South Korea lift Asia Cup
Orissa set for the ‘debut’
Gangjee to meet Patwardhan for title
Hattrick by Pal
AIFF step towards pro set-up
Christmas gift from Anand
Mumbai Races/ Memories Of You may come good
Mumbai Races/ ‘Noble’ strikes
Calcutta Races/ Track trials

New Delhi, Dec. 24: 
Playing with ruthless efficiency, South Korea showed no charity to their opponents in the final of the men’s Bharat Sanchar Asia Cup tennis today. They overwhelmed Thailand 2-0. Yong-Ill Yoon and Hyung Taik-Lee won both their singles.

South Korea thus became the third nation to annex the Asia Cup. India were champions in 1997 and 1998 and Uzbekistan last year.

The Koreans pocketed the winners cheque worth $25,000. The Indian quartet finishing third had to share $6,500.

Captain Ramesh Krishnan was left to rue two crucial decisions. In their opening league tie against South Korea, he experimented with Nitin Kirtane and Syed Fazaluddin in the doubles. Then in the vital tie against China, Krishnan inexplicably opted for an off-colour Harsh Mankad for the singles tie instead of a confident Fazal.

Even though India won 2-1, Mankad lost his match. If India had won both these matches they could have opposed South Korea in the final.

Justifying his selection, Krishnan said that he wanted to give Mankad a fair deal, in his search for a second singles player for the Davis Cup. This is because Mahesh Bhupathi has decided to opt out of singles.

Mankad today admitted that he had played mostly indoor tennis in USA where he is studying and so struggled to adjust. About not playing Bhupathi in the doubles tie against South Korea, Krishnan said he wanted to rest his key player.

Any hopes of glory, which Thailand may have harboured were demolished in the opening singles. Yoon ranked 151 overwhelmed Attapol Rittiwattanapong (ranked 1126) 6-2, 6-2 in just 59 minutes. Precision passing shots and deep returns by Yoon left Attapol helpless.

As Thailand’s ace player Paradorn Srichaphan is preparing for the Hopman Cup and is unavailable, Attapol got the break. However, Attapol’s serve was broken in the 3rd and 5th games of the first set and the third and seventh games of the second set. He rarely troubled Yoon and surrendered meekly.

Hyung Taik Lee, the only player in this tournament with an ATP ranking below 100 started well against Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke. He broke the Thai’s service at love and held his own.

The Korean saved two breakpoints in the sixth game when Udomchoke had unleashed some good forehand passing winners to unsettle Lee. But a weak lob handed the Korean the crucial point. Lee won the first set 6-4 in 34 minutes.

The second set looked heading for a similar finish but for Udomchoke’s late rally that saw it being decided in the tie-breaker. Lee saved a breakpoint in the eighth game with booming serves.

Udomchoke saved four match points and made Lee tentative and nervous. In the tie-breaker, Lee rushed to the net but was often passed by Udomchoke. The Thai player led 7-6 with a serve in hand on setpoint, but ran out of ideas and lost it 7-9.

Korean captain Won-Hong Joo, described his country’s win as a “pleasant one” despite their controversial decision to throw the rubber against Thailand yesterday to prevent India from entering the final.

“There is no ill feeling among the players. That is what the boys wanted. The Indians would have been 60-40 favourites in front of their home crowd even without Leander Paes in the team,” Joo said.


Men’s final: South Korea bt Thailand 2-0: (Yong-Il Yoon bt Attapol Rittiwattanapong 6-2, 6-2; Hyung-Taik Lee bt Danai Udomchoke 6-4, 7-6 (9-7)).


Bhubaneswar, Dec. 24: 
The senior national and inter-state table tennis championships will be hosted by Orissa for the first time when the 62nd edition of the meet is held in Cuttack from January 5 to 11.

About 500 participants from 29 states, including the newly-formed Jharkhand and Uttaranchal, and two institutions — Petroleum Sports Control Board and Indian Railways — are expected to participate. PSCB are the defending champions in the men’s team event.

S. Raman will be back to defend his isngles title. Chetan Baboor, seeded No. 1, and Arup Basak will pose the real challenge to him.

Mouma Das is the reigning women’s singles champion.

Doordarshan will telecast live the finals of all five individual events.


Calcutta, Dec. 24: 
Rahil Gangjee will meet Jaideep Patwardhan in the final of the Goodricke East India amateur golf meet (matchplay) tomorrow.

In today’s semi-finals, Gangjee edged Anitya Chand in a sudden-death tie-break on the 19th hole. Gangjee, in fact, birdied the crucial 19th to seal a final berth.

The other semi-final between Patwardhan and Vikrant Chopra ended on the 16th hole with the former prevailing 3-2.

Fort William team best

Fort William Polo Club emerged best in the IPA Championship, beating Jindal Steel and Power 8-7 in today’s final at the Pat Williamson ground.

Peter Webb (4), Tarun Sirohi (2), Atul Gupta and J.S. Virk struck for the champions. The Jindal team replied through Samir Suhag (3), Dhruvpal Godara (3) and Angad Kalan.

Cricket tour

The Sunil Gavaskar Foundation For Cricket in Bengal will take a 17-member team to England for a 23-day tour in July. They will play 15 matches against clubs and college teams.

CRICKET: CAB senior division league, final day’s play at variuos grounds.

CRICKET: Jiji Irani Cup: Calcutta vs Jamshedpur (Calcutta Parsee Club); Surat vs Secundrabad (University). Matches from 10 am.

CRICKET: Under-16 school meet: New Alipur Multipurpose vs Jadavpur Bagha Jatin (Kishore Bharati); St Xavier’s vs South Suburban (Tarun Sangha).

GOLF: Goodricke East India (matchplay) meet final at RCGC form 7.15 am.

GYMNASTICS: 46th National School Games events at Srirampur Kalyan Samity from 7 am.


Calcutta, Dec. 24: 
Shyambazar medium-pacer Shib Shankar Pal recorded a hattrick against Customs in the CAB senior division league today. Pal, the Bengal seamer, took five for 70 as Customs were all out for 239.

Manoharpukur Milan Samity’s Siddhartha Lahiri cracked 202 in his team’s 446 for nine against Taltala Institute. Lahiri struck 25 fours and three sixes.


Milan Samity 446/9 (Siddhartha Lahiri 202, Arindam Shome 56 n.o., Naushad Akhtar 46; Jayanta Mukherjee 3/93) vs Taltala Insitute.

Customs 239 (Anushtup Majumdar 64, Rudra Mukherjee 49; Shib Shankar Pal 5/70, Subhomoy Das 3/40) vs Shyambazar.

Netaji Subhas Institute 269/8 (Biswanath Bose 95, Bhaskar Malakar 43; Vishal Yadav 3/71) vs Mohun Bagan.

Ananda Bazar Patrika Sports Club 150 (Ranadeb Bose 4/26). Wari AC 151/3 (Nilanjan Majumdar 51 n.o., Probal Dutta 46). Wari won by 7 wkts.

Mohammedan Sporting 416/8 (Sandeep Rawat 106 n.o., Mohammed Ariz 75, Rakesh Joshi 50; Audrish Banerjee 5/135) vs Sporting Union.

Excelsiors 160 (Samir Kar 41; Nasim Ali 5/49). Belgachia United 71/3.

Port Trust 153 (Amitava Debnath 41, Manoj Roy 3/2, Murtuza Lodhgar 3/52). Kalighat 115/2 (Humza Firozie 65 n.o.).

Dakshin Kalikata Samsad 308/8 (Utkash Goutam 100, Abhijit Bhattacharya 77 n.o.; Arindam Bhattacharya 3/84) vs BNR.

Tripura snatch draw

Tripura managed a commendable draw against Bengal in the Vijay Merchant Trophy at the Eden Garden today. Resuming their second innings at 38 for five after conceding a first-innings lead of 60, the visitors stretched their second innings to 192. Jayabrata Chowdhury made 110. Bengal, needing 133 to win in 30 overs, ended at 92 without loss.

Bengal, however, reached the knockout stage after finishing second behind Orissa on the zonal table. They will meet the second-placed team from South Zone at the Narendrapur Ramkrishna Mission ground from January 1.


Tripura 146 & 192 (Jayabrata Chowdhury 110; Sourav Sarkar 4/37). Bengal 206/4 decl. and 92/0 (Mayukh Biswas 52 n.o., Abhishek Chakraborty 37 n.o.). Match drawn.

SLOBA cricket

Nava Nalanda and St James’ recorded wins in the SLOBA-organised inter-school meet (category B) at St Lawrence ground today.


Nava Nalanda (197/7 in 25 ovs; Suraj Gond 67; Asish Agarwal 3/35) beat Bhowanipur Gujarati Education Society (159 in 22.5 ovs; Sayan Ghosh 2/5) by 38 runs.

St. James’ (133/5 in 20 ovs; Sreyash Dasgupta 57 n.o.) beat St Xavier’s (128/5 in 20 ovs; Sanket Poddar 50) by 5 runs.

Hindu School win

Hindu School beat St Lawrence by eight wickets in the Pepsi Youth cricket meet (u-16) today.


St Lawrence (226 in 38 ovs; Niladitya Sanyal 32, Indranil Sarkar 32; Avijit Mitra 4/24) lost to Hinu School (230/2 in 26.3 ovs; Sandipan Haldar 72, Deepayan Ghosh 53 n.o.) by 8 wkts.

Jiji Irani Cup

Calcutta and Surat posted wins in the 15th Jiji Irani Challenge Cup today.


Calcutta (221/7; D. Mucadam 77, R. Bulsara 55) beat Secundrabad (152/5; S. Patel 57, J. Hormusjee 53 n.o.) by 69 runs.

Surat 333/1 (H. Dumasia 188 n.o., Z. Sethna 102 n.o.) beat Nagpur (89 all out; K. Karanjia 7/18) by 244 runs.


Calcutta, Dec. 24: 
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to appoint four paid functionaries to professionalise the set-up, said its president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi today.

The four paid men will be appointed as administrative secretary, assistant secretary (competition and refereeing), assistant secretary (finance, sponsorship and marketing) and director of coaching.

Former Fifa referee Melvyn D’souza will get the second post, while the fourth is likely to go to Uzbekistan’s Rustom Akhramov.

It was announced that a national soccer policy will be announced on February 1. To draft the policy, a workshop and a seminar will be held here on Janary 11, said the AIFF president.

Das Munshi said the federation is yet to rope in a sponsor for the National League though it was negotiating with a television production house.

He said that Doordarshan is yet to clear last year’s dues because of which the clubs have not been paid. According to him, Doordarshan is expected to pay the amount after January 7.

Rescheduling protested

Das Munshi said that the AIFF has protested the rescheduling of India’s matches in the pre-World Cup. A letter to this effect has been sent to the AFC on December 18, he informed.

According to the original programme, India was to play all its matches between April and May. But following the revised schedule, India will play the first match in April and the last one in July, the AIFF president said. This will severely affect the National League, he said.

In the pre-World Cup, India will play all their home matches here, Das Munshi informed.

Bangla for Millennium Cup

The AIFF president informed that Slovenia and Bangladesh will replace New Zealand and an Asian country in the Millennium Cup beginning January 10. The draw for the meet will be held in Delhi Friday.


Teheran. Dec. 24: 
The Christmas Eve, 7.30 pm IST is a historical moment for India as Viswanathan Anand becomes the World Champion in Chess, a game that has its roots here itself. Thus fulfilling everyone’s wish, we get the 15th World Champion in ‘Vishy’.

After yesterday’s restday Shirov started the 4th game in a very attacking mood, which might not be the correct strategy against Anand at this moment.

Instead of chosing a quiet variation, Shirov replied Anand’s 1.e4 with French Defence. Keeping harmony with all the other games of this Match where either of the players are producing novelties, in this game Shirov made a new move with his Queen on move no. 12. Anand reacted immediately and played a prophylactic knight move, which tempted Shirov to sacrifice material.

Eventually, Shirov could not resist the temptation and gave away his knight for two pawns on the 16th move. Though the resulting position was highly unclear because of Anand’s weak King, but a couple of precise defensive move by Anand turned the game into his favour. Lateron when Anand threatened to exchange off the Queens, Shirov was practically forced to sacrifice another piece for two more pawns. But by that time, black’s position turned out to be so bad that Shirov could as well resign there. However, Shirov continued desparately and started pushing all his pawns on both the wings.

This could not pose any problem to Anand, who consolidated the position move by move and started recovering the pawns. Finally, Shirov resigned on the 41st move.

Hats off to Anand – a very well deserved World Champion’s title! He gave a chanceless blow to Shirov in this totally onesided match.

Game 4

Anand,V (2762) - Shirov,A (2746) [C11]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Nce2 c5 6.f4 Nc6 7.c3 Qb6 8.Nf3 f6 9.a3 Be7 10.h4 0-0 11.Rh3 a5 (In his game against Anand this year Shirov played 11…Na5) 12.b3 Qc7! (A new move.Here normal is 12..Qd8 or 12...a4) 13.Neg1(played instantly by Anand.Here interesting alternative is 13. h5 after which black can try to hold by playing 13…b6 14. g4 cxd4 15. cxd4 fxe5 16. fxe5 Rxf3 17. Rxf3 Bh4+ 18. Kd2 Bg5+ 19. Ke1 Bh4+ 20. Kd2 Bg5+) 13. ...a4 (After 25 minutes’ thought.Idea is to crack the Queen side pawn chain and also to create some room for sacrificing either on d4 or e5 square)) 14.b4 fxe5 15.fxe5 Ndxe5!? (An interesting piece sacrifice .) 16.dxe5 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 Qxe5+ 18.Qe2! Bxh4+ 19.Kd1! (White is clearly better.He forces black to exchange Queens or to retreat and sacrifice another piece for coule of pawns more).19. ...Qf6 (19..Qe4 20.Nf3 Bf6 21.Qe4 de4 22.Nd2 and white wins) 20.Nf3 Qxc3 21.Bb2 Qb3+ 22.Kc1 e5 (Black has no other choice other than giving away the second piece.If 22…Bf6 then 23.Bf6 Rf6 24.Nd2 wins) 23.Rxh4 Bf5 24.Qd1!! (A chanceless blow.After this black can well resign) 24… e4 25.Qxb3 axb3 26.Nd2 e3 27.Nf3 Rae8 28.Kd1 c4 29.Be2 Be4 30.Kc1 Re6 31.Bc3 Rg6 32.Rh2 Bd3 33.Bxd3 cxd3 34.Kb2 d2 35.Kxb3 Rg3 36.Kb2 g5 37.Kc2 Rc8 38.Kd3 g4 39.Be5 Rc1 40.Rh1 Rxg2 41.Nh4 1-0.


Mumbai, Dec. 24: 
Brilliant in her morning work outs, the Don’t Forget Me-Dramatic Irony’s two-year-old debutant, Memories Of You, may win “Daum France” & L’Artiste Crystal Trophy in Mumbai on Monday. C. Rajendra partners the Cooji Katrak-trained two-year-old daughter.


1 pm: Classic Hanovar 1. Kibriya 2, Starlet 3.
1.30 pm: Equity 1. Insatiable 2. Special Crown 3.
2 pm: Current Bay 1. Anna Pavlova 2. Safarando 3.
2.30 pm: Gorgeous Princess 1. Endorsement 2. Soviet Ace 3.
3 pm: Universal Star 1. Waltzing Matilda 2. Full Reason 3.
3.30: Double Up 1. Razana 2. Exhilarating 3.
4 pm: Memories Of You 1. Abbeydoran 2. Roll Of Dice 3.
4.30 pm: Mein Kampf 1. Countach 2. Meringue 3.
5 pm: Jonty’s Pal 1. Abish 2. Meaningful Mare 3.
Day’s best: Current Bay
Double: Gorgeous Princess & Memories Of You

Mumbai, Dec. 24: 
Ridden by R. Hughes, the D. Todywalla trained Simply Noble scored a thrilling win over Allaire in the McDowell Indian 2,000 Guineas in Mumbai on Sunday.


(With inter-state dividends)
1. Eversun Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (2-8-3) Chittor (Chauhan) 1; Authentic 2; Fantasy Royal 3. Won by: 3/4; Nk; (1-16.9). Tote: Win Rs 97; Place: 30; 15; 55; Quinella: 235; Tanala: 9,834. Fav: Mischievous Times (7).
2. Shantidas Askuran Trophy 2,400m: (3-6-4) Knighted (Prakash) 1; Shaktik 2; Fine Arrow 3. Won by: 1/2; 7-1/2; (2-35.9). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 13; 55; Quinella: 145; Tanala: 585. Fav: Knighted (3).
3. Eversun Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (7-10-5) Money Madness (Rajesh) 1; Flirtatious 2; Act Of Trust 3. Won by: 5-1/2; 1-1/4; (1-15.9). Tote: Win Rs 49; Place: 16; 40; 12; Quinella: 621; Tanala: 3,209. Fav: Act Of Trust (5).
4.Allah Rakhkha Trophy 1,200m: (5-6-2) Widl Eagle (Chauhan) 1; Affability 2; Radical Force 3. Won by: Dist; 2-1/2; (1-13.4). Tote: Win Rs 205; Place: 30; 12; 25; Quinella: 105; Tanala: 2,016. Fav: Affability (6).
5. Harrish Mehra Trophy, Div-I 1,400m: (7-1-3) Soviet Run (Shroff) 1; San Vitale 2; Line Of Control 3. Not run: Foreign Connection (4). Won by: 1-1/4; 3-1/2; (1-29.2). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 12; 18; 18; Quinella: 38; Tanala: 145. Fav: Soviet Run (7). (Note: There was a stewards’ inquiry into the running of the race).
6. Hard Held Plate, Div-II 1,600m: (9-4-5) Machrihanish (McCullagh) 1; Fire Girl 2; Torres 3. Won by: 7; SH; (1-40.3). Tote: Win Rs 29; Place: 13; 29; 14; Quinella: 118; Tanala: 582. Fav: Torres (5).
7. Harrish Mehra Trophy, Div-II 1,400m: (8-4-10) Consortium (Ruzaan) 1; Awesome Foursome 2; Bound By Honour 3. Won by: 1/2; 1-3/4; (1-29). Tote: Win Rs 30; Place: 14; 11; 17; Quinella: 35; Tanala: 140.Fav: Awesome Foursome (4).
8. McDowell Indian 2000 Guineas 1,600m: (4-7-6-2) Simply Noble (Hughes) 1; Allaire (Kader) 2; Storm Again (Shroff) 3; Crowning Moment (Lynch) 4. Won by: Nk; 2-3/4; 3-3/4; (1-38.7). Tote: Win Rs 29; Place: 13; 12; 16; Quinella: 22; Tanala: 105. Fav: Allaire (7).
9. Paragon Plate 1,200m: (10-2-6) Attia In Sunlight (Aadesh) 1; Special Happening 2; Golden Dynasty 3. Won by: 3/4; 1-1/4; (1-14.9). Tote: Win Rs 105; Place: 25; 13; 308; Quinella: 142; Tanala: 25,483. Fav: Zillion Figlia (4).
10. Hard Held Plate, Div-I 1,600m: (6-2-7) Venus (McCullagh) 1; Lunar Mist 2; Winnington 3. Won by: 3/4; 2-1/4; (1-41). Tote: Win Rs 90; Place: 34; 38; 18; Quinella: 444; Tanala: 5,536. Fav: Desert Fighter (8).
Jackpot: Rs 38,450; (C) Rs 1,131.
Treble: (i) Rs 3,514; (ii) Rs 93; (iii) Rs 1,949.

Calcutta, Dec. 24: 
The following track-work was noted yesterday:

Outer sand track

2,200m: Earl Grey (Yadav) in 3-0s; (800m) 1-3s; (400m) 31s. Easy.
2,000m: Jeweller (Kader) and Allosaki (A. P. Singh) in 2-28s; (400m) 30s. Former far better. Arendal (C. Alford) and Aloritz (Kader) in 2-24s; (400m) 29s. Former a length better.
1,600m: Alyssum (Kader) and Fame Star (C. Alford) in 1-56s; (400m) 31s. Former far better. Tsaynen Blue (Upadhya) in 1-59s; (400m) 31s. Moved well.
1,400m: Serenader (A. P. Singh) and Auctioneer (Amil) in 1-43s; (400m) 30s. Former better. Armetta (Kader) and Alembic (C. Alford) 1-40s; (400m) 31s. Both level. Athletico (A. P. Singh) in 1-43s; (400m) 29s.Alternator (Kader) in 1-43s; (400m) 31s. Fit.
1,200m: Ansach (Kader) and Alsheim (C. Alford) in 1-25s; (400m) 30s. Both level. Aherlow (Surender) and Alumina (C. Alford) in 1-28s; (400m) 29s. Former better. Annella (Kader) and Annalee (A. P. Singh) in 1-24s; (400m) 30s. Former better. Ancheta (Kader) and Alicyclic (C. Alford) in 1-29s; (400m) 30s. Both level. Airborne (Amil) and Arterial (Surender) in 1-28s; (400m) 32s. Both level. Freedom Dancer (Kader) and Abashed (A. P. Singh) in 1-25s (400m) 30s. Former a length better.
1,000m: Abroach (Kader) and Anolini (C. Alford) in 1-14s; (400m) 30s. Level.
800m: Albright (C. Alford) and Alegria (Kader) in 58s; (400m) 31s. Former far better. Global Harmony (Haroon) and Double Cross (Yacoob) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Both level. Starry Flag (Rabani) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Giorgio (Rb) and Tajik (Khanlander) in 57s; (400m) 30s. Both level. Heaven’s Blessing (Haroon) and Jeypore (Shanker) in 57s; (400m) 30s. Both level. Queen’s Logic (Rabani) in 57s; (400m) 30s. Moved well.

Sand track

1,400: Alvarada (A. P. Singh) and Deep Star (Surender) in 1-47s; (400m) 33s. Former better. Iron Warrior (Rb) in 1-44s; (400m) 30s.
1,200m: Added Asset (Upadhya) in 1-23s; (400m) 27s. Fit. Crimson King (rb) in 1-25s; (400m) 28s.
800m: Current Affair (Rb) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Red Trident (Rutherford) and Royal Ruler (P. Alford) in 53s; (400m) 27s. Both level. Almond Rock (Upadhya) in 53s; (400m) 27s.Handy..

On Friday, outer sand track

1,800m: Altimara (Kader) and Wandering Warrior (Khalander) in 2-11s; (400m) 30s. Former far better..
1,600m: Artwork (Kader) in 1-57s; (400m) 28s. Fit. Desert Force (M. Re-uben) in 2-2s; (400m) 31s. Easy. Alkido (C. Alford) and Lockers Park (Rabani) in 1-58s; (400m) 31s. Former far better.
1,400m: Bank Balance (Upadhya) and Giorgio (Rb) in 1-46s; (400m) 31s.
1,200m: Winning Hand (M. Reuben) and Remember Me (Rb) in 1-27s; (400m) 30s. Both level. Soviet Song (Kader) and Sliver Toy (Rb) in 1-24s; (400m) 29s. Former far better.Aracruz (Kader) in 1-26s; (400m) 28s. Fit. Rescue Act (Rabani) and Alcalde (Kader) in 1-27s; (400m) 31s. Former better.
1,000m: Andestine (C. Alford) in 1-12s; (400m) 28s. Note.
800m: Master Bold (C. Alford) in 57s; (400m) 30s. Easy. Alternator (Kader) in 59s; (400m) 31s.

Sand track

1,200m: Freeatlast (Upadhya) in 1-27s; (400m) 27s. Fencai (M. Reuben) and Aliqa (Rb) in 1-21s; (400m) 27s. . Former better.
800m: Smokey Bear (Rb) in 1-0s; (400m) 31s. No Surrender (M. Reu-ben) in 53s; (400m) 26s. Fit. Beau Bruno (Upadhya) in 53s; (400m) 26s.

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