2011 Chinese Championship: Ding Liren and Zhang Xiaowen win!

by ChessBase
4/11/2011 – 19-year-old Ding Liren, showed his previous title in 2009 was no fluke, and despite the presence of top players such as Bu Xiangzhi and Wang Yue (2734), Ding cleaned up the field with a colossal 9.0/11 and a 2867 performance. Zhang Xiaowen won the women's section with 8.5/11. Still, a reader drew our attention to an absolutely amazing game that deserves to be on the shortlist for game of the year.

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2011 China Chess Individual Championships takes place from March 30 to April10, 2011 in Xinghua, Jiangsu Province, China. It is an eleven-round event with twelve players. The top eight finishers will be seeded in the 2012 China Chess Championship, while the final four players will play in Group B of the 2012 China Chess Championship. The winner of the men's event also secures a spot in the World Chess Team Championship in Ningbo, China later this year. Prior to the event the men already qualified are: Wang Yue, Wang Hao, Li Chao, and Yu Yangyi. The women's section also qualified eight tof the 2012 China Chess Championship 2012, and the last four for Group B. The time control is 90 minutes for the whole game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

The 2011 Chinese championship ended in quite the bang, with Ding Liren not only winning his second title one round in advance but finishing in great style. In round ten, he guaranteed the title by beating Xu Deshun (2508), placing himself one and a half points ahead of the field, but consider this: his opponent in the last round was none other than the top-seed Wang Yue (2734), so one would think a quick shake of hands was in the agenda. Instead, Ding fought it out to the end with great energy, and eventually overcame his opponent to finish with an extremely impressive 9.0/11 and a 2867 performance. Hou Yifan did very solidly as well, coming in 5th with 6.0/11 and a 2640 performance.

The 2011 Chinese national champion DIng Liren

In the women’s section, 21-year-old WGM Zhang Xiaowen (2344) finally outpaced her nearest rival with a strong 8.5 in 11 and a 2598 performance, while GM Zhao Xue (2495) came in second at 8.0/11.

Zhang Xiaowen, the 2011 Women's Chinese champion

A reader, T.V. from Dallas, Texas, brought our attention to an absolutely incredible game from the men’s section in round nine that really deserves to be on any short list for best game of the year. Many thanks for the heads-up.

Zhao Jun (2580) - Xiu Deshun (2508) [E26]
ch-CHN 2011 Xinghua Jiangsu CHN (9), 08.04.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 c5 6.e3 b6 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.Ne2 Ba6 9.e4 0-0 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 g5. Whether now or after White plays e5, g5 will have to be played, so Black decides to get it out of the way. 12.Bg3 d6 13.f4 Na5 14.fxg5 hxg5 15.0-0 Nh5

16.Bxd6!! The sheer imagination and depth are flabbergasting. 16...Qxd6 17.e5 Qe7 18.Ng3! This seemingly innocuous move is in fact a deflection and not an exchange! 18...Nxg3

19.Rf6!! Down two pieces, White ensures the kingside remains cut off with this move. 19.hxg3?! f5 and the attack is harder to conduct. 19...Kg7. 19...Bxc4 to try and take some of the steam out of White's attack by exchanging pieces, doesn't quite do it. 20.hxg3 Bxd3 21.Qxd3 The problem is that White still has a myriad of threats, whether the simplistic Qd2-Qxg5, to Raf1 with queen or even a d5 thrust if called for. A sample line might go 21...Kg7 22.Qe3 Rh8 23.Raf1 Rag8 24.Qxg5+ Kf8 25.Rxf7+ Qxf7 26.Rxf7+ Kxf7 27.Qf6+ Ke8 28.Qxe6+ Kd8 29.d5!

20.Qg4! Black isn't given a moment's respite. 20...Rg8 21.hxg3 Nb7 Desperately trying to bring some support for f7 22.Raf1 Nd8 23.Qe4 Qb7 24.d5 Rh8

25.Qg6+!! Just incredible. 25...fxg6 26.Rxg6+ Kh7 The final windmill is an inescapable mating net. 27.Rxg5+ Kh6 28.Rg6+ Kh7 29.Rg4+ Kh6 30.Rf6+ Kh5 31.Rh4+ The next move is mate. 1-0. [Click to replay]

Men's final standings

Women's final standings


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