Wang Hao

Wang Hao

Jan 2, 2011, 3:16 AM |

Wang Hao (Chinese: ; pinyin: Wáng Hào; born August 4, 1989 in Harbin, Heilongjiang) is a Chinese chess Grandmaster. He was third behind Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin in the FIDE Top 20 Junior world rankings. In November 2009, Wang Hao became the fourth ever Chinese player to cross the 2700 Elo rating mark. He is the reigning Chinese Chess Champion, with a ranking of #2 in China and #18 in the world.

In 2005, he became China's 20th Grandmaster at the age of 16. As with Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand, Wang Hao became a grandmaster without first gaining an International Master (IM) title.

In August 2002 he won gold on the fourth board of the Chinese national team in the U-16 Chess Olympiad in Kuala Lumpur. In July 2004, being 14 years old, he again won a gold medal with his national team in the U-16 Chess Olympiad in Kozhikode where the result was 8/9 on the first board producing a rating performance of 2577. In the same month he won a youth tournament in Jakutsk.

Wang's first major tournament win was the Dubai Open in April 2005, when he was still untitled and astonishingly finished clear first with 7/9 points (rating performance of 2731), ahead of 53 grandmasters and 30 international masters. In August 2005 Wang won with the brilliant result of 10/11 (two points clear ahead of the rest of the field) in the 2nd IGB Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur (rating performance of 2843). In October 2005 he came joint-first in the Beijing Zonal 3.3 tournament, and took the second place after a playoff match.

In February 2007 he won the GACC Tournament at the University of Malaya. In September 2007 he came in second place after Zhang Pengxiang at the Asian Individual Championship in Manila. In October 2007, Wang came third at the World Junior Chess Championship in Yerevan.

In January 2008, at the 15th Asian Team Chess Championship in Visakhapatnam, Wang won an individual gold medal for his performance on board three (5/6). The national team had also won gold overall. In March 2008, he won the 23rd Reykjavik Open on tie-break with 7/9 points (2721 rating performance). In April 2008, Wang competed at the Russian Team Championships in Dagomys, Sochi for the team 64 (Moscow), where he achieved a score of 8.0/11 (+5=6-0) and a performance rating of 2795. In July 2008, he came 5th out of 10 players at the 9th Poikovsky Karpov Tournament (Category 18, 2691) in Poikovskiy, Russia. He scored 5.0/9 (+2=6-1) with a TPR of 2734. In September 2008, he competed at the 5th Russia v China Match in Ningbo where he scored the highest in the men's category with 3.5/5 and a performance rating of 2844 for the men's team (with Wang Yue, Bu Xiangzhi, Ni Hua, Li Chao).

In May 2009, he scored 5.5/10 (+3 -2 =5) at the 39th Bosnia Tournament in Sarajevo with a 2725 performance. He came second overall. In November 2009, he reached the third round of the Chess World Cup 2009 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

In May 2010, he came first ahead of Zahar Efimenko and Viktor Bologan in the 40th Bosna International tournament in Sarajevo. From May 24 through June 4, 2010, he participated in the Chinese Chess Championship and finished with 7.5/11, tying him with 2004 champion Bu Xiangzhi and Zhou Jianchao. Wang finished ahead of both on tiebreak, winning his first Chinese Chess Championship.

Wang Hao faced his biggest challenge in his career in Shanghai Masters, which took place in Shanghai from September 3rd to 8th. In the four players round robin, his opponents were Levon Aronian, Alexei Shirov and Vladimir Kramnik, all of whom were regarded as some of the best chess players in the world. Wang Hao, the lowest ranked player in the tournament was duly outclassed with 1.5/6. His final results were three losses and three draws. However, he managed to hold former World Chess champion Vladmir Kramnik to two draws.