7th China-Russia match: Russian women save the day

8/5/2010 – In its seventh edition, the high-level team match between China and Russia got underway with both sides sporting very strong teams. For both the men's and women's teams, each player will play every player of the other team. In round one, the Chinese men outperformed the Russians, but the Russian women struck back harder and saved the day for their side. Games and pictorial report.

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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.

Opening ceremony


The Chinese women's team (left to right): Ju Wenjun, Ding Yixin, Tan Zhongyi,
Wang Yu, Huang Qian.


The Russian delegation with Vitiugov, Rublevsky, and Timofeev in the foreground.


There were performances of traditional Chinese dancing.


Musical performances included not only this quintet, using both traditional Chinese
and western instruments...


but also brought in unexpected quartets, sung by Malakhov, Tan Zhongyi, Ding Yixin,
and Bu Xiangzhi. Malakhov may play regularly in China, but still deserves a special
commendation for his bravery to sing in Chinese on stage.

Russian teams

Men (rating avg.: 2692)

Title Player
Rating
GM
Vladimir Malakhov
2732
GM
Nikita Vitiugov
2722
GM
Artyom Timofeev
2690
GM
Sergei Rublevsky
2688
GM
Vladimir Potkin*
2626

* Vladimir Potkin replaced Alexander Motylev at the last minute who came down with the chickenpox.

Women (rating avg.: 2453)

Title Player
Rating
IM
Nadezhda Kosintseva
2551
WGM
Natalija Pogonina
2501
WGM
Valentina Gunina
2462
WGM
Anastasia Bodnaruk
2397
WGM
Alina Kashlinskaya
2352

Chinese teams

Men (rating avg.: 2685)

Title Player
Rating
GM
Wang Hao
2724
GM
Wang Yue
2716
GM
Bu Xiangzhi
2676
GM
Zhou Jiangchao
2668
GM
Ni Hua
2645

Women (rating avg.: 2432)

Title Player
Rating
WGM
Ju Wenjun
2496
WGM
Tan Zhongyi
2461
WGM
Huang Qian
2447
WGM
Ding Yixin
2385
IM
Wang Yu
2369

Round 1

Men

Round 1: Thursday, August 5, 14:00h
Wang Hao 
½-½
Vladimir Malakhov
Wang Yue 
1-0
Vladimir Potkin
Bu Xiangzhi 
½-½
Sergei Rublevsky
Zhou Jiangchao 
½-½
Nikita Vitiugov 
Ni Hua 
½-½
Artyom Timofeev

The first round of the men's match clearly went the way of the Chinese, and though they won by a score of 3-2, it could easily have gone 3.5-1.5. The top seeds Malakhov and Wang Hao drew after neither was able to crack the other in a Sicilian Richter-Rauzer. Wang Yue played the team captain and last-minute replacement, Potkin, and took advantage of several errors to reach a won opposite-colored bishop ending.

Potkin,V (2626) - Wang Yue (2716) [D85]
7th CHN-RUS Ningbo CHN (1), 05.08.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.g3 Bg7 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.e3 0-0 9.0-0 Re8 10.Re1 a5 11.Qe2 e5 12.Nxe5 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Bxe5 14.f4 Bxc3 15.bxc3 Bf5 16.Bxb7 Rb8 17.Bg2 Bd3 18.Qf2 Be4 19.Bf1 Qe7 20.a4 Qe6 21.Bb5 Red8 22.Qa2 Bd5 23.Qc2 c6 24.Bf1 Be4 25.Qa2 Qg4 26.Qf2 Qe6 27.Qa2 Qg4 28.Qf2 Nd5 29.Bb2 Rd7 30.h3 Qf3 31.Qxf3 Bxf3 32.Ba3 Nxc3 33.e4 Nxe4 34.Re3 Nd2 35.Ba6 f5 36.Kf2 Bd5 37.Be2 Ne4+ 38.Ke1 Rdb7 39.Bd3 Rb3 40.Ke2 Re8 41.Ke1 c5 42.Bc1 c4 43.Bxe4 Rxe4 44.Rxe4 Bxe4 45.Ra3 Rb1 46.Kd2 Kf7 47.Re3 Ke6 48.Ba3 Kd5 49.Be7 Rb2+ 50.Kc1 Ra2 51.Ra3 Rxa3 52.Bxa3 c3 53.Be7 Kc4 54.h4 Kb3 55.Bf6 c2 56.Bd8 Kxa4 57.Kd2 Kb4 58.Bc7 a4 59.Be5 Kb3 60.Bf6 a3.








White is helpless as he needs both pieces to cover the promotion squares. 61.Bg7 For example, if White played 61.Kc1 Black would just bring his king around and capture the kingside pawns. 61...a2 62.Ba1 Kc4 63.Kd2 Kd5 64.Bb2 Bd3 65.Ba1 (65.Kxd3?? c1Q 66.Bxc1 a1Q) 65...Ke4 66.Bb2 Kf3 etc. 61...a2 62.Bh8 a1Q White resigned because of 63.Bxa1 Ka2 64.Be5 Kb1+- 0-1 [Click to Replay]


Xiangzhi missed a golden opportunity against Rublevsky in the first round.

Though this turned out to be the only win, Bu Xiangzhi came within a hair's breadth of beating Sergei Rublevsky, and expressed regrets after the game on what he felt had been a missed opportunity.

Bu Xiangzhi (2676) - Rublevsky,S (2688) [D20]
7th CHN-RUS Ningbo CHN (1), 05.08.2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bxd2+ 6.Nbxd2 exd4 7.Bxc4 Qf6 8.Nb3 Nc6 9.Nfxd4 Nge7 10.Nb5 0-0 11.Nxc7 Rb8 12.0-0 Qe5 13.Nb5 Qxe4 14.Rc1 Qg6 15.Re1 Nf5 16.Qf3 a6 17.Nc3 Nfd4 18.Nxd4 Nxd4 19.Qe3 Nc6 20.Nd5 Bd7 21.Qf4 Qg4 22.Qc7 Rfc8 23.Qd6 Rd8 24.Ne7+ Kh8 25.Bxf7 Nxe7 26.Rxe7 Bc6 27.Qg3 Qxg3 28.hxg3 Rd2 29.b4 Rbd8 30.Bc4 h6 31.Rf7 Re8 32.a3 Rd6 33.Kh2 Kh7 34.Rc3 Re1 35.Rf8 g5 36.g4 Be8 37.Bb3 Rc6 38.Rd3 Rc7 39.Rd6 Kg7 40.Rff6 Rc3 41.Bd5 Rxa3 42.Rxh6 Ra4.








A critical moment, and probably where the Chinese player missed his clearest chance to win. 43.Rhe6? Instead 43.Bxb7! Rxb4 44.Bxa6 Rxg4 45.Bd3! would probably have sealed Black's fate. White may only be up a pawn, but the seriously exposed king and threats are fatal, and the second pawn would be destined to go down as well. A couple of sample lines might go 45...Rh4+ (or 45...Rf4 46.Kg3 Kf8 47.Rd5 And the pawn falls. 47...Rb4 48.Rxg5 Rb3 49.Rf6+ Ke7 50.Rf3) 46.Rxh4 gxh4 47.Kh3 Rh1+ (47...Rg1 might also prevent the king from capturing h4, but it also means leaving the rook out of play, so 48.f4 Kf8 49.f5 Ke7 50.Re6+ Kf8 51.Rh6+-) 48.Kg4 Rh2 49.Be4+- 43...Rxe6 44.Rxe6 Bb5 45.Re7+ Kf6 46.Rf7+ Kg6 47.Rxb7 Rxb4 48.Rb6+ Kg7 49.f3 a5 50.Be4 Kf7 51.Bd5+ Kg7 52.Rb7+ Kf6 53.Kg3 Bf1 54.Rf7+ Kg6 55.Rf8 Rb2 56.f4 gxf4+ 57.Rxf4 Bb5 58.Rf8 Rd2 59.Be4+ Kg7 60.Rb8 Bc4 61.Ra8 Rd4 62.Bf3 Be6 63.Rxa5 Rd7 64.Ra6 Bf7 65.Be4 Re7 66.Bf5 Rc7 67.Kh4 Re7 68.Kg5 Rc7 69.Rh6 Ra7 70.Rh7+ Kf8 71.Bd3 Rc7 72.Be4 Rd7 73.Bg6 Rd5+ 74.Bf5 Bg8 75.Ra7 Rd6 76.Kf4 Rb6 77.Kg5 Bf7 78.Bd3 Bd5 79.g3 Bf7 80.Rc7 Kg8 81.Be4 Rd6 82.Bc6 Rd3 83.Be4 Rd6 84.Kf5 Rb6 85.Bc6 Rb2 86.Kg5 Rc2 87.Kf6 Rf2+ 88.Ke5 Rc2 89.g5 Kf8 90.Rc8+ Kg7 91.Kd4 Rc4+ 92.Ke5 Rc5+ 93.Kf4 Rc4+ 1/2-1/2 [Click to Replay]

Jiangchao versus Vitiugov was an uneventful Queen's Gambit Declined, whereas Ni Hua got into trouble against Timofeev, but defended well in the endgame that ensued. Timofeev may have missed a chance, but nothing glaring.

Women

Round 1: Thursday, August 5, 14:00h
Nadezhda Kosintseva 
0-1
Ju Wenjun
Natalija Pagonina 
½-½
Wang Yu
Valentina Gunina 
1-0
Ding Yixin
Anastasia Bodnaruk 
1-0
Tan Zhongyi 
Alina Kashlinskaya 
1-0
Huang Qian

The Chinese women may have been missing their top players Hou Yifan and Zhao Xue, who are currently competing in the FIDE Grand Prix in Ulaanbaatar, but even so only yielded a 20 Elo team average to their Russian opponents. If the men did better than expected, the opposite was true of the women, who suffered from serious issues with their opening preparation.

Gunina defeated Yixin by taking risks and pressuring her opponent, who failed to neutralize the threats when she could. Bodnaruk and Zhongyi played a highly theoretical line of the Pirc Austrian Attack, and the Chinese player blundered two moves after they left the known theory. Huang Qian, as Black, chose a line known to give Black trouble in a Gruenfeld Fianchetto, and didn't have any special solution at hand, which led to a victory for Kashlinskaya.


Ju Wenjun continues her remarkable run in China, where she
has been the star of the Chinese League with 8.0/9.

Kosintseva was not in her best day, and after several inaccuracies, blundered fatally to Ju Wenjun.

Ju Wenjun (2496) - Kosintseva,N (2551) [E06]
7th CHN-RUS w Ningbo CHN (1), 05.08.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.Qxc4 b5 9.Qc2 Bb7 10.Bd2 Be4 11.Qc1 Bb7 12.Rd1 Nbd7 13.Ba5 Bd6 14.Nbd2 Qb8 15.Nb3 Qa7 16.Ne1 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 e5 18.Nc2 Rac8 19.Ne3 Rfe8 20.d5 g6 21.Qc2 Nb8 22.Rac1 c5 23.dxc6 Rxc6 24.Qd2 Bf8 25.Nd5 Ne4 26.Qe3 Qxe3 27.Nxe3 Bh6 28.Rxc6 Nxc6 29.Bb6 Bf8 30.Nd5 Kg7 31.Nc7 Rb8 32.Be3 Rc8 33.Nxa6 Ra8 34.Nc7 Rxa2 35.Ne8+ Kg8 36.Nd2 Nxd2 37.Rxd2 Be7? 37...b4! 38.Rc2 Nd4 39.Nf6+ Kg7 (39...Kh8 40.Rc7 Kg7 (40...Rxb2?? 41.Rxf7 Bg7 42.Bh6 Nf5 43.Bxg7+ Nxg7 44.Rf8#) 41.Ng4 h5 42.Nxe5 Bd6 43.Rxf7+ Kg8 44.Bxd4 Bxe5 45.Rd7 Bxd4 46.Rxd4 Rxb2) 40.Ne8+ Kg8= 38.Rc2 Nb4 39.Rc8 h5 40.Bc1 Ra5??








Though already worse, this blunder loses the game on the spot. 41.Bd2! Ra2 [41...-- The threat of 42.Nd6+ Kh7 43.Bxb4 cannot be prevented.; 41...Ra4 42.b3 Ra2 43.Nd6+ Kh7 44.Bxb4] 42.Nd6+ Kg7 43.Bxb4 1-0 [Click to Replay]

The final tally was a first round victory for the Russians by 5.5-4.5.

Photographs by Zhang Jilin and sports.sina.com.cn


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