Tehran Wins Asian Cities Championship

5/5/2009 – This event has been held since 1979 and used to be played in Asia. In the 1990s it was staged three times in the UAE, and in 2000 it arrived on Lebanese soil. This year Twenty teams competed in the nine-round Swiss tournament with four boards per team. The winner was Tehran, Iran, ahead of Bangalore, India and Damascus, Syria. Big illustrated report by Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh.

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Tehran Wins Asian Cities Championship

Report on the 6th Asian Cities Championship by Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh

The Tehran chess team won the Asian Cities Team Championship for the Dubai Cup, followed by runner-up Bangalore, India and Damascus, Syria who prevailed in the tie for third over the Furn El Chebak Team A of Lebanon. Twenty teams competed in the nine-round Swiss tournament organized by the Lebanese Chess Federation under the auspices of the Asian Chess Federation, from 15-23 April 2009 in Furn El Chebak, Lebanon. The revelation of the tournament was the strong showing of newcomer Kathmandu team from Nepal, which placed an impressive fifth place.

Final Standing

1

Tehran (Iran)

17

 273

2

Bangalore (India)

14

 229½

3

Damascus (Syria)

13

 187

4

Furn El Chebak A (LIB)

13

 174½

5

Kathmandu (Nepal)

11

 123½

6

Amman (Jordan)

10

 182

7

Sanaa (Yemen)

10

 170

8

Abu Dhabi (UAE)

10

 116½

9

Baghdad (Iraq)

 9

 181

10

Aleppo (Syria)

 9

 153½

11

Sharjah (UAE)

 9

 146

12

Sulaimaniyah (Iraq)

 9

 110

13

Chiah (lebanon)

 9

 93½

14

Bandar Emam (Iran)

 8

 143

15

Beirut (Lebanon)

 8

 85½

16

Hazmieh (Lebanon)

 6

 103½

17

Dubai (UAE)

 6

 82

18

Al Quds (Palestine)

 6

 59½

19

Furn El Chebak B (LIB)

 3

 57½

20

Gaza (Palestine)

 0

 21½


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The start of the Board One match, with Dr. Suleyman, President of UAE Chess Federation, executing the first move. On right is Lebanese Chess Federation president Nabil Sinoo


The Tehran team: GM Morteza Mahjoob, GM Elshan Moradiabadi and GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami. Behind them are Lebanon Chess Federation Delegates Dr. Ammar Houry, Nabil Sinno (standing in the middle) and Mr. Rajaie from Palestine (on the left), director of the Sharjah Chess Club and also technical director of the tournament, working on news in the Arabic language.


The tournament hall and accommodation was provided by the five-star Meridian Hotel Furn El Chebak in downtown Beirut. There were sometimes wedding parties with a lot of noise and music, but nowadays player don’t seem to lose concentration because of music.


Seyed Hamed Mousavian played on board five of the Tehran team and scored 5.5 out of 6, with a 2600 performance. This was the best amongst all players, but in order to get a medal on the main boards players had to play at least seven games.


A BBC team was present every day in the hall


They concentrated their attention on a young Syrian chess player named Wared Tarboush, since the program was about ways to improve young talents.


Ex-Champion of UAE  Hussein Khoury, 2265, played just one game, after many years, in this tournament and made a draw against the the Amman team from Jordan. Khoury is the head of the Abu Dhabi Chess Club and also a high ranking manager in an oil company in UAE.


IA and IO Elias Kheiroolah, the director of tournament, who worked hard for this event. He is also the sport director of Beirut University.


Ellias Khairollah brought many young volunteers from Beirut University to help during the tournament in public relations and the production of the bulletin.


The Lebanese Chess Federation honorary president Dr. Ammar Houry, Member of Parliament, and host Furn el Chebak tournment, and Mahyor Reymond Semean award the Dubai Cup to the Tehran team, composed of GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, GM Elshan Moradiabadi, GM Morteza Mahjoob, FM Hamed Moosavian and IM Amir Mallahi.


FM Abdulla Hassan from Shrjah team of UAE scored 7.5/9 and received the Gold Medal of best percentage score on board one.


Jamal Shamieh , Board 1 of the Beirut team, who forfeited in a game because an SMS arrived during his game! He is officer in Lebanese Army and participated in the war.


... and his brother Mahmoud Shamieh, Board 2 of the Beirut team, got 7.5/9. With Hassan Abdullah had best percentage score


WIM Knarik Moradian, 2202, is best female player in Lebanon, and also her sister Susan has been a member of the Lebanese team for many years


The Bangalore team composed of M.S.Thejkumar, N. Sanjay, Sarja Sriram, Das Abishek and R. Hanumantha. With microphone on the right is Lebanese Chess Federation president Nabil Sinoo.


The main cup, which arrived from Kazakhstan (the previous winner) and is awarded by Sheikh Sultan, the President of the Asian Chess Federation, to Dr. Maddahi President of Iran Chess Federation. On the left is
Ibrahim Al-Bannai, the Chairman of Dubai Chess Club and President of Arab Chess Federation.


The FIDE Arbiter Seminar, held at same time and conducted by Andrzej Filipowicz and Dr. Hisham Elgendy. Many International Arbiters also participated, to renew their knowledge, and many new arbiters were able to pass the exam and be nominated for the FIDE Arbiter title.


Beirut has very beautiful nature everywhere, and is green and very peaceful


Beifut: a highway parallel to the beach


The Iranian team and delegates visit the Beirut seafront


Pigeons' Rock or "Teeth of the Sea", a famous Mediterranean landmark in Beirut


The last Mosque built by Rafigh Hariri, completed after his assassination


The statue of Our Lady of Lebanon or Notre Dame du Liban

At the end of the 19th century, a 15-ton bronze statue of the Virgin Mary, painted in white, was erected on top of a hill, 650 meters above sea level, in the village of Harissa, 20 km north of Beirut. The shrine, also known as "Saydet Libnan", has become a major pilgrimage destination in Lebanon. The Lebanese Christians as well as the Druze and Shia & Sunni Muslims have a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is believed that the statue one night turned to face the birthplace of Jesus.

Asian Cities Championship history

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 (and was won by Singapore). It quickly gained renown in the Asian chess world as an iron item in annual chess calendar in Asia. 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 United Arab Emirates hosted the Asian teams three times and Malaysia were the hosts twice. Dhaka of Bangladesh were surprise winners from 1990, then Jakarta took the trophy twice. In 1996 Uzbekistani capital Tashkent took 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 (Kotsur, Vladimirov) from Kazakhstan won. They managed to defended the title next time in Yemen. In 2004 the event was awarded to the Philippines and it was also the first time when Filipino city won.

The system of play is four board Swiss (all-play-all alternatively if circumstances make it possible) with each team having right to field up to six players. Each Asian country has right to send one city team to the championship. In some cases the organizers may admit one additional city from a federation. The winning city in the Asian Cities Chess Championship is awarded custody of the challenge Dubai Cup. [Source OlimpBase]

Asian Cities Championship summary

no.

Host city

Year

Winners

System
Boards
Teams

1.

Hong Kong

1979

Singapore

S-7

4

12

2.

Hong Kong

1980

Guangzhou

 

 

14

3.

Hong Kong

1981

Shanghai

 

 

26

4.

Hong Kong

1983

Beijing

 

 

30

5.

Penang

1984

Shanghai

 

 

26

6.

Hong Kong

1985

Shanghai

 

 

26

7.

Dubai

1990

Dhaka

 

 

32

8.

Dubai

1992

Jakarta

 

 

36

9.

Kuala Lumpur

1994

Jakarta

 

 

28

10.

Dubai

1996

Tashkent

 

 

40

11.

Genting Highlands

1998

Shijiazhuang

S-9

4

27

12.

Beirut

2000

Pavlodar

S-9

4

22

13.

Aden

2002

Pavlodar

S-9

4

18

14.

Manila

2004

Tagaytay

S-9

4

19

15.

Teheran

2007

Pavlodar

S-9

4

18

16.

Beirut

2009

Tehran

S-9

4

20

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