Mind Games: Artemiev, Grischuk, Stefanova und Zhao Xue

by André Schulz
12/21/2017 – Huaian, China hosted the International Mind Games Association's competition of five mind sports, including chess, which was represented by rapid, blitz and Basque (two simultaneous games) formats. Vladislav Artemiev won the blitz and Dmitry Andreikin took the rapid tournaments for the men, Alexander Grischuk the Basque tournament. For women, the winners are Antoaneta Stafanova and Zhao Xue. | Photo: Gu Xiaobing

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The International Mind Games Association (IMSA) Mind Games, features competitions in bridge, draughts, chess, go and XiangQi. IMSA is an association of meanwhile six mind sports associations. The five played in 2017 included the founding associations — The "World Bridge Federation" (WBF), the "International Go Federation" (IGF), the "Fédération Mondiale du Jeu de Dames" (FMJD) and the "Fédération Internationale des Échecs" (FIDE) — plus the fifth member, the World Xiangqi Federation (WXF) added in 2015, and the sixth member joining this year was the Mah Jongg Association ("Maahj" is a rummy-like game played with tiles rather than cards).

Competitions were held in parallel in all the mind sports varieties. The organizer of the chess tournaments was of course the Chinese Chess Association, founded in 1962.

For the chess competitons, twelve men and twelve women were invited, who each played in three tournaments: (rapid, with 20 minutes plus 10 seconds per move), blitz (22 rounds at 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move) and Basque chess (five-round Swiss with 20 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. In the "Basque format", two games with reversed colors are played at the same time against one opponent.

Vladislav Artemiev, Quang Liem Le, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Alexander Grischuk, Dmitry Andreikin, Rauf Mamedov, Anton Korobov, Vassily Ivanchuk and Pentala Harikrishna and the "local" players Yangyi Yu, Wang Hao and Ding Liren.

For the women we saw, Nana Dzagnidze, Dronavalli Harika, Anna Muzychuk, Mariya Muzychuk, Wenjun Ju, Xue Zhao, Anna Ushenina, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Antoaneta Stefanova, Zhongyi Tan, Kateryna Lagno and Elisabeth Paehtz.

At the start of the six-day tournament (December 10th to 15th), the seven-round rapid tournament was on tap first. Dmitry Andreikin and Antoaneta Stefanova were the winners in the end, but only on tiebreak points. In the men's tournament, three players tied on 4½ / 7, while in the women's tournament there were five shared first. It was an odd format choice for 12 players. 

IMSA players

The women's tournament | Photo: FIDE

Mamedyarov, Andreikin, Le Quang Liem | Photo: FIDE

The longest game of the event was between Yu and Harikrishna, a rook ending which is known to be a draw in grandmaster circles but which can of course be played for a long time in rapid with increment.


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Final rapid standings (men)

Rk. Name Pts.  Wtg1 
1 Andreikin Dmitry 4,5 1,5
2 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 4,5 1,0
3 Le Quang Liem 4,5 0,5
4 Ding Liren 4,0 0,5
5 Wang Hao 4,0 0,5
6 Korobov Anton 3,5 0,0
7 Harikrishna P. 3,0 0,0
8 Yu Yangyi 3,0 0,0
9 Ivanchuk Vassily 3,0 0,0
10 Grischuk Alexander 3,0 0,0
11 Artemiev Vladislav 2,5 1,0
12 Mamedov Rauf 2,5 0,0

Women's tournament

In the women's rapid chess tournament, the five-way tie for first was broken by the second tiebreak in this case, the Elo performance rating. Antoaneta Stefanova was declared the winner, while sisters, Anna and Mariya Muzychuk won silver and gold.

Anna Muzychuk, Antoaneta Stefanova, Mariya Muzychuk (looking away) | Photo: FIDE

Final rapid standings (women)

Rk. Name Pts.  Wtg1 
1 Stefanova Antoaneta 4,5 0,0
2 Muzychuk Anna 4,5 0,0
3 Muzychuk Mariya 4,5 0,0
4 Lagno Kateryna 4,5 0,0
5 Ushenina Anna 4,5 0,0
6 Harika Dronavalli 4,0 0,0
7 Dzagnidze Nana 3,5 0,0
8 Ju Wenjun 3,0 0,0
9 Zhao Xue 2,5 1,5
10 Tan Zhongyi 2,5 1,0
11 Kosteniuk Alexandra 2,5 0,5
12 Paehtz Elisabeth 1,5 0,0

Blitz tournament (Men)

There followed the blitz tournament. This was played instead in a round-robin format, with 11 double rounds. After the 22 games Vladislav Artemiev and Alexander Grischuk were atop the men's tournament with 16 points apiece. Since Artemiev had won the direct duel against Grischuk 2-0, he was declared the winner here. Third was Dmitry Andreikin.

The winners | Photo: Gu Xiaobing

Final blitz standings (men)

Rk. Snr   Name FED Elo Bdld Pts.  Wtg1   Wtg2   Wtg3 
1 10 GM Artemiev Vladislav RUS 2798   16,0 2,0 167,00 13,0
2 6 GM Grischuk Alexander RUS 2725   16,0 0,0 157,50 14,0
3 3 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 2771   14,0 0,0 150,00 10,0
4 2 GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2701   12,0 0,0 119,50 9,0
5 7 GM Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2815   11,0 1,0 112,00 9,0
6 4 GM Ding Liren CHN 2837   11,0 1,0 106,00 7,0
7 12 GM Le Quang Liem VIE 2771   10,0 3,0 95,50 7,0
8 5 GM Wang Hao CHN 2737   10,0 2,0 102,50 6,0
9 11 GM Harikrishna P. IND 2759   10,0 1,0 107,00 6,0
10 1 GM Mamedov Rauf AZE 2755   8,0 0,0 77,00 5,0
11 8 GM Korobov Anton UKR 2760   7,0 2,0 79,50 5,0
12 9 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2770   7,0 0,0 74,50 3,0

Blitz tournament (Women)

The women's tournament once again went to Antoaneta Stefanova. She was the only player to finish with 14 points from 22 games. Second was Ju Wenjun with the better tiebreak ahead of Alexandra Kosteniuk. Both players scored 13½ points. Ju Wenjun had won the direct duel against Kosteniuk with 1½ : ½ points.

Winners (with dogs) and officials | Photo: Gu Xiaobing

The World Champion among the women, Tan Zhongyi, struggled. Despite her triumph in Tehran last March, where she surprisingly defeated the favorite Anna Muzychuk in the final, in both the blitz and the rapid tournaments of the Mind Games she finished only in tenth place. 

Final Standings

Rk. Name Pts.  Wtg1 
1 Stefanova Antoaneta 14,5 0,0
2 Ju Wenjun 13,5 1,5
3 Kosteniuk Alexandra 13,5 0,5
4 Lagno Kateryna 13,0 0,0
5 Harika Dronavalli 12,5 1,0
6 Zhao Xue 12,5 1,0
7 Dzagnidze Nana 12,0 0,0
8 Muzychuk Anna 11,5 0,0
9 Ushenina Anna 10,0 0,0
10 Tan Zhongyi 9,5 0,0
11 Muzychuk Mariya 6,0 0,0
12 Paehtz Elisabeth 3,5 0,0

All blitz games


Basque tournament (men)

In "Basque format", the two players in a pairing play two games against each other, one with the white pieces, one with the black pieces. At the Mind Games, the Basque tournaments were held with five double rounds according to the Swiss system.

Two games at the same time | Photo: Gu Xiaobing

The men's tournament ended with Alexander Grischuk and Anton Korobov tied with 6½ points from ten games. The direct encounter was won by Grischuk with 1½ points who was thus the winner of the tournament. Third went to P. Harikrishna with half a point behind and tied with Yu Yangyi. Their direct duel ended 1 : 1, so here the next tiebreak had to be used; the Elo perfomance rating decided the bronze in favor of the Indian number two.

Prize winners Photo: Gu Xiaobing

Final Standings

Rg. Name  Wtg1 
1 Grischuk Alexander 6,5
2 Korobov Anton 6,5
3 Harikrishna P. 6,0
4 Yu Yangyi 6,0
5 Andreikin Dmitry 6,0
6 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 5,5
7 Wang Hao 5,5
8 Ding Liren 5,0
9 Artemiev Vladislav 5,0
10 Mamedov Rauf 4,5
11 Ivanchuk Vassily 2,0
12 Le Quang Liem 1,5

All games


Basque tournament (women)

In the Basque Women's Tournament, Zhao Xue stood out. The Chinese GM won the tournament with 7½ points and a full point ahead of Anna Muzychuk. Katerina Lagno finished third with a better tiebreak, ahead of Harika Dronavalli. Elisabeth Pähtz had a stronger showing than in the other two tournaments, if still underwhelming, and finished tenth, with the same score but ahead of World Champion Tan Zhonqyi.

Anna Muzychuk, Zhao Xue, Katerina Lagno | Photo: Gu Xiaobing

Final Standings

Rg. Name  Wtg1 
1 Zhao Xue 7,5
2 Muzychuk Anna 6,5
3 Lagno Kateryna 5,5
4 Harika Dronavalli 5,5
5 Kosteniuk Alexandra 5,0
6 Ushenina Anna 5,0
7 Ju Wenjun 4,5
8 Muzychuk Mariya 4,5
9 Dzagnidze Nana 4,5
10 Paehtz Elisabeth 4,0
11 Tan Zhongyi 4,0
12 Stefanova Antoaneta 3,5

All Games


Translation from German: Macauley Peterson


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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