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Baby It's Bu

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Canada's trade deficit with China just got a little worse as Bu Xiangzhi took clear first at the Canadian Open in Ottawa. He beat Milov in the final round -- with black no less -- to finish with an impressive 8/10, living up to his top seeding. 2-6th a half-point back were Short, Miton, Sandipan, Krnan, and Sambuev. The baffling pairing system did allow for the four leaders to face each other in the final round. Thanks to Deen Hergott for his hard work on the event site. Let's hope all the games make it to TWIC.

There have been a few items in the comments on the steady ascent of the Chinese players on the rating list, and of course their Olympiad successes are already well known. Bu Xiangzhi now looks set to break the 2700 mark after plateauing for a few years. There has been talk that the somewhat restrictive Chinese school could produce very strong players but not a breakout top-tenner. Bu was a prodigy, if an alarmingly tall and mustachioed one, but we've seen even the best kids hit slow patches. Bacrot reached the top ten for the first time only recently. Will Bu, now 22, make it to the top ten or will it be Wang Yue, who is rated ten points higher and is two years younger? Wang Hao, born in 1989, was getting a lot of attention a few years ago and just cracked the top ten. Or there's always Hou Yifan.


Sign on the 2700 club door.
Knock Knock. Who's there? Bu. Bu who? There, there, don't cry.

Go China!

heh. that's cute, sean

Hey Mig,

What's up with this talk about Bu being "alarmingly tall"? Are you implying that Bu is older than his reported age? If so that's just ridiculous. You're being too paranoid.

I've known Bu since he first started playing chess; as a kid he did not seem particularly older/taller than kids of the same age. He grew up to be quite tall in his teenage years, but that's not so uncommon. Some kids just grow faster than others. And Bu was quite well fed. Teammates still joke about how much he was able to eat...

The interesting point should be to know what chinese are doing to improve so fast. Womens have almost already taken control.


I think Mig's point was that his is alarmingly tall. Talk about being paranoid!


I think Mig's point was that he is alarmingly tall. Talk about being paranoid!

What a rogue's gallery of willful misinterpretation, this blog!

Willful?! Are you implying some kind of conspiracy to twist every thing Mig says into some kind of attack?

If so that's just ridiculous, you're being too paranoid. Or are you...

How do you beat Bu at chess? Use a booby trap. Then Bu be trapped.

Baby, it's Bu. Hmm. I guess that title could kind of reflect that the 'Chinese babies' could well be set to increase their impact on the chess scene. I think quite a few more Chinese players could come up through the ranks. Here's the thing though- I believe they will have and do already to an extent have good strength in depth- will they actually be able to make it into the top five level?

Possibly. Although I still think there's more of a general chess culture and focus in Russia and former USSR countries.

Bu... I mean, I wondered if he was just going to be taken over by younger Chinese models. I've read interviews about him, seems like a hard working solid guy. He's talked about wanting to get 'the best education' possible too. I've had the feeling that if he'd played in more tournaments his ELO might well have been higher. But in this tournament he seems to be the only Chinese player, then wraps up the event without losing.

Nigel Short... billed as the top seed, doing his usual promotion thing... just a bit annoying to see him get quite a few draws after his powerful start. Maybe trying to do too much chess promotion, leaving less energy for chess. Still, a decent performance overall. David Howell! Man... he did pretty well. I've sat next to him by mistake in a chess tournament once... he seemed focused but unfazed when I realized I should be on a lower board down ;). His mother could focus her energy on another opponent then ;). Well done to the lad, showing he can compete with high level GMs.

"What's up with this talk about Bu being "alarmingly tall"? Are you implying that Bu is older than his reported age? If so that's just ridiculous. You're being too paranoid."

I'll leave it to others to decide whether you are correct that Mig is implying that Bu's reported age misrepresented his actual age.

If this was a thread about Little League baseball, such a scenario would not be lightly dismissed as being merely paranoid. Whenever you have age restrictions, there is a built in incentive to want to game the system. This goes both ways--consider how many US teenagers obtain fake IDs that represent them to be 21 years of age.

International Youth Chess competitions are based on age, and it is usually easier to win against younger classes of players, who are generally less skilled. This provides an obvious incentive for lying about the age of a young player in order to make him appear to be younger than he actually is.

Whether the potential gain is deemed by some to be worth the hassle or risk is something that I do not know. But in countries where the civic institutions are opaque and subject to corruption, it ought to be relatively easy to pull off.

I thought most people accepted that Bu was older than claimed. I've heard this about a LOT of players.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 16, 2007 1:38 PM.

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