News of the Asian Cities Team Chess Championship 2024

Asian Cities Chess Team Championship 2024 officially closed in Khanty-Mansiysk

Mo/ Apr 29 / 24
The closing ceremony of the Asian Cities Team Chess was held at the Ugra-Classic concert and theater center, same as the opening of the tournament.

Before the start of the official part, Elena Kozemirenko, Honored Worker of Culture of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra, performed the “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”, a canonical piece of organ music by Johann Sebastian Bach.

After that, the participants and guests saw a dynamic video that showed all the most interesting moments of the Championship.

The Chief Arbiter of the tournament, International Arbiter Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, was invited to award the winners of board prizes. He thanked the organizers for holding the competition at a high level, noting that Khanty-Mansiysk has set new standards for holding such championships.

Deputy Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra Elena Shumakova and Deputy of the Duma of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra, President of the Ugra Chess Federation Vasily Filipenko presented awards to the winners and runners-up of the Championship.

Elena Shumakova congratulated everyone on the completion of the tournament. “Each of you became the author of this large, new page in the history of the Asian Chess Federation and reaffirmed the unifying mission of chess. We are grateful to the Asian Chess Federation and the Chess Federation of Russia for trusting our region to host this tournament, the first in the history of our country. Particularly valuable is the fact that a third of its participants are young chess players under 18. I am confident that playing in this historic event will become a springboard for them to new sporting victories,” she said.

Vasily Filipenko: “I would like to thank all the chess players and guests of the tournament – for their participation, for all the kind words addressed to us, for the high assessment of our work. The government of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra and the Ugra Chess Federation are always ready to host competitions of the highest rank and do their best to hold them at the appropriate level. Therefore, we are ready and will be happy to welcome you and many other chess players from different countries of Asia and the world.”

When the bronze awards were presented, both the Tula team and the Colombo team took the stage, sharing third place, since, according to the Regulations, medals and cups can only be awarded to one city per country. Therefore, the trophies go to the chess players from Sri Lanka.

The creative part of the closing also featured classical pieces performed by Larisa Matsur and the Consone chamber music ensemble.

The closing ceremony was also available in a live broadcast. Before and after the ceremony, participants and officials were interviewed in a specially equipped studio.
Drama at the Finish

Mo/ Apr 29 / 24
Rounds 7–9 of the Asian Cities Team Championship reviewed by IM Vladimir Barsky
Every sporting competition has some sort of intrigue – and that’s why we love sport. Of course, sometimes it happens that the recognized favourites easily go the full distance and win without as much as breaking a sweat. But the final result of the Khanty-Mansiysk competition only became known at the last hour. Surgut led, winning all their matches, but after losing the head-to head match Tehran gave a chase and caught up to them in individual points after round 7. In the penultimate round, both teams scored big wins, and everything was decided in the final round. The Iranians routed their opponents 4–0, while Surgut barely managed to save a difficult match against Pavlodar and won the first place. Tehran took the second place, Tula came third.

Congratulations to the winners and prizewinners, thanks to the organizers for an interesting tournament, and now let’s look at the fragments of interesting games from the last rounds.

Iljiushenok Ilia (Surgut, 2536) – Perchinsky Bogdan (Khanty-Mansiysk, 1807)

In this game, the formidable Surgut team faced the Khanty-Mansiysk junior team. Grandmaster Ilia Iljiushenok achieved a positional advantage (the brilliant knight is clearly stronger than the sad bishop on f8) and then placed a pretty trap for his opponent.

31.Qa8 Rxe4 32.Nxh6+

Deflection: 32...Rxh6 is now met with 33.Rxe4.

32...Kg7 33.Nxf7!

The knight is on a rampage!


33...Kxf7 would have been met with 34.Rf3+ Rf6 35.Rxf6+, and this is, so to say, a double deflection: either the queen is distracted from defending the e4 rook, or the king from defending the f8 bishop.

34.Rxe4 Rxe4 35.Nxg5! (a final touch) 35…Re2 36.Nf3

The knight reaped a good pawn harvest and then came back to defend its king in time. Black resigned.

And now let’s look at the position after 32.Nxh6+ more closely. Turns out that Black could go straight into the trap: 32...Rxh6 33.Rxe4 (33.Qxe4 is met in the same way)

33...Qh8! Suddenly threatening a checkmate on h1. The only defence is 34.Kf1, but it’s met with 34…Qb2!, renewing the threat. After 35.Kg1 Qh8, the game ends in a repetition draw!

Turns out that the tactical blow 32.Nxh6 was not too good. White could include the trade 32.Rxe4 Qxe4 and only then play 33.Nxh6+, but after 33…Kg7 34.Qxe4 Rxe4 35.Nf5+ Kg6 36.Nxd6 Re7, Black, despite being a pawn down, has good chances for a draw: he will put his bishop onto the long diagonal and threaten the a3 and b4 pawns.

Did White really have an advantage in the position on diagram 1? Of course he did, but it seems that he should have gone for an endgame: 31.Qxe5 Rxe5 (not 31...dxe5? 32.Rd8 f6 33.Nxh6+) 32.Nxd6 Bxd6 33.Rxd6. White wins a pawn, even though Black can still resist well after 33…g4! (threatening 34…Rc1+ 35.Kh2 Rh5#). For instance: 34.f3 Rc1+ 35.Kf2 Re6 36.Rdd3 or 34.Rxh6 Kg7 35.Rh4 Rexe4 36.Rxe4 Rxe4 37.f3 Re3 38.Rxg4+ Kf6.

Palamar Stefan (Khanty-Mansiysk, 1813) – Bocharov Ivan (Surgut, 2559)

Another game from the same important 7th round match. In a very sharp line of Najdorf Sicilian White seemed to try to test his experienced opponent: if he remembers all the variations, there’s a draw, and if he forgets something, he loses by force. However, Stefan himself mixed things up in the crucial moment.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 Nbd7 10.g4 b5 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.g5 Nd7 13.f5 0-0 14.Qh5 b4


It’s too late to go back now: after 15.Nce2 e5 16.Nf3 Bb7, Black has a serious initiative.

15...bxc3 16.Rxc3

16.Rh3 Bxg5+! 17.Qxg5 cxb2+ 18.Kb1 Qd8 is better for White.

16...Qb6 17.Nc6 Bf6! 18.e5 g6 19.Qh6??

The wrong way! Black correctly answered all the “test questions”, and after 19.Qh4! Bxe5 20.Ne7+ Kh8 21.fxg6 fxg6 22.Nxg6+ Kg8 (22...Kg7 23.Qh6+ Kg8 24.Ne7+) 23.Ne7+ Kh8 (23...Kf7? 24.Qxh7+ Ke8 25.Nxc8) 24.Ng6+ Kg8, the game should have ended in a perpetual check.


A powerful Zwischenzug: Black threatens a mate on e1, and Bocharov’s queen returns in time to defend his king. After 19...Bg7??, however, White delivered a beautiful checkmate: 20.Ne7+ Kh8 21.Qxh7+! Kxh7 22.Rh3+ Bh6 23.Rxh6+ Kg7 24.f6+ Nxf6 25.exf6#.

20.Kd1 Bg7 21.Ne7+ Kh8

White resigned: after 22.Qxh7+ Kxh7 23.Rh3+ Bh6 24.Rxh6+ Kg7 25.f6+ Nxf6 26.exf6+ Qxf6! (спасибо промежуточному ходу!) 27.gxf6+ Kxh6, he is an exchange down in a completely broken position.

Pridorozhni Aleksei (Surgut, 2509) – Sattarov Dinis (Khanty-Mansiysk, 1760)

The youth could upset the experience in this game, but showed unexpected mercy.

Aleksei Pridorozhni slowly increased the pressure, and it seemed a good time for a final breakthrough. You can’t envy Black after 45.h5 gxh5 46.Rxh5 Rxg1 47.Kxg1 Rg8+ 48.Kf1 Bf8 49.Nc6. But the grandmaster decided to wait a bit more.

45.Rhg3 Qe7

We’ll note in parentheses that the h4 pawn is not hanging: 46…Qxh4+? is met with 47.Rh3, and the h6 bishop is lost.


In the worst moment possible! White’s better position immediately becomes lost.

46…Nxf4! 47.Bg2

And now it turns out that the h4 pawn is hanging after all: 47.Bxf4 Qxh4+ 48.Rh3 Bxf4+, crushing.

47...Bxg2 48.R1xg2 Qxh4+ 49.Kg1 Nxg2 50.Rxg2 Bxe3+ 51.Qxe3 f4 52.Qd2 f3 53.Rf2

White is an exchange and a pawn down, his king is completely exposed… The only hope is that his young opponent, who’s not yet used to defeating grandmasters, would get nervous.


The shortest way to win: 53...Rgd8 54.Nc6 (54.d5 Rc4) 54...Rxc6 55.bxc6 Rxd4 56.c7 Rxd2 57.c8Q+ Rd8 58.Qc2 Qg3+ etc.

54.Kf1 Qh3+ 55.Kg1 Qg3+ 56.Kf1 Qh3+ 57.Kg1 Qg4+ 58.Kf1 Rgf8 59.Nc6 Rf4 60.Qd3 Rcf8 61.Ke1 Re4+ 62.Kd2 Rff4 63.Kc3 Re2 64.Rf1 Qg2 65.Qd1 Re3+ 66.Kc4 Qa2+ 67.Kb4


And here, Black missed a pretty mate in two: 67...Qa3+ 68.Kc4 Qc5#!
Afterwards, the grandmaster tried to make his opponent’s task as difficult as possible. Don’t forget that they were both already playing on increment.

68.Kc4 Qa2+ 69.Kb4 Qb2+ 70.Kc4 Qe2+ 71.Qxe2 fxe2 72.Rxf4 e1Q 73.Kd5 Qh1+ 74.Kd6 Rf3 75.Rg4 Qh3 76.Rg1 Rf1 77.Rxf1 Qxf1 78.e6 Kg7 79.d5 Qf5 80.Nxa7 Kf8 81.Nc6 Ke8 82.Kc7 Qxd5 83.Kxb6 Qxe6 84.a5 Qc8 85.a6 h5 86.a7 h4 87.Nb8 Qe6+ 88.Nc6 Qc8 89.Nb8 Qe6+ 90.Nc6 Qa2 91.Na5 Qf2+ Draw agreed. The computer shows that Black’s position is still won, but it’s computer… After so much excitement, it’s hard to keep your cool and calculate lines clearly.

Tuvshintulga Tumurchudur (Sukhabaatr, 1743) – Iljiushenok Ilia (Surgut, 2536)

1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 c5 3.e3 Nc6 4.c3 Qb6 5.Qb3 c4 6.Qc2

After 6.Qxb6 axb6 7.Nf3 Bf5, Black equalizes.

This opening tabiya occurred two times in the central match of the 8th round.


A tough move, attempting to seize the initiative. We should point out that the immediate 6...Bf5 is bad due to 7.Qxf5! Qxb2 8.Qxd5 Qxa1 9.Qb5 0-0-0 (9...a6 10.Qxb7 is no better) 10.Bxc4. Therefore, Black first sacrifices a pawn to close off the fifth rank.

7.dxe5 Bf5 8.Qc1

And now White cannot capture the bishop, for instance: 8.Qxf5 Qxb2 9.e6 fxe6 10.Qxe6+ Be7 11.Qxd5 Rd8 12.Qxc4 Qc1+ 13.Ke2 Qd1#.

8...g5 9.Bg3

An alternative was 9.Bxg5 Nxe5 10.Nd2 f6 (10...Nd3+?! 11.Bxd3 Bxd3 12.Ne2) 11.Bf4 Ne7 with mutual chances.

9...h5 10.h3 Bg7 11.Nf3 0-0-0 12.Nxg5 Bxe5! 13.f4

A suspect move, but what else can we recommend for White? After 13.Nxf7 Bxg3 14.fxg3 Nf6 15.Nxd8 Rxd8 16.Be2 Ne4, Black’s initiative is quite dangerous.
It seems that the strongest move is 13.Bxe5 Nxe5 14.Nd2 Nf6 (Black can force a perpetual check here if he feels like it: 14...Nd3+ 15.Bxd3 Bxd3 16.Nxf7 Re8 17.Nxh8 Rxe3+! 18.Kd1 Be2+ 19.Kc2 Bd3+) 15.Ndf3 Nfd7 with double-edged play.

13...Bd6 14.Nxf7 Bc5

Despite material gains, White’s position becomes more and more dangerous with every move…

15.Bf2 Nf6 16.Nxd8 Rxd8 17.Be2 Re8 18.Qd2

18.Rf1 Bxe3 19.Bxe3 Rxe3 20.Rf3 Re6 is also joyless.

18...Bxe3 19.Bxe3 Rxe3 20.Kd1


After this stab, White is defenceless.

21.Re1 Bxe2+ 22.Kc1 Ne4 23.Qxd5 Nf2 24.Qf5+ Kc7 25.Kd2 Re7 26.Na3 Qe3+ 27.Kc2 Bd3+ White resigned.

Chuluunbaatar Gerelmaa (Sukhabaatr, 1731) – Pridorozhni Aleksei (Surgut, 2509)

1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 c5 3.e3 Nc6 4.c3 Qb6 5.Qb3 c4 6.Qc2 e5 7.dxe5 Bf5 8.Qc1 g5 9.Bg3 Bg7

Iljiushenok, as we remember, chose 9...h5.

10.Nf3 h5 11.Nxg5 h4 12.Bf4 Nxe5 13.Bxe5 Bxe5 14.Nd2 Nf6

Black’s initiative compensates (or almost compensates) the lack of pawn. White should play very carefully: any inaccuracy can spell doom.

15.Ndf3 Bc7 16.Be2 Ne4 17.Nd4 Qg6 18.Nxe4 Bxe4 19.Bf3 0-0-0 20.Qd2 h3 21.g3 Bxf3 22.Nxf3 Qe4 23.Qe2 d4!?

Black is inventive in his attempts to maintain the tension.

24.exd4 Qd5


The Mongolian chess player didn’t risk castling short, because it seems that he might get mated there in short order! However, analysis shows that it’s not that simple: 25.0-0 Rde8 26.Qd1 f5 27.b3 f4 28.Re1 fxg3 29.fxg3 Rxe1+ 30.Nxe1 Re8 31.Qg4+ Kb8 32.Qxh3, and White repels all the immediate threats and still has winning chances.

25...Rhe8 26.Ne5 f6 27.Qg4+ Kb8 28.f4 fxe5 29.fxe5

Three pawns for a knight – the material is roughly equal.

29…Rh8 30.Rhg1 Rdf8 31.Qe2 b5 32.Rdf1 Bd8 33.Kc2 Bg5 34.b3 Rc8 35.Qf3? [

A blunder. The stronger move was 35.b4, closing off the position.

35...cxb3+ 36.axb3 Qxd4! 37.Rd1 Qe3

Stronger was 37...Rhf8! with an overwhelming advantage.

After the game move, Aleksei needed 60 more moves to break down the opponent’s resistance.

Kabanov Nikolai (Surgut, 2434) – Tsolmon Battur (Sukhabaatr, 1581)

The c-file breakthrough quickly decided the game in White’s favour.

18.c4 f5

More resilient was 18...dxc4 19.Bxc4 Nb6 20.Bb3 Nd5; however, even here White’s chances are better after 21.Kg2.

19.c5 Bc7

Joyless is 19...Be7 20.c6 bxc6 21.Rxc6 Kf7 22.Qe2, targeting the e6 pawn. Objectively, retreating to b8 with the bishop was better, but such a move is too counterintuitive…

20.c6 bxc6 21.Rxc6 Ke7


Another example of the deflection theme.

22…Qa3 23.Bc1 Qxa2 24.Rxc7, and White converted the extra piece.

Sattarov Dinis (Khanty-Mansiysk, 1760) – Mosadeghpour Masoud (Tehran, 2436)


Seemingly a blunder. After 24.Qe4 Qxc5+ 25.Nf2 Qe7 26.c4, the position remained roughly equal.


A brilliant discovered attack! The “dual” 24...Ne3? actually didn’t work because of 25.Nf6+ Kh6 26.Qxd8! Nxd8 27.Ng8+, and White wins.


25.Qxd8 is met with 25…Qxc5+ 26.Kf1 Nxd8 27.Rxd8 Qxc4+.

25...Rxd1+ 26.Kf2 Nd4 27.Ne3 bxc5!

Black managed to close off the long diagonal with tactical tricks.


28.Nxd1 Qe2+ 29.Kg1 Qxd1+ 30.Kf2 Qe2+ 31.Kg1 h3 loses.

28...Rb1 29.Qd2 Qg5 30.Bxd4 cxd4 31.Qxd4 Qg3+ 32.Ke2 Qe1+ 33.Kd3 Rb3+ 34.Ke4 f5+ 35.Kd5 Qxe3 36.Qxe3 Rxe3 White resigned.

Bayantas Asman (Pavlodar, 2127) – Bocharov Ivan (Surgut, 2559)

We’ll finish with fragments of two games of the last round, where permanent leaders almost faltered. However, they managed to save the difficult match and keep their top place.


Black equalized in the opening, but now he played too rashly. After the careful 21...Nd7 22.Bb2 Re8 23.Qf4 Nf8, he should not have too many problems.

22.e6 Bc4 23.Bb2 Re8 24.e7! Bxe7

This seems to be the decisive mistake. After 24...Qd7 25.Bh3 Qd5 26.Rac1, White exerts an unpleasant pressure, but there’s still a lot of struggle ahead.


The endgame is very difficult for Black: the bishop is pinned, the knight can’t enter the play at all…

25…Qxd4 26.Bxd4 Rd7 27.Bxb6 Kf7 28.Rxe7+ Rexe7 29.Nxe7 Rxe7 30.Bxa5

White has a passed pawn and a bishop pair. Even though I. Bocharov resisted fiercely, he couldn’t save the game.

Pridorozhni Aleksei (Surgut, 2509) – Tkachyov Adil (Pavlodar, 2073)

The grandmaster outwitted his opponent: he lured Black’s pieces to queenside, and then suddenly opened a “second front” on the kingside.


In the style of Tal, who once, when asked why he sacrificed a pawn, answered, “It simply hindered me!”

26…Bxf6 27.Qf5

Here, however, the question of “why the sacrifice” is unnecessary: White wins two pawns in exchange for one of his.

27…Kg7 28.Qxh5 Rh8 29.Qxg4+ Kf8 30.h5 Rg8 31.Qf3 Nc4

31...d5 32.h6 Rc6 was somewhat more resilient.

32.Rc2 Rc6


To add insult to injury, Black also loses a piece (either through a pin or a fork), so he resigned.

Two other games of the match were drawn (with huuuuuge adventures on board 4!), and the mighty Surgut team won the gold medal of the Asian Cities Team Championship.

Surgut team wins the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship

Mo/ Apr 29 / 24
The final 9th round was dramatic. In the match between the teams of Surgut and Pavlodar (Kazakhstan), Aleksei Pridorozhni confidently defeated Adil Tkachyov on the third table, but the positions of his teammates Ivan Bocharov and Nikolai Kabanov looked dangerous, and on the first board the game Iljiushenok – Malygin was relatively equal.

In the meanwhile, the men's team of Tehran (Iran) defeated Sukhbaatar (Mongolia) with a clean score and would have taken first place – if the Surgut team lost.

Eventually, Ilia Iljiushenok drew with Vladislav Malygin, Nikolai Kabanov achieved a draw in his game with Arystan Dosmukhambetov, so Ivan Bocharov’s loss to Asman Bayantas could no longer affect the outcome of the tournament.

A draw in the match with Pavlodar allowed Surgut to take clear first place in the tournament, with 17 match points. Tehran came second with 16 points.

The teams of Tula and Colombo scored 12 points each. In the final round, the Russians defeated Al Quds (Palestine) with a score of 4:0, and the Sri Lanka chess players beat the Tehran women's team with a minimal score.

A greater number of board points (23 versus 18) secured the third place for the Tula team.

Other results of the final round:

Moscow – Muscat (Oman) 3.5:0.5
Charikot (Nepal) – Penang (Malaysia) 0.5:3.5
Al Mahra (Yemen) – Khanty-Mansiysk 0.5:3.5

The team from Baghdad (Iraq) had a ‘bye’.

Final ranking of the teams:

1. Surgut - 17 match points (29.5 board points), 2. Tehran (men) - 16 (31), 3. Tula - 12 (23), 4. Colombo - 12 (18), 5. Moscow - 11 (21.5), 6. Tehran (women) - 9 (18.5), 7. Khanty-Mansiysk - 9 (18), 8. Penang - 9 (16), 9. Pavlodar - 8 (19), 10 Baghdad - 8 (16.5), 11. Sukhbaatar - 8 (16), 12. Al Quds - 5 (12.5), 13. Muscat - 4 (10.5), 14. Charikot - 4 (10.5), 15. Al Mahra - 3 (9.5).

The best results on the boards were shown by: 1st board – Ilia Iljiushenok (Surgut), 2nd board – Ivan Bocharov (Surgut), 3rd board – Masoud Mosadeghpour (Tehran, men), 4th board – Abtin Atakhan (Tehran, men), 5th board – Seyed Kian Poormosavi (Tehran, men).
Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh: “It seems that all the people are happy with the arbiters’ work here”

Mo/ Apr 29 / 24
- Our guest today is Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, the Championship’s Chief Arbiter. So, Mehrdad, what can you say about the tournament in terms of the arbiters work?

- Hello, and thanks for the interview. I can tell that in this tournament we have a good team of arbiters. There are arbiters from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, and Russia. And they are doing their job very well, because for each match we have one arbiter, this is a very good standard, plus me and the Deputy Chief Arbiter. Fortunately, until now we didn't have any appeal, therefore, it seems that all the people are happy with the arbiters’ work at least.

- Oh, that's great! I know that you've already been here, in Khanty-Mansiysk, last time back in 2010. Has anything changed in the city?

- You know, I am always traveling because of chess, very rarely I have chance to go and make sightseeing. I am always either in a hotel or in a tournament hall. I try to put all my energy for my work, but in general when I was going from the tournament hall to hotel and return, I could see that lots of improvement in the construction, the road, and also with the cars had happened. I think that everything is better. Therefore, I believe that the economy of the people in the Khanty-Mansiysk has grown up very well in 2010 till now.

- You are from Iran, so what do you think about the performance of the Iranian teams? There are two teams from tour country here.

- Chess is very popular in Iran. Maybe Iran is number 3 according to the number of the chess players in the world. And every city has a chess club, chess buildings, and chess activities. Therefore, chess is very popular in Iran, and there is special interest among girls. I think Iran is one of the countries in which many girls like to play chess. Therefore, the Iran Chess Federation decided to send almost the main women’s team to this tournament. It’s a good chance for them to get experience for the Olympiad because you don’t have many chances to let a women's national team play in a tournament like this.
Therefore, Iranian woman team is here, except for WGM Mobina Alinasab, a well-known player. The others are almost the best players of Iran, including two promising players. One is Melika and other one is Parva. They are very good players and I think that in the future they will also become WGMs or even higher. And they are doing a great job here!
However, before the tournament, everybody said: “OK, don't worry, you will go and take the last place, no problem”. But at this moment, they are playing on the one of the top boards and they are very sad that they have very little chance to get 3rd place. They were expecting to be last but now they are a little bit sad because they cannot be third! Therefore, they’ve done a good job.
As for the men’s team, I can tell that many of them are grandmasters and good players. They came with the ambition to become champions, but in the match with Surgut the things did not went the way they had wanted. They had better positions at some boards, but at the last they could not win. Actually, they lost 3:1. Very good result for Surgut. After that the Iranian team lost their chance to become champions.
But it was interesting, for example, in Round 8, the Iranian grandmaster Bardiya Daneshvar was playing against a very young player from Khanty-Mansiysk, and this young player managed to stop Bardiya. You know that Daneshvar is a strong player, who beat many top players, even in the World Cup he could outplay Alexander Grischuk, one of the best players in the world. But this boy could resist and stop him from winning. It was amazing and I hope that this kind of players will grow up very soon in Khanty-Mansiysk and become one of the top grandmasters of the world. But, anyhow, the team of Iran was number 2 and, at the end, I think they will be second. It is clear that even if they lose they will be number 2 in the tournament.

- Thank you very much and good luck to you.

- Thank you!
Surgut wins 8th Match at Asian Cities Chess Team Championship

Su/ Apr 28 / 24
TThe penultimate eighth round of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship is completed in Khanty-Mansiysk.

The Surgut team defeated Sukhbaatar with a score of 4:0 thus winning an eighth match in a row.

Surgut captain Ilia Iljiushenok shared his impressions of his performance in the rounds played: “In terms of points, everything is excellent, but there are mistakes in games, so there is room for improvement. We had a key match in the third round with the team of Tehran (Iran), and after that the opponents are clearly weaker, so we are all gaining points. But despite this, fatigue growing, and matches are becoming more and more difficult.”

The Tehran men's team defeated Khanty-Mansiysk with a score of 3.5:0.5. Bogdan Perchinsky managed to draw with tournament rating favorite Bardiya Daneshvar.

With the same score, the Tula squad beat Colombo (Sri Lanka) and has promoted to the third place.

The women's team of Tehran crushed Baghdad (Iraq) with a score of 3:1, Moscow smashed Charikot (Nepal) with a clean score, Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) was stronger than Muscat (Oman) 4:0, and chess players from Al Quds (Palestine) defeated the athletes from Al Mahra (Yemen) 3:1.

The team of Penang (Malaysia) had a ‘bye’.

Before the last round, the Surgut team retains the lead with 16 match points scored. Tehran is 2 points behind. The teams of Tula (19 board points) and Colombo (15.5 board points) have 10 points each.

Round 9 pairings:
Surgut – Pavlodar
Tehran (men) - Sukhbaatar
Colombo – Tehran (women)
Tula – Al Quds
Moscow – Muscat
Charikot – Penang
Al Mahra – Khanty-Mansiysk
Baghdad – ‘bye’

The final 9th round will begin at 11:00 a.m. local time (09:00 Moscow time).

Broadcast of games https://clck.ru/3AEZmt

Technical information https://clck.ru/3AEZpt
Surgut team wins seventh match in Asian Cities Team Championship

Sa/ Apr 27 / 24
Two more rounds ahead

The games of the seventh round of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship were played at the Ugra Chess Academy.

The Surgut team continues to gain points: this time the experienced team won against the junior team of Khanty-Mansiysk with a score of 3.5:0.5. Dinis Sattarov was close to defeating Aleksei Pridorozhni, but in time trouble, he was unable to break the grandmaster’s tough resistance.

In the Iranian derby, the Tehran men's team defeated the women's team with a clean score.

The Moscow team lost to chess players from Colombo (Sri Lanka) with a minimal score. Stanislav Khudyakov won on the first board, but G. Thilakarathne and R. Liyanage distinguished themselves on the second and third boards.

Tula chess players beat Penang (Malaysia) 3.5:0.5, the team of Sukhbaatar (Mongolia) beat Muscat (Oman) with a score of 3:1, and the team of Baghdad (Iraq) defeated Al Mahra with the same score (Yemen).

Charikot (Nepal) beat Al Quds (Palestine) with a score of 2.5:1.5. Quite quickly on the first board, Purushottam Chaulagain finished the game, defeating Ahmad Allazah with the black pieces, and spoke about his game:

- I knew that he would play 1. e4, and decided to go for the Sicilian Defense. But he preferred to play 2. d3, which was not the best opening. Nevertheless, White began an attack on the kingside, pushing f4 and g4, but I was ready for this. I think he made a mistake by playing f5 too early. This allowed me to take e5 with the queen. I was a pawn up and gradually managed to convert it I.

The Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) team had a ‘bye’.

The Surgut team retains its sole leadership two rounds before the finish: the “home team” has scored 14 match points. The Tehran men's team is 2 points behind. The chess players from Colombo have 10 match points.

Round 8 pairings:

Sukhbaatar – Surgut
Khanty-Mansiysk – Tehran (men)
Tula – Colombo
Tehran (women) – Baghdad
Moscow – Charikot
Muscat – Pavlodar
Al Quds – Al Mahra
Penang – ‘bye’

Broadcast of games https://clck.ru/3AEZmt

Technical information https://clck.ru/3AEZpt
Chaulagain Purushottam: “I don’t see chess as a profession but I love it and I will be continuing it throughout my life”

Sa/ Apr 27 / 24
- Our first guest today is Chaulagain Purushottam from Nepal. Puru, you won your game against Ahmad Alazzah (Al Quds), what happened in your game?

- I knew he would play 1.e4 as White and I had prepared the Sicilian Defence. He opted for a 2. d3, which is not the best opening, and it started as usual. But then he started attacking on the kingside with f4 and g4, but I was ready for it. I think he made a mistake by pushing f5 too early, afte which I took on e5 with my queen, and then I was a pawn up. Although there was a little bit of play for him, I managed to win.

- So far 7 rounds have been played at the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship, what is your result? Do you like your playing here?

- Since, firstly, it is a team championship, and unfortunately we don’t have our best players from Nepal (there are two players who have not been played a lot, they are almost like the organizer and president), we don’t have much expectations. But at the individual level, since this is a norm tournament, our player on the second board has a chance of getting a norm, even I have a chance of getting the FM norm because I am already a candidate master. So if our player on the 2nd bord wins or has a draw in this round, he’ll get that norm and even he can go further to FIDE master. So – looking at the individual event – I am very happy, because my rating has been increased and as of now I am very happy with my performance.

- Do you consider yourself to be a chess professional in your country?

- Ok, it’s quite a tricky one. I don’t think so because I have a full-time job at a bank. I’ve been working there for about 13 years and I play chess as a hobby actually. In Nepal it’s not a professional field where you can play and make your career, it’s very difficult. We don’t have many tournaments going on and the problem is, you know, with the coaching: you don’t get good coaching. I’ve studied myself throughout my career, so I don’t see it as a profession but definitely I love chess and I will be continuing this whatever I can contribute, throughout my life.

- Are you going to play at the World Chess Olympiad this year?

- Obvious, definitely, but there will be a selection process in our country. In the last one I played in Chennai, I think it was supposed to be in Russia itself but it was transferred to Chennai, and this year there will be a selection process and if I get selected, I’ll be playing.

- It’s not your first time in Russia – do you know any Russian words?

- Yes, definitely, I’ve been to Russia in 2013 in Kazan, there was a Universiade, and there was my friend who taught me a little bit like ‘Privet’ – it’s when you say hello to someone, and ‘Zdravstvuy’ or something, like “Dobroe utro” (it is a little difficult for us), as well as ‘Spasibo’, ‘Poka’. My friend told me, it might be really funny for you, it’s like ‘Pomogite, ya golodni’ (Help me, I’m hungry), or something like that, so it’s an interesting one for me.

- And may I ask a question about the organization here? Do you like it being here in Khanty-Mansiysk?

- Since there was an Olympiad here I had heard about Khanty earlier, I wanted to be here, but this time it was a little bit of a stressful journey for us. It took us around 48 hours, and a visa process was difficult for us. We had to change our tickets, and expenses were also quite high because we had to pay ourselves.

But the organization-wise, definitely they have done their best. I would like to thank the organizers: they have been in communication from the start and they had tried to provide whatever they could.

- Thank you very much and good luck to you!
Surgut Striding Ahead

Sa/ Apr 27 / 24
Review of rounds 4–6 prepared by IM Vladimir Barsky

Surgut continues their winning stride in the Ugra Chess Academy. All members of the team have played many times within these walls, the academy surely feels like a home for them! However, in round 7, Surgut will face the real “home team,” young talents (born 2008–2011) from Khanty-Mansiysk. Youth or experience – what will prevail?

The leaders are closely chased by the Iranian men’s team. Tehran lost the face-to-face encounter and are 2 team points behind Surgut, but their sum of individual points is just 0.5 points less. These two strong teams will likely end up as winners and runners-up; meanwhile, at least four teams are competing for the bronze medal.

Another thing worth pointing out is the number of decisive games. Everyone plays boldly and enterprisingly, nobody shies away. Well, judge for yourselves.

Maxim Novikov (Tula, 2435) – Ivan Bocharov (Surgut, 2559)

White didn’t play too well after the opening and gradually got a very unpleasant position. Black’s advantage is clear, but how can he achieve any progress?

31...Bb7! 32.Qc2 Bc8 33.g4 h5

Bocharov is starting to undermine the opponent’s kingside.

34.N1h2 Kf7 35.b3?!

It’s psychologically very hard to keep in your place and do nothing, waiting for the uninvited guests to arrive from some direction… But this exactly what White needed (for instance, 35.Kg1), because now white’s b3 pawn and the whole third rank is weak. Black immediately capitalizes on that.

35...Qd3! 36.Qb2

Even sadder is 36.Qxd3 Rxd3 37.Rb1 (37.bxa4 Ra3) 37...Bb7, and pawns start falling.


Bocharov insists on the queen trade, and absolutely correctly: it would be much easier for him to convert his advantage in the endgame.


Meekly going along with the opponent’s wishes. More resilient was 37.Qb1, and it’s hard for Black to find a correct plan afterwards: 37…Bb7 (the trade 37...axb3 helps White to get rid of his weak а2 pawn) 38.g5 Bg7 39.Re2 Qd3! (but not 39...Rd3? 40.Rc2) 40.Qxd3 Rxd3 41.bxa4 (or immediately 41.Nd2 Rc3) 41...Rc3 42.Nd2 Rc2 – and the aforementioned weakness of the а2 pawn shows itself.

37...bxc3 38.Rc1 axb3 39.axb3 Bb7 40.Rxc3 Bxe4 41.Kf1 Bd3+ 42.Rxd3

Material losses are unavoidable (if 42.Kg2, then 42…e4); the rest is simple.

42...Rxd3 43.g5 Bg7 44.h4 e4 45.Ke2 Bc3 White resigned.

Aleksei Pridorozhni (Surgut, 2509) – Dmitrii Rodin (Tula)


White has a small space advantage and prepares to clamp Black down. But he couldn’t push the pawn immediately: 23.g4? hxg4 24.hxg4 Rxe1 25.Rxe1 Nxg4+! 26.Bxg4 Qh4+ 27.Bh3 Rxe1 28.Qxe1 Bxh3 – black pieces break free and go on a rampage.

23...Rxe2 24.Bxe2 Ne7 25.g4 hxg4 26.hxg4 Ng6 27.g5 Ng8 28.Bd3 N8e7 29.Kg3

White is slowly going towards his goal, but his opponent’s defensive resources are far from exhausted.

29…Qd7 30.Re1 Nf5+ 31.Bxf5 Qxf5 32.Nce4 Qd7?!

Unnecessarily getting the queen away from the blockade square. Better was 32...Rd8, even though after, for instance, 33.Qe3 Re8 34.Qf3 Rd8 35.Rh1, White is still piling on the pressure.

33.f5! Ne7

Not 33...Qxf5? 34.Nxd6, but an exchange sacrifice 33...Rxe4!? 34.Rxe4 Qxf5 35.Qe3 Bd7 was worth considering.

34.f6 Nf5+ 35.Kh2 Nd4 36.Qf4 Qf5 37.Kg3

A solid move, but White missed a brilliant win here: 37.Qxd6+ Kg8 38.fxg7!!

Black has a wide array of choices here, but they are all bleak:
1) 38...Kxg7 39.Qh6+ Kg8 40.Nf6+ Qxf6 41.Rxe8#;
2) 38...Nf3+ 39.Kg3 Nxe1 40.Nf6+ Kxg7 41.Nxe8+ Kg8 42.Nf6+ Kg7 43.Nh5+ Kg8 44.Qd8+ Kh7 45.Nf6+ Kg6 46.Qg8#;
3) 38...Qe5+ 39.Kg2! Qxd6 40.Nf6+! Perhaps the most beautiful move of the combination: instead of capturing the queen, the knight goes the other way. 40…Qxf6 (40...Kxg7 41.Nxe8+ Kg6 42.Nxd6) 41.Rxe8+ Kxg7 42.gxf6+ Kxf6 43.Rxc8, winning.

Of course, this is almost impossible to calculate, especially in time trouble.


Much more resilient was 37...Kg8!, for instance: 38.Re3 (or 38.fxg7 Kxg7 39.Re3 Rd8) 38...Qe5 39.Qxe5 Rxe5 40.Nd3 Re8 41.Kf4 Nf5, and the battle is still going on.

38.Qxd6+ Kg7 39.Qxf6+ Kg8

No better was 39...Qxf6 40.gxf6+ Kg6 41.Kf4.

40.Rh1 (40.Nd6!) 40...Ne2+ 41.Kg2 Nf4+ 42.Kf1 Ng6 43.Qxf5 Bxf5 44.Nf6+ Kf8 45.Nxe8 Kxe8 46.Ke2 Ke7 47.Ke3 Kd6 48.b3 Ne7
Black resigned.

Kosala Sandeepa Chamkara Amarathunga (Colombo, 1772) – Bardiya Daneshvar (Tehran, 2584)

This game shows how great was the general progress of chess players. The Iranian grandmaster only managed to defeat his opponent, whose Elo rating was 800 (!) points lower, after a great struggle.


Too passive. After 45.Nd4, White would have been all right.

45...b6 46.Kf4

And here, he should have used the unexpected tactical opportunity: 46.e5!? dxe5 47.a5, with good chances for a favourable result.

46...a5 47.Ke3

But now 47.e5 d5 48.Ke3 Ke7 achieves nothing.

47...h5 48.Kd4 Rg2 49.f4 Rg1!

Creating the threat 50…Rxc1 51.Rxc1 Nxb3+.


50.Kd5 Kd7 51.Ne2 Rd1+ 52.Nd4 Ne6 53.Rc4 Nc7+ loses.

50...Rb1 51.Nc1?

Surprisingly, White, having just defended from a petite combination, again made it possible… After51.Kd5 Nxb3 52.Kxd6 Nc5 53.Ra3, White could still fight for a draw.

51...Rxc1! White resigned.

Seyed Kian Poormousavi (Tehran) – K K Dinujaya Kodithuwakku (Colombo, 1707)

White has the initiative, and after the approximate 22...Nf6 23.axb6 Qxb6 (23...axb6 loses to 24.Qxa8 Rxa8 25.Rxa8+ Bf8 26.dxc5 bxc5 27.Rfa1) 24.f3, a difficult defence awaits Black. He tried to eliminate the opponent’s queenside pressure, and that’s what came out of that.

22...a6? 23.axb6 Qxb6 24.dxc5

Funny enough, the computer considers 24.Rfb1 to be even stronger. But how can you not just capture a knight?

24...Bxc5 25.Qxg4

“Hanging pieces fall,” Grandmaster John Nunn wrote completely correctly in his great book Secrets of Practical Chess. Black resigned 10 moves later.

Govinda Man Shrestha (Katmandu, 1738) – Arystan Dosmukhambetov (Pavlodar, 1968)

White’s position might not be better, but it’s certainly not worse. However, he suddenly decided to play a little combination – and paid dearly for it.


After, say, 11.c3 h6 12.a4 Qc7, everything is only beginning.

11...Bxd6 12.e5 Bxe5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.Qxe5 c4!

The bishop gets trapped – literally out of nowhere.


Or 15.dxc4 Qxd2 – a knight is also a good piece.

15...bxc4 16.Bxc4 Qb6 17.h3 Qc6

Two pawns are not an adequate compensation for the knight; moreover, Black now firmly seizes the initiative.

18.f3 Rac8 19.a3 Qb6+ 20.Qe3 Qd6 21.Qe5 Qe7 22.c3 Rc5 23.Qe2 Rg5 24.d4 Nh5 25.Kf2 Nf4 26.Qf1 Rxg2+ 27.Ke3 Qg5 28.Rad1
Nxh3+ 29.Kd3 Nf2+ White resigned.

Ivan Bocharov (Surgut, 2559) – Pavra Behzad Nazif (Tehran, women, 2125)

The Iranian player played very well in the opening and got a good play, but then she fell for a small provocation.

25.h4!? h5?

By no means Black should have weakened the g5 square! After 25...b5 26.h5 gxh5 27.Bc2 Qc7 28.Qh7+ Kf8, there was a sharp struggle for three results.

26.Ng5 Nc7

26...Qf8 is also well met with 27.Nxe6! fxe6 28.Qxg6 Qf3 29.Rxe6.

27.Nxe6! Nxe6 28.Rxe6 Qc7

Or 28...fxe6 29.Qxg6! Re8 30.Rxe6 Rxe6 31.Bxe6+ Kh8 32.Qxh5+ with quite an economical mate.
With the game move, Black places a small trap, and White gladly “falls” for it.

29.Rxg6 Ne5 30.Rxe5! Qxe5 31.Bxf7+! Kxf7 32.Qf3+ Kxg6 33.dxe5 Bxe5 34.Qxb7

White has a queen and three pawns for two rooks, but, what’s even more important, the black king is completely exposed.

34…Rd1+ 35.Kg2 Rcd8 36.Qxa6+ R8d6 37.Qe2 Bf6 38.c4 Bxb2 39.Qxb2 R1d2 40.Qe5 Black resigned.

Baha Miswadah (Al Quds, 1986) – Yuan Hui Yeoh (Penang, 1894)

There’s likely no serious threats for Black. Of course, the king cannot go to f5 immediately (28…Kg6? 29.Rg1), but why not 28…Ra8 or 28…g5? However, the Malaysian player decided to play more “solidly”: force the opponent to put all his pawns on the dark squares and provide his bishop with an excellent central square. But there was one small detail…

28...Bd5? 29.cxd5!

This is the detail! Nobody cares about the exchange when the pawn is going to promote!

29…Rxc1 30.d6 Rc8 31.Bb6 Rc6 32.d7 Rxb6 33.d8Q Rxb4

An attempt to build a fortress, but White has enough resources to break through the opponent’s defence. The first part of the plan is to activate the king and capture the b7 pawn (to avoid possible future distractions).

34.Qd2 Rb6 35.Qc2+ g6 36.h4 h5 37.Qc7 Rb2+ 38.Kd3 Kg7 39.Qe7 Rg2

After 39...Rb1, the decisive move is 40.f5 gxf5 41.Qg5+.

40.Kc4 Rc2+ 41.Kd4 Rf2 42.Qf6+ Kg8 43.Kc5 Rd2 44.Qe7 Rf2 45.Qd8+ Kg7 46.Qf6+ Kf8 47.Kb6 Rb2+ 48.Kc7 Rc2+

Black has to give up the pawn due to 48...b5? 49.Qh8+ Ke7 50.Qd8#.

49.Kxb7 Rb2+ 50.Kc6 Rc2+ 51.Kb5 Rf2 52.Qd8+ Kg7 53.Qd4 Rc2 54.Qd3 Rc1 55.Qd2 Rc8 56.Qd4 Rc1 57.Kb6 Rc2

White is ready for the finishing onslaught…

58.f5! gxf5

Or 58...exf5 59.e6+ Kf8 60.Qf6.

59.Qg1+ Kf8 60.Qg5 Rc4 61.Qxh5 Rg4 62.Qh8+ Rg8 63.Qh6+ Rg7 64.h5 Kg8 65.Kc6 Rh7 66.Qg5+ Rg7 67.Qd8+ Kh7 68.Qf6 Kg8 69.Kd6 f4 70.Qxf4 Kh7 71.Qf6 Kg8 72.Ke7 Black resigned.

Daniil Manelyuk (Tula, 2267) – Sina Movahed (Tehran, 2463)

An impressive battle: not mistake-free, but very exciting!


Of course, 23.h4 was more cautious, but we wouldn’t have seen all the subsequent adventures otherwise.

23...Bxd2 24.cxb5 Bxe1

24...axb5 25.Nxd8 Nxd8 26.Bxb7 Qxb7 27.e6 fxe6 28.Rxe6 c4! refuted White’s idea, closing off the dangerous diagonal just in time.

25.bxc6 Bxf2+

Black could pose more problems for White with 25...Bxc6 26.Nxd8 c4, but even here, he should save the game: 27.Qf3 (but not 27.Qxc4? Qxf2+ 28.Kh1 Bxe4) 27...Qxf2+ 28.Qxf2 Bxf2+ 29.Kxf2 Bxe4 30.e6 Rxd8 31.exd7 Bd5 32.Re1! Kf8 (32...Rxd7?? 33.Re8#) 33.Re8+ Rxe8 34.dxe8Q+ Kxe8 with the drawn opposite-colored bishop endgame.

26.Kxf2 c4+ 27.Qe3 fxe6?

27...Bxc6 28.Nxd8 Bxe4 29.Bd4 Qxd8 30.Qxe4 Nf8 led to a quiet, roughly equal position.

28.Bd4 Qb5 29.cxb7 Rc7 30.Kg1 Rb8 31.Qf3?!

31.Qg3! maintained the advantage

31…a5 32.Rb1 c3 33.Bxc3 Qc4?

Black had a beautiful way to a perpetual-check draw: 33...Nc5! 34.bxc5 Qxc5+ 35.Qf2 Qxc3 36.Qa7 Kg7 37.Qxb8 (37.h3 Qc5+) 37...Qc5+ 38.Kf1 (38.Kh1? Qc1+) 38...Qc4+ 39.Kf2 Qd4+ 40.Kf1 Qc4+ etc.


Both players were apparently in time trouble. 34.Rc1 solidified White’s advantage, but he could have lost after the game move.


Black missed a strong intermediate move that created mating threats. After 34...Rf8! 35.Qe3 Qxc3 36.Qxc3 Rxc3, White cannot capture the knight 37.Rxd7 due to 37…Rc1+, so he just loses a piece.

35.Bd4 Rf7 36.Qd3 Qc7 37.bxa5 Qxa5 38.Qb3 Rd7 39.Qb4 Qa6 40.Rf1 Qe2 41.Bc6 Rf7 42.Rxf7 Kxf7 43.h3 Rd8 44.Bf3 Qd3
45.Bb6 Re8 46.Bc7 Nd7 47.Bc6 Qe3+ 48.Kh2 Rd8 49.Bxd7 Black resigned.

Masoud Mosadeghpour (Tehran, 2436) – Maxim Novikov (Tula, 2435)

Black has an extra pawn, but his pieces are poorly coordinated: the rook is stuck on h7, the king is on e8. And all dark squares are hopelessly weak…

24.Qa6! Qh6

Both 24...bxa6 25.Rxb8+ Kd7 26.Rxf8 and 24...b6 25.Qxa7 loses. Black tries to create counterplay along the h-file, but the white king escapes the pursuit rather easily.

25.Rxb7 Qh3+ 26.Kf3 Qh5+ 27.Kf4

Another good move was 27.g4 Qh3+ 28.Ke2 Qxg4+ 29.f3 Qg2+ (29...Rh2+ 30.Kd3) 30.Rf2 Ng3+ 31.Kd3, winning.

27...g5+ 28.Ke4 Qg4+ 29.Kd3 Qf3+ 30.Kd2 Rd8 31.Qa5 Rc8 32.Qc5 Rh2 33.Re7+ Kf8 34.Rc7+ Black resigned.

Marat Gilfanov (Moscow, 2080) – Anahita Zahedifar (Tehran, women, 1991)

Today’s last example is somewhat similar to the previous one.


Another jump to a square that looks well-defended by the pawn! The lines are very simple, so White resigned immediately.
Two thirds of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship played in Khanty-Mansiysk

Fr/ Apr 26 / 24
Surgut retains leadership

The sixth round of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship has been completed at the Ugra Chess Academy.

The leader of the race, team Surgut, beat Penang (Malaysia) with a clean score.

At the second table, the Tehran men's team defeated Tula with a score of 3:1. Only Sina Movahed stumbled, losing to Daniil Manelyuk as Black on the first table.

The match between Moscow and Tehran (women) ended in a draw. In the Russian team, Dmitry Kirillov and Mikhail Kuznetsov scored victories; in the Iranian team, Melika Mohammadi and Anahita Zahedifar distinguished themselves.

Dmitry Kirillov spoke a little about his game: “The game developed very easily. I did not expect 1...e5 and the Petrov Defence as a whole. But it appeared on the board, I played according to old analyses that I didn’t even fully remember. But nevertheless, I very quickly succeeded in improving the position, and won pretty much without effort."

The Colombo team (Sri Lanka) won with a minimal score against Baghdad (Iraq). The decisive victory was the one scored by international master Ranindu Liyanage on the third board. The athlete noted that the game was not easy.

“I got an advantage in the opening, but he defended very well. I only managed to win in the endgame. At that point, the score in the match was 1.5:1.5, and that helped us win.”

The Khanty-Mansiysk team beat Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) with a score of 2.5:1.5. Bogdan Perchinsky and Dinis Sattarov brought success to their team.

Sukhbaatar (Mongolia) defeated Al Quds (Palestine) 2.5:1.5, and Muscat (Oman) won against Charikot (Nepal) with the same result.

Al Mahra team (Yemen) had a “bye”.

Round 7 pairings:
Surgut – Khanty-Mansiysk
Tehran (men) – Tehran (women)
Colombo – Moscow
Penang – Tula
Muscat – Sukbaatar
Al Mahra – Baghdad
Al Quds – Charikot
Pavlodar – “bye”

Broadcast of games https://clck.ru/3AEZmt

Technical information https://clck.ru/3AEZpt
Batzorig Tuvshintugs:

Fr/ Apr 26 / 24
- Our guest today is Batzorig Tuvshintugs from Mongolia. Batzorig, please tell us about your team.

- Our team is quit young, it’s a youth team from a border city with Russia, and quite promising young players we have brought this time.

- Your players have already had a match against Ugra chess players last year so it’s not your first time in Khanty-Mansiysk – what are your impressions of the chess traditions of this region?

- It’s really impressive, amazing, and unbelievable how chess got developed here in Khanty-Mansiysk and in Ugra. We are especially happy to see the Chess Academy and the tournaments, competitions organized here.

- Do you have free time? If you do, how do you and your team spend it time here?

- In our free time, we play table tennis - friendly matches with Palestine, Kazakhstan, and Malaysia back in our hotel.

- So you can say that chess unites people from different countries?

- Apart from the tournament, many good things are happening thanks to this chess event because people from different countries are understanding each other better, so it’s really beneficial for the mutual cooperation. For example, we have got invitation from the Malaysian chess federation Vice-President, President of the Penang Chess Federation invited us this summer in July to the Eastern Asia Youth Championship.

- Oh that’s great achievement! And I know that you not only speak English but also Russian. How did you manage to learn this language?

- We have learnt in school in Mongolia starting from the 4th grade, and our family had a Russian grandmaster chess trainer since the 90s, his name is Aleksandr Fominykh, from Novosibirsk.

- And what about chess life in Mongolia?

- Chess is very popular thanks mostly to the Russian chess school – we are very well acquainted with the works of Alekhine, Smyslov, Spassky, Karpov, and I personally play 1.d4 and the Caro-Kann Defence because Anatoly Karpov played so.

-Thank you very much and good luck to you!
The Surgut team wins another match at the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship

Th/ Apr 25 / 24
The fifth round was played in Khanty-Mansiysk

The fifth round of the Asian Cities Team Championship has been completed at the Ugra Chess Academy.

And this match day didn’t bring any sensation: the Surgut team defeated the women's team of Tehran (Iran) with a score of 3:1. Ilia Iljiushenok and Ivan Bocharov won their games, Mohammadi - Pridorozhni and Kabanov - Asgharzadeh played to a draw.

The Tehran men's team left no chance to team Moscow, winning with a score of 3.5:0.5. Vasilii Titarov made a draw with Abtin Atakhan.

The match between Tula and Baghdad ended in a draw: the win of the Iraqi master Hussein Ali Hussein Al-Ali was offset by the victory of the Russian Dmitrij Rodin.

Athletes from Colombo (Sri Lanka) beat Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) with a minimal score. Chess players from Penang (Malaysia) defeated Al Quds (Palestine) with a score of 3:1.

Malaysian team member Looi Xin Hao briefly commented on his game: “It turned out to be a fine game. We played the accepted Queen’s Gambit Accepted. I think I misplayed somewhere, trading queens. I probably should have kept them. But in any case, tactically, the opponent did not find a strike in the middlegame, after which I regained control of the position and managed to convert into a better ending."

The youth team of Khanty-Mansiysk literally crushed Charikot (Nepal), winning the match with a score of 3.5:0.5. Bogdan Perchinsky, Dinis Sattarov and Aleksandr Machankin brought points to their team.

The leader of the Ugra team, Bogdan Perchinsky, says: “In my opinion, the fight was quite easy for me. My opponent chose a rare scheme and made a mistake in the opening. Not only did I get an advantage in development, but I also won material. Then my advantage only increased, and in the end, I managed to bring the game to a victory."

The Sukhbaatar team (Mongolia) won with a clean score against Al Mahra (Yemen).

The Surgut team is in the lead with 10 match points, having won all the matches. The Tehran men's team is 2 points behind.

Round 6 pairings:
Surgut - Penang
Tula - Tehran (men)
Moscow - Tehran (women)
Baghdad - Colombo
Pavlodar - Khanty-Mansiysk
Sukhbaatar - Al Quds
Charikot - Muscat
Al Mahra - bye

Broadcast of games https://clck.ru/3AEZmt

Technical information https://clck.ru/3AEZpt
Dmitry Stativkin: “Chess is loved very much in Oman, but the players don’t have that much practice so far”

Th/ Apr 25 / 24
– Our guest today is Dmitry Stativkin. Dmitry, you are from Kazakhstan, but you came here to work with chess players from Oman. How did it happen, how did your cooperation with them start?

– It so happened that I spent some time in Saudi Arabia, and then they wrote to me with a proposal to work with the Oman national team. Before that I had already applied. Of course, without thinking twice, I agreed, since it was a very good experience.

I'll tell you about this in a little more detail. A unique program has been launched in our country: in cooperation with FIDE, the Kazakhstan Chess Federation sends coaches to work in other countries (where chess is less developed) in order to transfer experience. I believe that this is a very useful program - both for coaches and for national teams. Here, in Khanty-Mansiysk, I met the Omani national team, with whom I now work. This is very exciting to me, because this is a different culture, a unique people. They love chess very much, but they don’t have that much practice. However, in general, the guys are very strong.

– And in Saudi Arabia you also worked in the field of chess, right?

– I was on vacation in Saudi Arabia. I was there during the month of Ramadan in the city of Medina.

- I see. You probably know Arabic, don’t you?

– I know a little Arabic, yes. I think it will be very useful if I go to Oman for two to three months to work with the team. In fact, online work is also planned. Therefore, most likely, I will have an opportunity to improve my Arabic.

– Do you think Oman will be able to field a strong team for the Olympiad?

– I think it just depends on how they practice. There is very little time left: the Olympiad is in September, so there are just four months to prepare. I think that if during this time they play in 4-5 tournaments, namely the “classical”, plus blitz and rapid every week online, and if they constantly train, then they will approach the Olympiad in full combat readiness.

– What can you say about the performance of your athletes at this championship?

– The Oman team, of course, is not shining here yet, but I want to say that they are fighting fiercely, fighting to the end. The first two days were difficult because they had a very long flight - four planes. Therefore, in the first days it was very difficult for them to readjust. Today they are resting and getting a “bye”. I think that in the remaining four rounds they will make themselves known, because from their game show that they are playing strongly, but they do not have enough groundwork. However, all the guys are trying very hard.

– Have they already seen something here, visited anywhere?

– The first days – no, because we were adapting, tried to fit into the schedule, and then started playing. Now they have gradually familiarized themselves with the area around the hotel, go to cafes almost every day and eat halal food. It should be noted that in the hotel the food is also adapted to the participants. Today we went to a museum, saw the paintings, and everyone really liked it. Thanks to the organizers: everything was thought out, everything is taken good care of.

– Dmitry, thank you, good luck.

- Thanks a lot.
The Surgut team consolidates its lead at the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship

We/ Apr 24 / 24
Four rounds played in Khanty-Mansiysk.

The fourth round of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship took place at the Ugra Chess Academy. Before the start of the game, the captain of the Nepalese team took the floor and asked the participants to observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the earthquake that had happened these days nine years ago in Nepal and had claimed more than eight thousand lives.

The Tula team could not stop the leader of the race, the Surgut squad. The home team won with a score of 4:0 and strengthened their leading position.

The Tehran men's team also defeated Colombo (Sri Lanka) with a clean score. On the first board, the tournament's rating favorite, Bardiya Daneshvar, plays for the capital of Iran. After defeating Amarathunga Kosala Sandeepa Chamkara, the Iranian grandmaster briefly commented on the progress of the fight:

“I think I was in a better position in the middlegame, but then the position was equal. There I gradually pushed, and eventually he blundered,” Daneshvar said.

Team Moscow beat Baghdad (Iraq) with a score of 2.5:1.5. Dmitry Kirillov and Marat Gilfanov distinguished themselves.

The women's team of Tehran defeated the young representatives of Khanty-Mansiysk with a score of 3:1. Behzad Nazif Parva and Mitra Asgharzadeh brought success to their team.

Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) defeated Charikot (Nepal) with a narrow score. The victory was achieved thanks to the wins of Arystan Dosmukhambetov and Kristina Kim.

Arystan Dosmukhambetov comments: “My opponent played the same opening as in the second round, so he didn’t really surprise me, and at first everything went according to preparation. There was an equal fight, and at some point I set a trap, he fell into it and blundered a piece. Then, with a piece for two pawns, I transferred the rook to the g-file and finally “finished off” on the kingside.”

The Penang team (Malaysia) beat Al Mahra (Yemen) with a score of 3.5:0.5. The Muscat team (Oman) lost to Al Quds (Palestine) with a score of 1.5:2.5.

The Sukhbaatar team had a bye.

Surgut is in the lead with 8 match points. The men's team of Tehran (13 individual points), the women's team of Tehran (11 individual points) and Moscow (10 individual points) scored 6 points each.

Round 5 pairings:
Tehran (women) – Surgut
Tehran (men) – Moscow
Tula – Baghdad
Pavlodar – Colombo
Al Quds – Penang
Khanty-Mansiysk – Charikot
Al Mahra – Sukhbaatar
Muscat – bye.

Broadcast of games https://clck.ru/3AEZmt

Technical information https://clck.ru/3AEZpt
Target: Achilles’ Heel
We/ Apr 24 / 24

Review of rounds 1–3 prepared by IM Vladimir Barsky

The Asian Cities Team Championship is a long-awaited international tournament in Russia from the official FIDE calendar! It would probably be an exaggeration to say that “all the flags shall visit us,” but the capital city of Ugra saw the arrival of many interesting and combative teams, not all of which are even from Asia. There are experienced grandmasters, young stars, talented kids, even a woman-only team from Tehran… There are lots of intense and sparkling games: many things to see, many examples to show. Let’s begin with an episode of “The Obvious and the Improbable”.

Liyanage Ranindu Dilshan (2343) – Aleksei Pridorozhni (2509)

You may wonder how Black could win such a position at all. But nothing is impossible for the Russian rapid chess champion!

28...Nc5 29.Ra7

After 29.Rb5 Ne6 30.f4 Rd8, White’s main task is to avoid blundering a piece: 31.Kg2?? Rxd5 32.Rxd5 Nxf4+. To that end, 31.h3 is enough, to get the king through h2 to g3.

29...Rd8 30.Nf4

Or 30.Ne3. It’s hard to comment on anything here. For some reason, White decided to give up a pawn to force a knight trade and go for a 3 pawn vs. 2 pawn rook endgame, which is, of course, completely safe too.

30...Rd4 31.Rc7 Rxf4 32.Rxc5 Rxf3 33.Kg2 Rd3 34.Rc7 g5 35.h3 Kg6 36.Rc6+ f6 37.Ra6 h6 38.Rb6 Rd4 39.Ra6 h5 40.Ra8 g4

41.hxg4 Rxg4+ 42.Kh3

It was simpler to keep the king on f3. Even without the f2 pawn, many positions here are drawn.

42...Kg5 43.Rg8+ Kf4 44.Rh8 Rg5 45.Rh6 f5 46.Kh4 Rg2

Aleksei continues to search for chances, and his opponent finally makes a mistake.


White could maintain the balance with 47.Kh3 Rxf2 48.Rxh5 Ke4 49.Rh6 f4 50.Ra6.

47...Rxf2 48.Ra6 Kg3?

This natural move, however, misses the win. Black had to push the king away first: 48...Rh2+! 49.Kg6 Kg4 winning.


White spoils his lucky chance. He could save the game with 49.Ra3+! Rf3 (49...Kg2 50.Rb3 f4 51.Kg4 gives nothing) 50.Ra5! f4 (or 50...Kg2 51.Ra2+ Kg3 52.Ra5) 51.Rg5+! Kf2 52.Kg4, and it’s time to agree for a draw.

49...f4 50.Kf5 Rb2 51.Ke4 Re2+ 52.Kd3 f3 53.Rg6+ Kf2 54.Rf6 Re8 55.Ra6 Kg2 56.Kd4 White resigned.

Nikolai Kabanov (2434) – K K Dinujaya Kodithuwakku Kankana (1707)

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4.0-0 Ng6 5.d4 exd4 6.Nxd4 Bc5 7.Nf5 0–0 8.Nc3 a6 9.Ba4 d6 10.Qh5 b5 11.Bb3 Na5

Black played the opening rather recklessly, leaving his king largely undefended. But White’s advance party is already at the gates…

12.Bg5 Qe8 13.Nxg7! Qe5

After 13...Kxg7 14.Qh6+ Kg8 15.Bf6, there’s no defence from checkmate on g7.

14.Nd5 Bd4 15.c3

Not the only way to win, but it’s the clearest one.

15…Qxg7 16.cxd4 Nxb3

After 16...f6 17.Bh6, Black has to retreat with his queen 17…Qh8 to avoid losing it, but then the king gets in trouble – 18.Ne7#.

17.Bf6 Nxa1 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Rxa1 Ra7 20.Rc1 Bd7 21.e5 dxe5 22.dxe5 Be6 23.Nf6 h6 24.Qd1

White has both material (queen and pawn vs. rook and bishop) and positional advantage. Nikolai Kabanov easily won the game.

Abtin Atakhan (2417) – Yuan Hui Yeoh (1894)


Looks like a decisive invasion: the bishop is hanging, the knight is pinned. However, the safety margin in chess is usually quite big…


Black should have gone for a dangerous-looking king walk: 25...Bxe4 26.Ne5 Kd6 (but not 26...Bxg2? 27.Rxd7+ Kf6 28.f4 Bd5 29.Rxf7#) 27.Rxd7+ Kxe5. Strangely enough, the king is safe here: 28.f4+ Kf5 29.Rxf7+ Kg6 30.Ra7 Bxg2 31.Kxg2 Rd8!, and after, for instance, 32.Rxa6 Rd2+ 33.Kf3 Rxb2 34.Rxe6+ Kf7 35.Rb6 Ra2 36.a6 b3, there’s a drawn rook ending with 3 vs. 2 pawns on the same flank.

26.Ne5 Bc8

Now 26...Kd6 is bad in view of 27.Rxd7+ Kxe5 28.f4+ Kf6 29.e5+ Kg6 30.Rxb7.

27.Nc6+ Kd6 28.Rxd7+ Kxd7 29.Nxb8+ Kc7 30.Nxa6+ Bxa6 31.e5!

Black trapped the knight and only lost a pawn as a result. However, this bishop ending, unlike the rook ending above, is completely hopeless for him. He has to watch out for the a5 passer, and the e6 and f7 pawns are fixed on the squares of the same color as the bishop.

31...Kb8 32.f4

This is also good, but 32.Bc6 Bd3 33.f4 Ka7 34.Be8 Bg6 35.Bb5 is apparently even more precise.

32...Ka7 33.Kf2 Bb5 34.Ke3 Ka6 35.Kd4 Kxa5 36.Kc5 Bd3 37.Bc6 Bf5 38.Be8 Bg6 39.g4 h5


The break 40.f5! exf5 41.gxf5 Bxf5 42.Bxf7 finished the game rather elegantly.

40...Bxh5 41.Kd6 Bg6 42.Ke7 Bf5 43.Bxf7 Ka4 44.Bxe6 Bxe6 45.Kxe6 Kb3 46.Kf7 Kxb2 47.e6 Kc3 48.e7 Black resigned.

Maxim Novikov (2435) – Salim Al Amri Salim Mohammed (1938)

“In the Wake of Opening Catastrophes,” as Yakov Isaevich Neishtadt’s book was called:

16.Neg5+ Kg6

16...fxg5 is met with the fork 17.Ne5+, and 16...Ke7 with the pin 17.Bd2. Still, after the game move, the king also has nowhere to go.

17.Qd3+ Bf5 18.Nh4+ Kh5 19.Qxf5 Nh6 20.g4+ Nxg4 21.Ne4+ g5 22.Bxg5 Black resigned.

Amjad Wazwaz – Dmitry Kirillov (2209)

White is completely outplayed, but, as they say, “As long as I live, I hope!”

33...b4 34.Rxb3 cxb3 35.Rxc6 b2 36.Rxg6+!?

The famous “spite check”?


Wow, this worked! After a simple king retreat (say, 36...Kf8), White should resign.

37.Bd5+! Kg7 38.Bxa2 Kf6 39.g4 h5 40.h3 h4 41.Ke4, and now it’s Black who resigns.

Zozek Salah Mohammed Mohammed (2171) – Stefan Palamar (1813)

There was a dynamic balance in a tense, double-edged position for a long time, but then Black apparently overestimated his attacking chances.


Stronger was 29...Rg5 30.g4 (30.Rxa7? loses to 30...Qb8! 31.Rdd7 Nf4) 30...Nf6 31.R7d3 Qc7 with a very sharp play.


The knight, which stood idly on the edge of the board for quite a while, begins its winning march.

30…Rg5 31.Nd3 Qf6 32.f4?!

A return mistake. After 32.Kh2! Nf4 33.Nxf4 Qxf4+ 34.g3, Black has to retreat, and his position became quite worrisome.

32...Rg3 33.Rd5 Qc3?

33...Qh4! 34.Kf1 Rf6 maintained the balance.

34.Ne5! Rf6 35.f5 Qe3 36.Rd8+ Kh7


Reminds of the famous match game of the two great K’s! The soulless computer insists that the prosaic 37.Qxe3 Rxe3 38.Re8 g6 39.Rdd8 Rb6 40.Ng4 was even stronger, but this move was good as well: Black immediately resigned.

Akar Ali Salih Salih (2205) – Aleksandr Machankin (1739)

“It’s not my fault if you didn’t hide!”

14.Nxf7! Be3+

14...Kxf7 is even sadder: 15.Qh5+ Kf8 (or 15...g6 16.Qe5 Rhf8 17.Bc4) 16.Qe5 Rg8 17.Bc4 with an unstoppable attack.

15.Kb1 Kxf7

The unexpected 15...0–0! is more resilient, even though after 16.Ne5 Qc5 (16...Nxh1 17.Qh5 loses quickly) 17.Bc4 Nxh1 18.b4! Qb6 19.Qg4, White’s threats are still dangerous.

16.Qh5+ Ke7 (16...g6 17.Qe5) 17.Qe5 Rag8 18.Bc4 Bd7

At the first glance it might seem that White’s attack fizzled out. He’s a knight down, and his rooks are forked… but then a dagger-sharp blow comes from the left!

19.Ba5! Qc6

There was an elegant economic mate after 19...Qc5 20.Rxd7+! Kxd7 21.Qxe6#.

20.Qxe3 Nxd1

Black is a whole rook up, but all the squares around his king are hopelessly weak.

21.Qg5+ Ke8 22.Bb4 Black resigned.

Ilia Iljiushenok (2536) – Stanislav Khudyakov (2230)

Let’s talk a bit more about the f7 square, which is often called the Achilles’ heel of Black’s position. White pieces are looming dangerous over the black king’s position, and so Khudyakov’s desire to drive one of them away is totally understandable.


Now a standard, but still pretty tactical blow is possible. Still, even after 17...Nxd5, the f7 square would have still been a target, but for a different combination: 18.Rxf7! Rxf7 19.Bxd5 Ne5 20.Nxf7 Nxf7 21.Qc4, winning.
Black apparently could still resist after 17...b5!?, but, to be honest, it’s hard to believe in that.

18.Nxf7! Rxf7 19.Nxf6+ Kh8

19...gxf6 would have been met with 20.Bxf7+ Kxf7 21.Qh5+ Kg7 22.Rf3! Ne5 23.Rg3+ Kh7 24.Rxc8! Rxc8 25.Qf5+ etc.


With this beautiful interference, White defends the f4 rook and (as we shall see a couple of moves later) gives his queen access to the h5 square.


The pawn cannot be taken because this loses the f7 rook – either immediately or after a queen trade.

21.Kh1 gxf6

White cannot capture the rook because of a pin, but the position of the black king is in ruins…

22.Qh5! (the interference along the 5th rank works!) 22…Be6 23.Qxh6+ Kg8 24.Rg4+ Black resigned.

Marat Gilfanov (2080) – Nikolai Kabanov (2434)

Experienced grandmaster Kabanov, probably underestimating his young opponent, relaxed a bit and exposed himself for a tactical blow with his last move 48…Kg7-h6.

49.g5+! Kxg5

The rest is even worse: 49...fxg5 50.Rxf8; 49...Kh7 50.Rxf6 Rxf6 51.gxf6 gxh5 52.Bxh5; 49...Kg7 50.h6+ Kh7 51.Kg3.

50.Rg3+ Kf4

After 50...Kh6 51.Rxg6+ Kh7 52.Kf3, the white king goes for a walk on the light squares.

51.hxg6 Kxe4 52.g7 Rg8 53.Bc4 Rbb8 54.Rxd6 f5

Hoping to satisfy White with an exchange sacrifice. But White has a much more interesting target now.

55.Bd3+ Kf4 56.Rf3+ Kg5 57.Rxf5+ Kh4 58.Rh6+ Black resigned in view of 58…Kg4 59.Rhh5! и 60.Be2#.

Bardiya Daneshvar (2584) – Ilia Iljiushenok (2536)

One of the most interesting games of the first third of the Cities Championship was played in the key match of the 3rd round, Tehran – Surgut.

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.c4 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Nc3 g6 7.h4 h6 8.d3 Bg7 9.Nxd5 Qxd5 10.Be3 Bxb2

This capture, of course, looks very risky. On the other hand, after 10...0–0 11.Qd2, White is somewhat better.

11.0–0 Qd6

Perhaps Black had to go all-in – 11...Bxa1 12.Qxa1 f6. Of course, Black’s position after, for instance, 13.Nd4 Qd7 14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Rc1 Kf7 16.Rxc5, doesn’t look too attractive, but he has the extra exchange as a consolation.

12.Rb1 Bd4 13.Bf4 Qf6


14.e3 Bc3 15.Qb3 also looks quite attractive, for example: 15…Bb4 16.a3 Ba5 (16...Be6 17.Qa4) 17.Rfc1 with a very unpleasant pressure from White.

14...g5 15.hxg5 hxg5 16.Bxg5 Qg6 17.e3 Qh5


The bishop is, of course, cannot be captured: after 18.exd4? Nxd4, Black wins. However, the young Iranian grandmaster overlooked a beautiful tactical blow 18.Bxe7!! What should Black now do?
1) After 18…Nxe7, White now can play 19.exd4, and the counterplay comes too late: 19…Bh3 (19...cxd4 20.Re1 Kf8 21.Qa3 is even worse) 20.Qxc5 Bxg2 21.Qxh5 Rxh5 22.Kxg2.
2) After 18...Bg4, there’s a very strong reply 19.Nh4! Kxe7 20.Rxb7+ Kf8, and here White has a pleasant choice between 21.exd4 Nxd4 22.Re1 and the simple 21.Bxc6.
3) The only remaining move is 18...Kxe7, but here, after 19.exd4 Nxd4, White has a very important intermediate check 20.Re1+!, which gives his king an escape square at f1: 20…Kf8 21.Nxd4 cxd4 22.Re4 Qh2+ 23.Kf1 Bh3!? 24.Qc5+ Kg8 25.Qg5+ Kf8 26.Bxh3 Qxh3+ 27.Ke2 Qh5+ (Black has to trade queens, because 27...b6 is met with a flashy mating attack: 28.Rh1! Qxh1 29.Qe7+ Kg7 30.Rg4+ Kh6 31.Qg5+ Kh7 32.Qg7#) 28.Qxh5 Rxh5 29.Rxb7 with a decisive advantage in the rook endgame.

18...Bf6 19.Bxf6 exf6 20.d4?!

20.Nh4 Ne5 21.Qb2 gave more chances for an advantage..

20...cxd4 21.exd4 Bh3 22.Re1+ Kf8 23.Qc5+ Qxc5 24.dxc5 Bxg2 25.Kxg2 Rb8 26.Nd2 Rh5 27.Ne4 Kg7


The worst is over for Black. After 28.f4!?, White could have still played on for a bit, but Daneshvar seemed to be content with a draw at this point.

28...Rbh8 29.Kf3 Rf5+ 30.Kg2 Rfh5 31.Kf3 Rf5+ 32.Kg2 Draw.

Ivan Bocharov (2559) – Sina Movahed (2463)

Another thriller from the same key encounter. White sacrificed a knight for a pawn, but the black king is stuck in the center and exposed from all sides.


The position is not yet ripe for a counter-attack. After the careful 22...Bc7! 23.Bg3 (23.Bg5 h6) 23...Bxg3 24.hxg3 Re8, Black had all chances to gradually repel the attack and retain the extra material.


Even stronger was 23.Bg5+! Kc8 (23...N5f6 24.Bxf5) 24.c4! bxc4 25.Bxc4 with very dangerous threats.


After 23...Bxf2+! 24.Kxf2 Qb6+ 25.Re3 Nxe5 26.Be2 Nd7 27.Rxd5 Bxd5 28.Qxd5 Rc8 29.Kf1 Qc6, Black is close to equality.

24.Rxe5 Kc8 25.Bxf5+ Rxf5 26.Rxf5 Nf6


Pretty! Thankfully for Black, he’s not obliged to capture the queen (27...Nxg8 28.Rf8+ with an unavoidable mate).

27…Ne8 28.Rg5

Stronger was 28.Rfd5!, closing off the long diagonal. After 28…Qg6 29.Re1 Bxd5 30.Rxe8+ Kd7 31.Qxd5+ Kxe8 32.Qxa8+, White should win.

28...Qe4 29.Rxg7

And here, 29.Be5! was very promising, for instance: 29…Bc6 30.Qe6+ Kb7 31.Rxg7+ Bc7 (31...Nxg7 32.Rd7+ Bxd7 33.Qxd7+ leads to mate) 32.Qe7 Qe2 33.Rc1 – Black aren’t likely to hold this.

29...Bd5 30.Re7 Bxf2+! 31.Kh1 Bxg8 32.Rxe4 Kb7 33.Re7+ Kc6 34.a3

Complications have ended, and Black managed to survive until the endgame. Still, White’s chances are still better; after 50 moves, Ivan Bocharov managed to win after all.

Ali Ehsan Aryan (2136) – Kristina Kim (1941)

Another f7 square-themed game concludes our review.

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.d5 Nb8 7.e5 dxe5?

This move seems to be losing more or less by force. 7...Nfd7 was necessary, even though Black’s position would still be peculiar, to put it mildly.

8.fxe5 Ng4 9.Bf4 g5

To eliminate the e5 pawn. Otherwise, the g4 knight would have had to escape to the edge of the board quite soon (after h2-h3 and possibly g2-g4).

10.Nxg5 Nxe5 11.Bxe5 Bxe5

12.Nxf7! Bxc3+

After the immediate 12...Kxf7, the e5 bishop is lost – 13.Qh5+ Kf6 14.Ne4+ Kg7 15.Qxe5+.

13.bxc3 Kxf7 14.Qh5+ Kg7 15.Qg5+ Kf8 16.Bb5!

To stop the opponent from involving the knight in defence.

16…Nd7 17.Bxd7

Of course not 17.0–0+ Nf6.


The king can now escape to d8. But Black loses a rook on the way.


You don’t get to castle with a check every day!

18…Ke8 19.Qg7 Qg4 20.Qxh8+ Kd7 21.Rae1 Qg5 22.Re5 Qg6 23.Rfe1 Kd6 24.Qd8+ Black resigned.
Surgut team leads in the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship
Tu/ Apr 23 / 24
The third round is completed in Khanty-Mansiysk.

The games of the third round of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship have been played at the Ugra Chess Academy.

In the most important match of the round, or even the entire tournament, the Surgut team defeated the Tehran men's team with a score of 3:1. At the first table, Ilia Iljiushenok held a draw against Bardiya Daneshvar as Black. On the second table, Ivan Bocharov won a double-edged battle against Movahed Sina.

We give the floor to the winner: “Without computer analysis, it is still difficult to say what happened. However, judging by the opponent’s and my emotions, it was clear that many interesting things had taken place. Both sides had advantage in different moments, and perhaps subjectively we perceived it as stronger than it really was. I gained an edge when I managed to develop pieces, seize the center, while Black's forces were slow in development. I realized that my young opponent was overly reliant on specific variations, while it was necessary to understand that the position was too dangerous and not worth going there.”

On the third board, Aleksei Pridorozhni defeated Masoud Mosadeghpour, and the game Kabanov – Atakhan ended in a draw.

The match between Tula and the Tehran women's team ended in a draw. On the first board, Daniil Manelyuk defeated Tannaz Azali with the black pieces, and on the third, Melika Mohammadi was stronger than Dmitrij Rodin. It should be noted that this is already a third victory the Iranian player has scored in this tournament.

FIDE Master Daniil Manelyuk briefly commented on his game: “In fact, it was quite difficult: I didn’t play very well in the opening. The opponent sacrificed a pawn for the initiative and continued to play well. I think there were a couple of moments when she could have played stronger. But in the end, I succeeded in outsmarting her and getting out of the situation.”

Moscow beat the Malaysian team from Penang with a score of 3:1. The points were scored by Stanislav Khudyakov and Marat Gilfanov for whom it is a third win at the Asian Cities Championship.

The match Colombo – Muscat ended in a victory for the players from Sri Lanka with a score of 3:1. The Kathmandu – Al-Mahra match did not reveal the strongest - 2:2.

The tournament host’s youth team beat the representatives of Sukhbaatar with a score of 3:1. Bogdan Perchinsky, Dinis Sattarov, and Aleksandr Machankin shone in the match.

The Al Quds team had a bye.

Based on the results of three rounds, Surgut is in the lead with 6 match points. The Tula team is 1 point behind. The men's team of Tehran (9 individual points), the women's team of Tehran (8 individual points), Moscow (7.5 individual points), Colombo (7.5 individual points) and Baghdad (5.5 individual points) scored 4 points each.

Round 4 pairings:
Surgut – Tula
Colombo – Tehran (men)
Baghdad – Moscow
Khanty-Mansiysk – Tehran (women)
Kathmandu – Pavlodar
Penang – Al-Mahra
Muscat – Al Quds
Sukhbaatar – bye.

Broadcast of games https://clck.ru/3AEZmt

Technical information https://clck.ru/3AEZpt
Aryan Ali Ehsan: Responsibility is a side effect of playing for a team
Tu/ Apr 23 / 24
An interview with a member of a team from Baghdad.

- Our first guest today is Aryan from Baghdad, Iraq. Aryan, you won a very quick and ambitions game today. So please tell us about it.

- Yes, the game was maybe a little bit easy, because she missed 12. Nxf7 which maybe finishes the game on the spot. And I think that the line she played maybe is very dubious, because you have to play very accurately not to be worse out of the opening. So yes, I think she made a mistake and I used this opportunity.

- Are you happy with your playing here so far?

- Actually no because yesterday my opponent, the Iranian player, was very strong, and I had a very obvious draw but I didn't do it and lost the game. So I was devastated but maybe today we can come back.

- And what are the main goals for your team here?

- I think maybe winning a prize would be nice, of course. Getting like from one to fourth places would be nice.

- Do you like to play in team or individual events?

- I think both of them have their qualities, side effects, positive and negative points. In the team ones you have company, but, on the other side, there's more pressure. Responsibility is a side effect of playing for a team.

- Is it your first time in Khanty-Mansiysk?
- Yeah, actually, it's my first time here, and it's very different from Iran. My culture and my region are absolutely different. It's very nice and very cold here, it's very poetic!

- Have you been to the excursion on the first day?

- Yes, it was very nice, we enjoyed it, although we were very tired after the flight.

- Was your route from Baghdad to Khanty-Mansiysk very tough?

- Yeah, it was a very long road, also we had some problems in the airport, they kept us there. There were some other problems as well, so it was a very tiring, long road. Maybe we spent around 24 hours in planes and airports.

- Oh, that’s very long. Did you manage to watch the FIDE Candidates with this time difference?

- Yes, and it was very sad because I wanted Nakamura to win, but, you know, Gukesh is a prodigy. I watched it very carefully with the team: we were sitting in a room, 4 or 5 of us, and watching the games till 4-5 AM.

- And why were you rooting for Nakamura?

- I think he has very big a crowd of fans, and if he had won the world champion’s title, chess would have been much more famous. I like his style, the way he talks, does recaps on YouTube, and he makes chess very famous, I think. Since Ding is the World Champion, not many people know him, and this may be not good for chess.

- Okay, and what about chess your country?

- It's good, chess is developing in Iraq. We have some schools coming up and we try to do some places only for chess, and chess cafés, maybe. We try our best and we will see in the next years what will become of it.

- Thank you very much and good luck to you.

- Thank you.
Round 2 of Asian Cities Chess Team Championship Completed in Khanty-Mansiysk
Mo/ Apr 22 / 24
Teams Surgut, Tehran, and Tula are in the lead.

In the Russian derby, the experienced Surgut team defeated the young players from Moscow with a score of 2.5:1.5. Ilia Iljiushenok beat Stanislav Khudyakov, Aleksei Pridorozhni was stronger than Vasilii Titarov, Nikolai Kabanov lost to Marat Gilfanov, and the game I. Bocharov - D. Kirillov ended in a draw.

Grandmaster Ilia Iljiushenok: “At first the game was not easy: in the opening the opponent tricked me a little. But, apparently, he mixed up something (as he told me after the game), and I began a decisive attack. Then a combination followed, and after that - victory".

Marat Gilfanov also shared his impressions of the game: “I have mixed feelings about today’s game. It seemed equal all the time, then in the endgame I had time trouble, but for some reason my opponent started playing quickly and blundered.”

The men's team of Tehran, Iran, swept Baghdad, Iraq, with a clean score, despite the Tournament’s top-rated player Bardiya Daneshvar not playing for them that day.

The Tula team defeated Pavlodar, Kazakhstan, with a score of 3:1. Daniil Manelyuk and Dmitrij Rodin won their games.

Tehran (8 individual points), Tula (7) and Surgut (6) are leading with 4 match points scored by each.

The women's team of Tehran is in fourth place with 3 match points: in the second round, they beat Kathmandu, Nepal, with a perfect score.

In other matches, Penang, Malaysia, defeated Sukhbaatar, Mongolia, 2.5:1.5, Colombo, Sri Lanka, beat Al Quds, Palestine, 4:0, and the encounter between Al Mahra, Yemen, and Muscat, Oman, ended in a draw.

The Khanty-Mansiysk team had a bye.

Round 3 pairings:
Tehran (men) – Surgut
Tehran (women) – Tula
Moscow – Penang
Pavlodar – Baghdad
Colombo – Muscat
Kathmandu – Al Mahra
Sukhbaatar – Khanty-Mansiysk
Bye – Al Quds

Technical information https://clck.ru/3AEZpt

Official website https://asianchess.chesshmao.ru
First Round of Asian Cities Championship Played
in Khanty-Mansiysk
Su/ Apr 21 / 24
The first round of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship took place at the Ugra Chess Academy.

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.
asian cities chess team championship opened in
Sa/ Apr 20 / 24
On April 20, the opening ceremony of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship took place in the Big Concert Hall of the Ugra-Classic concert and theater center.

As is tradition, the organizers of the competition in Khanty-Mansiysk paid special attention to the creative part of the ceremony. The concert performance began with an opening prologue: the hall was plunged into darkness, and only the silhouettes of the dancers were visible on the stage.

Then the creative team “Cardigan” presented the “Endemic” collection, merging the motifs of the indigenous costumes of the Khanty and Mansi peoples with modern-day fashion trends.

Getting acquainted with Ugra was completed with an emotional performance by the dance group “Light It” with a poetic title “Soul of Taiga”.

After the colorful parade of the teams with the flags of the participating countries (Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Palestine, Russia, Sri Lanka, and Yemen), a welcoming speech from Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation Oleg Matytsin was read.

Then, Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra Natalia Komarova and Executive Director of the Chess Federation of Russia Alexander Tkachev were invited to the stage for welcome remarks.

Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra Natalia Komarova: “In Ugra, chess is more than a sport. We play chess in kindergartens and schools, in the most remote corners of our region. Khanty-Mansiysk is a world chess center. Since 2005, we have hosted 18 international tournaments of various levels, including the World Chess Olympiad in 2010. Chess unites people from different countries, and in this regard, I assure the Asian Chess Federation and the Chess Federation of Russia that Ugra is ready to host a wide variety of tournaments. For the young athletes who will play in this tournament, it will be a huge experience.”

Executive Director of the Chess Federation of Russia Alexander Tkachev: “I congratulate everyone on the start of this historic event - the first Asian Cities Chess Team Championship in Russia. In addition, this is the first official competition held in our country, which is included in the FIDE calendar. I express my sincere gratitude to the leadership of the Asian Chess Federation for making this decision and, of course, to the leadership of Ugra and in particular governor Natalia Komarova for agreeing to host this competition. Actually, we had no doubts as to who was to be put in charge of the tournament. I am confident that the event will be held at the highest level.”

President of the Asian Chess Federation Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nehyan sent a video message to the participants and organizers of the Tournament.

After the greetings from the officials, the concert program continued. The “Academy of Dance” and “Light It” groups presented performances focusing on chess.

Then the Chief Arbiter of the Tournament IA Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, was invited to the stage to conduct the drawing of lots. He called the captains of the teams of Surgut (top rating) and Tehran (the current champion): the Iranian representative was holding pieces in his hands, and the Russian had to point to one of them. Ilia Iljiushenok drew the white pawn, which allowed him to further draw the color from two other boxed. At that point, the player from Ugra drew a black piece, which means that in the first round the Surgut team will play black on the first board.

The opening ceremony ended with a vocal and choreographic performance telling that chess is an art, the art of choice.

It should be noted that before and after the ceremony, an interactive studio of the TV company OTRK "Ugra" operated in the CTC "Ugra-Classic", making short interviews with officials and participants of the Tournament.

The first games of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship will be played tomorrow, April 21, at the Ugra Chess Academy. The game starts at 15:00 local time (13:00 Moscow time).

Technical information: https://clck.ru/3ACXW3
Tour of Khanty-Mansiysk
Sa/ Apr 20 / 24
One day before the start of the games, the participants and guests of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship had an opportunity to embark on a big tour of Khanty-Mansiysk and see the city’s key places of interest.

The chess players visited the Man and Nature Museum, where they learned about the unique culture and rich history of Ugra, the flora and fauna of the region, saw various archaeological finds. The tour included a stopover at the Khvoyny Urman ski center and the Archeo-park, for the guests to see the famous mammoths, a must-visit landmark of the city.

The participants, who arrived mainly from warm countries, were absolutely delighted with what they saw.

For the first time in its history, the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship will be held in Russia
We / Apr 17 / 24
For the first time in its history, the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship will be held in Russia, from April 20 to 30, 2024. The venue will be the capital of Ugra – the city of Khanty-Mansiysk, well-known for its chess traditions.

The Asian Cities Chess Team Championship dates back to 1979: the first tournament was held in Hong Kong and the winner was the team from Singapore. Since then, the competitions have been held regularly, but not annually, usually once in two years.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Asian City Chess Team Championships have not been held since then.

The 2024 tournament will be the first competition of the Asian chess calendar that Russia will host after the milestone transition of the Chess Federation of Russia to the Asian Chess Federation.

Teams from 11 countries will participate in the championship. The lineup of teams is as follows: Iran (open and women's teams from Tehran), Iraq (Baghdad), Kazakhstan (Pavlodar), Malaysia (Penang), Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar), Nepal (Kathmandu), Oman (Muscat), Palestine (Ramallah), Sri Lanka (Colombo), and Yemen (Al Mahrah). Being the host country, Russia is entitled to field as many as four teams. These will be the teams from the cities of Moscow, Surgut, Tula, and Khanty-Mansiysk (youth team).

Each team consists of four main players (men and/or women), one reserve, and a captain, who can be one of the players.

An extensive excursion programme will be offered to the guests of the Championship in their free time.

March 26, the CFR stand at the “Sport for All” pavilion organised during the international “RUSSIA EXPO”,held a friendly promotional match between the teams of Moscow and Khanty-Mansiysk, dedicated to the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship. The Muscovites won with a minimal score.

On April 3, the Executive Director of the Chess Federation of Russia Alexander Tkachev and the President of the Chess Federation of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Ugra, Vasiliy Filipenko, signed an agreement on the organisation of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship. The ceremony took place in the library of the CFR Chess Museum.

Photos: Visit Ugra and Social media of Ugra
an agreement was signed between the Chess Federation of Russia and the Ugra Chess Federation
We / Apr 3 / 24
Today, April 3, an agreement was signed between the Chess Federation of Russia and the Ugra Chess Federation on organizing the Asian Cities Team Chess Championship.

The agreement was signed by Alexander Tkachev, the executive director of the Chess Federation of Russia, and Vasily Filipenko, Deputy of the Duma of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra, president of the Ugra Chess Federation, at the Central Chess Club named after. Mikhail Botvinnik in Moscow.

The Championship will be held from April 20 to 30 in Khanty-Mansiysk!

Photos courtesy of Ugra Social Media Center

«The Asian Cities Team Championship is a historical event in every sense, since it is the first official event of the Asian chess calendar that will be held in our country»
— Alexander Tkachev noted
reparations for the Asian Cities Team Chess Championship are in full swing
Th / Mar 28 / 24
A meeting of the Organizing Committee of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship 2024 was held On March 28.

The meeting approved the composition of the Executive Directorate of the Team Championship and admitted for consideration the plan of key activities for the preparation and holding of the Championship.

The next step is the conclusion of an agreement with the Chess Federation of Russia on holding the Team Championship!
a blitz friendly team match was held between the cities of Moscow and Khanty-Mansiysk
Tu / Mar 26 / 24
in the “Sports for Everyone” pavilion of the International Exhibition and Forum “Russia” at VDNH, a blitz friendly team match was held between the cities of Moscow and Khanty-Mansiysk as part of the Asian Cities Chess Team Championship 2024.

The city of Moscow was represented by Vladimir Potkin, Artyom Uskov, Danila Pavlov, Khanty-Mansiysk was represented by Ilya Ilyushenok, Dmitry Yakovenko, and Marina Korneva.

The friendly match was opened by Alexander Tkachev, the Executive Director of the Russian Chess Federation:
«Today we are holding a friendly match between the cities of Moscow and Khanty-Mansiysk to mark the Asian Cities Championship. When it was proposed to hold this tournament in Russia, we immediately delegated it to the Ugra Chess Federation, to Khanty-Mansiysk, a city with rich experience in hosting international competitions. I would also like to thank the Governor of Ugra Ms. Natalia Komarova for taking this championship into her personal care and I am sure that it will be held at a high leve»
The match was played in 6 rounds of 5 minutes each with a 3 seconds increment per move.

The team of Moscow won very closely, with a margin of just 1 point!

Results: Moscow - 9.5 points;
Khanty-Mansiysk - 8.5 points.

We congratulate the winners and thank all participants of the tournament!
The participants agreed in the opinion that the forthcoming Asian Cities Tournament will be tough and will bring new experience, as Asian teams show worthy results at international competitions.
Stay up to date on the Asian Cities Team Chess Championship!
Photos courtesy of Chess Federation of Russia