China vs Russia: Yu Yangyi cannot stop Karjakin

by Johannes Fischer
8/1/2015 – Sergey Karjakin is on a roll. In the China-Russia match in knock-out format, in which one player plays against the other team till he loses, Karjakin eliminated four of the five Chinese. After winning against Wei Yi, Ding Liren, and Ni Hua, he also beat Yu Yangyi, once again showing his skills in blitz. The match will be resumed in December.

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The format of the Russia - China match is unusual for chess matches: Each team has five players and the line-up has to be established before the match. In every round one, and only one, player of each team plays against the corresponding player from the other team. The players on the first board begin the match. The winner of this mini-match then plays against the player of the opposite team who follows next in the line-up.

The line-up of the Chinese team:

1. Wei Yi
2. Ding Liren
3. Ni Hua
4. Yu Yangyi
5. Wang Yue.

The line-up of the Russian team:

1. Sergey Karjakin
2. Evgeny Tomashevsky
3. Alexander Morozevich
4. Ian Nepomniachtchi
5. Dmitry Andreikin

The time-limit is 90-30/30 seconds per move. Only one game is played. Should this game end in a draw, two blitz games with a time-limit of 5+3 will follow. Should there still be no winner, the mini-match will be decided by a final game in sudden death mode.

Sergey Karjakin seems to like this format. After eliminating Wei Yi, Ding Liren, and Ni Hua he had to play against Yu Yangyi in round four - and won again.

The Chinese had White in the regular game but found no way
to exert pressure and Karjakin managed to draw without trouble.

Yu Yangyi found no recipe against Karjakin's solid play.

In the first of the two blitz games that followed Karjakin had Black and after a cunning tactical trick by Yu Yangyi landed in a rook ending with a pawn down. But Karjakin kept calm, countered and soon regained the pawn, which led to a rook ending that was objectively drawn though Black had the initiative. But with only seconds on the clock Yu Yangyi soon went astray and Karjakin won.

Thus the Chinese had to win with Black in the second blitz game. But in a solid hedgehog position he found no way to stir up trouble and finally cracked under the pressure and blundered a piece. A few moves later Yu resigned and Karjakin had eliminated the fourth member of the Chinese squad.

Games of round four


After four rounds the first part of the match ends. The second part will be played in December (12. to 17) in Harbin City. The winning team receives 50.000 USD, the losing team receives nothing. Each player of the winning team receives 5.000 USD starting fee, while each player of the losing team receives a starting fee of 3.000 USD.

Organizers of the match are the Chinese Chess Association and People's Government of Fuyuan County. HHost of the event is the Culture, Radio, Film, Television, Press and Publication Bureau of Fu Yuan County and the Education and Sports Bureau of Fuyun County.

Photos: Fan Lulu

Website of the Chinese Chess Federation

Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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