GM Ganguly wins the Asian Continental Chess Championship

Ten players qualify for the World Cup 2009 in Khanty-Mansiysk

Asia proved one more time to be the generator for chess talents and a place which will soon fill up most of the spots in the World top 100. The recent Asian Continental Chess Championship was full of strong players and surprising results. Many untitled players secured norms, some even got into top 10, and there are more surprises among the qualified players for the World Cup.

GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly won the first position with 8,0/11. The Indian player, who was also second of Anand for the World Chess Championship against Kramnik, finished with the same points as GM Zhou Weiqi (CHN, 2563), but a better tiebreak secured him the gold medal.

GM Ganguly is born in 1983 and was chosen by Anand for a reason. He ranks N4 as ELO in India, but his form increases constantly. Some of his latest achievements are the 7th Parsvnath International Open Chess Tournament and the first place at the National A India championship.


GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly

The silver medalist GM Zhou Weiqi is in top 10 of Chinese chess players and in top 50 of Asia. He has two participations at the World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad with outstanding record and he came second at the Aeroflot open 2008 with performance of 2703. He was awarded the GM title at the 79th FIDE Congress, held on 16-26 November 2008 in Dresden, Germany after earning norms at 2nd PGMA Cup Open in Manila, China Men’s Individual Championship, and the already mentioned Aeroflot event.

Zhou Weiqi

GM Zhou Weiqi

Third place was for another Chinese, the untitled Yu Yangyi (CHN, 2433), who managed to defeat GM Nguyen Anh Dung, GM Bui Vinh, GM Megaranto Susanto, GM Eugenio Torre and most amazingly the top seeded player of the event GM Krishnan Sasikiran. Adding the draws against GM Wesley So, GM Ghaem Maghami, GM Yu Shaoteng, and GM Abhijit Kunte, converted the fantastic performance of Yu Yangyi into a bronze medal. Yu Yangyi is a player most of Chessdom readers have probably not heard of. He is born in 1994 and his first records of official games are at age U10. In the period April 2005 – January 2007 he plays no rated games and since then he has a total of 68 rated games with ELO increase of 228 points (close to 4 points per game). In Asia his rank U16 is 8th.

Yu Yangyi

Yu Yangyi

With the same points as Yu Yangyi, but worse tiebreak finished five players – GM Yu Shaoteng, GM Le Quang Liem, GM Antonio Rogelio Jr, GM Hou Yifan, and GM Zhou Jianchao. Practically all of them come at surprising positions. GM Hou Yifan was the only woman managing to enter the top positions of the men competition, proving she can be the next Polgar. GM Antonio Rogelio Jr was never thought to be among the favorites of the Asia Continental championship, but he played better than all Filipinos and was even leader of the tournament for several rounds. GM Zhou Jianchao on the other hand was the top seeded Chinese, but he finished behind four other players from his country. One of them was GM Yu Shaoteng who has played only one rated game in the past year. The only logical performance was of GM Le Quang Liem who is the top player of Vietnam and number one U18 in Asia.

World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2009

One of the special prizes at stake at the Asian Continental Chess Championships was that the top 10 players of the event qualify for the World Chess Cup in Khanty Mansiysk 2009. Besides the players mentioned above, two more enter the top 10 list – GM Sanda Chandipan and the top seeded GM Krishnan Sasikiran. The qualified players for the World Cup are:

1 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND

2 GM Zhou Weiqi CHN

3 Yu Yangyi CHN

4 GM Yu Shaoteng CHN

5 GM Le Quang Liem VIE

6 GM Antonio Rogelio Jr PHI

7 GM Hou Yifan CHN

8 GM Zhou Jianchao CHN

9 GM Sandipan Chanda IND

10 GM Sasikiran Krishnan IND

However, things are a little more complex when you read the rules for qualification for the World Cup. There are 128 qualifiers (in order of priority): World Champion (Vishwanathan Anand) + four (4) semi-finalists from the World Cup 2007 (Carlsen, Shirov, Kamsky, and Karjakin), Women’s World Champion (Alexandra Kosteniuk), World Junior U-20 Champion 2008 (GM Abhijeet Gupta), twenty (20) rated players, ninety (90) players from Continental Championships, seven (7) FIDE President nominees, four (4) organiser nominees.

As Anand, Carlsen, Shirov, Kamsky, and Karjakin will qualify by rating, their spots will be left free. That will allow the green card players to be over 10 (including the FIDE President nominees). This means the positions 10-15 at the Asian Continental Chess Championships have a chance to be selected.

There is one sure direct qualificant at position 11, GM Abhijeet Kunte, as Anand is not likely to participate. The rule states, “Continental and Zonal qualifiers will be replaced from their respective events, except that in the Zonal Tournament, the replacement must have scored 50% or more in the Zonal event” leaving GM Abhijeet Kunte as the replacement.

If another player bails out from the above list, the order of replacements will be not followed, as GM Gupta Abhijeet, who is at position 12, is qualified as World Junior Champion. Thus, the next one in the list is GM Parimarjan Negi, followed by GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, GM Shilong, GM Kazhgaleyev, GM Filippov, etc.

Putting in the picture the seven (7) FIDE President nominees, many more players can hope for a spot at the World Cup. To give some examples, historical figures like GM Eugenio Torre (first Asia GM), or young talents GM Wesley So or GM Parimarjan Negi, can also have a shot due to only a point difference to the top 10.

Final standings

1 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2625 8

2 GM Zhou Weiqi CHN 2563 8

3 Yu Yangyi CHN 2433 7.5

4 GM Yu Shaoteng CHN 2504 7.5

5 GM Le Quang Liem VIE 2591 7.5

6 GM Antonio Rogelio Jr PHI 2518 7.5

7 GM Hou Yifan CHN 2590 7.5

8 GM Zhou Jianchao CHN 2635 7.5

9 GM Sandipan Chanda IND 2558 7

10 GM Sasikiran Krishnan IND 2682 7

11 GM Kunte Abhijit IND 2513 7

12 GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 2570 7

13 GM Negi Parimarjan IND 2592 7

14 GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2588 7

15 GM Li Shilong CHN 2557 7

16 GM Kazhgaleyev Murtas KAZ 2626 7

17 GM Filippov Anton UZB 2584 7

18 GM Dao Thien Hai VIE 2546 6.5

19 Wan Yunguo CHN 2434 6.5

20 IM Al Sayed Moh Mad N QAT 2496 6.5

21 GM So Wesley PHI 2641 6.5

22 GM Torre Eugenio PHI 2561 6.5

23 Ding Liren CHN 2458 6

24 GM Rahman Ziaur BAN 2523 6

25 GM Iuldachev Saidali UZB 2497 6

26 GM Murshed Niaz BAN 2407 6

27 IM Toufighi Homayoon IRI 2478 6

28 GM Moradiabadi Elshan IRI 2526 6

29 GM Tu Hoang Thong VIE 2506 6

30 Gao Rui CHN 2500 6

31 Pak Evgeniy KAZ 2328 6

32 Gundavaa Bayarsaikhan MGL 2461 6

33 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2482 6

34 GM Laylo Darwin PHI 2509 6

35 GM Al-Modiahki Mohamad QAT 2585 6

36 CM Nguyen Van Huy VIE 2423 6

37 GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan IRI 2593 6

38 GM Wang Rui CHN 2434 6

39 GM Megaranto Susanto INA 2553 6

40 Xiu Deshun CHN 2422 5.5

41 IM Bitoon Richard PHI 2479 5.5

42 IM Harika Dronavalli IND 2474 5.5

43 FM Batchuluun Tsegmed MGL 2391 5.5

44 FM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 2441 5.5

45 GM Mahjoob Morteza IRI 2498 5.5

46 GM Bui Vinh VIE 2522 5.5

47 IM Nolte Rolando PHI 2479 5.5

48 GM Nguyen Anh Dung VIE 2518 5.5

49 GM Hossain Enamul BAN 2531 5.5

50 GM Villamayor Buenaventura PHI 2474 5.5

51 IM Irwanto Sadikin INA 2447 5

52 IM Dimakiling Oliver PHI 2426 5

53 GM Gonzales Jayson PHI 2465 5

54 IM Ashwin Jayaram IND 2413 5

55 IM Sadorra Julio Catalino PHI 2451 5

56 IM Nguyen Thanh Son VIE 2448 5

57 FM Wahono Awam INA 2391 5

58 Zhang Ziyang CHN 2419 5

59 GM Gomez John Paul PHI 2538 5

60 Garma Edgardo PHI 2421 5

61 GM Paragua Mark PHI 2529 5

62 IM Akshayraj Kore IND 2404 5

63 IM Mas Hafizulhelmi MAS 2425 5

64 GM Kim Alexey KOR 2481 5

65 Yang Kaiqi CHN 2413 5

66 Wang Li CHN 2401 4.5

67 Lou Yiping CHN 2410 4.5

68 IM Hassan Abdullah UAE 2322 4.5

69 FM Priyadharshan K IND 2411 4.5

70 Garcia Jan Emmanuel PHI 2292 4.5

71 Yu Lie CHN 2307 4.5

72 FM Novita Anjas INA 2345 4

73 FM Alhuwar Jasem UAE 2293 4

74 FM Abu Sufian Shakil BAN 2378 4

75 Causo Deniel PHI 2367 4

76 FM Hoang Canh Huan VIE 2378 4

77 Jia Haoxiang CHN 2344 4

78 Pascua Haridas PHI 2359 4

79 IM Bancod Ronald PHI 2356 4

80 Olay Edgar Reggie PHI 2348 4

81 CM Nguyen Hoang Nam VIE 2281 4

82 Elorta David PHI 2372 3

83 IM Khamrakulov Dzhurabek UZB 2524 3

84 Chua Aaron MAS 2116 2

85 Celis Solomon B MAC 2007 1

More about the Asian Continental Championship


Forum discussion

Sandipan, Le Quang, and Rahman leading after round 4

Le Quang and Sandipan lead after round 6

Ganguly and Sandipan lead after round 7

Antonio Rogelio leads after round 9


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