Yu Yangyi Wins 4th Shenzhen Masters


GM Yu Yangyi won the Shenzhen Masters, held April 20-May 1, 2021 on Chess.com. The 26-year-old grandmaster from Huangshi finished ahead of GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda, GM Richard Rapport, and GM Wei Yi.

How to watch?

You can find, play through, and download all games of the Shenzhen Masters on our Events page.

Fully named the “Belt and Road” “Shenzhen Evening News Cup” Shenzhen Longgang Chess Masters Tournament, the event was held for the fourth time. The first three editions were classical events played over the board and won by GM Ding Liren (2017), GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2018), and GM Anish Giri (2019). Last year it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, the organizers decided to hold an online version. The format was a combination of rapid and blitz games, played in a double round-robin with four world-class grandmasters.

While Duda and Rapport could play from home, the two Chinese players Wei and Yu played together from a venue in the Longgang District in Shenzhen.

The time control for the rapid games was 15 minutes and a 10-second increment. For the blitz, a time control of five minutes and a three-second increment was used. The rapid games counted double: two points for a win and one for a draw.

Yu won the rapid portion with an undefeated 9/12 (4.5/6 counted double) as he won three games and drew three. Duda then won the blitz portion with 5/6 (four wins and two draws) but that wasn’t enough to catch Yu, who won the $20,000 first prize. Duda received $15,000, Rapport $8,000, and Wei $5,000.

Final Standings








# Fed Name Rtg Rapid Blitz Total
1 Yu Yangyi 2709 9 3 12
2 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 2729 6 5 11
3 Richard Rapport 2763 6 2.5 8.5
4 Wei Yi 2732 3 1.5 4.5

In hindsight, the very first round saw the important clash between the winner and the runner-up. Yu beat Duda in an opposite-colored bishop endgame where two passers on both far edges of the board formed a decisive combo:

Yu Yangyi. Photo courtesy organizers.

In the fifth round of the rapid part, Yu successfully defended against his compatriot’s sacrificial play. The attack started with a knight check on g6 that few of us could have resisted playing, and although engines disapprove of it, the practical value is abundantly clear.

In general, Wei wasn’t very fortunate in this tournament. For example, in the following blitz he seemed to be dragging Duda’s king into a mating net, but he couldn’t find the finishing touch:

Wei Yi Shenzhen 2021
Wei Yi. Photo courtesy organizers.

All games

Yu Yangyi Shenzhen simul kids
The event also included a simul where Wei and Yu played games with a total of 120 kids. Photo courtesy organizers.

Yu Yangyi Shenzhen kids
A quick group selfie with the winner. Photo courtesy organizers.

Liang Ziming contributed to this story.



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