Sunday, April 27, 2014

Asian Continental Chess Championship: Irene Sukandar wins women’s crown with one round to go

Sharjah: Indonesian Irene Sukandar clinched the Asian Women’s chess crown with one round to spare at Sharjah Chess Club on Friday.

Meanwhile in the Open Division, Chinese GM Yu Yangyi beat fellow countrywoman and top seed Bu Xiangzhi to grab the solo lead with 6.5 points after the penultimate eighth round of the Asian Continental Chess Championship.

Sukandar drew in 37 moves of a Trompovsky Attack by Gong Qianyun of Singapore to tally seven points, an unreachable 1.5 ahead of second-place Iranian WGMs Sarasadat Khademalsharieh and Atousa Pourkashiyan. The Indonesian matched her victory in the same event two years ago in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. She now advances to the Women’s World Cup next year.

In the Open division, Yu Yangyi used the Yugoslav Attack to crush the Sicilian Dragon of Bu Xiangzhi. GM B. Adhiban of India essayed the King’s Indian Defense against GM Rinat Jumabayev of Kazakhstan and in a minor piece endgame forced resignation on the 50th move when he was about to promote a pawn. Adhiban shares second slot, a half point behind Yu on six, together with GM Rustam Kasimjanov of Uzbekistan and Chinese GM Ni Hua, who drew with each other.

The top five in the Open qualify for the World Cup. Five players trail in fifth to ninth slots at 5.5 points each, namely Bu Xiangzhi, Saleh A. R. Salem of the UAE, Chinese GM Wen Yang, former Asian champion Negi Parimarjan and GM S.P. Sethuraman, both of India.

Salem played the Queen’s Gambit Declined against GM Abhijeet Gupta of India. The local hero caught Gupta in a mating net with Rook and Knight on the back rank to force resignation on the 43rd move. Wen Yang used the King’s Indian Defense against GM Deep Sengupta of India and won in 48 moves. Negi smashed the Philidor Defense of GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami of Iran. Negi created an outside passed pawn in a Bishop and pawn ending to win in 45 moves. Sethuraman crushed the Nimzo-Indian defense of GM Tsegmed Batchuluun of Mongolia in 51 moves.

Six players follow with five points each for a share of the $65,000 in cash prizes, namely Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, Rinat Jumabayev, Indian GMs Krishnan Sasikiran, Abhijit Kunte and Suri Vaibhav, and GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam.

In the race for silver and bronze medals in the Women’s division, tied at five points each in fourth to seventh slots are Gong Qianyun, Tan Zhongyi of China, Hoang Thi Bao Tram of Vietnam and IM Eesha Karavade of India.

The tournament is open free to spectators at the Sharjah Chess Club. Games are broadcast live over the official site ,with games download, photo gallery and links to video coverage on YouTube. Results and standings are in

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