The “Chinese” Championship

  • GM dbojkov
  • | Dec 18, 2010

The WWCC started at the beginning of December in Antakya, Turkey. The sacred chess number of players-- 64-- were to take part in the event, but two of them did not appear, and lost by forfeit.
The first round saw the first surprises. Some of the rating favorites were knocked out by lower-rated opponents. The Russian chess authorities did a doubtful service to their best players by scheduling their national championship just a couple of weeks before the WWCC. Natalia Pogonina was one of the victims of this mental overload. However, the achievement of her opponent Baira Kovanova should not be underestimated:

The greatest surprise of that round was the departure of the European Champion Pia Cramling, who went down against the local Yildiz Betul.

The second round also saw a couple of major upsets, when another Russian player- Tatiana Kosintseva gave way to the Greek Y. Dembo, and unfortunately for me Antoaneta Stefanova also had to leave the stage. After winning her first game against the Chinese Qian Huang, she lost the second, as well as the tie-break. Even though I was not personally in Turkey with Ety, I kept holding my fingers crossed for her, and supported her as well as I could, but some times things just do not work.

The most interesting moment of that round arose in the game:

The third round was significant as it determined that the chess world would have a new champion. Alexandra Kosteniuk from Russia lost her title in a dramatical tie break against yet another player from China- Lufei Ruan.

The following complex and beautiful rook endgame drew my attention:


In the quarter finals the remaining eight players met, and defined four semi-finalists. Curiously, all of them were from Asia, and three out of these four-Chinese! If you have a look at the pictures from the first round though you may discover how impressive the Chinese group of players/trainers/officials was. Nothing comes by chance in a sport like chess and the success of these two nations should not surprise anyone.

So far the elo-favorite Humpy Koneru was winning her matches exceptionally in the normal time, and did not experience the joy of the rapid games. On the other end of the spectrum was Ruan Lufei who won all her matches in the tie-break. Here is her best achievement:



The top seeded Hou Yifan and Humpy Koneru met in the first semi-final (like they did at the previous WWCC in Nalchik).Despite the fact that the Indian managed to avoid the rapid games again, she had to give way to her younger opponent, just like a couple of years ago in the Russian Republic. Decisive proved to be the first game in their mini-match:


There is no need to say that Ruan Lufei will play a tie-break for the second spot in the final. Her opponent is compatriot Zhao Xue.

Thus despite the fact that the second finalist is not yet clarified, we can definitely claim that the title goes to China!


  • 6 years ago


    Nice report. Thanks.I like it

  • 6 years ago


    Hou, Yifan  she play very great when i loke at her game i remmber alkhin.and this move was very buti 44. Be7!.

  • 6 years ago

    GM dbojkov

    @ Davidmelbourne- 48.Kg3 is many miles away from my reach as well Wink

    @lionelcm- Judit does not need to prove anything in the female chess, she is the only one to ever reach the mark of 2700, is the absolute best female player ever.

  • 6 years ago


    nice, thanks

  • 6 years ago


    I wish that I could play this good...

  • 6 years ago


    Very interesting article, it shows women power in chess, but also makes me focus in women chinese players, they are in the top levels few years ago but discipline and preparation is the formula for success. And I have a question, Where is Judith Polgar? Thanx for sharing...

  • 6 years ago


    Exceptionally article, might be the best yet I've read at, interesting notation and games.

  • 6 years ago


    is Koneru Humpy loss coz she has doubled pawn, and the king  of Hou yifan block the pawn in c4 and the bishop of koneru block, and Apawn of yifan pass trough, vishy also has dificulty in bishop endgame , apawn also the wins by magnus in his last round wat a strong apawn pass great.

  • 6 years ago


    why no opening moves? :(

  • 6 years ago


    Great report; especially enjoyed the Rook endgame analysis; it was beautiful -even if the 48. Kg3!! variation is a million miles from my capacity to spot:)

  • 6 years ago


    Nice report.  Thanks.

  • 6 years ago

    GM dbojkov

    Joy is written with irony; btw Ruan had won today yet another match to qualify to the finals. Your idea of +1 game matches might prolong the matches with day, weeks, or even months, keeping the remaining players waiting for that match to be over. It can be applied only for a two-men match.I also do not believe that this system is the best possible, but still nothing better is found so far.

  • 6 years ago


    The big question is, how could the Women's WCC be playing under different rules as the Men's WCC, although they are both controlled by FIDE? This is confusing.

    The next Woman to be WCC will be from China. This clearly is a reflection of what is taking place in the economic and political landscape.

  • 6 years ago

    IM dpruess

    nayyefchess, if you click through the notes in the moves next to the chess board, you can see the explanations of the moves.

  • 6 years ago

    GM dbojkov

    That move wins an important tempo to defend against the threat Qxg2 mate. Black has either to shut the diagonal with 22...exd5, or exchange the queens with 22..Qxd5- 23.Nxf7+. But, do better see the notes.

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