Li Chao and Tan Zhongyi winners in Shenzhen

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Li Chao and Tan Zhongyi winners in ShenzhenLi Chao and Tan Zhongyi are the winners of the chess section at the 26th Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China. This huge event can easily be described as the Olympic Games for students, and for the first time chess was included. On-the-spot report by GMs Daan Brandenburg & Robin Swinkels.

Host country China was very successful in Shenzhen

Li Chao dominated the men’s section at the chess tournament held at the 26th Summer Universiade. With 8.5 out of 9 and a performance of 2993 he won the tournament 2 full points ahead of numbers 2 and 3, his countrymen Wang Hao and Wang Yue. The women’s section was much more exciting with three players finishing on 7 out of 9, but Tan Zhongyi had the better tie-break taking the gold medal ahead of Batkhuyag Munguntuul (silver) and Huang Qian (bronze). With 5 Chinese winning individual medals it was no surprise they also won the gold medal for teams outranking Ukraine and Georgia.

By GM Daan Brandenburg & GM Robin Swinkels

The 26th Summer Universiade was held from 12th to 23 August in Shenzhen, China. The Universiade is somewhat similar to the Olympic Games with the difference that the only players who can participate here are those who are also studying at a university. It included sports such as basketball, football, table tennis, judo, tennis, gymnastics and many more, and for the first time chess was also included.

Shenzhen is located in the south of China at the border with Hong Kong and it's one of the fastest growing cities in the world. At the moment it counts more than 14 million people.

The chess tournament was quite strong. There were 86 participants from 34 different countries in the men’s section with 23 GMs and 17 IMs. At the top of the list there were Wang Hao (CHN, 2718), Wang Yue (CHN, 2709), Li Chao (CHN, 2669), Ni Hua (CHN, 2663), Zhou Jianchao (CHN, 2636), Ahmed Adly (EGY, 2631), Zaven Andriasyan (ARM, 2616), Avetik Grigoryan (ARM, 2608) and Hrant Melkumyan (ARM, 2600).

The women’s section consisted of 63 participants from 30 different countries with 9 WGMs, 4 IMs and 14 WIMs. At the top there were Mariya Muzychuk (UKR, 2469), Shen Yang (CHN, 2459), Batkhuyag Munguntuul (MGL, 2457), Jolanta Zawadzka (POL, 2405), Huang Qian (CHN, 2404) and Tan Zhongyi (CHN, 2396).

Besides two individual medals there were also medals to be won for the best team performance. A team had to have at least one woman and one man and the results of the three best players were taken to get the team rankings.

The playing venue was the Plum Blossom Hall at the 5th floor of the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Centre. It was located 36 km away from the Universiade village, where all the players were staying. This meant travelling for 50 minutes by bus before every round.

The Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Centre

The Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Centre

It was a 9-round Swiss tournament with a time control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment on the clock. On 15, 16, 18 and 19 August there were two rounds per day, with the morning round starting at 9am and the afternoon round starting at 4pm. This meant that we all had to get up at somewhere between 6 and 6.30am in order to get inside the bus at somewhere between 7.30 and 7.55am! If the players missed the bus they'd wouldn't arrive in time at the playing hall and would lose the game as the zero tolerance rule applied.

On 17 and 20 August the players could enjoy a rest day and on 21 August the last round started again at 9am. All in all it was quite a tough and unusual schedule and especially at the afternoon games there were many players yawning or even trying to sleep a little bit at the board!

The sports in ShenzhenAs the chess tournament was part of the Universiade and the FISU was the main organizer, some special rules applied. The players had to be at the chess board at the start of the game, all players had to wear some clothing showing which country he or she represented and flip flops or hats were forbidden. No draws before move 30, all games were transmitted live and in the last two rounds players of the same country and with a score of more than 50% could not be paired against each other. The organizers said that they were going to do their utmost best to make chess an Olympic sport and therefore they imposed some professional rules

The tie-break rules were: Buchholz, Buchholz minus 1, minus 2, et cetera. As can be seen in the women’s section this can lead to strange results, especially in a tournament with players of all playing strengths. The pairing in the first round can be decisive for the tie-break later! But funnily enough the Buchholz minus 1 would not have changed any medal.

In the women’s section, after seven rounds Tan Zhongyi (China) and Olga Kalinina (Ukraine) were sharing the lead. Round 8 saw a dramatic turnabout. Both leaders lost and now it was Vasilevich leading again by half a point ahead of five players.

Batkhuyag Munguntuul (Mongolia) beat Vasilevich in the last round to secure silver. She started with only a draw out of the first two rounds but ended with 6.5 out of 7. It's remarkable that she had a better tie-break than China’s Huang Qian, who beat Olga Kalinina. Tan Zhongyi beat top seed Mariya Muzychuk, who didn’t play a single draw in the whole tournament. Zhongyi was always on the top boards and therefore easily edged out the other two contestants for the most precious medal.

In the men’s section it was expected that the Chinese would dominate the tournament, but after five rounds the Armenian Grigoryan was leading with 4.5 points and the better tie-break over Wang Hao and Li Chao. But after he lost to Li Chao in the fifth round the tournament became a one-man show. With Wang Hao drawing against Wang Yue, Li Chao was already the sole leader, a position which he fortified with an easy win against Wang Hao. He never let his foot off the accelerator and left the competition far behind.

The competition for the silver and bronze medals was more tense. There were a lot of people in contention but the final round proved decisive. When Wang Yue failed to convert a good position against Aleksander Rakhmanov, Wang Hao overtook him with a better tie-break to claim the silver. Wang Yue ended up with the bronze as he had a better second (!) tie-break than Zaven Andriasian.

The  medal winners: L-R Wang Hao, Li Chao, Wang Yue

The medal winners: L-R Wang Hao, Li Chao, Wang Yue | Photo © Sina Chess

The team competition was not so tense, but still a close affair. It was obvious that China was going to clinch gold. The only remarkable result is that Russia didn't get a medal. Eventually Ukraine prevailed as the ‘best of the rest’, followed by Georgia.

Despite the tough tournament, the Dutch delegation (Roeland Pruijssers, Tony Zhang and us) found it really great to be in China. When we weren't playing we could sit in the front row to watch the athletes participating in the other sports. For example, we saw a very exciting basketball game U.S.A.-Lithuania, that ended 74-76.

For Roeland, Robin and Daan it was the first time in China and we noticed that everyone was very friendly and eager to help us with things we wanted to do. Also, many Chinese people wanted to take our photographs and Roland even got a baby pressed into his arms! It wasn't Tony's first time in China. He was born in China and lived here until his 11th birthday. We did find out that it was very helpful to have Tony with us. If someone speaks the language everything's just that little bit easier.

The food was also excellent. You could eat all day if you wanted, and you could choose whatever you wanted. There was always a choice between five different types of cuisine[s]: international, local, Mediterranean, Asian and Muslim.

On a final note, it was also very nice that we had a clothing sponsor: the Chinese company 361°. It meant the whole Dutch delegation got to wear country-specific clothing. And it was nice to see that everyone respected each other’s sports. There were a total of 18 people, 4 of them chess players, and some of the athletes even came along to watch the chess.

Selection of games

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Universiade 2011 | Men | Round 9 (Final) Standings (top 30)
Rk Name Ti FED Rtg Pts TB1 TB2 TB3
1 Li Chao GM CHN 2669 8.5 49.0 39.0 27.5
2 Wang Hao GM CHN 2718 6.5 55.0 41.5 29.5
3 Wang Yue GM CHN 2709 6.5 52.5 41.5 29.5
4 Andriasyan Zaven GM ARM 2616 6.5 52.5 40.0 28.5
5 Kravtsiv Martyn GM UKR 2571 6.5 48.0 37.5 26.5
6 Rakhmanov Aleksandr GM RUS 2585 6.5 47.0 36.0 25.0
7 Papin Vasily GM RUS 2565 6.5 46.0 36.5 25.5
8 Grigoryan Avetik GM ARM 2608 6.0 51.5 40.0 28.5
9 Melkumyan Hrant GM ARM 2600 6.0 50.0 37.0 26.5
10 Ni Hua GM CHN 2662 6.0 49.5 39.0 28.0
11 Bulski Krzysztof IM POL 2479 6.0 49.0 40.0 28.5
12 Olszewski Michal GM POL 2541 6.0 47.0 36.5 26.0
13 Vovk Iurii GM UKR 2564 6.0 47.0 35.0 25.5
14 Paichadze Luka IM GEO 2489 6.0 46.0 36.0 26.5
15 Arik Imanuel Philipp Braun GM GER 2554 6.0 46.0 36.0 25.5
16 Yilmaz Mustafa IM TUR 2519 6.0 43.5 33.5 24.0
17 Benidze Davit IM GEO 2514 5.5 48.0 37.5 26.5
18 Czarnota Pawel GM POL 2541 5.5 48.0 37.0 26.0
19 Vovk Andriy GM UKR 2551 5.5 47.5 36.5 25.5
20 Markos Jan GM SVK 2585 5.5 47.0 36.0 25.5
21 Michalik Peter GM SVK 2505 5.5 45.0 35.0 24.5
22 Brandenburg Daan GM NED 2538 5.5 40.5 31.0 22.0
23 Adly Ahmed GM EGY 2631 5.0 50.0 39.0 28.0
24 Kurmann Oliver IM SUI 2431 5.0 47.5 38.0 27.0
25 Munkhgal Gombosuren FM MGL 2327 5.0 47.0 36.5 26.0
26 Swinkels Robin GM NED 2483 5.0 46.0 35.0 24.5
27 Marco Gaehler FM SUI 2320 5.0 45.5 36.5 26.5
28 Ismagambetov Anuar GM KAZ 2505 5.0 45.5 35.0 25.0
29 Moranda Wojciech GM POL 2586 5.0 44.0 33.0 23.5
30 Pavlov Sergii IM UKR 2505 5.0 44.0 32.0 22.5


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