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Yu Retains Chinese Title But Loses To Ju
Yu Yangyi. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Yu Retains Chinese Title But Loses To Ju

PeterDoggers
| 33 | Chess Event Coverage

Two weeks after clinching the Shenzhen Masters (online), GM Yu Yangyi won his third Chinese Championship title (over the board!). GM Ju Wenjun, who chose to play in the open section, was one of two players to beat the eventual champion.

How to watch?

You can find, play through, and download all games of the Chinese Championships on our Events page: Open section | Women's section.


That this Chinese Championship took place just five months after the previous must be related to the coronavirus pandemic, which probably led to a postponement of the 2020 edition until the end of last year. Because, yes, we're talking about over-the-board chess!

Again held in Xinghua, Jiangsu, it was again Yu who won the title, his third in all as he also won in 2014. This time, he edged out GM Wei Yi and GM Li Di on tiebreak.

After nine rounds, Wei and Yu were sharing the lead with 6/9. While Yu had lost one game earlier in the event, Wei was still undefeated. In this crucial encounter, Yu managed to beat his five-year-younger opponent so that he went into the final round a point ahead of the pack.

Yu Yangyi 2021 Chinese Champion
Yu Yangyi. Photo courtesy organizers.

However, Yu lost that final-round game, so Wei, and also Li, were able to catch him. The tiebreak helped Yu to retain his title.

The player who beat him in the final round was Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun, who played in the open section (just like in December). This time it was Yu who ended up in a hopeless endgame.

Ju Wenjun 2021 Chinese Championship
Ju Wenjun. Photo courtesy organizers.

The nice game below was one of several clashes among the four players in this tournament who share the same family name. This game caught our eye thanks to the weekly blog by the Azerbaijani grandmasters Vasif Durarbayli and Burak Firat, who chose this one as their Game of the Week for the special role the white king plays:

Xu Ji Chinese Championship 2021
GM Xu Yi channeled his inner Nigel Short by walking his king all the way to h6. Photo courtesy organizers.

2021 Chinese Championship | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Yu Yangyi 2709 2680 1 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 7.0/11 37.75
2 Wei Yi 2732 2678 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 7.0/11 37
3 Li Di 2561 2693 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 7.0/11 36
4 Lu Shanglei 2615 2622 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 6.0/11
5 Ju Wenjun 2560 2564 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 5.0/11 28
6 Xu Yinglun 2554 2564 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 5.0/11 27.25
7 Xu Zhihang 2506 2569 ½ 0 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 5.0/11 27.25
8 Xu Xiangyu 2573 2564 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 5.0/11 27
9 Zhao Jun 2638 2558 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 5.0/11 26.25
10 Liu Yan 2524 2567 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 5.0/11 26
11 Bai Jinshi 2618 2527 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 4.5/11 24.75
12 Xu Yi 2527 2535 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5/11 23.75

Like Yu, GM Tan Zhongyi retained the title that she had won in December, also after losing in the final round. However, she had already secured victory with a round to spare as she was leading by 1.5 points after round 10.

Tan's game in round six was an example of a concept coined by GM John Nunn called LPDO: Loose Pieces Drop Off. 

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Tan Zhongyi 2021 Chinese Championship
Tan Zhongyi. Photo courtesy organizers.

2021 Chinese Women's Championship | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Tan Zhongyi 2510 2508 1 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 0 8.5/11
2 Ning Kaiyu 2327 2481 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 1 1 8.0/11 40.75
3 Zhu Jiner 2459 2469 1 0 0 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 8.0/11 39
4 Song Yuxin 2290 2378 0 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 6.5/11
5 Xiao Yiyi 2301 2345 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 0 1 1 6.0/11 25.75
6 Zhai Mo 2366 2340 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 6.0/11 25.5
7 Wang Yu A. 2294 2251 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 1 0 1 4.5/11 22.75
8 Gu Tianlu 2267 2254 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 4.5/11 22.5
9 Li Xueyi 2328 2248 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 1 1 ½ ½ 4.5/11 18.75
10 Ren Xiaoyi 2267 2185 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 3.5/11 18.75
11 Yuan Ye 2081 2201 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 0 3.5/11 15.75
12 Gu Xiaobing 2263 2105 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 2.5/11


Liang Ziming informed Chess.com that IM Xu Zhihang narrowly missed his third and final GM norm. In the women's section, WIM Ning Kaiyu got her second WGM norm while WIM Song Yuxin just missed out on her third and final WGM norm.

Tan Zhongyi Yu Yangyi Chinese Championship 2021
The two winners with the organizers. Photo courtesy organizers.

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