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Chess in China

9/18/2003 – This week, if you are looking for chess, you should definitely turn eastwards. China has been staging a plethora of tournaments and matches, with national and international stars. We bring you an extensive report of four events, provided by our China correspondent Fang Zhang, with games, links and pictures.
 

Kings and Queens

The Kings and Queens rapid chess tournament in Yong Chuan, China, was won by the tandem pair of Nigel Short and Zhao Xue, who took the title a full point ahead of their nearest rivals, Yasser Seirawan and Zhu Chen.


Back: Nigel Short, Yasser Seirawan, Evgeny Bareev, Ye Jiangchuan
Front: Zhao Xue, Xie Jun, Zhu Chen, Xu Yuhua


Zhao Xue and Nigel Short analyse (during the game that was not allowed)


Nigel Short is analysing with Xie Jun, while (left to right) Engeny Bareev,
Yasser Seirawan, Zhao Xue look on with interest


Nigel Short and Evgeny Bareev talking after the games


The Si Chuan Opera Show at the closing ceremony

Three Arrows Cup

After the tandem chess matches the players flew to Ji Nan to play normal chess in the Three Arrows Cup. The first round brought the following results:

Ye Jiangchuan Xu Yuhua 1/2
Engeny Bareev Zhao Xue 1-0
Xie Jun Nigel Short 1-0
Zhu Chen Yasser Seirawan 1/2


Playing cards while waiting for the flight Chong Qing to Ji Nan, which was delayed for four hours.


Yasser at the President Office of sponsor, the Shan Dong San Jian Group


Zhu Chen and Yasser Seirswan – the partners became rivals

John Henderson of The Scotsman reports that the present mini tour of China also sadly marks the retirement from tournament play of one of the game's greatest ambassadors, former U.S. Champion Yasser Seirawan. In 1979, "Yaz" won the World Junior title and for many years thereafter was the top-rated American on the world chess scene, and the first since Bobby Fischer to reach the Candidates cycle. He won three U.S. Championship titles, was a powerhouse for the U.S. team in 10 Olympiads and was one of the few players to defeat both Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov while they were in their prime as world champions.

Yet, despite his distinguished career as a player, he'll perhaps be best remembered as being the architect of the Prague Agreement – a deal which so nearly brought unity and sanity to the oft-fragmented chess world. The sadness of his retirement at the early age of 43 is only tempered by the fact that he is likely to devote more time and resources to his unique skills off the board as a diplomat and chess promoter.

Beijing Chess Challenge Match

From September 21 – 24 there will be a Beijing Chess Challenge Match in the China Resources Hotel, Beijing. The Match is organized by Chinese Chess Association. It pits an international team of players against two Chinese teams.

International Team players:
Engeny Bareev g RUS 2721
Nigel Short g ENG 2701
Yasser Seirwan g USA 2626

Chinese Team A players:
Ye Jiangchuan g 2683
Zhang Zhong g 2658
Xu Jun g 2626

Chinese Team B players:
Bu Xiangzhi g 2588
Zhang Pengxiang g 2567
Ni Hua f 2533

Schedule:
September 22th: International Team vs Chinese team A
September 23th: International Team vs Chinese Team B

Judit Polgar vs Bu Xiangzhi

The world's strongest female player (by far, and in the history of the game) Judit Polgar also spent some quality time visiting China.

Judit played two simutaneous exhibitions in Shanghai and Wuxi, with convincing +31=7-2 and +29=5-2 results. She also played a six-game blitz match against GM Bu Xiangzhi, winning it by a big margin of 5:1. After that Judit spent some days visiting Beijing as a tourist with her husband. The Chinese newspapers were full of her visit.


Young Chinese GM Bu Xiangzhi

Links

These are the two main Chinese chess websites (both in Chinese). We are indebted to Fang Zhang of Belgium for providing much of the information contained in the report above.

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