Lively start in 10th Hainan Danzhou

by André Schulz
7/3/2019 – With so many concurrent events, one thing's for sure: Chess fans around the world are not going to get bored! A strong tournament started in China on Sunday, the 10th Hainan Danzhou Tournament runs through July 7th with both top Chinese players and elite international guests. The Chinese are leading alongside Richard Rapport after four rounds. | Photo:

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Chinese doing well so far

Hainan is an island in the South China Sea, geographically at the same latitude as the northern part of Vietnam. Dhanzou is a cosmopolitan area of 17 large towns with a total of about one million inhabitants. Half a million people live in the city centre.  

Dhanzou, prefecture-level city on the northwest of the island 

The chess tournament in Hainan Danzhou has a relatively long tradition compared to the relatively short history of Western chess in China, as it is taking place this year for the tenth time. The inaugural tournament was played in 2010 and the first four editions were purely Chinese tournaments. In 2014, foreign players were invited for the first time with Arkadij Naiditsch and Ruslan Ponomariov in the lineup.

This year, Chinese top players Wang Hao, Wei Yi and Yu Yangyi meet international grandmasters Richard Rapport, Vladislav Artemiev, Bassem Amin, Ernesto Inarkiev and Vidit Gujrathi. After three rounds, the Chinese were leading with Wang, Wei and Yu, all having 2.0/3. Wang and Yu were paired in Wednesday's fourth round and drew, as did Wei (versus Inarkiev) allowing Rapport to join the pack.

Rapport against Wang | Photo: Chinese Chess Federation

The tournament started on Sunday. Yu and Inarkiev were the early winners. 


There is nothing left for black here. White threatens the ugly 38.xh6 followed by checkmate. Black played 37...c5, but gave up after 38.xh6+.

There were three more decisive games on Monday.


White had taken a pawn and now threatens 58.♜c6 with conquest of the e6 pawn next. Black could have defended with 57...♜b6, but instead he pushed his passed pawn: 57...b3. After 58.c6 a8 59.xe6+ h8 60.c8 came a queen exchange leaving a rook endgame that was lost for Black.

Vladislav Artemiev

On Tuesday it was Wei Yi's turn to score a point, completing the Chinese trio at the top of the standings. He made short work of the bottom-seeded African Champion Bassem Amin in a Fianchetto Gruenfeld. 


Wei's 12...d5 was a novelty here, although the first choice of the engine. Black kept a small initiative into a queenless middlegame until opportunity knocked.


Black seized his chance with 26...a3! opening the long diagonal for his latent dark-squared bishop. 27.b3 f5 28.h3 e2 29.xe2? (missing a deflection resource: 29.♗h6!) 29...xa1 and Wei said 'thank you very much for the exchange' and went on to win in 43 moves.

Yu Yangyi und Wei Yi

Update 15:00 CEST:

Rapport and Artemiev scored wins in the fourth round. Rapport dealt Amin his second consecutive loss after outplaying him with the bishop pair in the middlegame.


The players have just reached the time control and material is equal, however Rapport's strong bishop pair and well-placed rook give him a clear edge. Relatively best is 40...♜d6 to meet 41.♖b8 with ...♜b6 for an endgame of rook against two bishops once White takes on f8 and d5.

Amin's choice, however, makes the task easy: 40...g7? 41.xd5 xd5 42.b8+ f8 43.b4 winning the bishop. 43...xg5 44.xf8 1-0.

Thursday is the tournament's rest day.


Round 5 will take place at 6:30 AM UT (8:30 CEST, 2:30 AM EDT).

Round 1
Round 2
Round 3

Round 4


Click or tap any result to open the game via

Standings after Round 4


All games


Translation from German and additional reporting: Macauley Peterson


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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