2012 Chinese Championship – Ding Liren completes hat trick
2012 China Chess Individual Championships take place from 26th March to 7th April 2012 in Xinghua, Jiangsu Province, China. The top eight qualifiers will play for China Chess Championship 2013. The last four players will play China Chess Championship 2013 Group B. It is eleven rounds at 90 minutes for the whole game with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.
Only 19 years old, and Ding Liren is already three-time Chinese champion
With three rounds to spare, Ding Liren was in the lead, and his only real rival was 17-year-old Yu Yangyi, whom he faced in round nine. Though played out, with tactical finesses rampant, sometimes making one think of engine games, the pieces eventually came off and a correct draw was the result. 19-year-old Liren drew his final games for 8.0/11, which was enough to secure the title after Yangyi pressed too hard in the last round and ultimately lost, though he took silver. In third was three-time champion Ni Hua.
For 19-year-old Ding Liren, the youngest champion in Chinese history, winning the title for the first time in 2009 at age 16, it is his third title, making him also the youngest player to achieve a hat trick.
A select ending annotated by GM Karsten Mueller
Wang Yue was in irregular form and unable to show his full strength, while Hou Yifan also had trouble against her compatriots. The one question that was never answered, was why top Chinese player Wang Hao was missing from the lineup.
Final men's standings after eleven rounds
In the women's championship, both WGM Huang Qian and WGM Zhang Xiaowen confirmed their earlier lead and took the championship, though the last three rounds did ntot suffice to choose a clear winner. Huang Qian took gold on tiebreak, and earned a spot on the national team for the upcoming Olympiads.
WGM Huang Qian completed her excellent campaign, and was undefeated
Final women's standings after eleven rounds
As can be seen, it was a hard fought event with roughly half the games ending with decisive results.