India's Sasikiran Wins Asian Championship in Doha

by ChessBase
3/5/2003 – Fine, you say, but where is Doha? We're glad you asked. The capital city of Qatar hosted the Asian Championship from Feb.22 to Mar.2. India's Krishnan Sasikiran, by far the top seed at 2664, won clear first place and $12,000 with 7/9. Clear second went to Iranian GM Ghaem Maghami. The top ten finishers qualified for the next world championship cycle and both Vietnam and Yemen will be represented. All the games and results here.

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First Place and $12,000 for India's "other" Top Grandmaster

Krishnan Sasikiran of India needed a win in the final round to take clear first place. He got it against Kazakh GM Darmen Sadvakasov in a difficult game when Sadvakasov blundered in time trouble under considerable pressure. The 22-year-old Sasikiran lived up to his top-seeded status, going through the nine-round, 54-player event without a loss.

Second place went to Iran's lone Grandmaster, 21-year-old Ghaem Maghami, who was also undefeated. Third place on tiebreaks went to the hometown hero, Al-Modiakhi. Apart from the considerable prize fund, ten slots for the next world championship cycle were in play. It turned out that you needed at least 6/10 to make the cut and exactly eight players finished with six points, avoiding the need for tiebreaks.

Along with the three prize winners the qualifiers were Barua (India), Sadvakasov (Kazakhstan), Dao Thien Hai (Vietnam), Adianto (Indonesia), Neelotpal (India), Barsov (Uzbekistan), and the big surprise of the event, Kadhi of Yemen, rated just 2334.

Left to right: FIDE Continental President for Asia Khalifa Al Hitmi, GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan, GM Krishnan Sasikiran, and GM Mohamad Al-Modiakhi (Photo:

Missing the cut somewhat surprisingly was Philippine legend Eugenio Torre, who lost in the final round to Kadhi. Second-seeded Pavel Kotsur of Kazakhstan fell out of contention by losing his last two games. In the eighth round he still had good qualifying chances but lost with white in just 13 moves against Barua! Download all the games in PGN.

Kotsur,P (2586) - Barua,D (2541) [D45]
4th ch-Asia Doha QAT (8), 01.03.2003

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.g4 Nxg4 8.Rg1 h5 9.h3 Nh6 10.Rxg7 Qf6 11.Rh7 Rxh7 12.Qxh7 Nf8 0-1

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