China Leads 16-14 Vs Russia In Ningbo Scheveningen Match

China Leads 16-14 Vs Russia In Ningbo Scheveningen Match

| 9 | Chess Event Coverage

After three rounds of classical chess China leads 16-14 vs Russia in the Yin Zhou Cup, the traditional Scheveningen-style match that is currently under way in Ningbo, China. 

Every year, since 2001, China and Russia face each other in a match. The teams consist of five men and five women for each country. The players are paired according to the Scheveningen system where each player on one team plays each player on the other team.

This year the match takes place for the 9th time. The line-ups:

2015 China-Russia | Participants

# Title China Rtg   # Title Russia Rtg
1 GM Yu Yangyi 2736 1 GM Svidler Peter 2740
2 GM Wei Yi 2724 2 GM Vitiugov Nikita 2734
3 GM Bu Xiangzhi 2695 3 GM Matlakov Maxim 2691
4 GM Lu Shanglei 2595 4 GM Fedoseev Vladimir 2664
5 IM Wang Chen 2521 5 GM Dubov Daniil 2661
Average  2654 Average  2698
1 WGM Tan Zhongyi 2488 1 GM Gunina Valentina 2548
2 IM Shen Yang 2465 2 WGM Girya Olga 2486
3 WGM Huang Qian 2457 3 WGM Goryachkina Aleksandra 2486
4 WGM Lei Tingjie 2450 4 WGM Pogonina Natalija 2465
5 WGM Ding Yixin 2439 5 IM Kashlinskaya Alina 2432
Average  2460 Average  2483


Every odd year the Chinese are the hosts. The location this time is the Yue Lake Village hotel in Ningbo, a seaport city in the northeast of the Zhejiang province, south of the Hangzhou Bay.

Day 1

On Tuesday the clash started with a day of blitz. China won 54-46, with a narrow 26-24 victory in the men's section and a surprising 28-22 win among the women — where the Chinese ladies are slightly underrated.

The time control was 3 minutes plus 2 seconds increment, a fairly standard pace but unfortunately the electronic board operators in Ningbo couldn't handle things. The live transmission was a disaster and as a result the games sadly haven't been saved.

The Russian women's team with captain GM Sergey Rublevsky. | Photo Qipai.

The top scorers in the men's section were Lu Shanglei and Yu Yangyi, who both scored 6.0/10. Blitz might not be a speciality of rising star Wei Yi, who scored 4 points. Only Nikita Vitiugov did worse, with 3.5 points.

The victory for the Chinese women was largely based on the splendid score of 8.5/10 by both Lei Tingjie and Tan Zhongyi. For Russia only Valentina Gunina managed to finish on a plus score, with 6 points.

Day 2

The classical part started on Wednesday; the time control is 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, and 30 seconds from move 1.

China started with a narrow win in the men's section: 3-2. Bu won a pawn and converted the full point against Dubov while Matlakov on his turn outplayed Lu. The crucial and most exciting encounter in the first round was the following.


Cool defense by Wei Yi, but he needs to check that opening! | Photo Qipai.

After the first day the score was 5-5 because the Russian ladies won with the same score: 3-2. Goryachkina defeated Ding as Black whereas Lei beat Girya. Pogonina made the winning point with a series of strong moves:



Pogonina left her opponent no chance. | Photo Qipai.

Day 3

On Thursday the men's match ended in 2.5-2.5 with one win for both sides. Fedoseev lost his second game in a row, this time to Lu. Peter Svidler leveled the score against Wei Yi in what looks like a splendid game by the Russian grandmaster. 

With all these knights there's so much calculation involved, but Svidler always remained on top, provoking weaknesses and making use of them: 

The match between the two women's teams was tied as well. Russia could easily have lost as Kashlinskaya, who travelled to China shortly after her marriage with Radek Wojtaszek, profited from a huge blunder by Ding in a winning position:


A very lucky day for Kashlinskaya! | Photo Qipai.

Day 4

Friday was a bad day for the Russians. The higher rated women again couldn't get more than a 2.5-2.5 tie, while the men went down 3.5-1.5 with losses for Vitiugov (vs Wei) and Dubov (vs Lu). It seems Vitiugov was either not in great shape or intimidated by Wei (or both): 


Nikita Vitiugov doesn't often get outplayed like that and certainly not as White. | Photo Qipai.


2015 China-Russia | Individual Scores (Round 3)

# Name Rtg Fed Perf Pts # Name Rtg Fed Perf Pts
1 Svidler 2740 Russia 2838 2.0/3 1 Shen 2465 China 2609 2.0/3
2 Matlakov 2691 Russia 2795 2.0/3 2 Lei 2450 China 2581 2.0/3
3 Bu 2695 China 2817 2.0/3 3 Tan 2488 China 2627 2.0/3
4 Wei 2724 China 2833 2.0/3 4 Kashlinskaya 2432 Russia 2571 2.0/3
5 Lu 2595 China 2792 2.0/3 5 Pogonina 2465 Russia 2569 2.0/3
6 Yu 2736 China 2722 1.5/3 6 Gunina 2548 Russia 2470 1.5/3
7 Wang 2521 China 2686 1.5/3 7 Goryachkina 2486 Russia 2462 1.5/3
8 Vitiugov 2734 Russia 2540 1.0/3 8 Girya 2486 Russia 2348 1.0/3
9 Fedoseev 2664 Russia 2334 0.5/3 9 Ding 2439 China 2182 0.5/3
10 Dubov 2661 Russia 2325 0.5/3 10 Huang 2457 China 2221 0.5/3

Saturday is a rest day. The score is 16-14 in favor of China. Two more rounds will be played, on Sunday and Monday. The total prize fund is $50,000.

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