Iran emerges as a chess nation

1/5/2007 – Chess was invented in India, but transported to the rest of the world by the Persians. Before the 1979 revolution, Iran just had three International Masters who had the potential to achieve the grandmaster title. A ten-year ban of chess prevented them from reaching their goal. Now there are three GMs, and one in waiting. Big report on the Iranian Championships.

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Iranian Chess championships and talents

By Arash Akbarinia

In 2000, at the age of 18, Ehsan Ghaem Maghami achieved the sacred title of grandmaster. Amir Bagheri became the second one, and Elshan Moradi completed his three norms in less than one month, which I think is a world record. At Turin Olympiad, Morteza Mahjoob won his final norm, but still waiting to reaches the 2500.


Ehsan Ghaem Maghami is not just successful at chess, he graduated from law school!


Elshan Moradiabadi, who in the January FIDE list is Iran's strongest GM (at 2569), could not participate in the championship because he was taking his exams in chemistry and engineering at Sharif University, the best-known university in Iran.


The Iranian Bronze medal team at the Asian Games in Doha. From the left is the Iranian FIDE delegate Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, national team trainer GM Nigel Short, Iranian Chess Federation President Dr. Mohammad Ebrahim Maddahi, Elshan Moradiabadi, Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, Captain IM Khosrow Harandi and Atousa Pourkashiyan.

Chess is booming in Iran and very popular among the children. In the January FIDE rating list Iran has more than 400 players, which can increase twofold in the April list.

The final stage of Iran Chess Championship took place from December 20 to 30, 2006 in Tehran, in the building of the Iranian Chess Federation. Twelve players, with and average rating of 2385, took part in a round-robin tournament, competing for the Iranian chess crown under the FIDE time control.

Two grandmasters (what a shame that 21 years old Elshan Moradiabadi, GM, 2539, was unable to play) and the half grandmaster Morteza Mahjoob, who has three norms not the 2500 rating, one IM and five FMs warmed up the tournament in the coldness of winter.

Finally, after eleven rounds, grandmaster Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, the former Vice Champion of Asia and bronze medalist of the Doha Asian Games with Iranian National Team, won the tournament quite convincingly, with 8.5 points, clear full point top of the table.


First ever Iranian Grandmaster and six times champion of Iran Ehsan Ghaem Maghami

Morteza Mahjoob, the defender of championship, took the silver medal, follow up by young super-talented Asghar Golizadeh (2233) who won the bronze medal fully deservedly. His 2501 rating performance earned him an International Master norm.


If he reaches the 2500, he will become the fourth Iranian GM: Morteza Mahjoob


16-year-old Asghar Golizadeh astonished everyone!

Morteza Darban (2396) with 6.5 points took the forth place, thank to better tie-break. Grandmaster Amir Bagheri, who has experience of playing in French Chess Championship Final, just took fifth. And former world under ten champion Javad Alavi won the final sixth place for the national team.


Fourth place for Morteza Darban, who achieved his final International Master norm!


Fifth place for GM Amir Bagher who, after five years in France, has come back home!


Sixth place and a seat on the national team for 19-year-old Javad Alavi

Rk.   Name  Rtg 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
Pts.
 TB1 
 TB2 
 TB3 
1 GM G. Maghami Ehsan 2580 * ½ ½ 1 1 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 1
8,5
4,0
0,0
41,50
2 IM Mahjoob Morteza 2465 ½ * 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 1
7,5
4,0
0,0
39,00
3   Golizadeh Asghar 2233 ½ 0 * 1 ½ 1 0 1 1 ½ ½ 1
7,0
3,0
0,0
35,25
4 FM Darban Morteza 2396 0 1 0 * 1 1 0 1 1 0 ½ 1
6,5
3,0
0,0
33,50
5 GM Bagheri Amir 2486 0 ½ ½ 0 * ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1
6,5
2,5
0,0
29,75
6 FM Alavi Sayed Javad 2368 1 0 0 0 ½ * ½ ½ 1 1 1 1
6,5
2,0
0,0
30,25
7 FM Toufighi Homayoon 2386 0 0 1 1 0 ½ * 1 ½ 0 1 ½
5,5
2,5
0,0
27,75
8 FM Ardeshi Mehrdad 2379 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 * 0 1 1 1
4,5
1,5
0,0
20,25
9 FM Roghani Arash 2383 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 * 1 0 ½
4,0
1,5
0,0
19,25
10 IM Ghorbani Mohsen 2304 0 1 ½ 1 0 0 1 0 0 * 0 0
3,5
3,5
0,0
23,00
11   Moradi Behrooz 2299 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 1 1 * 0
3,0
1,0
0,0
14,25
12   Moosavian Hamed 2345 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 *
3,0
0,5
0,0
11,25

Women's section

In the women section Atousa Pourkashiyan was sadly missed. The former World Champion under 12 came fourth in the Doha Asian Games (rapid section), won a Bronze medal in the Team Classical and is the winner of many other trophies.


18-year-old Atousa – how far can she go?

In the absence of Atousa the tournament was won by Shadi Paridar, with 9.5 points, including eight wins and three draws.


The only Iranian Women Grandmaster: Shadi Paridar

Woman International Master, Shayesteh Ghaderpour, took the second place with 9 points. And 14-years-old Mitra Hejazipour, the former Vice Champion of World Under 10, grabbed the Bronze medal, with 8.5 points, one point above of Shirin Navabi, the former Iran Women Chess Champion. Ghazal Hakimifard, who has just turned to 12, surprised everyone with her very strong games and took the fifth place, due only to her unfortunate tie-break.


WIM Shayesteh Ghaderpour, wife of Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, won the Silver medal


Third place for 14-year-old Mitra Hejazipour, former silver medalist in the World U10 championship


Fourth place for WFM Shirin Navabi, former Iran Women Chess Champion


Super-talent Ghazal Hakimifard, 12, will become queen of Iranian chess very soon!

Rk.   Name Rtg 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Pts.
 TB1 
 TB2 
 TB3 
1 WGM Paridar Shadi 2210 * 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1
9,5
4,5
0,0
45,00
2 WIM Ghader Pour Shayesteh 2144 0 * ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
9,0
4,0
0,0
39,50
3   Hejazipour Mitra 1902 ½ ½ * ½ 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
8,5
3,5
0,0
37,00
4 WFM Navabi Shirin 2092 ½ 0 ½ * 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1
7,5
3,0
0,0
33,25
5   Hakimifard Ghazal 1962 0 ½ 1 0 * 1 0 1 1 1 1 1
7,5
2,5
0,0
31,50
6 WFM Salman, Mahini Mona 2141 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 1
7,0
2,0
0,0
25,50
7   Hemmatizadeh N 1914 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 * 0 1 1 1 1
5,5
1,5
0,0
19,25
8   Alavi Homa 1435 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 1 ½ 1 0
3,5
1,0
0,0
11,00
9   Naderlou Fatemeh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 * 1 ½ 1
2,5
0,0
0,0
4,50
10   Karnedjat Ferdows 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 * 0 1
2,0
0,5
0,0
7,00
11   Mahboobi Shiva 1693 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 * ½
2,0
0,0
0,0
4,00
12   Vakilpour Azin 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ *
1,5
0,0
0,0
4,50

All material and photos supplied by Arash Akbarinia, 20, who has represented Iran in World Youth championships for years. Arash twice won Silver at the Asian Championships (2000 U14 and 2002 U16).



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