Yu Yangyi & Ju Wenjun Chinese Champions
Yu Yangyi & Ju Wenjun are the new Chinese Chess Champions. Yu edged out Ding Liren (both scored 7.0/11) on the smallest possible tiebreak: 0.25 SB point. Ju finished half a point ahead of Shen Yang & Lei Tingjie. The tournament finished last Saturday in Xinghua in Taizhou, Jiangsu.
The 2014 Chinese Championship took place 11-22 March in Xinghua in the central part of Jiangsu Province. It is also the city where Women's World Champion Hou Yifan was born.
This year the men's (or rather: open, as Hou Yifan played among her male colleagues again) competition wasn't as strong as in previous years. Some notable names were absent: Chinese #1 Wang Hao (2734), #3 Wang Yue (2717), #4 Li Chao (2700), #5 Bu Xianzhi (2699) and #7 Ni Hua (2658). (Especially the latter hasn't been too active lately, although he did play in an open tournament in Ho Chi Minh City earlier this month.)
Ding Liren (2717) was top seed in Xinghua. As said, Hou Yifan played in the men's section and because Chinese #2 Zhao Xue (2552) was also missing, Ju Wenjun (2520) was the top seed in the women's group. Chinese #4 Ruan Lufei (2503) didn't play either and so Ju's biggest rival on paper was Tan Zhongyi (2499).
It was no surprise to see Yu Yangyi, Wei Yi and Ding Liren topping the men's standings after four rounds with three points each. Unlike their male colleagues, these three grandmasters had already achieved some international successes.
Yu defeated Wei in the third round in one of the main lines of the Poisoned Pawn variation of the Najdorf:
Hou Yifan had a slow start with just 1.5 out of 4, but then she defeated the top favorite. Don't give this girl a B vs N ending - Bobby Fischer happens to be her favorite player!
The following game was a great, typically sharp King's Indian battle. A Bayonet Attack turns into a regular pawn race game on opposite sides, where White seems to be reaching his goal first. However, with a white pawn on d6 Black duly completed his development, gave up his last queenside pawns and then went for the kill on the other side of the board. The end was a no less spectacular way to reach a draw. Live life on the edge!
After 10 rounds Yu Yangyi was the sole leader with 6.5 points, followed by Ding Liren and Wei Yi on 6. Both Yu and Wei drew in the last round, but Ding joined Yu in first pace:
As it turned out, Yu Yangyi still ended first, but the difference with Ding Liren was minimal: 0.25 SB point!
Chinese Championship 2014 | Final standings
The women's section had quite a dramatic finish. Top seed Ju Wenjun was on 8.5/10, followed by the revelation of the tournament, 16-year-old Lei Tingjie.
Shen Yang was third with 7.5/10. Ju finished with a loss, but so did Lei! Ju Wenjun finished clear first with 8.5 points.
Here's one of Ju's victories:
Chinese Championship (Women) 2014 | Final standings