China squashes Romania at King's Cup

by Alejandro Ramirez
12/2/2014 – The traditional super-tournament held in Bucharest every year went through a format change. Instead of a round robin this year the event was a Scheveningen-style match between the olympic teams of Russia and China. The Asian team held nothing back sending three of their gold medalists and reinforced with the u20 World Champion. The result: a squashing victory for the Chinese.

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Starting with the 8th edition the Kings Tournament Romgaz changes its format. The Olympic Champions 2014 - the Chinese team - visited Romania and played four games against the Romanian Olympic team in a Scheveningen system (each player of one team plays each player of the other team). Then according to the standings after 4 rounds the best Chinese and Romanian players (those who scored the most points in their team) will play a match consisting of two rapid games. The winner of this match will be announced the victor of the 8th edition of Kings Tournament.

This is of course a big change from the traditional super tournament held in Bucharest, but it was nonetheless an entertaining tournament.

The Chinese team consisted of:

Name Rating
Wang Yue 2711
Wei Yi 2649
Ni Hua 2677
Lu Shanglei 2566

With three members of their Olympic team and the addition of the World Junior Champion it was clear that China sent a very strong team, despite Romania's own team not being one of the medal contenders in Tromso.

Name Rating
Lupulescu, Constantin 2643
Parligras, Mircea 2594
Jianu, Vlad Cristian 2588
Nevednichy, Viacheslav 2566

The Romanian team came in as a heavy underdog, but playing in home turf and with the crowd cheering they hoped to turn things around. After all, the average difference was of only about 50 points.

The event kicked off with a blitz tournament. The board orders for both teams were determined by their placement on the tournament. Two strong Romanian juniors joined the fray: Bogdan-Daniel Deac and Mihnea Costachi. At the end of the day the blitz tournament really set the tone for what was to come.

Deac had a brilliant performance while Lupulescu and Jianu had a very good appearance at the blitz tournament, but the last three places were at the end of the day taken by Romanians. Things did not go smoothly in the Scheveningen either.

Lu Shanglei (left), the blitz expert! He famously
defeated Carlsen last year in the World Blitz Championship

The blitz ready to begin

Ni Hua's strength is certainly not blitz

Also in an unusual case for youngsters,
Wei Yi's blitz rating is 80 points below his standard rating

The spectators had great seats to watch the action

The tournament venue was the Muzeul Gazului, a History Museum

The first round started with a 3-1 victory for China. Wei Yi won a piece against Nevednichy who over extended while Wang Yue ground down Jianu, turning a worse position into a win.

Things certailny did not improve for Romania in round two. Victories by Wei Yi and Ni Hua gave China another 3-1. The third and fourth rounds were whitewashes where Romania only scored a single draw per round.

Kids flocked for autographs! How often do you get to see the Olympic champions?

Lupulescu only scored 1.0/4 and was
the second best scoring Romanian, behind...

Jianu, who at least scored 1.5/4

Despite the fact that the match was not close, the overall winner of the tournament was determined by the two top scorers from each team facing against each other in rapid play. Wang Yue beat Jianu handedly and took the official title as the tournament winner.

Sometimes things don't go right for a particular team in a particular tournament, and that combined with the consistently good performances by the Chinese team made this a rough event for Romania.

Wei Yi can be particularly happy with th e points earned in Bucharest as he catapults himself into the top-100 in the World!

Replay Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Dorian Rogozenko has analysis and round-by-round commentary of the event at the official website.

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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gmwdim gmwdim 12/4/2014 05:54
"Ni Hua's strength is certainly not blitz"

You can't draw such a conclusion from a single tournament. Ni Hua's blitz rating on ICC has been over 3400.
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