Iran Chess Federation president Mohammed Kambouzia making the ceremonial moves in the semifinal match between Iran-A (right) and China. At right is President Khankishi of the East Azerbaijan Chess Association.
The Kazakhstan men’s team upset the top seed Chinese team in the final to win the Asian Nations Cup Rapid Chess Team Championship in Tabriz, Iran. In the women’s division, the highly rated Chinese crushed the Indian women’s team to win the one-day event on 21st May. The Asian Nations Cup has three events, Rapid chess, Standard and Blitz. Ten men’s teams and 6 women’s teams are seeing action in this biannual event of the Asian Chess Federation.
The Rapid chess format consisted of 5-round Swiss system preliminaries followed by semifinals and final.
China topped the preliminaries with 9 match points followed by Vietnam with 8, Kazakhstan with 7, Iran A and Iran B with 6 match points each, India and Jordan with 4 match points each, Sri Lanka and Iraq with 3 match points and newcomer Oman with no team win.
The top four played a knockout Semifinal match after which the two winners faced each other in the finals. In the semifinals, China beat Iran-A 2.5-1.5 while Kazakhstan bested Vietnam by a similar slate. The finals were a tense struggle as three boards were in a tie. Chinese GM Ding Liren beat Rinat Jumabayev but Petr Kostenko evened the score at the expense of GM Ma Qun. As board two ended in a draw, it all depended on the board 3 game. In an exciting finish GM Pavel Kotsur outplayed youthful Wei Yi to clinch the title. In the women’s division, the six women’s teams played round robin preliminaries to select the qualifiers to the knockout semifinal and final. China dominated the prelims with 9 match points followed Iran-A with 7 match points, India with 5, Vietnam and Kazakhstan with 4 and Iran-B with 1 match point.
In the semifinals, China trounced Vietnam 3:1 while India edged Iran-A 2.5-1.5 as Harika Dronavali held to a draw Atousa Pourkashiyan’s strong attack with a pawn up in the Rook and pawn endgame. The finals were a decisive victory for China, 3:1 on wins by IM Shen Yang and WGM Guo Qi while the other two boards were drawn.
See results and standings in chess-results.com. Download games from official site. Download Bulletin 1.
Kazakhstan team photo: Left to right: GM Rinat Jumabayev, GM Petr Kostenko, GM Anuar Ismagambetov, GM Pavel Kotsur, Captain Serikbay Temribayev and reserve Ayan Akhmetov.
China vs India