China's top-rated grandmaster is Ye Jiangchuan, 45. He has ruled chess in China for several decades, not only as that country's best player but also as a very successful coach. His most celebrated student is former women's world champion Xie Jun. Second place on China's rating list belongs to Bu Xiangzhi, 19, known for being the youngest grandmaster in the world before Ukraine produced the 12-year-old Sergei Karjakin. But there is another talented Chinese teenage boy.
The Chinese Typhoon
His name is Wang Hao. In April he did not have any international title, but it did not prevent him from winning the Dubai Open ahead of 53 grandmasters. At the end of last month the 16-year-old Wang sensationally won the Second Dato Arthur Tan Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur. They called him the "typhoon" after he blew away the competition, scoring an incredible 10 points in 11 games and finishing two points ahead of his nearest rival, Philippine grandmaster Rogelio Antonio. Despite his young age, Wang blends fine tactical play with solid positional chess. His mature handling of the French defense as black might have persuaded Australia's top grandmaster, Ian Rogers, to begin their game with the English Opening. In a must-win situation, Rogers soon compromised the position of his king, and Wang scored a last-round victory with spectacular tactical strokes.
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.e3 Bb4 5.Qc2 d6 6.a3 (White spends time to get the bishop pair. He should have considered 6.Nd5!? Bc5 7.a3 a5 8.Bd3 with roughly equal chances.) 6...Bxc3 7.Qxc3 e4! (Fighting for more central squares.) 8.Ng1?! (White is crawling back, but 8.Nd4 Ne5, threatening 9...c5, gives black a fine game. For example, a 1991 Dutch game, Veenstra-Elich, continued 9.f4?! exf3 10.Nxf3 Ne4 11.Qd4 Nxf3+ 12.gxf3 Qh4+ 13.Ke2 Qf2+ 14.Kd3 and now black could not take 14...Qxf3? because 15.Qxe4+ wins. His retreat 14...Nf6 was good enough, and after 15.Be2 Qg2 16.Re1 Qxh2 17.b4 Bf5+ 18.e4 Bxe4+! 19.Ke3 0-0 20.Bb2 Bg6 white resigned.) 8...Ne5! 9.b4 b6 10.f4? (White has problems developing his kingside, but trying to drive the pesky knight from the center sends the white king on a perilous journey.) 10...exf3 11.Nxf3 (It is too late to repair the damage. After 11.gxf3 black has a spectacular little combination: 11...Ne4! 12.fxe4 Qh4+ 13.Kd1 Qxe4 and wins material.) 11...Ne4 12.Qd4 Nxf3+ 13.gxf3 Qh4+ 14.Ke2 Qf2+ 15.Kd3 Qxf3! (Now this move is possible because of a skewer along the long diagonal after 16.Qxe4+ Qxe4+ 17.Kxe4 Bb7+ winning the rook on h1.) 16.Qxg7 (White has a double threat, 17.Qxh8+ and 17.Bg2, but the young Chinese finds an amazing way out.)
16...Bf5!! (Threatening devastating discovered checks that lead to mating finishes.) 17.Qxh8+ (White does not have a choice. After 17.Bg2 Nxd2+! 18.Kxd2 Qf2+ 19.Kd1 Bc2 mate; or 19.Kc3 Qc2+ 20.Kd4 Qd3 mate.) 17...Ke7 18.Qg7 (The queen has to stay on the diagonal a1-h8 to prevent mate. For example, after 18.Qxa8 Nc5+ 19.Kc3 [19.Kd4 Qxa8 wins.] 19...Na4+! 20.Kb3 Qd1+ 21.Ka2 Qc2+ 22.Bb2 Qxb2 mate.) 18...Rg8! (A pretty deflection that leads to a mating sequence.) 19.Qxg8 Nf6+? (Winning in a clumsy way. Black missed a forced mate: 19...Nc5+! 20.Kc3 Na4+ 21.Kb3 Qd1+ 22.Ka2 Qc2+ 23.Bb2 Qxb2 mate.) 20.Kc3 Nxg8 21.Rg1 Qf2 22.Rxg8 Qxf1 23.e4 Be6 24.Rg3 (After 24.d3 Qf6+! 25.d4 Qf3+ wins quickly.) 24...Qxc4+ 25.Kb2 Qxe4 26.Rc3 Kd7 27.d3 Qe2+ (After 28.Kb1 Qxh2 white is too many pawns down.) White resigns.
The 69th annual Virginia Closed State Championship went again to Daniel Miller. He scored five points in six games and earned his third title in four years. Murtuza Hashim won the state amateur title, scoring 51/2 points. Before losing to the experienced Macon Shibut in the last round, the 13-year-old Adithya Balasubramanian of India was leading the main section with 41/2 points. One of his victims was the top-rated Dov Gorman. Here is the King's Indian Attack game.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d3 d5 4.Nbd2 Nc6 5.g3 Nf6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.e5 Nd7 9.Re1 Qc7 10.Qe2 b5 11.Nf1 a5 12.h4 a4 13.Bf4 a3 14.b3 Nb6 15.N1h2 Bb7 16.Ng4 d4 (Freeing the square d5 for his knight, but exchanging a pair of knights with 16...Nd4 would slow white's attack.) 17.Nf6+! Bxf6 (After 17...Kh8 18.Ng5! h6 19.Qh5! Bd8 20.Nge4 Nd5 21.Bxh6! white wins.) 18.exf6 Qd7 19.fxg7 Rfe8 (After 19...Kxg7 20.Ne5! wins by force, for example 20...Qe8 21.Bh6+! Kxh6 22.Qd2+ Kg7 23.Qg5+ Kh8 24.Qf6+ Kg8 25.Ng4 and white mates.) 20.Ng5 f6 (Black is in trouble even after 20...h6 21.Qh5! Kxg7 22.Bxc6 Bxc6 23.Ne4 Bxe4 24.Bxh6+ Kh8 25.Bg5+ Kg8 26.Bf6 Bh7 27.Qh6 and 28.Qg7 mate.) 21.Nxe6 Qf7 22.Bc7! Nd7 (After 22...Ra6 23.Bd6 Nd7 24.Bd5 Nce5 25.Bxb7 Rxd6 26.Nc7 black's position falls apart.) 23.Bd5 Na5 24.Nd8! (This nice final jab would come also on 23...Rac8. White wins material.) Black resigns.
Solution to today's two-mover by A. Stubbs (White: Kb7,Qe2,Nd4,P:b4,c3,f2,f4; Black: Kd5,P:c5,d6,e5): 1.f3 cxd4 2.Qa2 mate; or 1...cxb4 2.Qb5 mate; 1...c4 2.Qe4 mate; 1...exd4 2.c4 mate; or 1...e4 2.fxe4 mate; 1...exf4 2.Qe6 mate.