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Zonal 3.1 – Doha 2013: the strongest zonal 3.1 ever!

Round 1: Fadi hold Ghaem Maghami, Maya lost to Ghader

In the Zonal 3.1 Men section, 14 players from 10 different federations took part. Several features distinguish this section. First of all, just 3 players have no title! This means that 5 Grand-Masters, 3 International Masters and 3 Fide Masters are fighting to win the prestigious title.  Most probably this is the strongest zonal 3.1 ever! Another feature is that the high possibility of obtaining IM and GM norms. But the feature that distinguishes most the event is the participation of a KSA player! The participation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the zonal is a strong plus, not only for Asia, but for the Arab Chess Federation as well.

No.   Name FED Rtg
1 GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan  IRI 2568
2 GM Al-Modiahki Mohamad  QAT 2550
3 GM Darini Pouria  IRI 2530
4 GM Al-Sayed Mohammed  QAT 2502
5 GM Golizadeh Asghar  IRI 2486
6 IM Nezad Husein Aziz  QAT 2410
7 IM Khader Sami  JOR 2374
8 IM Eid Fadi  LIB 2364
9 FM Ahmed Ali Layth Ahmed  IRQ 2319
10 FM Alhuwar Jasem  UAE 2268
11 FM Faraj Yahya  YEM 2264
12   Al-Hajiri Bader  KUW 2019
13   Al Ghamdi , Ahmed M   KSA 0
14   Tamra Attallah  PLE 2080

In the Women section, 10 participants are taking part from 7 different federations: One GM! (Zhu Chen (X-Women World champion, and the wife of the Qatari GM Mohammad El-modiahki), 4 WIMs, and 2 WFMs. It seems also that a tough battle will take part among the participants in order to win the title. Due to the limited number of participants in this section, the Round-Robin system was adopted for pairing purposes, while a 9-rounds-swiss system was used in the Men section.

No.   Name FED Rtg
4 GM Zhu Chen  QAT 2491
9 WIM Ghader Pour Shayesteh  IRI 2242
5 WIM Hejazipour Mitra  IRI 2236
7 WIM Dahdal Lougain  JOR 1972
2 WFM Jalloul Maya M.  LIB 1962
1 WIM Saleh Nora Mohd  UAE 1892
8 WFM Al-Khelaifi Salama  QAT 1810
3   Al-Khelaifi Aisha  QAT 1681
6   AL-Ramadan Nadya  KUW 0
10   Faqeeh Aseel  PLE 0

It is worth noting that the winner of the Men section will be qualified for the next World Cup Championship, while the winner of the women section will be qualified for the Women World Championship! WOW!!

Let’s go back now to the round 1 games, especially of IM Fadi Eid and WFM Maya Jalloul.

Fadi, seeded 8th (!!) in the championship, was facing with the Black pieces the seeded and Iranian No.1 GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami! One would think that it will be a formality for the White player to win over his opponent who has more than 200 Elo points less than his.  But as the game progressed, a lot of signs began to flash from the board, indicating that a surprise is on the verge to appear. After 76 moves, Ehsan couldn’t but to accept the inevitable: splitting the point with Fadi, who proved that double-isolated pawns supported with a defensive knight can say something to the opponent strong bishop, allied with a better pawn structure, space and dazzling king.

While Fadi was holding firm his position, Maya couldn’t manage to put her head above the complications of her game with the Iranian WIM Ghader Pour Shayesteh. I was personally surprised by Maya’s choice of opening, the Queen’s gambit after transposition from the English, as I was expecting 1.e4 from her part. Her opponent profited to the maximum from the imprecise opening moves of Maya, who tried to seek salvation by sacrificing the exchange, but in vain. Tomorrow is another day.

Click here to download the available games.

(Time control: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with 30 seconds added per move)

(Please hold yourself when scrolling down  the moves of the 10th game in the file.)

Last round of Zonal 3.1 – Doha 2013

A victorious round for the Lebanese players I wished that every zonal round result would be like this one, but what can we do?! That’s life. I am sure that, after you, dear reader, downloaded then scrolled the games’ moves, you would wish the same. A spectacular miniature played by Fadi, as White, against his …

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Round 2 of 3.1 Zonal – Doha 2013

A bad day for the Lebanese players During a game, a lot of things could occur in the player’s mind, but it is the first time I see Fadi play so defensibly and slowly in the opening. Adopting the King’s Indian Attack against the Caro-Kann of the Iraqi FM Ali Layth was may be a …

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Round 3 of Zone 3.1 – Doha 2013

Fadi and Maya opened their account! And that what we expected in this round encounters, as both Fadi and Maya are back now to the race. While Maya won easily over her Palestinian unrated opponent Aseel Faqeeh, Fadi , on the other hand, playing with the black pieces, was facing a tough middle game against …

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Round 4 of Zonal 3.1 – Doha 2013

Maya won, Fadi drew masterly with GM El-Modiahki Maya did it again (I told you!) and over her Qatari opponent Aisha Al-Khelaifi. In adopting the English opening, Maya was relying on her better understanding of the middle-game positions that could arose from this Sicilian-reverse opening. After some ups and downs, she succeeded in invading with …

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Round 5 of Zonal 3.1 – Doha 2013

Fadi drew, Maya lost to the X-World Champion  Round 5 is a special round, as it stands between the 2 halves of the zonal. Fadi, playing White against the Jordanian IM Sami Khodr Safarini, ,chose the Scotch Opening, and especially a variation that leads, after a couple of spectacular sacrifices, to a draw by perpetual …

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Round 6 of Zonal 3.1 – Doha 2013

A bad round for the Lebanese players   This is the least of what I can say about my impression of the play of the Lebanese players. Maya, facing with the White pieces the Iranian WIM Mitra Hejazipour, adopted again (??) the English opening. After some 14 moves or so, they reached a middle game …

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Round 7 of Zonal 3.1 – Doha 2013

Maya won, Fadi drew Dear readers, I am sorry that I can’t comment on Fadi’s game against the Yemeni FM Yehya Faraj, as it wasn’t transmitted live, nor uploaded. But Maya’s win with the black pieces over the Kuwaiti Nadyan Al-Ramadan was somewhat expected, as the later now has seven zeros (!!) in a row. …

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Round 8 of Zonal 3.1 – Doha 2013

Fadi drew, Maya lost It wasn’t just a draw, but a great fighting game. Fadi, playing White against the leader of the zonal, the Iranian GM Pouria Darini, was faced with the topical theoretical Najdorf variation of the Open Sicilian (May I add the Topalov line [the h5 push] in the Najdorf !!). A typical …

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