7th China-Russia match: Rapid Day 1 Chinese beat Russians

by ChessBase
8/12/2010 – After a free day with a friendly football match, the Russians might have hoped to rally and recoup from their tough loss in the slow games, but the gloves were off once more as the Chinese repeated their performance almost verbatim. With fifty games to choose from, we instead bring you the report and some tactical highlights to test your skills.

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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.

Freeday - Football

On the freeday, the players got together for a friendly football match.

The Chinese players make sure Vitiugov (2nd from right) is covered.

Zhou Weiqi (2570) getting ready for the game.

Artyom Timofeev showing off his flexibility. Either that or he is in big trouble.

Potkin readies the Russian counter-attack.

Rapid Games - Day 1

After five days of standard tournament chess, the Chinese team had emerged victorious with an overall tally of 27-23, thanks to the men who overperformed and beat the Russian, who had a very small elo advantage over them, by 15.5 - 9.5. The Chinese women lost by a narrow 13.5 - 11.5, which was not a large deviation from the 20 Elo they yielded as well.

Natalija Pagonina wearing her lucky shirt...

Though this was the most important part of the match in terms of pure chess skill, it is not the only score to determine the ultimate outcome, and the rapid game rounds are not counted less. After a tough run, the Russian team might have hoped to balance the perceived natural order of things, and recoup what must have been a somewhat demoralizing run, however, if anything, it was more of a "wash, rinse, and repeat". Not only did the Chinese win by a virtually identical 26.5 - 23.5, but the men, who had fallen behind after the third round, bounced back with a crushing 5-0 in the fourth.

Ni Hua facing Timofeev who led the men's scoring with 4.0/5.

Instead of giving a blow-by-blow account of things, we have chosen a series of decisive moments to allow you to test your skills and see if you could have done as well or better. The solutions are at the very bottom, and can be replayed in case you have trouble visualizing the moves.


Can you find White's most incisive continuation?


White to play and win.


White to play and win.


How can Black make the most of his passed pawns?


White now has a mating finish. It is not easy. Can you work it out?


White to play and win.


White to play and win.


White has several moves at his disposal, but only one is clear best. Can you find it?


White is considering either Rxf6 or Rh3? Which should she play and why?


White to play and win.


Since you know there is a shot, finding White's first move is easy.
Can you calculate all the lines?


[Click to see solutions]

Photographs by sports.sina.com.cn


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