Shenzen Masters: Vachier-Lagrave Wins, Ding's Streak Ends
The playing hall of the 2018 Shenzen Masters. | Photo:

Shenzen Masters: Vachier-Lagrave Wins, Ding's Streak Ends

19 | Chess Event Coverage

A plus-one score was enough for Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to win the 2018 Shenzen Masters in China. The French GM edged out Anish Giri and Ding Liren on tiebreak after all finished on 5.5/10.

It was Vachier-Lagrave's victory over Ding Liren, from round six, that got him the better tiebreak—a special game indeed. After Ding had remained undefeated for exactly 100 games, thereby improving Mikhail Tal's streak in the 1970s by five games, he went down in a spectacular encounter with MVL.

Ding Liren Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Shenzen 2018

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Ding Liren. | Photo:

If Ding had managed to say undefeated for 11 more games, he would have broken what seems to be the ultimate record: that of GM Sergey Tiviakov between 2004 and 2005. This record of 110 game has been debated for a while, but now that the Russian-born Dutch grandmaster has provided a file of all the games, it looks pretty convincing now.

Update: GM Bogdan Lalic sent us a file with 157 straight games (in PGN here) that he did not lose, played between September 5, 2010 and October 9, 2011. 133 of those were Elo rated games, 24 were not rated. It should be noted that many of these games were given a draw at a very early stage; 31 draws lasted 15 moves or less.

In Shenzen, the atmosphere was incredibly peaceful, at least as far as the results were concerned. The first four rounds saw all draws, and the overall drawing percentage in this tournament of 30 games was 80%.

Here's the game from round five with which Ding reached the perfect number of one hundred:

Ding Liren Shenzen 2018

"Mr 100" Ding Liren. | Photo:

Like MVL, Anish Giri drew eight games and won one. That was in the last round against Radoslaw Wojtaszek, who didn't have a great tournament, especially taking into account that he had just won the Isle of Man tournament.

Anish Giri Shenzen 2018

Anish Giri was once again very solid and remained undefeated in Shenzen. | Photo:

Shenzen Masters 2018 | Final Standings

# Fed Player Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime 2778 2798 ½½ ½1 ½½ ½½ ½½ 5.5/10 27.25
2 Giri,Anish 2780 2798 ½½ ½½ ½½ ½½ ½1 5.5/10 26.25
3 Ding,Liren 2816 2791 ½0 ½½ ½1 ½½ 5.5/10 26
4 Yu,Yangyi 2764 2766 ½½ ½½ ½0 ½½ 5.0/10 24.75
5 Vitiugov,Nikita 2709 2777 ½½ ½½ ½½ ½1 5.0/10 24.25
6 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2749 2662 ½½ ½0 ½½ ½0 3.5/10

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