Lần đầu tiên môn cờ vua được đưa vào chương trình thi đấu chính thức tại Đại hội thể thao châu Á. Giải được tổ chức tại Doha, Qater từ ngày 1/12 đến 15/12/2006 gồm 3 nội dung: cờ nhanh cá nhân nam, cá nhân nữ và đồng đội nam nữ phối hợp. Đội Việt Nam gồm Đào Thiên Hải, Nguyễn Anh Dũng và Nguyễn Thị Thanh An. Đào Thiên Hải đã xuất sắc giành huy chương bạc cá nhân nam cờ nhanh.
Chess was officially included as a medal sport in the Asian Games, 1-15 December 2006 in Doha, Qatar. Three gold medals were at stake for a Rapid Chess Individual Competition for Men and for Women, and for the Mixed Team Championship in the standard time control.
Being part of the Games meant that participating chess teams were fully funded by their National Olympic Committees. Chess gained high profile in the extensive media coverage of the Games around Asia and chess players were candidates for financial bonuses and endorsement deals should they win medals for their countries.Twenty-one countries signed up with two men and one woman who would play in both the Individual Competitions and in the Mixed Team Competition.
The first event was individual competition with Rapid Chess. In the men’s division, Murtas Kazhgaleyev of Kazakhstan, sixth seed behind the Indians and Chinese, was among the leaders throughout. In the final round he beat top seed Krishnan Sasikiran to earn the gold with 7.5 points followed by GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam and GM Bu Xiangzhi of China at 7 points each for silver and bronze, respectively.
In the women’s division top seed was Humpy Koneru of India, in her last year as the highest rated U20 girl in the FIDE rating list. She romped through the first five rounds beating second seed, former women’s world champion Zhu Chen, in the fifth round. After an upset in round six at the hands of third seed Chinese Zhao Xue, Koneru won all three remaining games to win the gold with 8 points, followed by Zhao Xue with 7.5 for silver and Zhu Chen with 6 points for bronze.
The second event was the team competition. Men played on the first two boards, women played each other on board three. There were no reserves. India began with a 2.5:0.5 onslaught against Mongolia, blanked Turkmenistan. 3:0, edged Qatar 2:1 and crushed Vietnam 2.5:0.5. Everyone pinned their hopes on China to stop the Indian juggernaut in round five. Instead India shocked China, blanking the Olympiad runners-up 3:0. India followed up with another 3:0 shutout over Uzbekistan’s former world champion Rustam Kasimjanov and GM Aexei Barsov. India did not rest there and continued to smash Iran and Indonesia by similar 2.5:0.5 slates. Only Kazakhstan in the last round managed to hold India to a 1.5-all draw.
In the homestretch focus shifted to the race for silver and bronze. A nine round Swiss for only 21 teams results in almost a round robin among the top teams. Nothing was clear going into the last round as seven teams had chances. China with 15.5 was ahead, but close behind were Qatar with 15, Kazakhstan with 14.5 and four teams tied at 13.5 points each.
China beat Bangladesh 2:1 on the strength of Zhao Xue over an outclassed Akter Shamima as the two GM’s drew to clinch silver with 17.5 points. Kazakhstan’s draw with India put them in contention with 16 points. Iran saw their chance as GM Elshan Moradabiadi won a lucky game against Mohamd Al Sayed of Qatar. The loss seemed to bother Zhu Chen who fell victim to a combination by Atousa Pourkashian. Only one game was left between Ehsan Ghaem Maghami and Mohamad Al-Modiahki. Ghaem pressed their Bishop and pawn endgame to beat Qatar 3:0 for bronze.
Final team rankings
Individual Men's Rapid Chess
Women's Rapid Individual
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