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Seventh China-Russia match: Chinese beat Russians in slow games

8/10/2010 – The fifth and last round of slow games of the 7th China-Russia match ended in the strong victory for the Chinese. Led by captain Ni Hua, the men won convincingly, never losing a round, with Bu Xiangzhi scoring an incredible 2928 performance. Ju Wenjun led the women with a 2693 performance. Tomorrow comes the rapid games leg of the match. Here is the report for rounds four and five.
 

The 7th China vs Russia Chess Match is taking place from August 4th-15th, 2010 in Yinzhou, Ningbo, China. These matches have taken place between Russia and China since 2001. The first, in 2001 was in Shanghai, the next, in 2004 in Moscow, in 2006 in Argun, 2007 in Nizhni Novgorod, 2008 in Ningbo, and in 2009 in Sochi.

The match is a 'Scheveningen' team event between China team and Russia team. All members of each team play all members of the other team once. The games start on August 5th 2010 and continue until August 9th, 2010. The time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves + 30 minutes to the end of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. From August 11th to August 14th, 2010, there will be four days with rapid games, five rounds each day, with one game starting at 10:30 and four games start at 14:00.  

FIDE's draconian zero-tolerance rule for late arrivals is not in effect and a ten-minute window is provided for the players, also, the Sofia rules are not in effect here, since obviously team strategy brings in other factors.

Round 4

Men

Round 4: Sunday, August 8, 14:00h
Wang Hao 
½-½
Sergei Rublevsky
Artyom Timofeev 
½-½
Wang Yue
Bu Xiangzhi 
½-½
Vladimir Potkin
Zhou Jiangchao 
½-½
Vladimir Malakhov 
Nikita Vitiugov 
½-½
Ni Hua

In the fourth round, the men drew on all the boards, leaving it to the women to decide the fate of the match. This is only a small part of the story though, as it was only by virtue of a disastrous blunder (or miraculous, depending on the side you are rooting for) by Wang Hao on board one.

Wang Hao (2724) - Rublevsky,S (2688) [B46]
7th CHN-RUS Ningbo CHN (4), 08.08.2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 Qc7 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Be3 Be7 9.f4 d6 10.a4 0-0 11.Kh1 Re8 12.Bf3 Rb8 13.Qd2 Na5 14.b3 b6 15.Rad1 Bb7 16.Nde2 Rbc8 17.Bf2 Nc6 18.g4 d5 19.e5 Ne4 20.Nxe4 dxe4 21.Bg2 Nb4 22.c3 Red8 23.Bd4 Nd5 24.Qc2 e3 25.Qd3 Bc5 26.c4 Bxd4 27.Qxd4 Nf6 28.Qxe3 Nxg4 29.Qg3 h5 30.Nd4 Bxg2+ 31.Kxg2 Qb7+ 32.Kg1 Rd7 33.h3 Nh6 34.Rd2.








34...Rcd8. Here Black had the strong shot 34...b5! after which 35.axb5 axb5 36.cxb5 Rxd4! 37.Rxd4 Nf5 38.Qf2 Nxd4 39.Qxd4 Qxb5-/+ would be very good for Black due to White's wide open king position and the extremely dangerous queen and rook working together. 35.Rfd1 g6 36.Qe3 Kg7 37.Kf2 Qc7 38.Ke2 Kh7 39.Rd3 Qb7 40.Qf3 Qc7 41.Qc6 Rc8 42.Qxc7 Rdxc7 43.Nf3 Nf5 44.Ng5+ Kg8 45.Rd8+ Rxd8 46.Rxd8+ Kg7 47.Ne4 h4 48.Kd3 Rc6 49.b4 Rc7 50.Nf6 Rb7 51.Ra8 a5 52.b5 Ng3 53.Ne8+ Kh6 54.Nd6 Rc7 55.Rh8+ Kg7 56.Rb8 Rc5 57.Rxb6 g5 58.Rc6 g4 59.Ne4 gxh3 60.Nf2 Rxc6 61.bxc6 Nf5 62.Nxh3 Kf8 63.c7 Ne7.








64.Kd4?? A disastrous blunder. The simple 64.c5! would win, since after 64...Ke8 65.c6 Black is helpless to prevent White from picking off the a-pawn or simply playing Kc4-b5-a6-b7 and promoting the c-pawn. The black knight is forced to stay protecting the c8 square, and the king is cut off by the pawns. 64...Ke8 65.Kc5 Kd7 66.Kb6 Kc8 67.Ng5 Nf5 68.Kxa5 Kxc7 69.Kb5 Nd4+ 70.Kb4 Kc6 71.a5 Ne2 72.Nh3 Nd4 73.c5 Kb7 74.Kc4 Nc6 75.Kb5 Nd4+ 76.Kc4 Nc6 77.Ng5 Nxa5+ 78.Kd3 Kc6 79.Ke4 Nb3 80.Kf3 Nxc5 81.Kg4 Nd3 82.Nh3 Kd5 83.Kxh4 1/2-1/2 [Click to Replay]

Women

Round 4: Sunday, August 8, 14:00h
Nadezhda Kosintseva 
1-0
Ding Yixin
Huang Qian 
0-1
Natalija Pagonina
Valentina Gunina 
1-0
Wang Yu
Anastasia Bodnaruk 
0-1
Ju Wenjun 
Tan Zhongyi 
1-0
Alina Kashlinskaya

In the fourth round the Russian women once more pulled saved their male team mates with the narrowest of victories, and decisive games on all boards.

Kosintseva one again won an extremely complicated Sicilian Najdorf, in which she prevailed in the end after maintaining a significant advantage for most of the game. Pagonina avaneged her blunder in the previous round with a solid win over Huang Qian, while Gunina benefited from a decisive blunder by Wan Yu in a drawn endgame. Tan Zhongyi beat Kashlinskaya in an offbeat King's Indian with ...e3, but the most surprising game was probably Bodnaruk's loss to Wenjun. Wenjun has had a magic run so far, and all the credit to her, but in this game she played a very bad opening line and was worse for most of the game. However two decisive blunders by her opponent took her over the winning line in spite of it all. When you're hot, you're hot.

Bodnaruk,A (2397) - Ju Wenjun (2496) [B43]
7th CHN-RUS w Ningbo CHN (4), 08.08.2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 a6 4.g3 b5 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Bb7 7.Bg2 Nf6 8.0-0 d6 9.Re1 Qc7 10.Nd5. Normally White first plays 10.a4 b4 before sacrificing the knight with 11.Nd5 exd5 12.exd5+ Kd8 A position that is considered fairly dead for Black. Presumably the move was not played due to a memory lapse, but the question also is also why Wenjun entered this line at all. 10...exd5 11.exd5+ Kd8 12.Bg5 Nbd7.








13.c4. White missed a beautiful opportunity here to play the very strong 13.Nc6+! Bxc6 (Black is forced to take since 13...Kc8?? just loses to 14.Bxf6 Nxf6 15.Bh3+ Nd7 16.Re8+) 14.dxc6 Nc5 15.Be3 Threatening to take on c5. 15...Ne6 16.a4 b4 a) 16...Rb8 17.axb5 Rxb5 (17...axb5 18.Ra7 Qc8 19.Rxf7 Be7 20.Bh3 And white wins material, since 20...Rf8 runs into 21.Bxe6 Qxe6 22.Rxf8+ Bxf8 23.Bb6++/-) 18.Rxa6; b) 16...Qb8 17.axb5 Qxb5 (17...axb5?? 18.Rxa8 Qxa8 19.c7+ Nxc7 20.Bxa8) 18.c4 Qxc4 19.Rc1 Qb5 20.c7+ Nxc7 21.Rxc7 Kxc7 22.Qc2+ Kd8 (22...Kb8 23.Rc1) 23.Bxa8+-; 17.a5 Qc8 (17...Ke8 18.g4 d5 19.g5 Ne4 20.Qxd5) 18.Ra4 Ke8 19.Rxb4 Be7 20.Rb7 d5 21.Bxd5+- 13...h6 14.Bxf6+ Nxf6 15.cxb5 axb5 16.Rc1 Qb6 17.Nc6+ Bxc6 18.Rxc6 Qb7 19.Qc2 Rc8 20.Rc1 Rxc6 21.dxc6 Qc7 22.Qb3 g5 23.a4 bxa4 24.Qxa4 Nd7 25.Qa8+ Ke7 26.Re1+ Ne5 27.f4 gxf4 28.gxf4 Bg7 29.Qb7 Qxb7 30.cxb7 Rb8 31.fxe5 dxe5 32.Rc1 Kd8 33.b4 f5 34.Bd5 e4 35.Kf2 Be5 36.h3 Ke7 37.Rc8 Kf6 38.Rc6+ Kg5 39.Ke2?? A terrible mistake after which White goes from equal to worse, and must play precisely to try and draw the opposite-colored bishop endgame. 39.Re6 Bf4 40.Rb6 Rd8 41.Be6 Rd2+ 42.Ke1 Rc2 43.b8Q Rc1+ 44.Ke2 Rc2+ 45.Ke1 Rc1+ would draw. 39...Rxb7 40.Rg6+ Kxg6 41.Bxb7 Kg5 42.Ke3 Bc7 43.Ba6?? White needed to keep the bishop on the a8-h1 diagonal in order to keep pressure on the pawns and hope to work with the king to blockade them. 43...Bb6+ 44.Ke2 f4 45.Bb7 f3+ 46.Kf1 Kf4 47.Bc6 e3 48.Bb5 Kg3 49.Bc4 Kxh3 50.Ke1 Kg3 51.Bb5 h5 52.Bc4 h4 53.b5 h3 0-1 [Click to Replay]


Ju Wenjun, top woman scorer and a near 2700 performance.
What's not to smile about?

The Russians took the fourth round with 5.5-4.5 but continued to trail the overall match by 21-19.

Round 5

Men

Round 5: Monday, August 9, 14:00h
Vladimir Potkin 
0-1
Wang Hao
Sergei Rublevsky 
½-½
Wang Yue
Bu Xiangzhi 
1-0
Nikita Vitiugov
Artyom Timofeev 
1-0
Zhou Jiangchao 
Ni Hua 
½-½
Vladimir Malakhov

The fifth and last round of slow games started with a lightning win by Wang Hao (2724), who unleashed an exchange sacrifice in the opening that caught Potkin off-guard. Potkin found himself ina tough position, and after refusing to give back the exchange to survive, found himself forced to resign on move 30.

Potkin,V (2626) - Wang Hao (2724) [E58]
7th CHN-RUS Ningbo CHN (5), 09.08.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nf3 c5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.a3 Bxc3 9.bxc3 Qc7 10.Bb2 Na5 11.cxd5 exd5 12.Ne5 Re8 13.a4.








13...Rxe5!? An interesting exchange sacrifice for which Black gets a pawn and some juicy squares for his knights. 14.dxe5 Qxe5 15.h3 15.e4 was worth considering. If 15...dxe4 then 16.Bxe4 and the bishop is untouchable thanks to the back rank weakness. 15...c4 16.Bc2 Bf5. The idea is simply to exchange off the white squared bishop, after which both the b3 and d3 squares are open to his knights. 17.Re1 Bxc2 18.Qxc2 Nb3 19.Rad1 Re8 20.f3 Nc5 21.Rd4 Nd3.








22.Re2? White really had to give the exchange back with 22.Rxd3 cxd3 23.Qxd3 and while a bit worse, should be able to hold. As it is, the knight left on d3 is just too to be left as is. 22...Nh5 23.e4 Now it is too late since 23.Rxd3? fails to 23...cxd3 24.Qxd3 Nf4!-+ 23...Nhf4 24.Rd2 f5 25.Ba3 fxe4 26.fxe4 Qg5 27.Kh2 Rxe4 28.Qd1 Qe5 29.Rxe4 dxe4 30.Qg4 h5 0-1 [Click to Replay]

Bu Xiangzhi won once more after winning a pawn in a Queen's Gambit Declined against Vitiugov, and then converted it with excellent technique.


Bu Xiangzhi had a fantastic run with a 2928 performance for his team.

Timofeev against Jianchao was a strange affair, with the latter playing a highly unusual Kc8 in Ruy Lopez Berlin. The advantage swung both ways several times before the Russian finally pushed his way through in a finely played opposite-colored bishop ending. Ni Hua played a tense game against Vladimir Malakhov, with winning chances for both sides until it cooled down and they settled on a draw.


Ni Hua, the captain, led his men to a superb victory in which
they never lost a round.

Women

Round 5: Monday, August 9, 14:00h
Wang Yu 
½-½
Nadezhda Kosintseva
Ding Yixin 
1-0
Natalija Pagonina
Valentina Gunina 
1-0
Tan Zhongyi
Huang Qian 
1-0
Anastasia Bodnaruk 
Alina Kashlinskaya 
½-½
Ju Wenjun

In the last round the Chinese women finished off with a win of their own. Wang Yu pressed an advantage she held throughout most of her game, but Kosintseva's resilience saw her through and a draw ensued. Pagonina made a mistake early in her game against Yixin that fatally weakened her kingside and from which she never recovered. Gunina and Zongyi had a complicated game with mistakes on both sides, which ended in the Russian's favor, and the same was true of Huang Qian against Bodnaruk with missed chances for both sides.


Russian women react to the pictures taken of them.

In the end, the Chinese contingent defeated the Russians by an overall score of 27-23 in the slow games match up. Next will follow a series of rapid games and then blitz to conclude the match. The highest scorers were Bu Xiangzhi with a superb 4.0/5 and 2928 performance, while Ju Wenjun led the women, also with 4.0/5 and a 2693 performance. None of the Russian men scored more than 50%, though three of the Russian women, Gunina, Kashlinskaya, and Kosintseva ended on 3.0/5.

Photographs by Zhang Jilin / Chinese Chess Association


Links

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