Beijing University League!
Incredible as it may seem, there was no chess league for university students in Beijing, the capital of China – until last Sunday, when the first Beijing Universities Chess League officially kicked off at Tsinghua University, with guests of honour GM Wang Hao and WGM Guo Qi. Over a dozen universities are set to compete in the tournament, including the likes of Tsinghua University, Peking University, Renmin University etc.
The event is going to run from this November to next June, and was originally to be completely held offline. Unfortunately, the promised sponsorship (from multiple sources) evaporated within one week of the beginning of the league. Luckily for us, Chess.com was there to help, and now a significant proportion of the tournament is going to be held online!
Depending on how the tournament goes this year, our eventual goal is to spread the online format to other cities in China in the future!
WGM Guo Qi was kind enough to offer a simultaneous exhibition for some of the players, amongst whose ranks included a number of former provincial-/national-level junior players. However, despite being extremely fatigued due to poor rest the previous night, she was simply too strong, and conceded only the one loss from over a dozen games.
Very tired - but still very strong!
Unfortunately in the end, it was one blunder that decided the game - keep in mind that this was a simul and Guo Qi was basically playing at blitz speed vs everyone else at standard speed.
Some more of the participants, with... GM Wang Hao!