13-year-old dominating Chinese Championship

by ChessBase
4/21/2013 – Youngster Wei Yi and Super-GM Wang Yue lead the Chinese Chess Championship. Three players, including Hou Yifan, follow suit only half a point behind. In the women's section Ding Yixin leads by a full point. The tournament is being held in the city of Xinghua in Jinasu province, which will also host the World Women's Chess Championship match later this year. Report after round five.

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The Chinese Chess Championships are taking place in Xinghua, Jiangsu Province, from April 16th to 24th 2013. Games start at 8:30am CEST.

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Report after five rounds

Wei Yi, who is thirteen (he was born on June 2 1999), keeps having impressive results all around the globe. After securing his grandmaster title in the recent Reykjavik Open, he is now leading the Chinese Chess Championship alongside super-GM Wang Yue. The tournament is still very close, however, as three strong grandmasters are in pursuit only half a point behind. The field includes twelve of the best grandmasters in China and is an eleven round round-robin. This year will crown a new champion for the country, as the three time victor of the past years, Ding Liren, is busy testing his mettle against the world elite in the Alekhine Memorial. Ding Liren currently holds the record for being the youngest person to win the Chinese Chess Championship, we will see if Wei Yi can continue on his path and break that record.

Among the pack of people with three points is ex-Women's World Champion Hou Yifan, who will be trying to regain her world title in September of this year against Anna Ushenina. She will coincidentally be defending her title in the same city this tournament is being held, which also happens to be her home town! Here we have a smashing victory by Yifan against Yu Yangyi:

[Event "ch-CHN 2013"] [Site "Xinghua CHN"] [Date "2013.04.17"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Yu, Yangyi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B60"] [WhiteElo "2617"] [BlackElo "2675"] [Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2013.04.16"] [SourceDate "2013.03.08"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 Qb6 7. Nb3 e6 8. Bd3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Qd2 a6 11. Rae1 Qc7 12. Re3 b5 13. Rg3 $5 {This maneouver has been seen before, but it's not the most topical way of dealing with Black's setup.} Ne5 14. f4 Nxd3 15. cxd3 Nh5 16. Rh3 Nf6 17. Qe2 e5 18. Rg3 Kh8 $2 {Underestimating White's attack.} 19. fxe5 dxe5 20. Rxf6 $1 Bxf6 21. Nd5 Qd8 22. Bxf6 gxf6 23. Qh5 {Black is positionally crushed and he is facing a strong attack. The threat of Qh6 must be dealt with immediately.} Rg8 24. Qxf7 Qf8 (24... Rxg3 25. hxg3 $16 {Left Black in a bad position as he is unable to defend f6, but it was the best chance.}) 25. Rxg8+ Qxg8 26. Qxf6+ { Now the game is over, White has regained her material and Black's king is too weak.} Qg7 27. Qd8+ Qg8 28. Qe7 Bg4 29. Nf6 Qg6 30. Qxe5 Bd1 31. Nh5+ 1-0

Thirteen-year-old Wei Yi has shown very cold blooded chess as he continually evades and counters all of the strong attacks his aggressive opponents have been throwing at him. For example look at his king movements in his game against Li Chao:

[Event "Xinghua CHN"] [Site "Xinghua CHN"] [Date "2013.04.18"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Wei, Yi"] [Black "Li, Chao b"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C48"] [WhiteElo "2530"] [BlackElo "2686"] [Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2013.04.16"] [SourceDate "2013.03.08"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nd4 5. Bc4 Bc5 6. Nxe5 Qe7 7. Nf3 d5 8. Bxd5 c6 $5 {The computer's recommendation but a novelty. Many games had followed 8... Bg4.} 9. Nxd4 Bxd4 10. Bb3 Ng4 11. Qf3 $1 {The best move. White allows Black to capture f2 with check, disrupting his development and king safety, but relies on his extra pawn to give him an advantage.} Bxf2+ 12. Ke2 Bh4 13. h3 Ne5 14. Qe3 b6 15. d3 Ba6 (15... h6 {was probably necessary, to keep poking at White's queen with Bg5.}) 16. g3 Bf6 17. Kf2 O-O-O 18. Kg2 Rhe8 19. Qf2 {White's king is now safe, and the extra pawn will soon play an important factor. Wei Yi finishes the game off very cleanly.} Kb7 20. Bf4 Bxd3 21. cxd3 Nxd3 22. Qe2 Nxb2 23. Qxb2 g5 24. Bxg5 Bxg5 25. Rad1 f5 26. exf5 Bf6 27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28. Qe2 Qb4 29. Ne4 Rd4 30. Bc2 {It's hard to say exactly where Black went wrong.} 1-0

Struggling: GM Zhao Jun, rated 2589, now at 2.0/5

Standings after five rounds

Women's Championship

In the women's section Ding Yixin (above), a 21-year-old WGM who will celebrate her 22nd birthday during round ten, seems to be running away with the event as she now has a commanding full point lead over her closest rivals. However she still hasn't played the toughest opposition, while Guo Qi, one of her closer suitors, has already played Shen Yang and Wang Jue. Probably the most important players missing from the women's section, besides Hou Yifan who is playing next to the girls but not with them, are Ju Wenjun, who recently scored a GM norm in the Dubai Open, and GM Zhao Xue, China's number three female.

Standings after five rounds

Today both sections have a rest day and the games will continue tomorrow with a crucial round as the leaders Wei Yi and Wang Yue face each other.


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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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