7th China-Russia match: Russian men almost whitewashed

8/7/2010 – If in the first round, the Chinese men won their encounter, nothing could have prepared one for the second round where they nearly whitewashed their Russian counterparts by a sizzling score of 4.5-0.5. This time there was no saving grace by the women who were held to a tie, after which the Chinese take the overall lead by 11.5-8.5. Round two report and games.

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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.

Round 2

Men

Round 2: Friday, August 6, 14:00h
Nikita Vitiugov 
0-1
Wang Hao
Wang Yue 
1-0
Vladimir Malakhov
Artyom Timofeev 
0-1
Bu Xiangzhi
Sergei Rublevsky 
0-1
Zhou Jiangchao 
Ni Hua 
½-½
Vladimir Potkin

If the first round went the way of the Chinese, the second was their dream round. Who would have expected them to nearly whitewash their Russian opponents, with their lowest rated player the only one to not lose, in a 4.5-0.5 defeat? Vitiugov got into trouble after a mistake which left him with a very difficult defensive task. Try as he did, it proved treacherous and he succumbed.


Nikita Vitiugov against top-rated Chinese player Wang Hao

Vitiugov,N (2722) - Wang Hao (2724) [A29]
7th CHN-RUS Ningbo CHN (2), 06.08.2010

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.0-0 Be7 8.a3 0-0 9.b4 Be6 10.d3 Nd4 11.Bb2 Nxf3+ 12.Bxf3 c6 13.Ne4 Nd7 14.Qc2 Bd5 15.Bc3 Re8 16.Rfd1 Rc8 17.Qb2 Bf8 18.Nd2 Bxf3 19.Nxf3 Bd6 20.a4 a6 21.Nd2 Bf8 22.Nc4 b5 23.axb5 axb5 24.Nd2 Nb6 25.Nf3 Na4 26.Qc2? Instead White had to play 26.Qb3 Nxc3 27.Qxc3 c5 28.bxc5 Bxc5 29.Qb3 with a slightly worse, but tenable position. 26...c5! 27.Bxe5 cxb4 28.Qb3 Nc3 29.Re1 Qd7 30.Kg2 Qf5 31.Ra7 Rxe5 32.Nxe5 Qxe5 33.Qxf7+ Kh8.








34.Rea1?! White is in deep trouble due to the potential kingside threats and passed b-pawns. His only chance is to create counterthreats against his opponent's king and his own e-pawn. This isn't to say it would necessarily save the game, but it is probably his best practical chance. 34.e4 Qf6 35.Qb7 (35.Qb3 Bc5 Threatening Qxf2 36.Rf7 Qe5 37.Rf5 Qd6; 35.Qxf6?? would lose on the spot since after 35...gxf6 White cannot stop the passed b-pawn.) 35...Rd8 36.e5 Qe6 37.d4 b3 38.d5 Nxd5 39.Qxb5 Nb4 40.Ra4 Nc2 41.Ree4 34...Qf6 35.Qb3 Nxe2 36.R1a6 Qf5 0-1








White resigned since Black is not only threatening a mate attack with 37...Nf4+ 38.Kf3 (38.gxf4 Qg4+ 39.Kf1 Rc1+) 38...Nxd3+ 39.Ke3 Bc5+ 40.Kd2 Qxf2+ 41.Kxd3 Qe3+ 42.Kc2 Bxa7+ 43.Kb2 Qc1+ 44.Ka2 Rc2+ 45.Qxc2 Qxc2+ 46.Ka1 Bd4#, but 37.Rf7 doesn't work since Black can continue with 37...Nf4+ 38.Kf3 (38.gxf4 Qg4+ 39.Kf1 Rc1+) 38...Qxd3+ 39.Qxd3 Nxd3 40.Rf5 b3 41.Rxb5 b2 42.Rab6 Re8 43.Rxb2 (43.Rb8 Rxb8 44.Rxb8 Kg8 45.Rb3 (45.Ke2?? Nb4 and the pawn promotes.) 45...Bc5) 43...Nxb2 44.Rxb2-+) [Click to Replay]

On board two, it was Malakhov's turn to err as he made a strange mistake that yielded every positional concession his opponent could hope for, and Wang Yue made the most of it.


GM Wang Yue (2716)

Wang Yue (2716) - Malakhov,V (2732) [D15]
7th CHN-RUS Ningbo CHN (2), 06.08.2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e3 b5 6.b3 Bg4 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.h3 Bf5 9.Nh4 Be4 10.f3 Bg6 11.0-0 e6 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.Bd2 Bd6 14.f4 Bb4?








This is a mistake, not because Black loses material (he doesn't), but because it lets White exchange off his bad bishop with no fuss, and gain control of the c-file. 15.Nxd5! Nxd5 16.cxd5 Bxd2 17.Qxd2 cxd5 18.Rac1 0-0 19.Rc6 Nf6 20.Rfc1.








20...Ne4 21.Qe1 g5 22.fxg5 Qxg5 23.Bd3 Ng3 24.Kh2 Nf5 25.Bxf5 Qxf5 26.Qf1 Qg6 27.Qf4 b4 28.R1c5 a5 29.Rd6 Qb1 30.Rd7 a4 31.bxa4 Qf5 32.Qxf5 exf5 33.a5 Rfe8 34.Rcc7 Rxa5 35.Rxf7 Rxa2 36.Rxg7+ Kh8 37.Rh7+ Kg8 38.Rcg7+ Kf8 39.Rb7 Kg8 40.Rhg7+ Kh8 41.Rgf7 b3 42.Rxf5 b2 43.Rxd5 Rf8 44.h4 Re8 45.Rdb5 1-0 [Click to Replay]

Then on board three, it was Xiangzhi's chance to redeem himself, after squandering a chance in the first round.


Bu Xiangzhi in his game against Timofeev

He emerged from a middlegame tussle with a minute advantage in a queenside majority, and proceeded to play it out while doing his best to keep his chances alive. His effort finally paid off when Timofeev went astray and his position collapsed.

Timofeev,Arty (2690) - Bu Xiangzhi (2676) [D19]
7th CHN-RUS Ningbo CHN (2), 06.08.2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nh4 Nbd7 10.f3 Bg6 11.e4 e5 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.Be3 Qe7 14.Ne2 Nb6 15.Qb3 Nxc4 16.Qxc4 Nd7 17.Rfd1 Rfd8 18.a5 Rac8 19.Qb3 exd4 20.Bxd4 Nf8 21.Bxa7 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1 Bxa5 23.Be3 Ne6 24.Nd4 Nxd4 25.Rxd4 Rd8 26.Rxd8+ Qxd8 27.h3 Bc7.








28.Kf2. Taking the pawn with 28.Qxb7? would be a mistake due to 28...Qd1+ 29.Kf2 Bh2! Threatening Bg1+ and Bxe3. 30.Qb6 Qg1+ 31.Ke2 Qxg2+ 32.Bf2 Bg3 33.Qe3 g5 Black can now work the position as White is completely tied down. 34.Qc5 Kh7 35.b4 f6 36.Qf5+ Kh6 37.Qc5 Kh5 38.Qd4 Qh2 39.Qe3 Qxh3 40.Bxg3 Qxg3 41.Qd3 Qg2+ 42.Ke3 Qg1+ 43.Ke2 Kh4 44.Qc4 Qh2+ 45.Kd3 Qf4 46.Ke2 Kg3-/+ 28...b5 29.Qc3 Qd6 30.Qc5 Qe6 31.Ke2 Bd8 32.Bd4 Kh7 33.Bc3 Be7 34.Qd4 f6 35.f4 c5 36.Qd5 Qa6 37.Qd3 Qa4








Black has made serious progress, but White should be able to hold. 38.Kf3? was a mistake. Instead 38.e5 would have offered better chances. 38...b4 39.exf6 gxf6 40.Bd2 Qc6 41.Kf1 c4 42.Qe2 Qc5 43.Qe6 Kg7 44.Ke2 Kf8 45.Be3= 38...b4 39.Be1?! Qa1 40.Qe2 c4 41.f5 c3 42.fxg6+ Kxg6 43.bxc3 b3 44.h4 b2 45.h5+ Kh7 46.Qb5 Qd1+ 0-1 [Click to Replay]

Rublevsky wasn't any more inspired and found himself with the short end of the stick in a rook endgame after several inaccuracies left him a pawn down in a rook endgame. Jiangchao made no mistake and completed the near whitewash result. The only player to prevent utter humiliation was the captain, Vladimir Potkin, who neither threatened, nor was threatened in his game, and drew comfortably with Ni Hua.

Women

Round 2: Friday, August 6, 14:00h
Tan Zhongyi 
½-½
Nadezhda Kosintseva
Natalija Pagonina 
½-½
Ju Wenjun
Huang Qian 
1-0
Valentina Gunina
Ding Yixin 
0-1
Anastasia Bodnaruk 
Alina Kashlinskaya 
½-½ Wang Yu

Whereas yesterday the Russian women were able to save the face of their side by recouping the losses of the men, this time there was no such luck, not that it was likely either. The end result was a balanced and just 2.5-2.5. The only decisive results were odd ones. On the one hand Huang Qian was very quickly lost against Valentina Gunina, but the latter went into autodestruct mode in the endgame, and went from much better to equal and then worse until she finally stumbled into a mating pattern. However, as if the universe were determined that one good disaster deserved another, Ding Yixin was also very clearly up in her opening against Anastasia Bodnaruk, possibly won, when a series of banana peels left her down the exchange and pawn, and subsequently the game.

The day's end result was a 7.0-3.0 victory for the Chinese, who now lead the overall match by 11.5-8.5.

Photographs by Zhang Jilin / Chinese Chess Association


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