China Beats Russia 29-21 In Ningbo, Women's Team Impresses

China Beats Russia 29-21 In Ningbo, Women's Team Impresses

| 11 | Chess Event Coverage

Host country China defeated Russia at the Yin Zhou Cup in Ningbo with a score that left no doubt: 29-21. The Chinese women won both their matches in the last two rounds 4-1. 

July 20 is the International Day of Chess, because it was on this day that the World Chess Federation was founded in 1924 in Paris, France. On Sunday there were some festivities in Moscow, with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and GMs Sergey Karjakin and Ian Nepomniachtchi among the participants.

On the actual Day of Chess, Russia suffered a painful defeat against China at the Yin Zou Cup. After five days of chess, the Scheveningen-style match, where each player on one team plays each player on the other team, ended at 29-21 for China.

A year ago, China won its first gold medal at the 2014 Tromsø Olympiad. The women's section was won by Russia, just like the previous two editions. This week's match showed signs that the female sovereignty may come to an end at the next Olympiad.

After three rounds the Russian ladies still had a small lead, with a 3-2 win and two 2-5-2.5 ties. However, in rounds both four and five they were crushed 1-4 by the Chinese, who set the total score to 10-15. (They had also won the blitz 28-22!)

In the men's section, the Chinese team consolidated its lead on the last two days with two 2.5-2.5 ties, and so won 11-14, setting the overall score to 29-21.

Day Five

After the rest day, play continued on Sunday and the men played a fierce battle that led to four decisive results. The odd game was Svidler-Lu, who played a quick, theoretical draw in a Botvinnik Semi-Slav.

In the other games, the white player won each time. Bu Xiangzhi, who did the best in Ningbo with a 2938 performance (scoring (4.0/5), showed textbook technique in his endgame with Nikita Vitiugov — chapter: “king activity.”

Bu Xiangzhi scored a 2938 TPR. | Photo Fan Lulu.

Speaking of endings, Wei Yi showed the importance of versatility these days. Yes, he can play brilliant attacking games, but he knows his endings too — as can be expected from a 2700 grandmaster. His advantage was small (bishop vs knight, and a better structure).

Great endgame play by Wei Yi. | Photo Fan Lulu.

Goryachkina surely regretted her 26th move in her game with Shen. She basically shut down her bishop on a6 for the rest of the game, and all it could do in the game was postpone the loss with the sad 43...Bc8.

Shen Yang was basically a piece up for most of the game. | Photo Fan Lulu.

Day Six

Also on the last day the two men's teams tied their mini-match, and this time they shared one win. The fun was over for Wei, who was completely outplayed by Matlakov. The latter was the top scorer for Russia with 4.0/5 and a 2895 performance.

Fedoseev tried to play a Stonewall, but Bu showed that it's not so easy against the English:

Ding was the only player in the Chinese women's team who hadn't won a game yet, but on the last day she defeated the highest-rated player on both teams: Gunina. A stunning game — note that the knight on e4 is attacked by ...f5 on move 16, but only moves away on move 30!

Ding also scored a win eventually. | Photo Fan Lulu.

The total prize fund was $50,000. The Chinese men won $18,000, the Russian men $12,000, the Chinese women $12,000 and the Russian women $8,000.

2015 China-Russia | Individual Scores

RUSSIA Rtg Perf Pts CHINA Rtg Perf Pts
Matlakov,Maxim 2691 2895 4.0/5 Bu,Xiangzhi 2695 2938 4.0/5
Svidler,Peter 2740 2725 3.0/5 Lu,Shanglei 2595 2768 3.0/5
Vitiugov,Nikita 2734 2508 1.5/5 Wei,Yi 2724 2768 3.0/5
Fedoseev,Vladimir3 2664 2508 1.5/5 Yu,Yangyi 2736 2628 2.0/5
Dubov,Daniil 2661 2414 1.0/5 Wang,Chen 2521 2627 2.0/5
Shen,Yang 2465 2724 4.0/5 Kashlinskaya,Alina 2432 2459 2.5/5
Tan,Zhongyi 2488 2630 3.5/5 Girya,Olga 2486 2390 2.0/5
Lei,Tingjie 2450 2630 3.5/5 Gunina,Valentina 2548 2390 2.0/5
Huang,Qian 2457 2413 2.0/5 Pogonina,Natalija 2465 2390 2.0/5
Ding,Yixin 2439 2413 2.0/5 Goryachkina,Aleksandra 2486 2313 1.5/5

A big group photo at the closing ceremony. | Photo Fan Lulu.

Since 2001, China and Russia have played matches regularly against each other. This year the match took place for the ninth time, and was held at Yue Lake Village hotel in Ningbo, a seaport city in the northeast of the Zhejiang province in China.

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 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!

Company Contact and News Accreditation: 

Phone: 1 (800) 318-2827
Address: PO Box 60400 Palo Alto, CA 94306

More from PeterDoggers
Arjun Erigaisi Briefly World #5 As Menorca Open Winner

Arjun Erigaisi Briefly World #5 As Menorca Open Winner

Isa Kasimi (Igors Rausis) 1961-2024

Isa Kasimi (Igors Rausis) 1961-2024