They play chess at the Asian Games

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
Yesterday the Asian Games were officially opened in Doha, Quatar. The what? Well, we're talking about one of the biggest sport events of the world, which is organised for the 15th time already. The name suspects a kind of Olympic Games for Asian countries and that's what it is: it includes about 40 sports and more than 45 disciplines, among them athletics, archery, golf, wrestling and rugby. And for the first time at the Asian Games they will also play chess.

This is quite special. After all, our noble game is still not accepted at the official Olympic Games. (For a while it seemed to go that way, when Anand and Shirov played a demonstration rapid match in the Olympic Village Sydney, 2000, but afterward the position of the IOC in this matter had not changed.)

The chess activities are organised somewhat strangely: they consist of a combination of rapid and regular chess and there will be individual and team matches. And now it comes: the teams consist of two men and one woman! Still, no less than 22 Asian federations will participate. One of these is Japan, with in the team two high-school boys and one 65 year-old grandmother. This star team will be coached by Miyoko Watai, the life partner of Bobby Fischer. About him, she didn't want to talk too much to the media.

Unfortunately India has to do without Anand. He did want to play the rapid part at first, but according to the regulations he would be obliged to join the regular tournament as well. And it wouldn't be a smart idea to risk your hard-earned rarting points to some low-rated Asian guys, now would it. (Although quite some strong players will walk around there, like Kasimdzhanov, Sashikiran and Bu Xiangzhi.)

Just like at the Olympics, there will be drug gesting at the Asian games, and of course this flared up the doping discussion again. Here in The Netherlands this subject was quite hot a few years ago, when Jan Timman declared he did not want to play a tournament where they do drug testing. His former world championship match opponent Nigel Short agrees with Timman.

If you want chess to be an Olympic sport, you have to accept drug testing. The question whether chess should be an Olympic sport, is another subject.

The chess schedule at the Asian Games:

Men's Rapid Chess

* December 2 - Rounds 1-3 * December 3 - Rounds 4-6 * December 4 - Rounds 7-9

Women's Rapid Chess

* December 2 - Rounds 1-3 * December 3 - Rounds 4-6 * December 4 - Rounds 7-9

Mixed Classical Chess Combined

* December 6 - Round 1 * December 7 - Round 2 * December 8 - Round 3 * December 9 - Round 4 * December 10 - Round 5 * December 11 - Round 6 * December 12 - Round 7 * December 13 - Round 8 * December 14 - Round 9
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