Hainan Super-GM event in action

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/28/2014 – Boasting some of the top players in China plus Naiditsch and Ponomariov as the invited foreign players, the 5th edition of the Hainan Daizhou super tournament is surely going to be an interesting one. Bu Xiangzhi has taken an early lead by scoring 2.5/3 in the event but he is followed closely by Ding Liren and Naiditsch. Report from a tournament being held in the Hawaii of China.

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The fifth edition of the Hainan Daizhou chess tournament is under way in the island of Hainan, China. The tournament will run until the 4th of July and is one of the top tournaments held in Chinese territory. The event features a nice mix of top national players plus Ruslan Ponomariov from Ukraine and Arakadij Naiditsch from Germany.

Hainan is the smallest and southernmost province of China. The name "Hainan" also refers to Hainan Island (the main island of the province and where the tournament is being held. Hainan is located in the South China Sea, separated from Guangdong's Leizhou Peninsula to the north by the shallow and narrow Qiongzhou Strait.

The climate of Hainan varies from subtropical to fully tropical. Northern Hainan, including the island's capital Haikou, has a humid subtropical climate.

Not what one usually thinks when mentioning "China"

Hainan is, for obvious reasons, known as the Hawaii of China

Mr. Zheng Gang, the vice mayor of Danzhou city, said to the media in the opening ceremony that they will invite more foreign GMs to the Danzhou tournament in the future and they also plan to make this tournament the top traditional chess event in the coming ten years.

The tournament has begun and it so far has a relatively slow pace. On the first three rounds only four decisive results have been seen, but it is still very early in the tournament and that can dramatically change at any moment.

A traditional gong was played to signal the start of the super tournament

All of the players during the opening ceremony

Bu Xiangzhi is the current leader with 2.5/3

Ruslan Ponomariov during the opening ceremony, drawing his seeding number

Ding Liren is the top rated Chinese player of the tournament

Naiditsch started with two draws but beat Zhao Jun in round three for a solid +1

Ponomariov vs. Zhou Weiqi ended in a solid draw

Naiditsch converting his first victory against Zhao Jun

Ding Liren is also on +1 and it is also due to his victory against Zhao Jun, which happened in round one

Live commentary and lectures by former Women World Champion Xu Yuhua and Mr. Baimin, the deputy director of the Chinese Chess Association

The future of Chinese chess paying close attention!

Despite Bu Xiangzhi's early success in this tournament it is still wide open to any player. Bu Xiangzhi, originally from Qingdao, has been relatively inactive since the World Team championship where he had a fantastic performance, only playing in the Asian Continental and the Chinese League.

Naiditsch and Ding Liren, who are both tied for second with 2.0/3, have kept themselves far busier. Naiditsch in several tournaments in Europe and Ding Liren playing Cappelle la Grande and the National Chinese Championship on top of all of the tournaments Bu Xiangzhi has played. It will be interesting to see if the player from Qingdao has used his time wisely and proves that rest and study beats more consistent play.

Follow the action of the tournament live on the playchess.com server!

Additional information provided by Mr. Liang Ziming


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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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