Wei Yi wins exhibition match with David Navara

by André Schulz
1/3/2018 – In Yancheng, the Chinese Chess Federation organized a competition between Wei Yi and top Czech player David Navara. After the four games of classical chess, the match was tied 2 : 2. Wei Yi won a playoff. | Photo: www.imsa.cn

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Hengda Cup to Wei in tiebreak

Under the name "Hengda Cup", a match between Wei Yi and David Navara took place in the eastern Chinese city of Yancheng from December 30th to January 3rd, 2018. Wei Yi is China's best junior player and number one in the FIDE Junior World Ranking. In the absolute world ranking, the young Chinese grandmaster takes 22nd place with Elo 2743. The Czech top player David Navara is ranked 17th with 2749.

A year ago, Wei narrowly lost a match against Richard Rapport, which was decided by a sudden death ("Armageddon") blitz game, and history repeated itself again this year, as the players first split four classical games, and then two blitz games, before deciding the match in a single "6 vs 5" minute game where Wei Yi had black and draw odds. But this time around Wei came out on top.

Wei Yi and David Navara get set to start | Photo: imsa.cn

Navara took the lead with a black win in the Caro Kann defense right in the first game. After a draw in the second game Wei Yi made up the deficit byt winning the third game in a Queen's Gambit. The fourth game ended again draw.


Classical games


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There followed two blitz games of 5 minutes plus 3 seconds per move. Wei took the lead winning the first game, but Navara equalised with a win in the second, again with Black in the Caro-Kann defense.

Finally, the three-time Chinese Champion won the match by drawing in the "Armageddon" game.

Tiebreak games


Translation from German: Macauley Peterson

Correction, January 5th: An earlier version had the winner of Wei Yi vs. Rapport, 2016 backwards. As the linked article correctly reports, Rapport won in the final Armageddon game.


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


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