Al Ain hosts battle for World Cup places
Thirty countries to be represented in Asian Continental Chess Championships
Published: 17:12 August 1, 2015
The $87,000 (Dh319,512) Asian Continental Chess Championships start on Sunday at the Hilton Hotel in Al Ain, with a record 48 Grandmasters, 31 International Masters and 16 FIDE Masters from 30 countries competing for the right to represent Asia at the World Cup.
Asian Chess Federation president Shaikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan will lead the opening ceremony at 2.45pm alongside the presidents of various national federations. Matches at the championship, which is being held in co-operation with the UAE Chess Federation and Abu Dhabi Sports Council, will begin every day from 3pm.
Six tournaments are scheduled, with a top prize of $11,000 for first place in the men’s and $6,000 in the women’s championship. Rapid chess and blitz tournaments are scheduled in both the men’s and women’s divisions, with a total of $12,000 in prizes up for grabs.
The women’s champion will go on to represent Asia in the FIDE Women’s World Championship.
Tournaments will be conducted as nine-round Swiss System events with cash prizes for the top 30 places.
India and China have the biggest delegations, with 19 Indian masters in the men’s along with 13 Chinese. They both have ten players in the women’s division.
The top two seeds are from Vietnam — GM Le Quang Liem, rated 2699, and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, rated 2662.
Both have already qualified for the World Cup from the Southeast Asian Zonal tournament, also organised by the Asian Chess Federation. Also already qualified is GM Salem A.R. Saleh of the UAE.
From the Indian Zonal, pre-qualified are GM S.P. Sethuraman of India and Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh, while GM Idani Pouya of Iran progressed from the Middle East Zonal. Should any of these pre-qualified players make it to the top five, the next in line qualifies to the World Cup.
GM Salem leads the UAE delegation together with FM Ishaq Saeed, Kholoud Eisa Al Zarouni and Amna Nouman, plus Al Ain girls WIM Mona Al Harmoudi and WCM Wafia Darwish Al Maamari.