The 1st Stars Cup in Iran

by ChessBase
7/25/2016 – Iran has been especially active in chess of late, organizing events such as the FIDE Women Grand Prix in Tehran, to the International Khazar Cup. Nevertheless, one of its most interesting was the recent First Stars Cup pitting a team of international grandmasters such as Nigel Short, and more, against a team of Iran's best players. The top performer was 15-year-old Maghsoodloo.

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By Shohreh Bayat

Photos by Sina Zare and Hossein Shahiri

Chess has a long history in Iran and most Iranians believe that chess probably originated in Iran. This helps explain its historical impact and popularity among the people of this country.

This year, the Iranian chess federation was very busy organizing different tournaments such as the FIDE Women Grand Prix, the 14th International Khazar Cup with 758 participants, and the Asian Schools Chess Championships with almost 500 chess players from 17 countries. However, the most interesting tournament was the “1st Stars Cup” which takes place in the Anzali Free Zone, from July 9-21 and  was opened by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov.

The event was organized as 10-round Scheveningen match between two teams of 10 players each: one of players from around the globe, and the other with Iranian players.

Ten grandmasters from different countries represented the World Stars team:

World Stars

Bd   Name Rtg FED
1 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2679 ARM
2 GM Dreev Aleksey 2664 RUS
3 GM Edouard Romain 2639 FRA
4 GM Short Nigel D 2652 ENG
5 GM Sokolov Ivan 2642 NED
6 GM Miroshnichenko Evgenij 2616 UKR
7 GM Lu Shanglei 2611 CHN
8 GM Mchedlishvili Mikheil 2604 GEO
9 GM Ehlvest Jaan 2524 USA
10 GM Vakhidov Jahongir 2586 UZB

Ten Iranian top players represented the Iran Stars team:

Iran Stars

Bd   Name Rtg FED
1 GM Idani Pouya 2560 IRI
2 GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan 2569 IRI
3 GM Darini Pouria 2524 IRI
4   Maghsoodloo Parham 2501 IRI
5 IM Pourramezanali Amirreza 2509 IRI
6   Firouzja Alireza 2481 IRI
7 IM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat 2445 IRI
8 IM Lorparizangeneh Shahin 2468 IRI
9 FM Gholami Aryan 2454 IRI
10 IM Mousavi Seyed Khalil 2432 IRI

At the end of tournament, the World Stars team defeated Iran Stars team with the overall result of 64.5 -35.5.

FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov participated in the opening ceremony

The playing hall

English grandmaster Nigel Short here in deep thought played very well and was the top scoring player
with 8½/10 and an excellent performance of 2790

15-year-old Parham Mahhsoodloo(2501) was Iran’s most successful player, finishing the event with 8.0/10
and an incredible performance of 2862. This earned him his third grandmaster norm and thus the title.

12-year-old Alireza Firouzja, Iranian Champion

Playing against the super talented Alireza Firouzja must have been difficult even for GM Edouard Romain

They look happy after their games!

GM Dreev Aleksey (2664) from Russia. He finished the tournament undefeated and scored 6.5/10

On the left is GM Ivan Sokolov (Netherland) against GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami (Iran); the game ended in a draw.
It seems that after this event, Sokolov agreed to a part-time deal to coach the Iranian national chess team.

GM Nigel Short against IM Amirreza Pourramezanali. Both players are experts in the French Defense
and a draw was the quick result.

GM Pouya Idani is one of the most popular Iranian grandmasters. He also came first at the World Youth
Championships in the Under 18 section in 2013. His result wasn’t great at this event but he was serious
and looks ready for his next International event in Urmia, Iran.

IM Shahin Lorparizangeneh from Iran scored 4.0/10. Note he has already won five Asian Youth chess titles!

The famous GM Jaan Ehlvest from USA. He was named Estonian sportsman of the year in 1987 and
1989. His brother is also a famous writer.

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh who came second in the FIDE Women Grand Prix in Tehran had a very tough event here

14-year-old Aryan Gholami a member of the Iranian national team in the upcoming Olympiad in Baku.
GM Nigel Short quipped, “Aryan Gholami
, looks exactly like an Iranian #Harry Potter, sans forehead scar.”

GM Pouria Darini (2524) from Iran in a blue shirt with the logo of organizer “Anzali Free Zone”. Pouya is
famous for his competitive spirit during games and can be counted on to fight for a win.

IM Khalil Mousavi (2432) from Iran

IA Werner Stubenvoll from Austria, Chairman of the FIDE Qualification Commission was the Chief Arbiter

Exhibition game: Mr. Masroor, the sponsor of the event (white), against  the president of the
Iran Chess Federation IA/IO/FT Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh (black)

Don't forget to try out delicious Iranian Kebabs!

Parham Maghsoodloo won 1st prize among Iranian chess players

World Stars Team with their prizes

Players and audience in the closing ceremony


About the author

Shohreh Bayat is an International Arbiter and Woman Fide Master from Iran, She is chairman of the Iran Arbiters’ Commission and was a match arbiter in 41st World chess Olympiad in Tromso and upcoming Olympiad in Baku.

Shohreh has won numerous Iranian tournaments such as the Iranian Women's Blitz Championship, the Iranian Junior Chess Championship, the Iranian Woman Chess Festival Championship, and was vice-champion of the Iranian Rapid Chess Tournament.


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