Ding, Giri Lead In Shenzen, Where Bishops Rule

Ding, Giri Lead In Shenzen, Where Bishops Rule

| 13 | Chess Event Coverage

GMs Ding Liren and Anish Giri are the leaders after three rounds at the Shenzhen Longgang Chess Masters in Shenzhen, China. The other participants are GMs Michael Adams, Peter Svidler, Pentala Harikrishna, and Yu Yangyi.

A new and strong tournament has appeared on the calendar, and it's taking place in China. The Shenzhen Masters is a six-player, double round robin held in Shenzhen, Guangdong in southeast China. The prize fund is $90,000 with a first prize of $20,000. 

The field doesn't have players from the current top 10, but all of them are in the top 20! There's the world number 11 (Giri), 12 (Adams), 13 (Ding), 14 (Harikrishna), 18 (Yu) and 20 (Svidler). It's therefore also a field where the rating range isn't huge, meaning that it's anyone's guess who will win here.

The players at the opening ceremony during what looks like the drawing of lots,
but a Chinese reader might help out here! | Photo Chinese Chess Association.

There's a total of ten rounds, and three have been played so far. Currently there are two leaders: Ding Liren and Anish Giri. After three draws in the first round, it was in fact Pentala Harikrishna who grabbed the lead thanks to a win against Michael Adams.

It is often said that the combination of Q&N is stronger than Q&B, and this game might be an example. 34...g5! was an excellent move to create some chances against the white king. White's defensive task was suddenly very hard.

Maybe more players have managed to tear down the Great Firewall, but so far only Hari has been tweeting from Shenzhen, such as this one after his win:

The next day, however, the Indian player was on the losing side. He faced Anish Giri, who seemed well prepared for the 5.f3 Sicilian—a pet line of Kasparov, but not Garry.

A mistake in the early (queenless) middlegame, which saw a knight on the rim not really attacking anything, got Hari into a worse position. Giri had no mercy and showed why two bishops are a huge advantage against two knights.

The exact same theme was seen in the game between Ding Liren and Peter Svidler. The Chinese player also got two bishops vs two knights, but is that really so important with only three pawns for each player on the kingside?

Well, if you play as skilfully as the Chinese grandmaster, then it is! That wasn't a very enjoyable sidestep from is usual Grünfeld, for Svidler.

In a Chebanenko Slav Svidler faced the power of the bishop pair.

Shenzhen Longgang Chess Masters | Round 3 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Giri,Anish 2769 2879 ½ 1 ½ 2.0/3 3.00
2 Ding,Liren 2759 2873 ½ ½ 1 2.0/3 2.75
3 Yu,Yangyi 2750 2753 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/3 2.00
4 Harikrishna,Pentala 2758 2757 0 1 ½ 1.5/3 1.50
5 Adams,Michael 2761 2639 ½ ½ 0 1.0/3 1.75
6 Svidler,Peter 2741 2636 0 ½ ½ 1.0/3 1.50

Games from TWIC.

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