2016 Khazar Cup in Iran brings 758 players

by ChessBase
3/2/2016 – Chess has visibly been enjoying huge growth in Iran, as seen not only with the recently held FIDE Women Grand Prix, but also the number of young talents emerging. The Khazar Cup is Iran’s most prominent chess festival, and this year brought together no fewer than 758 participants, and was opened by Anatoly Karpov. Sharing his images and insights, here is a pictorial by Reza Mahdipour.

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2016 Khazar Cup

Report and photos by Reza Mahdipour

The 2016 Khazar International Cup is a chess festival that had a total of six tournaments, including the top Masters competition, the Under-2100, the Women's event, the Youth, and two Under-6 tournaments, one for boys and one for girls.

The festival was hosted in Rasht city, the capital of Gilan province. Above is the venue for
groups "A" (Masters), "B" (under-2100) and "C" (Women)

Present to inaugurate the festival was none other than the legendary Anatoly Karpov

A young fan, Nikoo Abbaspourrad, the Girls U10 Iranian youth champion gushes in front of
one of her idols

Sergei Tiviakov the top seed of Masters groupwas going strong, when
his tournament was derailed by two losses in rounds six and seven.

In round six, untitled 15-year-old Parham Maghsoodloo beat Sergei
Tiviakov in spite of a nasty headache before and during the game!
Iranian players call him "Parhamora!" (Nakamura).

Local hero Amirreza Pourramezanali is the current no. 1 chess player in Gilan

Masoud Mosadeghpour, the reigning world U18 champion and U20 Asian Junior, had a
fantastic event, and finished first on tiebreak

Former Russian champion Sergey Volkov beat...

...Polish defending champion Jacek Stopa.

Untitled 17-year-old Mersad Khodashenas drew against GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami

GM Pouya Idani (former under-18 World Champion) back to the chess field after several months away

FM Aryan Gholami who came in second at the Absolute Iranian Championship in 2016

IM Seyed Khalil Mousavi Who got Silver medal in last year Khazar Cup

Aryan watching Iran's top two players GM Ghaem Maghami and GM Pouya Idani. GM Ehsan
Maghami (2570) is no. 1 because GM Elshan Moradiabadi (2603) changed his rating flag to
FIDE in order to transfer to the US. Elshan has been living in the US in recent years and is
a Ph.D. Candidate at Texas Tech University

Ukrainian GM Vladimir Malaniuk

Ali Abedi was a wrestler before! Now he is a chess player. Smiling next to him is the two-time
Iranian champion GM Morteza Mahjoob!

FM Amirmohammad Soozankar from Gilan province(on of the Gilan players)

Ali Faghirnavaz

IM Mohsen Sharbaf

FM Mohammadreza Asgharzadeh (2264) beat GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami in the Iranian
Chess Super League just a few days earier

Amin Nasri wants go to the US to continue his education

Chief Arbiter of all groups is young and sagacious IA Shohreh Bayat

WFM Bahar Hallaeva (Turkmenistan)

WFM Anahita Zahedifar stormed the competition with a superb 8.0/9

WFM Gozel Atabayeva from Turkmenistan

WFM Ogulgerek Atabayeva (TKM)

WFM Kiana Arab former Iranian youth champion and now US chess player

WFM Motahare Asadi has medals of all colours from World and Asian championships

Yeganeh Karimi

The Women event

Meisam Abed lost his game in round seven

Behrang Kaboodi

Tournament hall, second floor

Mahdi Kowsari (middle) came from London to see the tournament in person!

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