Asian Youth Championship – a story told in pictures

7/26/2008 – "When you see the beautiful eyes of an eight-year-old girl filled with tears, you think to yourself, is chess really worth it? But when she has forgotten her stupid blunder and starts to play against her next opponent, you realize that she may have lost her game, but she has won something that without chess she could never have experienced." Pictorial impressions from by FM Arash Akbarinia.

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Chess in Iran: Asian Youth Championship in Teheran

Report by FM Arash Akbarinia

When you see the face of a sweet eight-year-old girl, and her beautiful blue eyes are filled with tears, you think to yourself, is chess really worth it, if it causes innocent children to cry? But if you wait a little bit, when she forgets her stupid blunder and starts to play, full of spirit, against her next opponent, you realize that she may have lost her game, but she has won something that without chess she could never have experienced.

The 2008 Asian Youth Chess Championship, which was held last week in the Capital of Iran, Tehran-e-Bozorg, Great Tehran, was full interesting incidents. From happy small boys, running from to and fro in the yard of Iran Chess Federation, to young handsome gentlemen, who were chatting up attractive young ladies. And from very worried mothers, who kept praying during their children’s matches, to stressed fathers, who smoked double their usual quota of cigarettes, while their offspring were battling it out on the chess boards.

In my opinion the best way to give you an impression of all of this is through photos. So, let’s take a brief look at what happened in the 2008 Asian Youth Chess Championship.


Champion of Girls U12 Sara Khademalsharieh of Iran next to her mother and father


Saeed Tariq Al Taher from the UAE, Boys U8


Diana Omurbekova from Kyrgyzstan Girls, U10


Who is this smart young gentleman? Let me check – Siavash Vojdani from Iran Boys U10


Nomen est omen – Sweety Patel from India, Girls U10


Munirjon Sharipov from Tajikistan, Boys U8


What stylish and cute mademoiselles! Iranian Kimia Fatehi (pink purse), Girls U8, and her cousin.


Champion of Boys U10 Diptayan Ghosh from India. He is very polite and sweet.


Suhila Muhsen from Iraq, Girls U10


Khalil Mousavi, Vice-Champion of Boys U10, with his coach and older brother Milad Mousavi


Ho Jin Jung from South Korea, Boys U12


Tran Le Dan Thuy from Vietnam, Girls U12


Iranian Nima Javanbakht, Vice-Champion of Boys U12. He had five points from his first five games, but in the next four rounds he just won one!


Sach D. Ranasinghe from Sri Lanka Girls U14


Wei-Yi Victoria Chan from Singapore Girls U16


Altanolzii Enxtuul from Mongolia, Girls U16


Vice-Champion of Girls U16 Mitra Hejazipour from Iran, next to her is her mother.


Arslan Otchiyev from Turkmenistan, Boys U18


Did you like Iranian food?


Well, this family of Uzbekistanis does...


Two of these girls ordered Kebab and the other two fish


I'm sorry, my fork is not working...


Homayoun Tofighi from Iran, convincing champion of Boys U18


Champion of Boys U8 Arya Omidi and his father.


Champion of Girls U8 Zhansaya Abdumalik from Kazakhstan with her father


Morvorid Nazriddimova (in pink), Girls U18, and Asila Muhtojzoda (jeans), Girls U16, both from Tajikistan. Tajikistani did not have any problem from a language point of view – they can speak Farsi very well.


From left to right: Mariam Abdulaziz; U10, Amal Abdulaziz, U14; Aatima Abdulghani, U16; Faiqa Saleh, U18, all from the United Arab Emirates. The Arab girls did not have any problem with Hijab, because they are used to it from their own countries.


Standing for the Iranian National Anthem at the closing ceremony at Olympic Hotel


They really enjoyed that song...


The girls take pictures with digital cameras and cellphones at the closing ceremony


Team winners of the Boys' section, bronze went to United Arab Emirates, Gold to India and Silver Cup stayed in Iran.


And the Girls' section, Gold for Indians, Silver one more time for the host country, and Bronze this time for the Uzbeks


Posing for a remembrance picture: all the medal winners of Boys' section


And it is girls’ turn! Compare these two photos and then you will see that girls have generally more discipline, even in posing for a picture.


Team of United Arab Emirates


The Indian participants won so many medals!


Boys and girls of Sri Lanka


Uzbekistanis won three Silver Medals


In the lobby of the hotel fans play blitz!


After the closing ceremony, in their hotel, the girls are still playing, but this time it is "crazy chess!"

Epilogue: as an Iranian I hope that everyone had a good time in Iran and has left our country with a good memories. Of course our organization did have a few deficiencies, but I am sure our very kind guests will generously forget them, and hopefully we see them in the very near future in Iran.



FM Arash Akbarinia, 2338

Arash Akbarinia

22 years old, student of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the Beheshti University (Tehran, Iran). Fide Master, one International Master norm, the only Iranian FIDE trainer, rating 2338. Two times Vice-Champion of Asian youth Chess Championship, many times champion of Iranian Youth and Junior Chess Championships, due to that represented Iran in many World Championships. Speaks Persian, English, German and a little bit French.

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