2nd China-India Summit: China takes lead

by Priyadarshan Banjan
3/7/2017 – The 2nd China - India Summit is currently underway in China. It is a four-round Scheveningen event where four players from India play against four from China. Team India team consists of Ganguly, Sethuraman, Abhijeet Gupta and Karthikeyan Murali, while Team China has Wei Yi, Bu Xiangzhi, Lu Shanglei and Zhou Jianchao. After three rounds, China leads 7.5-4.5. Here is the illustrated report.

Round one

The Chinese have a strong line-up starting with the prodigy Wei Yi (2725) and Bu Xiangzhi (2711) followed by Lu Shanglei (2624) and Zhao Jianchao (2619). Team India is represented by S.S. Ganguly (2644), S.P. Sethuraman (2629), Abhijeet Gupta (2627), Karthikeyan Murali (2578).

The games begin

The Indian champion Karthikeyan Murali won the only decisive game in round one. He had no problems to equalize with black after his opponent... 

...Zhao Jianchao decided to open with a sideline with white against the Kings Indian.

Zhao Jianchao vs Karthikeyan Murali

[Event "2nd CHN-IND Summit 2017"] [Site "Liaocheng"] [Date "2017.03.05"] [Round "1.4"] [White "Zhou, Jianchao"] [Black "Karthikeyan, Murali"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E97"] [WhiteElo "2619"] [BlackElo "2578"] [PlyCount "64"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bd2 {LiveBook: 4 Games} c5 $146 {9 E7: King's Indian: Classical Main Line (6...e5 7 0-0 Nc6): 8 Be3 and 8 d5 Ne7, not 9 Ne1} (10... Ne8 11. Qc1 Kh7 12. Qc2 f5 13. exf5 gxf5 14. g3 c6 15. Nh4 b5 16. a3 bxc4 17. Bxc4 Bb7 18. dxc6 Bxc6 {0-1 (75) Ernst,S (2535)-Van Foreest,J (2601) Amsterdam 2016}) 11. Ne1 Nh7 12. Qc1 g5 {White is slightly better.} 13. Bd3 f5 14. exf5 Bxf5 15. f3 Qd7 16. Qb1 Nf6 17. g4 $2 {[#]} (17. Ne4 $11) 17... e4 $1 $17 18. Bc2 {[#]} (18. Nxe4 {is no better.} Nxg4 19. fxg4 Bxe4 20. Bxe4 Bd4+ 21. Kg2 Qxg4+) (18. gxf5 exd3 19. Qxd3 Nxf5 20. Ne2 Nh4 $19) 18... Bxg4 $1 19. Nxe4 ({ Taking with} 19. fxg4 $2 {would be a mistake because of} Nxg4 20. Ng2 Bd4+ 21. Kh1 Rxf1+ 22. Qxf1 Rf8 23. Qxf8+ Kxf8 $19) 19... Nxe4 20. Bxe4 Bf5 21. Ng2 Rae8 22. f4 Bxe4 $19 23. Qxe4 Nf5 24. Qd3 Bxb2 25. Rae1 g4 26. Kh1 Bd4 27. Re2 Qf7 28. Rfe1 $2 (28. Rxe8 Rxe8 29. Bc3) 28... Rxe2 29. Rxe2 b5 $1 30. Re6 ({ The point is that after} 30. cxb5 Qh5 31. Be1 {Black now has} c4 32. Qe4 (32. Qa3 g3 33. Bxg3 Qxe2) 32... g3 {and White has no defense.}) 30... bxc4 31. Qxc4 Qh5 32. Qd3 g3 0-1

Lu Shanglei tried to put pressure on...

 ...Abhijeet Gupta but had to settle for a draw.

Although he had the black pieces, many people would bet on Wei Yi pressing for a win, which is precisely what he did as he won a pawn against...

... Sethuraman, but the Indian held fast and saved the half point.

Designer cookies at the venue

Round two

India-China Match 02: India lose twice with white Since this is a four-round Scheveningen match, each Indian player was playing each Chinese player. Before the round began, India's best bet to win the round depended on Abhijeet Gupta and Karthikeyan Murali. Both the grandmasters had the white pieces against Zhou Jiangchao and Lu Shanglei.  

Surya Shekhar Ganguly was defending with the black pieces, which in itself is an onerous task. S.P. Sethuraman was black against Bu Xiangzhi. On paper, India could not have expected more than two draws on these two boards, against 2700 opposition.

Zhou Jiangchao had suffered a quick defeat against Karthikeyan Murali in the first round, but in the second round, he came out of the corner with fists swinging, and connected with Abhijeet Gupta as he sent him out for the count.

Jiangchao shares a light moment with Wei Yi, who could only draw his game against Ganguly

The other winner of the day was Lu Shanglei, who defeated Karthikeyan with the black pieces. Shanglei was in control early in the game, but an inaccurate move 31 nearly cost him his win. Luckily for the Chinese player, his Indian opponent missed it, and he brought home the bacon.

Round three

The third round was depressing for Indian fans on all accounts. China was leading the match 4.5-3.5, and they desperately needed their white players to score in order to try to recover their balance. To emphaszie the need, they had to contend with the phenomenal Wei Yi, Chinese champion, who had white against the Indian champion Karthikeyan Murali. Karthikeyan is unquestionably a talented player the Chinese prodigy is still in an altogether different orbit.

Wei Yi delivered for his team

Karthikeyan defended with a Sicilian Taimanov, probably not the best choice to defend against the frighteningly tactical Chinese wonderboy. With the aggressive 14.e5, Wei Yi took over the initiative but the big mistake came later on when Karthikeyan played 25...Bc6. Wei Yi won.  

Wei Yi vs Karthikeyan Murali

[Event "2nd CHN-IND Summit 2017"] [Site "Liaocheng"] [Date "2017.03.07"] [Round "3"] [White "Wei, Yi"] [Black "Karthikeyan, Murali"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B49"] [WhiteElo "2725"] [BlackElo "2578"] [Annotator "TA"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 a6 4. Be2 Nc6 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Qc7 7. O-O Nf6 8. Be3 Bb4 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Qd4 c5 11. Qc4 O-O {7 B49: Sicilian: Taimanov: 5 Nc3 Qc 6 Be3 a6 7 Be2} 12. Na4 {LiveBook: 3 Games} d6 13. a3 $146 (13. e5 d5 14. Qf4 Nd7 15. c3 Ba5 16. b4 Bb6 17. Nxb6 Qxb6 18. Bd3 Qc7 19. Qh4 {1-0 (40) Sadzikowski,D (2551)-Neiksans,A (2614) Warsaw 2016}) 13... Bd7 (13... Ba5 $142) 14. e5 $1 $16 Bb5 (14... dxe5 $2 {would be a serious mistake in view of} 15. axb4 (15. Nxc5 Bb5 16. Qxb4 Bxe2 $11) 15... Rfc8 16. Qb3 Bxa4 17. Rxa4 $18) 15. Qh4 dxe5 ({Not} 15... Bxe2 $2 16. exf6 (16. axb4 Nd5 17. exd6 Qxd6 $16) 16... Qd8 17. axb4 $18) 16. axb4 {Strongly threatening Bxb5.} Bxe2 17. Rfe1 Bb5 18. Nxc5 Nd7 19. c4 Bc6 20. Nxa6 Qb7 21. Qg3 $1 f5 {White must now prevent ...f4.} 22. Nc5 $1 $40 {Something is going down now.} Qxb4 23. Nxe6 (23. Bh6 $142 Rf7 24. Nxe6) 23... Rf7 {aiming for ...Rxa1.} 24. Rxa8+ (24. Bh6 $1 $16 {And now Rxa8+ would win.} g6 25. Rxa8+ Bxa8 26. Rd1) 24... Bxa8 $14 25. Ra1 Bc6 $2 {[#] } (25... Be4 $14) 26. Bh6 $1 $18 Qxb2 {[#]} 27. Rf1 $1 e4 28. Nd8 $1 Rf8 $2 ( 28... f4 {is tougher.} 29. Qg5 e3 30. Nxf7 exf2+ 31. Rxf2 Qa1+ 32. Rf1 Qd4+ 33. Kh1 f3 34. gxf3 Kxf7 35. Qf4+ Qxf4 36. Bxf4 Nb6) 29. Nxc6 {White is clearly winning.} Qf6 30. Qc7 Nc5 31. Ne7+ 1-0

Sethuraman played an Italian opening and Zhou Jianchao opted for a controversial plan with black involving ...h6, ...g5, after castling on the kingside. Sethuraman attacked on both wings, won Black's queen, and bagged the point.

Sethuraman vs Zhou Jianchao

[Event "2nd CHN-IND Summit 2017"] [Site "Liaocheng"] [Date "2017.03.07"] [Round "3"] [White "Sethuraman, S P."] [Black "Zhou, Jianchao"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2629"] [BlackElo "2619"] [Annotator "TA"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. a4 {C50: Hungarian Defence and Giuoco Pianissimo} (5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 Be7 7. Bg3 d6 8. a4 O-O 9. O-O Kh8 10. c3 Nh7 11. Nbd2 f5 12. exf5 Bxf5 13. a5 a6 14. Re1 {1/2-1/2 (22) Tomashevsky,E (2711)-Aronian,L (2785) Sharjah 2017}) 5... d6 6. c3 a6 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 { LiveBook: 7 Games} g5 9. Bg3 $1 Ba7 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. O-O Kg7 12. b4 $146 (12. Re1 Nh7 13. Nf1 f5 14. exf5 Bxf5 15. d4 exd4 16. Nxd4 Nxd4 17. cxd4 {1/2-1/2 (53) Drori,S (2318)-Roiz,M (2608) Tiberias 2016}) 12... g4 13. Bh4 (13. Nh4 $11 ) 13... Ne7 $2 {Black started this adventurous h6-g5-g4 plan. Now wasn't the time to start getting cold feet.} ({Black should try} 13... gxf3 $15 14. Qxf3 Nb8 15. Qg3+ Kh8) 14. Bxf6+ $1 $14 Kxf6 15. Nh4 Kg7 16. Kh1 d5 (16... h5 $11) 17. Bb3 dxe4 18. dxe4 Ng8 {[#]} (18... Kh8 $14) 19. g3 ({White had to play} 19. Nf5+ $1 $16 Kh8 20. f3) 19... Qd3 $1 $11 20. Qe1 Rd8 $2 (20... Be6 $11) 21. Nc4 $18 Be6 22. Rd1 Qxd1 (22... Bxc4 $142 23. Rxd3 Bxd3) 23. Bxd1 Bxc4 24. Nf5+ ({ But not} 24. Bxg4 Nf6 $18) 24... Kh7 25. Be2 Be6 26. Bxg4 Nf6 27. Qe2 Nxe4 $2 28. Ne7 1-0

It was still possible for India to win the round had Ganguly beaten Lu Shanglei

Ganguly was well on his way to a nice victory with white in a Symmetrical English. With 32. f4-Ng5- f5, Ganguly hit on the right plan. But on move 38, the Indian went wrong allowing Black to equalize. Then, further mistakes around move 40 allowed Shanglei to promote his passed e-pawn and even win the game!

There was no respite and Bu Xiangzhi defetaed Abhijeet Gupta

With this China takes a nearly insurmountable 7.5 - 4.5 lead with one round to go. India needs at least a 3.5 - 0.5 result in round four to draw the match.


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 14 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Priyadarshan Banjan is a 23-year-old club player from India. He works as an editor for ChessBase News and ChessBase India. He is a chess fanatic and an avid fan of Vishy Anand. He also maintains a blog on a variety of topics.
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benedictralph benedictralph 3/8/2017 09:31
They say East Asians (orientals) have the highest IQs in the world, on average.

Enpris Enpris 3/8/2017 01:42
Good piece on the India vs China
koko48 koko48 3/8/2017 04:01
In Zhou v Karthikeyan, hard to believe 10...c5 is really a novelty
raghavbalaji raghavbalaji 3/8/2017 05:26
Earlier with replaying the moves on board we were able to read the commentary below... This helped in analysing the game as well as enjoying it. Now if notation is given separately and if selected there is no way to see the board... This is totally waste
also replaying the moves on board without notation is totally lifeless..
Please keep notation below the board
anotherone anotherone 3/8/2017 06:24
These boys do really know what chess is.
vishyvishy vishyvishy 3/9/2017 04:44
I wish Chithambaram Vr Aravindh had played ... atleast on 4th board