Round 2

The Indian women’s team held defending champion China to a 2:2 draw to allow Vietnam and Uzbekistan to share the lead after two rounds of the Asian Nations Cup Chess Team Championship at the Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan hotel.

China’s Ju Wenjun and Zhao Xue drew with Indians Harika Dronavalli and Tania Sachdev, respectively. Tan Zhongyi scored for China against Padmini Rout but Soumya Swaminathan evened the score by beating WGM Lei Tingjie.

Uzbekistan edged Iran 2.5-1.5 while Vietnam blanked UAE-2 by 4:0 to lead the 10-team women’s round robin. In other matches Mongolia blanked UAE-2 by 4:0 and Kazakhstan shut out Sri Lanka 4:0.

Favorites continued to prevail in the men’s division. In the Swiss System, the stronger teams do not face each other in the early rounds. Iran whipped host UAE 3.5-0.5 to surge to the lead with two wins in as many rounds. GM Darini Pouria, Parham Maghsoodlo and IM Masoud Mosadeghpour beat IM Noaman Omar, FM Ishaq Saeed and FM Ahmed Abbas Khouri, respectively. Asian champion GM Salem A.R. Saleh of the UAE held GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami to a draw to prevent a shutout. Iran has 7.5 game points from two team wins.

Sharing the early lead with similar match points are Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan and top seed China. Match points are the first ranking while ties will be broken by game points. Vietnam dominated Iraq 3.5-0.5 while Kyrgyzstan made a similar score against Lebanon to follow with 7 game points each. China remained in the lead pack but could only score 3:1 against Bangladesh to tally 6.5 game points and trail in the tie break. China is the defending champion in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

In other men’s matches, India drew with Mongolia 2:2, Uzbekistan drew with Kazakhstan 2:2, Jordan beat Kuwait 3.5-0.5, UAE-2 edged Oman 2.5-1.5, Sri Lanka beat Nepal 3.5-0.5, Afghanistan beat UAE-3 by 3:1 and Palestine edged Tajikistan 2.5-1.5.

Chinese womens team
Chinese women’s team, from left, Ju Wenjun, Lei Tingjie, Tan Zhongyi, Zhao Xue and Guo Qi

Round 1

Chess superpowers China and India easily won in the opening round to share the early lead with other favorites in the Asian Nations Cup Chess Team Championship organized by the UAE Chess Federation and Asian Chess Federation at the Novotel Abu Dhabi Bustan Hotel.

The Chinese men, top seed with an average FIDE rating of 2694, beat Lebanon 3.5 to 0.5 as Lebanese FM Amro El Jawich held Chinese Wei Yi to a draw to prevent a shutout. India, second seed at 2652, won by a similar score over Jordan. Third seed Kazakhstan (2558) blanked newcomer Oman 4:0, fourth seed Iran (2504) shut out Sri Lanka 4:0, fifth seed Vietnam (2499) scored 3.5-0.5 against Afghanistan, as with Bangladesh beating Palestine 3.5-0.5. Mongolia blanked Kuwait 4:0 and Kyrgyzstan smashed Tajikistan 3.5-0.5.

As host, the UAE has three teams. UAE-1 shut out Nepal on wins by GM Salem A.R. Saleh, IM Noaman Omar, FM Ishaaq Saeed and FM Ahmed Abbas Khouri. Iraq defeated UAE-3 by a 3-1 score as Abdulaziz Ali won for the hosts. Uzbekistan whitewashed UAE-2 by 4:0.

The men’s championship is conducted as a 9-round Swiss System among 22 teams. China is the defending champion having scored double victories in both men’s and women’s divisions in the previous two editions in China in 2012 and in Iran in 2014. There are five players in a team and competition is over four boards. Scoring is by match points with tie break using game points. The event boasts 28 Grandmasters, 10 International Masters, 19 FIDE Masters and 3 Women FMs.

The women’s tournament is conducted as a round robin among ten teams. The Chinese women top seed with average rating of 2521, beat Kazakhstan, fourth seed at 2339, by 3:1 as the first two boards were drawn. India, second seed at 2427, shut out host UAE-1 by 4:0. Uzbekistan dealt UAE-2 the same fate. Iran, fifth seed at 2217, edged third seed Mongolia 2.5-1.5 on wins by IM Sarasadat Khademalsharieh and WGM Mitra Hejazipouor. Vietnam, sixth seed at 2287, beat Sri Lanka 3.5-0.5 as WIM S.D. Ranasinghe held IM Le Thao Nguyen to a draw to prevent a shut out.

Games are broadcast live on the official site with results and standings on Rounds start 3pm daily. The Asian Nations Cup shall also feature a Rapid Championship and a Blitz Championship after the standard chess event.

Indian teams
Indian men’s and women’s teams

The Asian Nations Cup Chess Championship reels off 3pm today (28 March) at the Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan hotel with 20 countries competing for the right to represent Asia in the World Chess Team Championship.

This was announced at a press conference the other day by Organizing Committee chairman Dr. Rashed Al Dhaheri, UAE Chess Federation president Dr. Saeed Al Megbali and Asian Chess Federation Executive Director Casto Abundo.

The tournament will be held in the men’s and women’s divisions in three categories of standard, rapid and blitz chess. Top seed China, with average rating of 2694, is the defending champion in both men’s and women’s divisions, having scored double victories in the previous two editions in China in 2012 and in Iran in 2014. Strong challenge is expected from second seed India, with average rating of 2652, the previous Olympiad bronze medalist.

Other participating countries, in order of average rating, are Vietnam (2574), Kazakhstan (2558), Iran (2504), Qatar (2478), Bangladesh (2447), Mongolia (2440), Uzbekistan (2424), UAE-1 (2394), Iraq (2271), Kyrgyzstan (2287), Lebanon (2236), Jordan (2074), Oman (2070), Sri Lanka (2060), Afghanistan (2041), Palestine (1967), UAE-2 (1951), Nepal (1890) and Tajikistan (1593).

Women’s teams are from China (2521), India (2427), Mongolia (2395), Kazakhstan (2339), Iran (2317), Vietnam (2287), Uzbekistan (2258), Iraq (1834), UAE-1 (1764), Sri Lanka (1736) and UAE-2 (1621).

The standard competition will be played as a Swiss System of 9 rounds for the men. Games start 3pm daily with live broadcast at The rapid and blitz championships will be conducted in a 5-round Swiss as qualification to choose 4 teams to play in knock out Semi Final and Final. For rund by round pairings and results for the men’s and women’s championships.

The tournament is organized by the UAE Chess Federation under the auspices of the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Asian Chess Federation. A World Chess Federation (FIDE) Seminar for International Organizers shall be conducted concurrently by IO Horst Metzing of Germany from 29 March to 4 April at the Novotel Hotel. For inquiries please call Zuhair Hassan Ahmed of Abu Dhabi Chess Club at +971-50-6113117.

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