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14-Year-Old Lu Miaoyi Wins Chinese Women's Championship; Wang Yue Takes Open
First-place finishers Wang Yue and Lu Miaoyi. Photo: mp.weixin.qq.com.

14-Year-Old Lu Miaoyi Wins Chinese Women's Championship; Wang Yue Takes Open

PeterDoggers
| 16 | Chess Event Coverage

21 years after her mother won the title, WGM Lu Miaoyi clinched her first Chinese Women's Championship on Thursday in Xinhua, Jiangsu, China. The 14-year-old prodigy defeated WGM Ni Shiqun in a blitz playoff after both had tied for first place with a 9/11 score and all tiebreaks were equal. In the open section, GM Wang Yue won his third title after earlier victories in 2005 and 2013.

The Chinese Championships were held for the 16th year in a row in Xinhua, Jiangsu, a county-level city in eastern China with about 1.5 million inhabitants. It's a chess-minded city where China's biggest prodigy Hou Yifan was born in 1994. Hou won the Chinese Women's Championship in 2007 and 2008, at an even younger age than Lu is now.

In this year's women's section, the situation after 11 rounds was remarkable, with Lu and Ni sharing first as the only players to remain undefeated and not a single tiebreak able to split them. They had drawn their mutual game, and (for the technical-minded) their Sonneborn-Berger, Koya, and number of victories were all the same. According to Chinese media, Lu won the title scoring 2-0 in a blitz playoff, but those games were not recorded, it seems.

Chinese Women's Championship 2024 | Final Standings

Chinese Women's Championship 2024 Final Standings

Lu started with two wins, both with the black pieces. In the second round, she got to use an underpromotion to win her game nicely:

The finish of Lu's round-seven game was particularly pretty, coming straight out of a tactics book. (Or should we say Puzzle Rush these days?) The joy it gives to execute that final move!

It should be noted that the field of the women's section could have been (much) stronger. None of the country's top six female players, all grandmasters, participated. In fact, as the only player rated above 2400, Lu was the top seed. The national title is a good achievement nonetheless, which came two months after she secured her fourth IM norm in Reykjavik. That title should be awarded soon by FIDE, while the GM title should be in reach as well.

WGM Lu Miaoyi chess
WGM Lu Miaoyi. Photo: mp.weixin.qq.com.

An interesting side note is that Lu's mother, WGM Xu Yuanyuan, won the Chinese Women's Championship back in 2003. She started teaching her daughter from the age of seven fulltime and in that year 2017 the family moved from Beijing to Hangzhou. More recently, the two have started playing tournaments in Europe and Lu's rating jumped from 2252 to 2437 in just a few months.

Wang Yue takes open section

Wang won the open section for the third time, and the story was somewhat similar: he was the top seed in a field that was missing some of the country's strongest players. It's been twenty years already since Wang became a grandmaster, at the age of 17. He was China's first player ever to break into the world top 10 and participated in many top events. If my database informs me correctly, the last time he played a tournament in Europe was Dortmund 2017.

Chinese Championship 2024 | Final Standings

Chinese Championship 2024 | Final Standings

Here's his win against the number-two seed. Having played 1.Nf3, 1.c4 and 1.d4 earlier in the tournament, Wang won his last two white games with 1.e4. Black's exchange sacrifice in the game was good (and instructive for French players) but his follow-up wasn't:

GM Wang Yue. Photo: <a href=
A third national title for Wang Yue. Photo: mp.weixin.qq.com.

With their victories, Wang and Lu both qualified to represent China at the 45th Chess Olympiad, in September in Hungary.

The Chinese Championships took place in Xinghua. The total prize fund was 500,000 yuan ($69,000). Both groups were round-robins among 12 players. The time control was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment from move one. You can find all games here: Open | Women.


See also:

PeterDoggers
Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by Chess.com in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!


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