Asian Continental Rd.1-6: China and Vietnam dominate in Chengdu

by Priyadarshan Banjan
5/17/2017 – The Asian Continental Championship 2017 has begun in Chengdu, China with most of the brightest stars of Asia in contention for the five World Cup spots in the Open and the Women's section. China's Wang Hao has managed to edge ahead of the rest of the pack but has a tough task ahead if he plans to maintain the crown. Two Vietnamese players are leading the women's section. Illustrated Report.

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Asian Continental Rd.1-6: China and Vietnam dominate in Chengdu

All Photos by Lennart Ootes

The story developing in Chengdu, China, at the Asian Continental Championship 2017 is one with a curious narrative. Five spots at the upcoming World Cup are up for grabs and the biggest names from India and China are in contention.

But surprisingly, both the top two seeds, Yu Yangyi and Wei Yi were already held to draws in the first few rounds.

Chinese GM Wang Hao (2680) leads the tables with 5.0/6.

He took a giant leap towards his chances to win the title with a win over GM Vidit Gujrathi (2687).

Vidit, the leader of the Indian charge in the tournament, has taken a bad hit with this loss and will have a lot of catching up to do. He won his sixth round game against Mongolian GM Tsegmed Batchuluun.

The second seeded Chinese prodigy Wei Yi (2732) is clearly struggling as he is struck on 3.0/6.

[Event "Asian Continental-ch Open 2017"] [Site "Chengdu"] [Date "2017.05.17"] [Round "6"] [White "Tran, Tuan Minh"] [Black "Wei, Yi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D91"] [WhiteElo "2537"] [BlackElo "2732"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bg5 Ne4 5. Bh4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 dxc4 7. e3 Be6 8. Nf3 Bg7 9. Qb1 b6 {5 D91: Grünfeld: 4 Nf3 Bg7 Bg5} 10. Be2 (10. Ng5 Bd5 11. e4 h6 12. exd5 hxg5 13. Qb5+ Qd7 14. Qxd7+ Nxd7 15. Bxg5 b5 16. a4 b4 17. Rc1 bxc3 18. Rxc3 {1/2-1/2 (30) Radjabov,T (2722)-Van Wely,L (2674) Monzon 2016}) 10... O-O 11. O-O c5 {The position is equal.} 12. Rd1 Qc7 13. Qb2 $146 (13. d5 $14 Bf5 14. Qb2) ({Predecessor:} 13. a4 Bd5 14. a5 cxd4 15. Nxd4 Qb7 16. axb6 axb6 17. Rxa8 Qxa8 {0-1 (42) Bogner,S (2504)-Salem,A (2472) Kemer 2009}) 13... Re8 ( 13... Bd5 $11) 14. Ng5 Bd5 15. e4 Bb7 16. Bg3 $1 Qc8 17. Bxc4 e6 {Strongly threatening ...cxd4.} 18. d5 $1 exd5 19. Rxd5 {Rd6 is the strong threat.} ({ Much weaker is} 19. Bxd5 $6 Bxd5 20. exd5 Qf5 $11) 19... Ba6 $1 20. Bb3 c4 21. Ba4 Nc6 22. e5 ({White should try} 22. Rad1 $16) 22... Bb7 $11 23. f4 Nb4 ( 23... Rd8 $11 24. Rxd8+ Nxd8) 24. Bxe8 $16 (24. Qxb4 Bxd5 25. Bxe8 Qxe8 $17) 24... Bxd5 {[#]} 25. Bxf7+ $1 Bxf7 26. Qxb4 Bf8 27. Qb2 $36 {White has strong initiative.} Bd5 28. Rd1 Qc6 {[#]} ({Better is} 28... Bb7 $1 $14) 29. Qd2 $1 $18 Rd8 $2 {[#]} (29... Be6 30. Nxe6 Qxe6) 30. e6 $1 Bc5+ 31. Bf2 Rd6 32. Nf7 Rxe6 33. Nd8 Bxf2+ 34. Qxf2 Qa4 (34... Qe8 $142 35. Nxe6 Bxe6) 35. Rxd5 { White is clearly winning.} Re7 36. h3 Qe8 37. Kh2 Rd7 (37... Re1 $142 38. Rd4 Qe2 39. Qxe2 Rxe2) 38. Qd4 {Precision: White = 65%, Black = 37%.} 1-0

The top seed GM Yu Yangyi (2743) is very much in the race with win over Indian GM Deep Sengupta (2586).

1999-born GM Aravindh Chithambaram (2588) managed to corss the 2600 mark.

He did so by beating former FIDE World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2698)

[Event "Asian Continental-ch Open 2017"] [Site "Chengdu"] [Date "2017.05.16"] [Round "5"] [White "Aravindh, Chithambaram VR"] [Black "Kasimdzhanov, Rustam"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2588"] [BlackElo "2698"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nd2 e6 6. Ngf3 Bd6 7. Bg3 O-O 8. Bb5 {3 D02:1 d4 d5 2 Nf sidelines, including 2...Nf6 3 g3 and 2...Nf6 3 Bf4} Bxg3 ( 8... a6 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. Qa4 Rb8 11. Qa3 Bxg3 12. hxg3 cxd4 13. cxd4 a5 14. O-O Qb6 15. b3 Ba6 {1-0 (24) Carlsen,M (2840)-Anand,V (2779) Doha 2016}) 9. hxg3 Qb6 10. Bxc6 {The position is equal.} bxc6 11. Qc2 Rb8 12. b3 $146 ({ Predecessor:} 12. Rb1 cxd4 13. cxd4 Ba6 14. b4 Qb5 15. Qd1 Nd7 {0-1 (34) Kamsky,G (2670)-Yudin,S (2530) Kazan 2016}) 12... cxd4 13. cxd4 (13. exd4 $11 c5 14. dxc5 Qxc5 15. Ne5) 13... Ba6 $15 14. g4 h6 (14... Rfc8 $1 $17 15. g5 Qb5 ) 15. Ne5 Qb5 16. Ndf3 $2 (16. O-O-O Rfc8 $17) (16. Qd1 $1 $11 {and White stays safe.}) 16... Rfc8 (16... Ne4 $19 {is more deadly. ...c5 is the strong threat.} 17. Nd7 c5 18. Nxf8 Rc8) 17. g5 $17 Ne4 18. gxh6 gxh6 19. Qd1 { [#] Threatening Nd2.} Nc3 $1 ({Of course not} 19... f6 $6 20. Nd2 $11) 20. Qc2 {Strongly threatening Ng5.} c5 ({Black should try} 20... Rb7 $17 {Threatens to win with ...c5.} 21. Ng4 Kg7) 21. Ng5 $1 $11 {Intending Qh7+ and mate.} Ne4 22. Nxe4 dxe4 23. Qd2 cxd4 24. exd4 Rd8 (24... Rb7 $11) 25. O-O-O $16 Rbc8+ 26. Kb1 Qe2 27. Rxh6 $40 {Black needs to defend precisely.} Bd3+ 28. Nxd3 {White wants to mate with Qg5+.} Qxd2 29. Rxd2 Rxd4 30. Rh3 e5 ({Better is} 30... Rcd8) 31. Rc2 Rxc2 32. Kxc2 exd3+ 33. Rxd3 $18 {Endgame KR-KR} Rf4 {[#]} 34. f3 $1 e4 $2 (34... Rf6 35. Rd5 Rg6) 35. Rd4 f5 (35... Rf5 {might work better.} 36. Rxe4 Kf8 ) 36. fxe4 fxe4 37. Ra4 Kf7 38. Rxa7+ Ke6 39. Kd2 Rg4 40. Ke3 Ke5 $2 (40... Kf5 41. Ra5+ Ke6) 41. Ra5+ {White is clearly winning.} Kd6 42. Kd4 Rxg2 43. Kxe4 Kc6 44. Kd3 Kb6 45. Ra4 Kb5 46. Kc3 Rg3+ 47. Kb2 Rg2+ 48. Ka3 {Precision: White = 73%, Black = 28%.} 1-0

GM Baskaran Adhiban (2672) began his tournament with three draws with 2400 opponents, but then has stepped up pedal with three wins against 2500 opponents to join the race again.

IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen (2331) of Vietnam was off to a scorching start with four consecutive wins, and then settled for two draws in the fifth and the sixth round.

With her in the lead is Vietnamese WIM Vo Thi Kim Phung (2321), who is also on 5.0/6. GM Srinath annotates her fourth round game.

[Event "16th Asian Continental w"] [Site "Chengdu CHN"] [Date "2017.05.15"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Vo, Thi Kim Phung"] [Black "Munguntuul, Batkhuyag"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D23"] [WhiteElo "2323"] [BlackElo "2431"] [Annotator "Srinath,Narayanan"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Qc2 dxc4 5. Qxc4 Bf5 6. g3 Nbd7 7. Bg2 e6 8. O-O Be7 9. e3 O-O 10. Rd1 Rc8 11. Qe2 Qa5 12. Nc3 Ne4 13. Nxe4 Bxe4 14. Ne1 Bxg2 15. Kxg2 c5 16. Bd2 Qb6 17. Bc3 cxd4 18. Bxd4 Qc6+ 19. Qf3 Qxf3+ 20. Nxf3 {The position looks equal, but White actually has a very comfortable edge. Black has to be very precise.} Nc5 $2 {The knight is an important guardian of the gateway of d7 and therefore must've been better guarded.} (20... Rc7 $142 { A non committal move, not creating any weakness.} 21. Rac1 (21. Bxa7 {isn't possible due to} b6 22. Rxd7 Rxd7 23. Bxb6 Ra8 $15) 21... Rfc8 22. Rxc7 Rxc7 $11) 21. Rac1 f6 22. Bxc5 $1 Rxc5 23. Nd4 Rxc1 24. Rxc1 e5 25. Nf5 $2 (25. Ne6 Re8 (25... Rf7 26. Rc8+ Bf8 27. g4 $18 {Black is just tied down.}) 26. Rc7 { would've just won the pawn.}) 25... Rf7 26. e4 {White still has a dominant position. The knight eyes d5.} (26. Rc7 {now is met by} Bf8) 26... Bf8 27. Ne3 b6 $6 {In such positions, Black has to be very careful about the creation of weaknesses, especially on the light squares.} (27... Bd6 $142) 28. g4 $2 (28. Nd5 Bc5 29. b4) 28... Bc5 29. Nd5 a5 {this is why White should've started with Nd5.} 30. a3 Ra7 31. a4 Kf7 32. Kf3 Rd7 33. Ke2 Ke6 34. f3 Kd6 35. Kd3 Kc6 36. Kc4 Rd8 37. Rd1 Bd4 $2 {the decisive mistake, losing an important pawn.} (37... Rd7 $142 {and it's hard for White to break through/improve.}) 38. Ne7+ Kc7 39. Nf5 Bxb2 40. Rxd8 Kxd8 41. Nxg7 {Now, the position is just hopelessly lost for Black. White controls too much.} Kd7 42. Nf5 Ba3 43. Ne3 Ke6 44. Nd5 Bc5 45. Kb5 Bg1 46. h3 Bf2 47. Nxb6 Be1 48. Nd5 Kf7 49. h4 Kg6 50. h5+ Kg5 51. Kc6 h6 52. Kd7 Bd2 53. Ke6 Bc1 54. Kf7 1-0

India's talented Vaishali R. (2272) is on the third place with 4.5/6. GM Srinath Narayanan anlyzes her attacking win from the third round.

[Event "16th Asian Continental w"] [Site "Chengdu CHN"] [Date "2017.05.14"] [Round "3.7"] [White "Vaishali, R."] [Black "Gong, Qianyun"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C03"] [WhiteElo "2272"] [BlackElo "2298"] [Annotator "Srinath,Narayanan"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Be7 4. Ngf3 Nf6 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bd3 c5 7. c3 b6 8. Ne4 Qc7 9. Ng3 Ba6 10. Bg5 Bxg5 11. Nxg5 Bxd3 12. Qxd3 h6 13. Nxe6 $5 fxe6 14. Qg6+ Kf8 $2 {Avaritia, one of the seven deadly sins.} (14... Kd8 {is the right direction, away from White's heavy artillery.} 15. Qxg7 (15. Qxe6 cxd4 16. cxd4 Qc4 $132) 15... Re8 16. Qxh6 Nc6 17. Rc1 b5 18. O-O Kc8) 15. O-O Nxe5 16. dxe5 Qf7 17. Qc2 {With the weakning of Black's king, White has got returns on her investment with interest.} Nc6 18. f4 Kg8 19. f5 $1 Rf8 20. Rae1 h5 21. h4 Qe7 22. Qa4 Na5 23. f6 Qf7 24. Nf5 gxf6 (24... exf5 {might've put up better resistance, but not by much.} 25. e6 Qxf6 26. e7 Kh7 27. exf8=Q Rxf8 28. Qd7 $18) 25. Nd6 Qe7 26. Rxf6 Kh7 27. Qc2+ 1-0

Chengdu is home to the famous Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a conservation center where visitors can view endangered giant pandas in a natural habitat.

Chinese Chess

A cultural event on the roadside

All the photos in this report are by one of the best photographers in the world: Lennart Ootes

Standings in Open

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Wang Hao 5,0 0,0
2 Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 4,5 0,0
3 Bu Xiangzhi 4,5 0,0
4 Yu Yangyi 4,5 0,0
5 Adhiban B. 4,5 0,0
6 Bai Jinshi 4,0 0,0
7 Tran Tuan Minh 4,0 0,0
8 Zhu Yi 4,0 0,0
9 Maghsoodloo Parham 4,0 0,0
10 Sethuraman S.P. 4,0 0,0

Complete Standings

Standings in the Women's section

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Vo Thi Kim Phung 5,0 0,5
2 Pham Le Thao Nguyen 5,0 0,5
3 Vaishali R 4,5 0,0
4 Nakhbayeva Guliskhan 4,5 0,0
5 Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim 4,5 0,0
6 Gomes Mary Ann 4,0 0,0
7 Hoang Thi Bao Tram 4,0 0,0
8 Xiao Yiyi 4,0 0,0
9 Nguyen Thi Mai Hung 4,0 0,0
10 Munguntuul Batkhuyag 4,0 0,0

Complete Standings

All Games for Open

0

All Games in Women's Section



Priyadarshan Banjan is a 23-year-old club player from India. He works as an editor for ChessBase News and ChessBase India. He is a chess fanatic and an avid fan of Vishy Anand. He also maintains a blog on a variety of topics.
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drcloak drcloak 5/19/2017 03:23
Sum Ting Wong?
qiqiangzhu qiqiangzhu 5/17/2017 06:23
where is strong Chinese women's team?
1