Yu Yangyi steamrolling Capablanca Memorial

by Albert Silver
6/19/2015 – Though the chess world’s eyes are focused on the elite tournament in Norway, it would be a mistake to develop tunnel vision when a tournament such as the Capablanca Memorial started at nearly the same time. In the Elite group are top Cubans Dominguez and Bruzon, as well as Andreikin, Nepomniachtchi, Eljanov, and Yu Yangyi who is demolishing the field.

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The Elite Group

The elite group is a closed tournament with six players fighting a double-round robin over ten rounds. Representing the top Cuban players are Leinier Dominguez and Lazaro Bruzon, both of whom are also the strongest players in Latin America. Rounding up the group are Ian Nepomniachtchi, Dmitry Andreikin, Pavel Eljanov, and Yu Yangyi.

Both Cubans, Dominguez and Bruzon, found themselves facing each other in the
first round, and drew.

Yu Yangyi started his steamroller with a win over Dmitry Andreikin

Dominguez (right) scored one for his compatriots by beating Nepomniachtchi in round two

The start of the tournament has been all about one player really: young Chinese GM Yu Yangyi. Yu started with a startling 3.5/4, including wins over Andreikin, and both Cuban representatives.

Dominguez - Yu

The Chinese player capped off his superior position with this shot.
Can you see it? Black to play and win.

Yu Yangyi practices his "you talkin' to me?" face

Here is his win over Lazaro Bruzon in round four:

[Event "50th Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Havana CUB"] [Date "2015.06.18"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Yu, Yangyi"] [Black "Bruzon Batista, Lazaro"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2715"] [BlackElo "2677"] [PlyCount "131"] [EventDate "2015.06.15"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. Nc4 Nd7 8. O-O Re8 9. a4 Bd6 10. c3 c5 11. Bg5 f6 12. Qb3 Kh8 13. Be3 Bf8 14. Rad1 Nb6 15. d4 exd4 16. cxd4 Be6 17. d5 Bd7 18. Qc2 Bxa4 19. b3 Bb5 20. Rfe1 Nd7 21. Bf4 Bxc4 22. bxc4 Bd6 23. Bxd6 cxd6 24. Nh4 a6 25. Rb1 Rb8 26. Ra1 g6 27. Qc3 Ne5 28. f4 Nf7 29. Nf3 Kg8 30. h3 Ra8 31. Qb2 Rb8 32. Kh2 Qe7 33. Qc3 Ra8 34. Rab1 Rab8 35. Rb6 Rbd8 36. Kh1 Rd7 37. Nh2 Nh6 38. Qb2 Qg7 39. Nf3 Ree7 {[#] White is clearly the one calling the shot here. Black's pieces are passive and can only wait and pray.} 40. e5 $1 {Classic and decisive.} fxe5 41. fxe5 dxe5 42. Ng5 $1 {Not only is the e-pawn condemned but the more active pieces and protected passed d5-pawn ensure a significant advantage.} Nf5 43. Ne4 Rd8 44. Nxc5 Qh6 {The computer's suggestion now tend to be worse than the player's. The reason is that Black is essentially lost, and knows it, so it is time for emergency measures, even if this may shorten the game in his opponent's favor.} 45. Re6 Rf7 46. Qxe5 Qh4 47. Kh2 {White wants to neautralize any counter chances, but Black's threats weren't serious. Now was the time to calculate the most exact continuation. not play on principles.} (47. Re8+ $1 Rxe8 48. Qxe8+ Rf8 49. Qe5 Rf7 (49... Ng3+ 50. Kg1 Ne4 51. g3 {is probably the move Yu missed.} Qxg3+ 52. Qxg3 Nxg3 53. d6 $1)) 47... Nd4 48. Re8+ Rxe8 49. Qxe8+ Rf8 50. Qe3 Rf2 51. Kh1 Rf3 {Black tries some creative defense, but frankly this has little chance to confuse Yu, and he would obviously calculate why the rook is untouchable. It's not as if he were sudden;y going to think Black blundered the rook for no reason.} 52. Qe8+ ({would allow Black to escape with the draw. } 52. gxf3 Qxh3+ 53. Kg1 Qg3+ 54. Kf1 Qh3+ 55. Kf2 Qh2+ {etc.}) 52... Rf8 53. Qe5 Rf5 54. Qb8+ Kg7 55. Qxb7+ Kh6 56. Qb1 $4 {White does not realize that he has just offered Black a chance to save the game.} Rf3 $2 (56... Nf3 $1 { attacking the rook on e1 and mate with Qg3-Qh2.} 57. Re2 $1 (57. gxf3 Qxh3+ 58. Kg1 Qg3+ 59. Kf1 (59. Kh1 Rh5#) 59... Qxf3+ 60. Kg1 Rg5+ {and mate}) 57... Qxc4 ) 57. Qc1+ g5 58. Re3 Rf2 59. Re4 Rf4 60. Rxf4 gxf4 61. Qd2 Nf5 62. Ne6 Ne3 63. d6 Qf6 64. Qd4 Qxe6 65. d7 Qc6 66. Qxf4+ {followed by queen checking on the g-file, protecting against Qxg2 mate, and allowing the new queen to rise from the ashes.} 1-0

Andreikin bounced back from his first round loss with a win over Lazaro Bruzon

Solution: Black plays 1...Kf8! and the threat of 2...Be8 winning the white queen cannot be stopped

Standings after four rounds

Premier Group

The Premier Group is comprised of six Cuban players, whose average rating is 2560, combined with four international guest players, of whom Polish youth Jan-Krzysztof Duda is the highest rate with 2610.

Yuniesky Quesada vs. Jan Krzysztof Duda

After four rounds, six players share the top spots with 2.5/4

Standings after four rounds

Photos by Miguel E. Gómez Masjuán


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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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algorithmy algorithmy 6/20/2015 11:57
The game of Yu against Burzon is simply superb.
Boon-Swee Yen Boon-Swee Yen 6/20/2015 02:25
Yu Yangyi won game 5 against Nepomniachtchi and extends lead to 2 points.
alekhina alekhina 6/20/2015 09:47
Chinese players are very strong, but they stop playing at the age of 40...and even late 30's.