Wei Yi Wins Asian Continental Championship
Wei Yi wins the Asian Continental. | Photo: Peter Long/Facebook.

Wei Yi Wins Asian Continental Championship

Rakesh
IM Rakesh
|
64 | Chess Event Coverage

Wei Yi scored one of the biggest wins of his individual career by winning the Asian Continental Championship in Makati, Philippines.

Wei scored 6.5/9, and won five more Elo points to reach a rating of 2732. He qualified for the 2019 World Cup together with GMs Amin Tabatabaei, Le Quang Liem, Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son.

Unlike the European Championship or American Continental, the Asian Continental is a nine-round Swiss that is first a way for players to qualify for the FIDE World Cup. But whereas 23 players qualified from the European Championship, there were just five places up for grabs in Makati.

The tournament was held December 10-18 (nine days of single rounds) in the Tiara Oriental Hotel in Makati, a city in the Philippines' Metro Manila region. Overall, 64 players participated from the Philippines (20), China (11), India (8), Indonesia (5), Iran (4), Vietnam (4), Uzbekistan (3), Kazakhstan (2), Mongolia (2), Cambodia (1), Guam (1), Malaysia (1), New Zealand (1) and Chinese Taipei (1), including 28 grandmasters.    

The tournament ran into some problems even before it began as some Indian GMs reported they were attacked by local criminals about 250 meters from the official hotel, which was also not up to the mark as the Indian GM Vidit Gujrathi wrote.

On Facebook, he noted that he "had to pay 150 USD for a room which actually costs 35-50 dollars as per the hotel and other websites" and which had no internet, no drinking water and "awful" food.

Vidit described what happened soon after arrival:

"Me & my colleagues Abhijit Kunte and Lalith Babu went outside to buy water, but then the most unexpected incident happened. We were attacked by local goons who possesed weapons. We were cornered and then attacked. We tried to flee but we were chased and finally marginally escaped. We are still trying to recover from this horrible incident."

The tournament had an explosive start when in round one the third seed Le Quang Liem refused a repetition to go astray and lose after his local opponent found a brilliant idea to win in typical Puzzle Rush style!

Wei Yi was always lurking around the lead and never let anyone pull away more than half a point than him. He kept scoring wins in between, especially against fellow prodigies.


Looking to bounce back from his disastrous Tata Steel Chess India performance, the Indian GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly shot into sole lead when he defeated his compatriot GM S.P. Sethuraman in round five. He maintained his lead until the penultimate round, when Wei Yi managed another win against an even younger prodigy: 


In the last round, Wei Yi drew Iranian GM Tabatabaei on board one, while co-leader GM Ganguly lost to the Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem. Tiebreaks were checked and Wei Yi was crowned champion, giving him his first Asian senior title and one of his biggest individual achievements.

2018 Asian Continental | Final Standings (Top 11)

Rk. SNo Fed Name RtgI Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4 Rp rtg+/-
1 2 Wei Yi 2728 6.5 0 2603 47.5 52 2764 4.8
2 15 Tabatabaei M.Amin 2587 6.5 0 2540 42.5 46 2707 14.7
3 3 Le Quang Liem 2714 6.5 0 2525 41 44.5 2694 -0.1
4 11 Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2621 6 0 2652 47.5 52 2760 17
5 9 Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 2641 6 0 2573 42 45.5 2688 6.3
6 17 Abdusattorov Nodirbek 2546 6 0 2570 43 46.5 2685 17.1
7 6 Maghsoodloo Parham 2688 6 0 2566 45.5 50 2680 0.4
8 21 Lalith Babu M R 2529 6 0 2558 42.5 46.5 2675 17.6
9 8 Sethuraman S P 2664 6 0 2553 45.5 50 2674 1.4
10 5 Adhiban Baskaran 2695 6 0 2524 39.5 43.5 2642 -5.6
11 4 Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2701 6 0 2512 42 45.5 2620 -5.7

(Full final standings here)

The five qualifiers to the 2019 World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Left-right: fifth Ngoc Truong Son, third Le Quang, first Wei, second Tabatabaei, fourth Ganguly. | Photo: Genghis Imperial/Facebook.

Alongside the open, the Asian Continental Championships for women was also held. This event had 38 players from 11 countries including 32 titled players.

Unlike the open section, we had a leader who pretty much led from start to finish. WGM and IM Padmini Rout of India showed her class to win the tournament with ease. She had a flying start scoring 5.5/6 and then consolidated with three draws at the end. 

Here are two of her best wins from the event.


In round six, Padmini played Singaporean WGM Gong Qianyun with whom she jointly won this title. This win mattered more in the end as it gave Padmini the better tiebreak (direct encounter) over her opponent.

2018 Asian Continental Women | Final Standings (Top 11)
Rk. SNo Fed Title Name RtgI Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4 Rp rtg+/-
1 8 IM Padmini Rout 2345 7 1 2316 46.5 49.5 2522 20.2
2 10 WGM Gong Qianyun 2312 7 0 2268 45.5 48.5 2476 37.8
3 6 IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen 2363 6.5 0 2289 46 49.5 2451 10.5
4 1 WIM Zhu Jiner 2409 6 0 2329 46 50 2443 8.2
5 14 WFM Munkhzul Turmunkh 2255 5.5 0 2353 46.5 51 2393 70
6 15 Ning Kaiyu 2247 5.5 0 2241 40 43 2307 16.6
7 7 WGM Vo Thi Kim Phung 2352 5.5 0 2240 42 44.5 2310 -3.2
8 19 WFM Li Yunshan 2196 5.5 0 2238 41 41 2233 50
9 4 WGM Wang Jue 2367 5.5 0 2214 43.5 47 2287 -8.3
10 5 WGM Aulia Medina Warda 2366 5.5 0 2213 40.5 44 2301 -6.9
11 12 WIM Nandhidhaa PV 2267 5.5 0 2188 35 39 2260 1.2
(Full final standings here.)

IM Padmini Rout receiving the title from Asia's first grandmaster Eugenio Torre of Philippines. | Photo: Genghis Imperial/Facebook.

 The Asian Chess Federation media officer Peter Long also shared IM Padmini's preparation ritual of using Chess.com's latest feature: Puzzle Rush. She also shared and explained this to GM Torre!

GM Torre trying out Puzzle Rush after recommended by IM Padmini. | Photo: Peter Long/Facebook.

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