China have beaten India 10:6 in a four-round match held in Liaocheng, China from 5-8 March 2017. The Indian team went into the final round knowing they needed to win 3.5:0.5 to save the match, but instead Wei Yi beat Abhijeet Gupta as the Chinese team cruised to victory. That was Wei Yi’s second win, after he also beat his 17-year-old contemporary and Indian Champion Murali Karthikeyan in the previous round.
While Russia and China have played countless “friendly” team matches against each other, this is only the second “China-India summit”, after China beat India 18:14 in the first held in Hyderabad, India back in 2015. While neither team picked even close to their strongest line-up, the match-up represented one of the hottest rivalries in world chess.
When it comes to China, of course, it’s nothing new. They’re the reigning open World Team Champions, women’s Olympiad Champions and have been dominating the women’s individual title for almost three decades now. Tan Zhongyi’s victory in Tehran and Ju Wenjun’s victory in the FIDE Grand Prix series means that even Hou Yifan dropping out of the cycle won’t see the title pass to another country in the near future.
It was a difficult event for Gupta, who had suffered his third loss in a row, while that second win in a row saw Wei Yi edge up to world no. 25 and 2729.3 on the live rating list. Lu Shanglei also scored two wins for China, with only Zhou Jianchao losing any games (two). For India, Sethuraman was the top performer, with one win and three draws, but he couldn’t prevent China emerging as the 10:6 victors.
It’ll be interesting to see how the balance of power has changed in another two years! A little sooner, Wei Yi is top seed in the HDBank Masters that starts on 12th March, with his teammates also competing.
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