The Chinese men’s and women’s chess teams won a double victory in the Rapid chess championship of the Asian Nations Cup organized by the UAE Chess Federation under the auspices of the Asian Chess Federation at the Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan hotel.
The Chinese men’s team of GMs Bu Xiangzhi, Wang Yue, Wei Yi, Lu Shanglei and Zhou Jianchao barely managed to qualify in the preliminary phase after beating Lebanon 4:0, Qatar 4:0, Kazakhstan 3.5-0.5, drawing 2:2 with Bangladesh and losing 3:1 to nemesis India in the Swiss System qualifying round.
China got its revenge in the crucial semifinals, beating India 3:1 on wins by GMs Wei Yi and Zhou Jianchao over GMs Krishnan Sasikiran and S.P. Sethuraman, respectively. In the other semifinal match, Vietnam beat Iran 3.5-0.5.
In the finals, China beat Vietnam 3:1 on wins by Bu Xianghi and Wei Yi over GM Le Quang Liem and FM Nguyen Anh Khoi, respectively. India placed third by beating Iran 3.5-0.5 on wins by B. Adhiban, Krishnan Sasikiran and S.P. Sethuraman over Darini Puria, Parham Maghsoodloo and Alireza Firouzja, respectively.
Asian champion Salem A.R. Saleh of the UAE won the top board gold medal with the highest performance rating. Other gold medalists on their respective boards are GM B. Adhiban of India on board 2, GM Krishnan Sasikiran of India on board 3, Iran national champion Alireza Firouzja, 13-year-old child prodigy, on board 4 and Vietnam’s Nguyen Huyn Minh Huy on board 5.
The Chinese women’s team of GMs Ju Wenjun, Zhao Xue and WGMs Tan Zhongyie, Lei Tingjie and IM Guo Qi scored more decisive victories. They emerged first in the qualifying round after beating Iran 2.5-1.5, Mongolia 3:1, India 3:1, Kazakhstan 3:1 and Vietnam 2.5-1.5. In the semifinals China edged Kazakhstan 2.5-1.5. India drew 2:2 with Uzbekistan but lost the final berth in the blitz tie break.
In the women’s final, China convincingly blanked Uzbekistan 4:0 while India edged Kazakhstan 2.5-1.5 to place third.
Ju Wenjun of China won the individual gold medal on board 1. Other gold medalists on their respective boards are Harika Dronavali of India on board 2, Nguyen Thi Thanh An of Vietnam on board 3, Nguyen Thi Mai Hung of Vietnam on board 4 and Guo Qi of China on board 5.