Yu Yangyi Wins In Danzou As Shankland's Streak Ends
Yu Yangyi with trophy and check. | Photo: Qipai

Yu Yangyi Wins In Danzou As Shankland's Streak Ends

| 36 | Chess Event Coverage

In what was a tense and hard-fought Danzhou Super GM Tournament, Chinese grandmaster Yu Yangyi ended up winning the $24,000 first prize. Sam Shankland's undefeated streak came to an end after 62 games.

The ninth edition of the super-GM tournament was held July 27-August 3 in Danzhou, Hainan, China. This year the format was the same as in Dortmund: a single round-robin among eight players, resulting in seven rounds. The total prize fund was $60,000.

The rather young field was a mix of Asian and western grandmasters, with rising stars and slightly more experienced players. Bu Xiangzhi, once the youngest grandmaster in the world, was the only player above 30!

He was leading the standings for most of the tournament, but only after Jan-Krzysztof Duda took the spotlight first. Poland's new number-one took an early lead in round one with a wonderful win against Vidit Santosh Gujrathi.

A piece sacrifice for two connected passers was decisive in the long run, but an amazing, hidden resource could have saved White:

Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Hainan Danzhou 2018

Duda was brilliant at times, but not consistent enough. | Photo: Quipai.

The next day, Bu Xiangzhi joined Duda in first place as he ground down his compatriot Yu Yangyi in an endgame. By that point Yu obviously wasn't aware of how the tournament would end for him, so he must have been pretty annoyed to find out that, after such stiff resistance, he had missed a draw:

Bu Xiangzhi vs Yu Yangyi, Danzhou Hainan 2018

A dramatic end in Bu vs Yu. | Photo: Chinese Chess Association.

Vidit didn't play an important role in this tournament, and in fact finished in last place. However, his only win was against Shankland, so American fans will wonder: Did he really need to do that?

The reason is that, with this game, Shankland's undefeated streak of 62 games came to an end: Biel Master Open 2017 (1), US Masters Championship (9), Sunway Sitges open (9), St Louis Spring tournament (9), U.S. championship (11), Capablanca memorial (10), American continental (11) and Hainan Danzhou Super GM (2).

Sam Shankland Danzhou Hainan 2018

The amazing streak had to end at some point for Shankland. | Photo: Chinese Chess Association.

Shankland's other loss is worth including here as well, as Le Quang Liem's tactic at the end was cute:

Le Quang Liem vs Shankland Danzhou Hainan 2018

A powerful attack by Le vs Shankland. | Photo: Quipai.

It was in this sixth round that Bu Xiangzhi and Yu Yangyi switched places. The latter won relatively easily against the only Russian participant, Vladimir Fedoseev, who got himself into a deadly pin in the opening.

Yu Yangyi vs Vladimir Fedoseev Danzhou Hainan 2018

Never take on h2, even when it's good? | Photo: Quipai.

Bu Xiangzhi dropped to shared second place as he lost his first game of the tournament. It was Duda who played a superb game. In a position where Bu was attacking heavily, the Polish GM found all the defensive moves.

Bu Xiangzhi vs Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Danzhou Hainan 2018Amazing defense by Duda in this game. | Photo: Quipai.

Yu drew his final-round game with Shankland, and then was fortunate enough to see both his closest rivals, Bu and Duda, lose their games. This way, he held on to his half-point lead.

2018 Danzhou Super GM | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Yu,Yangyi 2762 2824 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 4.5/7
2 Le,Quang Liem 2728 2777 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 4.0/7
3 Bu,Xiangzhi 2712 2729 1 1 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 3.5/7 13
4 Duda,Jan-Krzysztof 2737 2727 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 0 1 3.5/7 12
5 Wei,Yi 2729 2728 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 3.5/7 11.75
6 Fedoseev,Vladimir 2707 2730 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5/7 11.75
7 Shankland,Samuel 2727 2678 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 3.0/7
8 Vidit,Santosh Gujrathi 2718 2627 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 2.5/7

Games via TWIC.

Yu Yangyi speech Hainan Danzhou 2018

Yu's winner's speech at the closing ceremony. | Photo: Photo: Qipai.

2018 Hainan Danzhou group photo

A group photo with players and officials. | Photo: Photo: Qipai.

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