Chess: Iranian Prodigy Qaem-Maqami Humbles Vaganian

Iranian Prodigy Qaem-Maqami Humbles Vaganian

Mehr News Agency, Iran
June 21 2004

TEHRAN, June 21 (MNA) – Iranian grand master Ehsan Qaem-Maqami gave
top Armenian player Rafael Vaganian an unforgettable lesson at the
World Chess Federation (FIDE) Championships in Tripoli, capital of
Libya, Monday.

The Iranian phenom checkmated once world No. 3, Vaganian, who stood
top in Russia’s Aeroflot event in 2004.

Maqami found himself in the top 64 players’ list as he beat the
Armenian twice.

Playing with black pieces in his first challenge Sunday, he displayed
unexpected prowess against Vaganian in a queen’s Indian defense after
offering his opponent a draw, which was declined.

“The game was normal for first 18 moves. I offered my opponent draw
but he tried to win and did some bad moves,” said the Iranian genius
after the first match.

He managed to defeat Vaganian in their second fight on June 21.

Morteza Mahjub, Maqami’s teammate, who also emerged victorious in his
first fight and overcame Georgian grand master Zurab Azmaiparashvili,
was booted out of the tournament Monday when he lost the return and
semi-rapid matches.