Hou Yifan and Vassily Ivanchuk start match

by Liang Ziming
4/5/2017 – A four-game chess battle of genders, the “MEWE Cup” 2017 World Champion Summit Chess Match, kicked off at 2:30 PM on April 5 in Shenzhen, China. The four-time Women Chess Champion GM Hou Yifan will play four classical games against the reigning world rapid chess champion GM Vassily Ivanchuk at the rate of one per day.

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The time control for the four games is 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes and a 30-second increment as of move one. Draws cannot be offered before move 30, and if the match ends in a 2-2 tie, a blitz tiebreak will take place at the rate of 5 minutes plus 3 seconds. If even this is tied, then a special super-bitz game will be used to decide the winner. This is not an Armageddon game. Instead, a single blitz game at the rate of 5 minutes plus 2 seconds will be played with the following condition: if it ends in a draw, the clock times are left as they are, the colors are reversed, and the players start a new game with those times left. This will continue until the tie is broken.

After the first game, which ended in a draw after 30 moves, Hou Yifan said she is very happy to play against GM Vassily Ivanchuk, a player she considers immensely creative and experienced, who has signed many wonderful games. "I will try my best to make interesting and high-quality games during this match."

The official poster of the match

Vassily Ivanchuk said he was happy to get the invitation to this match. "I've been to China many times and I like playing here. Hou Yifan is a very talented and solid player. It will be quite an interesting match. I will focus on each game and will not think about the final result."

Vassily Ivanchuk is easily one of the most interesting players around, with enormously diverse openings, experience, and creativity. The former world no. 2 is one of those players whose passion for chess is untouched by time.

The match is organized by the China Chess Association, Shenzhen Pengcheng Chess Club Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen MEWE Real Estate. The total prize fund is 30,000 USD and the winner will get 18,000 USD.

Vassily Ivanchuk vs Hou Yifan

[Event "King and Queen Summit Match 2017"] [Site "Shenzhen"] [Date "2017.04.05"] [Round "1"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2732"] [BlackElo "2649"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. Nd2 d5 7. exd5 cxd5 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Bxd7+ Qxd7 10. O-O Be7 11. b3 O-O 12. Bb2 Qf5 (12... Rfe8 13. Qf3 Ng4 14. h3 Bf6 15. hxg4 Bxb2 16. Rad1 c6 17. c3 Qe7 18. Nb1 a5 19. Rd2 Ba3 20. Nxa3 Qxa3 21. Rfd1 {1/2-1/2 (21) Volokitin,A (2687)-Efimenko,Z (2651) Kiev 2013}) 13. Nf3 (13. Rc1 c5 14. Re1 Rfe8 15. Re5 Qd7 16. Qf3 Bf8 17. Rxe8 Nxe8 18. c4 Rd8 19. cxd5 Qxd5 20. Qxd5 Rxd5 21. Nf3 f6 22. Kf1 Kf7 23. Rc4 Nc7 24. Ke2 Ke8 25. Ne1 Rd6 26. Ra4 Ra6 27. Rxa6 Nxa6 28. Kd3 Nb4+ 29. Kc4 Nxa2 30. Nd3 Nb4 31. Nxb4 cxb4 32. Bd4 Bd6 33. Bxa7 Bxh2 34. Kxb4 Kd7 35. Kb5 Kc7 36. Bd4 Bd6 37. b4 {1-0 (50) De Gleria,F (2362)-Sonntag,H (2377) Germany 2013}) 13... Rfe8 14. Qd3 {The position is equal.} Qxd3 15. cxd3 Nd7 16. Rac1 Nc5 17. Rfd1 Ne6 18. g3 Rec8 19. Rc6 a5 20. Nd4 Nxd4 21. Bxd4 a4 22. Rdc1 Ba3 23. R1c2 axb3 24. axb3 Rab8 25. Rxc7 Rxc7 26. Rxc7 $14 {KRB-KRB} h6 ({The pawn is untouchable in view of} 26... Rxb3 $2 27. Rc8+ Bf8 28. Bc5 $18) 27. Rd7 Rxb3 28. Rxd5 Rxd3 29. Ra5 Rxd4 30. Rxa3 h5 1/2-1/2

Liang Ziming has been a chess journalist since 2003 and the New Officer for the Chinese Chess Association since 2011. In 2007, he translated Kasparov's book "How Life Imitates Chess" into Chinese together with the former Women World Champion Xie Jun.


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