World Record 604 Board Simultaneous Chess Exhibition by GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (IRI) Print
Thursday, 10 February 2011 14:01
GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, 9-time Iran national champion, set a new world record of 604 boards for Simultaneous Chess Exhibition by an individual. The simultaneous exhibition took 25 hours from 8th to 9th February 2011 at the sports stadium of the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran.

He broke the 2009 record of 500 opponents set by Iranian GM Morteza Mahjoob who scored 88.4%. Last year, Israeli GM Alik Gershon reportedly took on 523 opponents with an 86% result.

The opening ceremony at 10am was attended by Iran Sports Minister Dr. Saeed Lou, Iranian Chess Federation President Mohammed Jaffar Kambuzia, Asian Chess Federation Deputy President Casto Abundo, who was the official FIDE Observer, and some well known Iranian sportsmen. The main sponsor was Ansar Bank. There was a festival atmosphere and all players received T-shirts of the event, a book on the Ehsan Ghaem Maghami-Karpov match, official ID card, the chess set and board on which they played, food and drink.

Some 1,500 registered on the official website and the first to come had the honor of being part of history. Of the field of 604 participants, over half were adults. One fourth were women who were seated separately, and most children were seated together. All players recorded their moves on scoresheets.

With all players at their boards, GM Ghaem Maghami began play at 10:20 am on 8th February. At around 2 pm there was a lunch break for all with players remaining at their boards. The record was assured at 6 am the next morning of 9th February as GM Ghaem Maghami achieved the 80% minimum score after beating 484 opponents.

The last games ended 11:25 AM on 9th February. After 25 hours, the final results were 580 wins, 16 draws and 8 losses for a total score of 588 out of 604 or 97.35 percent. Ten more boards were added which he won but which were not counted for the record.

Chief Organizer of the event was IA/IO Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh. Chief Arbiter was Hamid Reza Pour Shahmari assisted by Deputy Arbiter IA Najib, six Senior Arbiters and 48 national arbiters.

Players ranged from 5 to 85 in age, many coming from outside Tehran. The event enjoyed massive media coverage all TV stations with more than three hours live coverage.

Boards were arranged for GM Ghaem Maghami to conserve energy moving around the tables. One complete circle took around 15 minutes in the early opening moves to 30 minutes per move in the middle game or longer in complicated positions.

Over double the number registered for the event.

GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami varied openings in order for games on adjacent boards to be different from each other. Video cameras recorded the moves. Arbiters (in vests) supervised players as GM Ghaem Maghami approached the boards.

Iranian Chess Federation president Mohammed Jaffar Kambuzia (third from left) with officials of the event. Others are, from left: Mohammed Zarei, Asian Chess Federation Deputy President Casto Abundo, Manouchehr Bagheri, Chief Organizer Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh and Iranian Chess Federation Secretary Hadi Karimi.

Winners were given cash prizes at closing ceremonies held at the Iranian Chess Federation building. Among the sponsors were Mr. Zare, head of public relations of Ansar Bank, Iranўs biggest private bank, and Engr. Sedeghi, chairman of the biggest Iranian telecom company.

For setting a new world record, co-sponsor Mazda gave GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami a new car.

The poster of the event.

Reported by Casto Abundo
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