Yu Yangyi Cruising Through Capablanca Memorial -- Midway Report

Yu Yangyi Cruising Through Capablanca Memorial -- Midway Report

| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

While most of the chess world's attention is firmly fixed on the ongoing action in Norway, another elite tournament is currently taking place in Havana, Cuba: The 50th Capablanca Memorial, a six-player double round robin with an average rating of 2715 (!).

Chinese superstar GM Yu Yangyi has been unstoppable and is leading with 4.5/5 at the half-way mark. Trailing him with 2.5/5 are GMs Pavel Eljanov (UKR), Dmitry Andreikin (RUS), and Lenier Dominguez Perez (CUB). Rounding out the field is GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista (CUB) with 2/5, and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS) with just 1/5.

So far Yu has only been in trouble once in the event — after a nice queen sacrifice by Nepomniachtchi — but luck was on his side, as he landed a fierce counterattack and caught White's king in the center of the board:

One of Yu's cleaner wins of the event was his slow middlegame grind against Dominguez:

In the final position, White resigned as he has no answer to the threat of 39...Be8!, trapping his queen.


Accurate and ruthless, Yu shows no signs of slowing down. Photo: Fernando Medina

As White, Yu has faced the Berlin Defense in all three games, though only Eljanov was able to survive:

Round 3: Nepomniachtchi - Dominguez 0-1 Photo: Fernando Medina

The action continues with Round 6 on Sunday, June 21st, as the players switch colors and face off against each other once more. Look for a full recap after the event is concluded here on

2015 Capablanca Memorial | Round 5 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Yu,Yangyi 2715 3097 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 1 1 4.5/5
2 Eljanov,Pavel 2718 2716 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 0 1 2.5/5 5.75
3 Andreikin,Dmitry 2718 2716 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ 2.5/5 5.00
4 Dominguez Perez,Leinier 2746 2710 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 2.5/5 4.50
5 Bruzon Batista,Lazaro 2677 2653 0 1 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.0/5
6 Nepomniachtchi,Ian 2720 2474 0 0 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/5
IM Kostya Kavutskiy

Come join the new ChessDojo Discord server for chess improvers and coaches alike:

Coaching Services

Right now all my focus is on building the best training program via ChessDojo. Check out to learn more about the program.


IM Kostya Kavutskiy is a professional chess author, journalist, coach, commentator, and player. As a part of's content team since 2009, Kostya has recorded many video lectures, covered elite tournaments, written instructive articles & blogs, and has done many live commentary shows for Chess TV. Kostya has also written a number of articles for Chess Life magazine and Chess Life Online, and is currently an instructor for Chess University. In 2015, Modernized: The Open Sicilian was released, which Kostya co-authored with IM Zhanibek Amanov. Kostya's tournament accomplishments include winning the 2014 Southern California Closed Championship, as well as achieving his IM title in November 2016. In April 2017, he placed 6th in the star-studded 2017 Reykjavik Open. He currently resides in Mountain View, CA, and his plans are to pursue the GM title while working actively as a coach.



More from IM hellokostya
Vidit Charges To Victory in Biel

Vidit Charges To Victory in Biel

Shankland, Vidit Lead Biel Chess Festival

Shankland, Vidit Lead Biel Chess Festival