Zhu/Seirawan, Xu/Yu Share First at Mixed Pairs Event

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 7/10/14, 3:21 AM.

They were the clear favorites and started with two wins, but then stumbled. Hou Yifan and Nigel Short had to be satisfied with third place, behind shared winners Zhu Chen/Yasser Seirawan and Xu Yuhua/Yu Shaoteng, at the International Star Mixed Pair Tournament in Chengdu, China.

In our first report, we saw that rating favorites Hou Yifan and Nigel Short were paired with each other, and started this short event with two wins on the first day.

Still without access to Twitter or Facebook, “in the land of pandas,” Short posted an update on the English Chess Forum that didn't promise equally good chess on the second day:

“Horrible chess today. I am in pain.”

So what happened? Well, a draw and a loss. They split the point with Yu Yuhua and Yu Shaoteng, starting with an endgame advantage, then losing a pawn but holding a N vs. B ending. And then it went really wrong, against Zhu Chen & Yasser Seirawan. Remember that each game was played between two pairs, and each pair alternated the moves. The men chose the opening moves and so they played all odd moves, while their partners played all even moves.

Yasser Seirawan & Zhu Chen

On the English Chess Forum, Short wrote:

“Basically we blew it yesterday with a collective collapse of concentration against Yasser Seirawan and Zhu Chen, turning a clearly better position into a dead lost one in the space of about two minutes (and half a dozen moves). In such a short event, you can not afford to lose key games like that.”

With this game, Zhu Chen and Yasser Seirawan immediately took the sole lead, with 3.5/4, and they were followed by Xu Yuhua & Yu Shaoteng, who were on 3.0/4. Zhu/Seirawan finished the tournament with a quick and uneventful draw against Maia Chiburdanidze and Artur Jussupow, which gave Xu/Yu the chance to catch them in first place. It was the bishop pair that did the trick:

Yu Shaoteng & Xu Yuhua

Although it was too late, Hou Yifan & Nigel Short recovered with a last-round win. Please note that the end of the game is not correct and must have been the result of a transmission error with the digital board.

Nigel Short & Hou Yifan

For some reason, in more than half (8 out of 15) of the games the French Defense was seen. Probably it was a coincidence, as the players don't seem to have spent a lot of time preparing for this promotional, and not too serious (but fun!) tournament. On Chessgames.com, Short wrote:

“I overheard Yasser 'preparing' for about 20 seconds, in total, with Zhu Chen prior to the last game. Artur Yusupov didn't even bring a laptop.”

The tournament took place 6-9 July in Chengdu, China. The following pairs played: 

  • GM Hou Yifan (China, 2629) & GM Nigel Short (England, 2665)
  • GM Maia Chiburdanidze (Georgia, 2500) & GM Artur Jussupow (Germany, 2582)
  • GM Xu Yuhua (China, 2465 & GM Yu Shaoteng (China, 2497)
  • GM Zhu Chen (Qatar, 2461) & GM Yasser Seirawan (USA, 2620)
  • WGM Alisa Maric (Serbia, 2387) & GM Ye Jiangchuan (China, 2602)
  • WGM Liu Shilan (China, 2249) & GM Xie Jun (China, 2574)

International Star Mixed Pair Tournament 2014 | Final Standings

# Pair 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Zhu/Seirawan phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 ½ 1 4.0/5 8.50
2 Xu/Yu ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 1 4.0/5 7.25
3 Hou/Short 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 1 3.5/5
4 Maric/Ye 0 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 1.5/5
5 Chiburdanidze/Jussupow ½ 0 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.0/5 2.50
6 Liu/Xie 0 0 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/5 1.25

9293 reads 16 comments
6 votes


  • 2 years ago

    GM honestgirl

    The final move was 33. Rf7 1-0. Incidentally, why are some people (Luvrug)so rude here? Does he know me?

  • 2 years ago


    Please urge FIDE to create a commission on "Chess Doubles". This format has the potential to significantly expand the number of people who play chess. Chess doubles greatly increases the social aspect of chess study and competition and therefore will potentially attract the millions of people who leave chess because of its essentially asocial nature.

  • 2 years ago


    So glad Yasser and chen beat Nigel Short, he's an Idiot!!!

  • 2 years ago


    Nice chess event!!

  • 2 years ago


    yes the game Hou&Short VS Maric&Alisa is wrong notation at the end, the author of this article explains it clearly right above the game PGN

  • 2 years ago


    some  good  tourney

  • 2 years ago


    Was it a charity event?

  • 2 years ago


    You can observe for free the new video lesson from GM Igor Smirnov. Take a look online, LINK: http://www.chessgames.gr/index.php/chess-news-english/322-art-of-defence-gm-igor-smirnov

  • 2 years ago


    Nigel Short: “Basically we blew it yesterday with a collective collapse of concentration..." Well, if the comments to the game are right it seems key mistakes were Hou's (28th and 30th move) - nice of him to comment on the game as a team mate.  

  • 2 years ago


    Well done, Zhu and Yasser.

  • 2 years ago


    Yasser Seirawan & Zhu Chen look like they're working together; Yu Shaoteng & Xu Yuhua look as if they are a team; Hou Yifan looks like she is not happy with Nigel Short!  Smile  This is an interesting format.

  • 2 years ago


    are they allowed to discuss the moves while they are playing? Probably not. 

    I guess Hou gave Short a whack over the head after some of his moves. 

  • 2 years ago


    I like the text,speech and all the blogs(websites aswell).I also think the headline and the game opponents.Its pretty awesome because there are loads of moves and not so many speech places!!!! I wonder if YU won to XU because I think YU did better moves than XU so I think YU was winner on that game.If you have any opinions on me just search ilovechess23rd you can also give me a friend request via my profile.You can also look at how long I've been on chess.com.Be warned I am only a basic member so I don't have full access on my account!!!So be careful and my account picture is my baby cousin in a tent!!!I missed a bit though on the news but its still good especially the statisticts! See my friends and groups!!

  • 2 years ago


    Yeah, that must have been the result of a transmission error with the digital board.

  • 2 years ago



    i don't understand i just took a look at the game Hou Yifan:Short, Nigel D vs. Maric, Alisa:Ye, there is a mate in one 34.Qg7# but white plays 34.Rf1

    why is that ?


    maybe game moves are entered wrong, there is no way they can miss so easy mate like that

  • 2 years ago


    i don't understand i just took a look at the game Hou Yifan:Short, Nigel D vs. Maric, Alisa:Ye, there is a mate in one 34.Qg7# but white plays 34.Rf1

    why is that ?

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