21 April 2024

First Round of Asian Cities Championship Played in Khanty-Mansiysk

Most of the top seeds won their matches.

The symbolic first move in the game I. Bocharov vs G.M.H. Thilakarathne (the Colombo – Surgut match) was made by young Elizaveta Mamaeva from Pyt-Yakh. The organizers fulfilled the dream that she voiced at the “Wish Tree”.

The beginning of the tour was attended by Deputy Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra Elena Shumakova, Executive Director of the Chess Federation of Russia Alexander Tkachev, Director of the Department of Physical Culture and Sports of Ugra Sofya Konukh, and President of the Chess Federation of Ugra Vasily Filipenko.

In general, the first round offered no surprises: most of the top rating players won their matches. The men's team of Tehran (Iran) defeated Penang (Malaysia) with a score of 4:0, and Tula swept the team of Muscat (Oman) 4:0.

Maxim Novikov from Tula is the second participant of the Championship to win the starting game (the first was Asman Bayantas from Pavlodar). The Russian player noted that the game was “intense and exciting, as is usually the case in the first round.”

“I didn’t quite expect such an opening from my opponent, so I had to recall it at the board. I didn’t succeed in doing that, but afterwards, skills based on experience helped me to win,” the Tula player shared his impressions.

Maxim also said that he worries not only for himself, but also for the team. All the more so as Daniil Manelyuk, who plays on the first board, is one of his students.

13-year-old FIDE Master Movahed Sina, playing on the second board for Tehran, also spoke about his game:

“I think that I got a very good position after the opening, then I began to improve it and gradually got a win, around move 22. Then it was a straightforward game,” was the Iranian chess player’s description of the game.

He also said that he really wants to perform well in order to benefit his team, and that in the FIDE Candidates Tournament he is rooting for Hikaru Nakamura. For Movahed, this is the first visit to both Khanty-Mansiysk and Russia, and he really likes everything. Interestingly, Sina has already beaten many chess stars, both online and over the board.

The first starting number of the tournament, the Surgut team, won against Colombo (Sri Lanka) with a score of 3.5:0.5. Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) defeated Al-Mahra (Yemen) with the same result.

The youth team of Khanty-Mansiysk resisted the chess players from Baghdad (Iraq), but lost by a narrow margin. On the first board, Bogdan Perchinsky defeated International Master Hussein Ali Hussein Al-Ali, and Dinis Sattarov drew with FIDE Master Ali Laith Ahmed Alothman.

The women’s team from Tehran played to a draw with their opponents with lower rating from Sukhbaatar (Mongolia). The defeat of Anahita Zahedifar was balanced by the victory of Melika Mohammadi.

In the longest match of the day, the Moscow team defeated Al Quds (Palestine) 3:1. The game between Miswadah and Gilfanov lasted 138 moves (more than 5.5 hours) and ended in a character win for the young Russian.

The team from Kathmandu (Nepal) had a bye in the first round.

Round 2 pairings:

Surgut - Moscow
Baghdad - Tehran (men)
Tula - Pavlodar
Tehran (women) - Kathmandu
Penang - Sukhbaatar
Al Quds - Colombo
Al Mahra - Muscat
Bye - Khanty-Mansiysk.

Official website

Photos: UgraMegaSport