Photos by GM Ye Rongguang
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
We are pleased today to publish a number of photos kindly provided by Grandmaster Ye Rongguang from China. The gallery can be seen at the following link.


Ye Rongguang, 45, was the first Chinese player to gain the international chess grandmaster title. He has now retired from competitive chess, but has been the coach of women's world chess champion Zhu Chen's for more than ten years.

Ye Rongguang competed at the 1990 World Chess Championship (Manila VI-VII, Interzonal Tournament) where he finished in 44th place with 6/13 points. In the same year he won the China National Chess Championship. He reached his highest FIDE rating of 2545 on January 1991 when he was ranked 97th in the world.

He has competed in the China national chess team in the Chess Olympiad three times at the Men's Chess Olympiad (1988-1992) (games played 35: +19, =11, -5), and twice at the Men's World Team Chess Championships (1985-1989) (games played 15: +8, =2, -5) winning bronze on 6th board in 1985.

Ye also competed twice at the Men's Asian Team Chess Championship (1987, 1991), with an overall record of 13 games (+11, =1, -1). He won an individual bronze medal and an individual gold in 1987 and 1991, respectively.

He resides in the Netherlands, and was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Netherlands Chinese Photographic Society.

He has a blog, in Chinese which can be found at :
Round 1 Report
Tuesday, 29 September 2009


With five Grandmasters, two of whom were former World Champions, the field is extremely strong. The average rating is 2443 making the GM norm 8 points and IM norm 6 points.

The first round got off to a good start with six fighting games. Top seed GM Zhao Xue with the black pieces, was under pressure for a long time by GM Xu Yuhua in a Sicilian Scheveningen and the latter missed a win with 40.Bxh6 and instead had to opt out for a perpetual.

Local favourite WGM Shen Yang played well to put GM Marie Sebag under pressure and after getting into time difficulties, black ended up in a worse position. 19...Rh8 may have been the best chance to resist but after 21.g5 and 22.Nh4, black had a worse position eventually ending up with too many loose pawns.

WIM Betul Cemre Yildiz held the position well and could have equalized with 21...cxd6 against WGM
Bathbuyag Muungutuul. The players followed a main line of the Queen's Gambit Accepted for some time but this normally tactical opening turned into a quiet positional manouevering. After 26..Na3 instead of 26...g5, WIM Yildiz lost her way and WGM Muungutuul wrapped up the game.

IM Lilit Mkrtchian and WGM Baira Kovanova crossed sword for the third time. Each time Lilit has had white and they have always gone 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 in all games. This time, IM Mkrtchian tried 4.Qc2 and had some good chances but WGM Kovanova defended quite well and a dynamic draw was a fair result.

GM Zhu Chen showed considerable grit in her game against IM Martha Fierro. Several times in the game, she varied from repeating the position, sometimes taking a degree of risk. She achieved a good game just before the time control but IM Fierro was also holding the position quite well. Then GM Zhu Chen slipped with 52...Be8 whereas 52...g5 would have kept a balanced position. After this, it was only white who could try for a win and 56.a4! was the right way. However, IM Fierro hesitated in playing 60.b7 and after the two critical pawns were taken off the board, the players kept fighting but the position was equal. Again, a draw was a fair reflection overall of the play.

GM Dzagnidze outplayed the untilted Ju Wenjun in a King's Indian which turned into a Declined Benko with b6. White planted a knight on b5 and this was very much the key factor in the game. White probed for weaknesses and black had to defend dourly the a5 and d6 pawns. White exchanged off queens and continued to build up pressure but in time pressure, missed an opportunity to get a big advantage with 56.Rh6. Eventually a rook endgame resulted and black could still have held the game with 69...Kf5! but missed this and GM Dzagnidze brought the point home.

Games with analysis can be replayed or downloaded here.
Opening Ceremony
Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The second leg of the FIDE Women Grand Prix got underway yesterday along with the Nanjing Pearl Spring Tournament.

The opening ceremony was a lavish affair hosted at the Nanjing University of Technology and was attended by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the President of the Chinese Chess Association, Mr Chu Bo, Political Commissar of the Nanjing Army Command College, Zhang ShiQuan, deputy director of the National People's Congress standing committee, JinShi, the Vice Mayor of Nanjing, Wang Yonghong and a number of other Nanjing functionaries, FIDE and Grand Slam chess officials as well as the Grandmasters taking part in the two tournaments.


The six male GMs were first onto the stage and GM Veselin Toplaov made a short speech. They were followed by the female players and speeched by GM Maries Sebag and Shen Yang.

We will be bringing you a video and more photos soon of the opening ceremony.

Follow this site to get updated information!
Opening Ceremony photos
Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Photo Gallery has been updated with some photos from the Opening Ceremony which have been kindly provided by WGM Jilin Zhang. Jilin is not only a Woman Grandmaster but a FIDE Arbiter and accomplished photographer.

Jilin also has a blog in Chinese which can be found at

The link to the photos can be found here
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