Super-GM tournament in Nanjing, China

by ChessBase
12/7/2008 – Just when you thought we were in for a Christmas break, the next Super tournament in the category of Wijk, Linares and Dortmund starts. It includes Topalov, Ivanchuk, Aronian, Movsesian, Svidler, and Bu Xiangzhi and will be staged in the beautiful Mingfa Pearl Spring Hotel in Nanjing, a subtropical city that used to be the capital of China. The tournament web site has pictures and videos.

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2008 Pearl Spring Chess Tournament, Nanjing, China


The circumstances in which this tournament occurs consist of three aspects: Firstly, chess is attractive and popular among the general public, which is the premise and starting point for Nanjing to host this tournament. Chess is a sport of intelligence. As one of the oldest gaming sports in the world, chess is as famous as the game of go, Chinese chess and Japanese Chess. Chess enjoys general popularity globally. According to statistics collected by the World Chess Federation in 1990s, there were around 300 million chess fans, a lot of whom were elites. Secondly, the pursuit of harmony in this tournament aligns with the city spirit of Nanjing, a famous city with a long history and a great cultural heritage. Thirdly, the event will serve as an interface for communication and a bridge connecting the international community. Full introduction here.

Organization and participants

The tournament will take place from December 10th to 22nd, at the Mingfa Pearl Spring Hotel in the Pukou District of Nanjing. The opening and closing ceremony will be held on December 10th and 21st respectively, the games will be played from December 11th to 21st. The participants are:

# Rnk Player Nat Rtng born
1   1  Topalov, Veselin  BUL  2791  1975
2   3  Ivanchuk, Vassily  UKR  2786  1969
3   7  Aronian, Levon  ARM  2757  1982
4  13  Movsesian, Sergei  SVK  2732  1978
5  17  Svidler, Peter  RUS  2727  1976
6  26  Bu, Xiangzhi  CHN  2714  1985

This event is striving to become the fourth major chess tournament in the world, after Wijk aan Zee, Linares and Dortmund. The six-player double round robin will also be the strongest tournament in Asia.

The venue – Mingfa Pearl Spring Hotel

Video: View of Nanjing

Nanjing, also known as Nanking (literally: 'Southern capital', Chinese: 南京) is the capital of China's Jiangsu Province, and a city with a prominent place in Chinese history and culture. It served as the capital of China during several historical periods, including as the former capital city of Republic of China, and is listed as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.

Nanjing is situated in the Yangtze River Delta and has a humid subtropical climate, under the influence of the East Asia Monsoon. The city is surrounded by mountains, covered with evergreens and oaks, and has natural lakes located in its center. The population is seven and a half million.

Videos from Pukou district

On the origin of chess

The tournament web site has an interesting page on the origins of the game. Historians will revel in its somewhat eccentrically worded content, but even amateurs will be fascinated by the theory that our royal game was derived from a Chinese predecessor called the “Six-throwing-chopstick board game”. Here a short excerpt from the article:

Many chess learners attributed chess to the Indians, which stemmed from an article "Indian Chess" published on Asian Studies, written by a British man, William Jones in 1790. Most western scholars agree to his point of view because British culture was the world culture then... In 1984, a researcher of Far East Institute of Soviet Academy of Sciences published an article on Soviet Chess Skills, January Issue. According to his research, chess originated from the ideology of The Book of Changes: 64 squares are in line with 64 divinatory symbols, while black and white is matching yin and yang (the two opposing principles in nature). By far, we haven’t seen any contradictory articles by experts or scholars. So the viewpoint of “chess originated from the ideology of The Book of Changes” can be said of tenable worldwide.

At least before 5000 years B.C or so, there were 8×8 line charts in China (ancient painted pottery chart unearthed in Yuanyang Pond site, Yongchang, Gansu). It is concluded that the ancient chess – Six-throwing-chopstick Board Game Set emerged before the 10th century B.C and was transformed into “Saixi” in the 5th century B.C.

At the latest late 6th century and early 7th century A.D, chess was brought to India (it is possible that earlier games like “Six-throwing-chopstick Board Game”, “Saixi” and “Semi-Xiangxi” had been introduced to India), forming into “Chatrang”. It became ‘Shatranj” after being introduced to the Middle East. Both names can be translated into “Sise Chess” in Chinese.

The theory of “Indian Origin” was generated from the British so it’s better to have the British to deny it.

Source: Tournament site.


The games will be being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.

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