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Chinese Acrobats on Tour

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The Chinese chess team has become something of a touring troupe. After a dashing final-round rally to beat Russia by a point (even more factoring in the women's match), they immediately headed off to Liverpool to meet a UK team in a similar format. The Scheveningen matches, with "men's" and women's events, is the headline chess event at the 800th Anniversary Liverpool festival. There is also a strong open tournament.

As Elo would have us expect, this one probably isn't going be as competitive as Russia-China. They cut the number of women's boards to two, and the UK ladies are actually the higher rated, but the UK team is still giving up a lot of rating points overall. Mickey Adams is the highest-rated player in the event at 2724, but after Nigel Short at 2683 it's a fall to Rowson at 2599 and a plummet to the rest of the team of Pert, Jones, and Howell. (Perhaps new UK champ Jakob Aagaard isn't British enough yet.) The Brits will need whatever home-field advantage might mean in chess to keep things interesting at all.

China has obeyed my command to drop 13-year-old Hou Yifan into deeper waters of open (aka "men's") events instead of relegating her to being the perpetual top seed at women's events. With her addition, the Chinese team of Wang Yue, Bu Xiangzhi, Ni Hua, Zhang Pengxiang, and Wang Hao has an average age similar to that of a good bottle of Scotch (which they aren't old enough to drink in some places). The women's match, where they play each other three times to add up to the six rounds of the main event, has Jovanka Houska and new UK women's champ Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant facing Shen Yang and 16-year-old Ding Yixin.

After two rounds the only loss by the Chinese men's team was Jones' victory over Hou Yifan. The Chinese won three games in both rounds, so Adams and Short are going to have to pick up the pace to avoid the worst UK-China trade deficit since the days of tea for silver. (Or opium for silver if it goes the other way.) There are live games here, but check out the whole site.

Update: Checking to make sure the live games link worked, I saw the results for round three. Short and Adams apparently got my message during the round and duly won their games. Howell also won. Hou Yifan and Wang Yue won for China.


why isn't McShane playing?

Starting school, I imagine. He's made it clear that's his priority. He's only played around 10 games this year, almost all for his Bundesliga team, which is a quick weekend train trip.

The bottle of Scotch and trade deficit stories were hilarious. Thanks Mig.

McShane is too busy earning money at Goldman Sachs to play...
By the way, he has a unusual style of dancing in nightclubs, to say the least!


I sternly - and kosterly, too - object to your labeling of our glorious Chinese Chess Team as a bunch of "acrobats" (and not even Adobe Acrobat Readers, for that matter).

As was the case with Moldova - land of genital debauchery -, you once again manage to offend the sensibilities of decent people all over the world. Only this time it will be different: there are over a billion slanted eyes firmly planted on your back, conjuring the most horrendous chinese curses known to man and beast.

I will personally refer your blog to the FIDE Ethics Comission. Perhaps they will reprimend you, but not before they grant you a shot at the world championship against the winner of the winner of the winner of the winner of all those matches and tournaments for the world championship.


Irv "Chou" Xeng (aka Boo Boo)

Irv's parody may have more sting than you might think.

It was only about 5 years ago, wasn't it, that China's top news agency reprinted an item from The Onion, taking it for real news? Then when told how they'd been fooled, the Chinese, instead of taking the lesson, ran a self-righteous editorial slamming America for allowing parodies to be published that looked like real news!

Applause to Irv!

Adams lost against Zhang in a very good game in which Adams provocatively let his King wander and Zhang very slowly, unshurely but eventually took advantage of it.

Irv is not funny in the least. The Onion is funny.

Go China!

Correction Mig- Arakhamia Grant has been British womens champion for the last 4 years, not newly crowned at all. Indeed, last year she finished 2nd overall, beating several GMs on the way.

Actually, Keti's 2nd place in 2006 only contained one win against a GM (Nick Pert in the last round), although she also got draws against Davies and Hebden.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 6, 2007 1:38 PM.

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