Controversy at Chinese Championship

Controversy at Chinese Championship

| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

Not so many years ago, the national Chinese Chess Championships would have been a relatively minor event on the world stage, but great strides have been taken by the country in recent years.

So the 2009 Chinese Individual Chess Championships  in Xinghua, Jiangsu was a significant event despite the absence of top player Wang Yue who has been playing in Leon, Spain.  Ni Hua (2724 Elo) was the top seed, but it was Wang Hao (2696 Elo) who set the pace, racing to a score of 8/9 in this 11-round event.

However, in the penultimate round he lost to his nearest rival, the 16-year old Ding Liren (pictured).  This meant that if Ding won his final round game, Wang would have to win his game as well to prevent the youngster from taking the title.

As it turned out Ding was awarded his final round game by default because his opponent was late arriving!  This strict application of the new FIDE rule had already occurred in the tournament in round 8, when Hou Yifan was just a few seconds late for her game and was also defaulted.

So Wang Hao had to win his final game against back-marker Liang Chong, but failed to do so, eventually losing as a result of his desperate attempts.

It's a shame that such a great victory for the new young star Ding Liren has been overshadowed by the manner of his final round win.  Surely lateness should be punished in some way, perhaps by fines, but to default players just for being late seems too harsh.  Let's ensure that the result of games is decided where it always should be - over the board.

The final standings:

Ding Liren   2458   
Wang Hao  2696 8
Bu Xiangzhi  2704 7
Zhou Weiqi  2563  
Li Chao B  2643 6
Ni Hua  2724 6
Ji Dan  2342  
Zhou Jianchao  2635  
Zhang Pengxiang  2638 4
Liang Chong  2511 4
Hou Yifan  2590  
Li Shilong  2557  


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