Asian Continental: Wang Hao Wins, Wei Yi Disappoints

Asian Continental: Wang Hao Wins, Wei Yi Disappoints

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
May 24, 2017, 7:55 AM |
4 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Wang Hao edged out his compatriot GM Bu Xiangzhi on tiebreak to win the Asian Continental Championship in Chengdu, China. Both players finished on 7.0/9 and qualified for the 2017 FIDE World Cup together with GMs Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, Yu Yangyi and Tsegmed Batchuluun.

Vidit, Wang and Bu at the closing ceremony. | Photo Lennart Ootes.

The 16th Asian Continental Championship, which also served as a World Cup qualifier, took place 12-20 May, 2017 in Chengdu, China. 69 players participated in the main section, including 33 grandmasters.

The top seeds were GMs Yu Yangyi (CHN, 2743), Wei Yi (CHN, 2732), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (UZB, 2698), Bu Xiangzhi (CHN, 2697), Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (IND, 2687), Wang Hao (CHN, 2680), Adhiban B. (IND, 2672), Surya Shekhar Ganguly (IND, 2653), Sethuraman S.P. (IND, 2633), and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (VIE, 2632).

With a relatively small but strong field, clashes between grandmasters came as early as round two. After the third round, there wasn't a single player still on a 100 percent score.

As early as the first round favorites Adhiban, Vidit and Yu were held to draws. A nice game was played by second seed Wei Yi, who had just finished the Chinese Championship. (He won that one, for the third time in a row.) It wasn't without mistakes:

Among the strong players drawing their first round, GM Gujrathi had the least to complain. He was in fact lost at some point in an endgame against 23-year-old IM Liu Guanchu of China. Can you see the winning line for White?

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A narrow escape for GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi in the first round. | Photo Lennart Ootes.

Wang Hao, the eventual winner of the tournament, grabbed the lead in round four, at which point he was the only player to reach 3.5 points. He then faced Vidit, and played a powerful game from start to finish.

Wang used to have a 2700+ rating for a long time, and with his recent form (he also won the Sharjah Masters in March) the Chinese player might well be on his way back.

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Vidit sees that he'll lose the pawn endgame and resigns. | Photo Lennart Ootes.

Wang continued with three draws, against Indian rising star Aravindh, and his compatriots Yu Yangyi and Bu Xiangzhi. The three Chinese GMs were sharing the lead going into the final round, together with Vidit and the Philippine grandmasterJulio Sadorra.

Both Bu and Wang won their last games; the latter facing the lowest rated player in the leading group as Black. Sadorra had no idea what his opponent was up to, and let his rook on g7 get trapped:

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Tournament winner Wang Hao of China. | Photo Lennart Ootes.

The tournament finished disappointingly for GM Wei Yi, who played four draws after his initial win, and then lost to IM Tran Tuan Minh of Vietnam. A slip of the finger in the opening got Wei in a difficult position. He managed to come back into the game, only to blunder an important pawn:

nullWei, who had already qualified for the World Cup, recovered somewhat with wins in rounds 7-9 but still lost 7.8 rating points. | Photo Lennart Ootes.

The most surprising name among the five World Cup qualifiers is GM Tsegmed Batchuluun of Mongolia. He managed to do so on the second tiebreak: greater number of victories. 

The strongest opponent he beat was Aravindh, in the final round:

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We'll be seeing GM Tsegmed Batchuluun at the FIDE World Cup in September in Georgia. | Photo Lennart Ootes.

2017 Asian Championship | Final Standings

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4 TB5
1 6 GM Wang Hao 2680 7 0,5 5 2598 47,5 40,5
2 4 GM Bu Xiangzhi 2697 7 0,5 5 2568 42 35
3 5 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2687 6,5 0,5 5 2541 44 37
4 1 GM Yu Yangyi 2743 6,5 0,5 4 2570 44 37
5 26 GM Batchuluun Tsegmed 2525 6 0 5 2563 42,5 35,5
6 20 GM Sadorra Julio Catalino 2575 6 0 4 2570 44,5 37,5
7 2 GM Wei Yi 2732 6 0 4 2542 40,5 35
8 7 GM Adhiban B. 2672 6 0 4 2518 40 34
9 8 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2653 6 0 3 2568 42 36
10 19 GM Maghsoodloo Parham 2577 5,5 0 4 2543 43 36
11 9 GM Sethuraman S.P. 2633 5,5 0 4 2512 38,5 32
12 11 GM Jumabayev Rinat 2625 5,5 0 4 2493 41 34
13 17 GM Sengupta Deep 2586 5,5 0 3 2577 42 35,5
14 10 GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 2632 5,5 0 2 2521 40,5 34,5
15 12 GM Lu Shanglei 2619 5,5 0 2 2495 37,5 32,5
16 16 GM Bai Jinshi 2586 5 0 4 2603 43,5 36,5
17 15 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2588 5 0 3 2593 46 39
18 3 GM Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2698 5 0 3 2542 41,5 35,5
19 23 IM Tran Tuan Minh 2537 5 0 3 2539 43,5 36,5
20 44 IM Atabayev Saparmyrat 2422 5 0 3 2530 40 34

(Full final standings here.)

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Besides chess players, photographer Lennart Ootes also shot pictures of buildings...

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...street life...

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...and panda's! His photo collection should not be missed.

Games from TWIC.

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