saipa, the most successful Iranian team

From left to right: WGM Shadi Paridar, WIM Atousa Pourkashitan, WIM Shayesteh Ghaderpour, WFM Shirin Navabi. These ladies did a superb job thanks to their coach, Super GM Nigel Short (right)

Final rankings





1 Pavlodar Kazakhstan 30.0
2 Tagaytay Philippines 26.0
3 Saipa Iran 25.0
4 Rahahan Iran 23.0
5 Shanghai China 21.5
6 Tidewater Iran 21.5
7 Damascus Syria 17.5
8 Banvan-Tehran Iran 17.5
9 Dubai Emirates 16.5
10 Sulimania Iraq 16.0
11 Calicut India 15.5
12 Lahore Pakistan 15.5
13 Amman Jordan 15.0
14 Sharjah Emirates 15.0
15 Aleppo Syria 15.0
16 Colombo Sri Lanka 15.0
17 Erbil Iraq 12.0
18 Jerusalem Palestine  6.5

For the first time in the history of this tournament, there were two types of medals on individual boards. First according to percentage and then according to the rating performance.

Board medals according to percentage

Rank Name Team
gms pts.
Board 1
1 GM Taleb Moussa Dubai 87.5
2 GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan Saipa 81.3
3 GM Zhou Jianchao Shanghai 72.2
Board 2
1 GM Vladimirov Evgeny Pavlodar 92.9
2 FM Omearat Adel Aleppo 75.0
3 WGM Paridar Shadi Banvan 75.0
Board 3
1 IM So Wesley Tagaytay 83.3
2 GM Kostenko Petr Pavlodar 83.3
3 FM Jasim A R Saleh Sharjah 83.3
Board 4
1 IM Dimakiling Oliver Tagaytay 83.3
2 IM Rinat Jumabeav Pavlodar 83.3
3 FM Hussein N A Erbil 78.6
Board 5
1 Zozik Saleh Sulimania 90.0 5
2 IM Ismagambetov An Pavlodar 85.7
3 Sadeghi Adel Tidewater 60.0 5

Board Medals according to rating performance

Rank Name Team Rp
Board 1
Gold GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan Saipa 2643
Silver GM Zhou Jianchao Shanghai 2536
Bronze GM Kotsur Pavel   Pavlodar 2475
Board 2
Gold GM Vladimirov Evgeny Pavlodar 2809
Silver GM Antonio Rogelio Jr Tagaytay 2553
Bronze FM Darban Morteza Tidewater 2469
Board 3
Gold IM So Wesley Tagaytay 2623
Silver GM Kostenko Petr Pavlodar 2578
Bronze IM Ghane Shojaat Rahahan 2446
Board 4
Gold IM Rinat Jumabeav Pavlodar 2570
Silver IM Dimakiling Oliver Tagaytay 2529
Bronze IM Mallahi Amir Saipa 2413
Board 5
Gold IM Ismagambetov An Pavlodar 2584

Picture gallery


Tehran's most famous monument is the Azadi Tower (Freedom Tower), which includes a cultural centre with a library, a museum and art galleries that display works by contemporary artists. The tower is a triumphal arch in white stone, standing 45 meters high, and composed of a large central block set on four splayed feet. Designed by a young Iranian architect, the tower was finished in 1971 for the celebrations of the 2500th anniversary of the monarchy. The tower is located to the west of Tehran, at the junction of the roads from the airport and Qazvin, and acts as a grandiose gateway to the capital.

Damavand Mountain is the highest point (5610 m) in both Iran and the wider Middle East

Night view of Tehran, with the Milad Communication Tower (world 4th tallest tower)

Dr. (of psychology) M. E. Maddahi, the President of Iranian Chess federation, next to the Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifah Al Nahyan, President of the Asian Chess Federation 

GM Evgeny Vladimirov 2616, the top seed of the tournament, won three Gold medals, one for the team competition and two for individual boards. At the closing-ceremony he thanked the Iranian organization for their great hospitality. 

WGM Shadi Paridar, the very first lady to win a Medal at Asian Cities (Bronze on board two)

GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami, the most successful Iranian chess player, who won three types of medal: one Gold, one Silver and one Bronze. He is standing next to his mother, his wife, WIM Shayesteh Ghaderpour, and his father.

WFM Shirin Navabi, who is doing a master course on Physical Education

16-year-old Ju Wenjun 2331 from Shanghai of China

IA Abdulrahim Mahdi (UAE), FIDE Supervisor who can speak Farsi better than so many Iranians; Chief Arbiter IA Casto Abundo (PHI), and IA Fereydoon Eskandari (IRN),the Deputy of Chief Arbiter  

playing hall of the Asian Cities Chess Championship 2007

The Iran Super League Chess Champion finished at forth place.
Rahahan members gathering at the dinner table.

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