martedì 8 maggio 2018

大饭店 (Grand Hotel)

After four games 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) has one-point lead over 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí)

Two points ahead after only three games. Such a “dreamy start” came unexpected even to 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) herself, the challenger. 上海 (Shànghǎi)’s girl has long been ranked among the first three female players in the world and she was considered the closest Chinese rival to four-time Women’s World Chess Champion 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán). And now she doesn’t want to miss her life’s chance.
In the fourth game of the “中国移动” (“China Mobile”) Women’s World Chess Championship match on May 7, 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) was sitting at the board with a serious look. Perhaps because of the significance of the game, as she has always been a sweet and beautiful woman, able to maintain a “poker face” even under the worst of circumstances. With only ten games of classic chess, the temporary leader can’t afford to relax.
Sure enough, the current Women’s World Chess Champion 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) counterattacked. The roller coaster of last year’s Knockout Women’s World Chess Championship Tournament, plus fast chess “to get past all manner of hardships”, show the iron heart of 重庆 (Chóngqìng)’s girl. After two defeats in a row one may get the blues, but the two girls know each other too well – they are good friends, too – for not knowing that the real “red blood bayonet” showdown is probably just at the beginning.
谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí)’s first win with White was a good point for her, as otherwise the prospect of returning home to 重庆 (Chóngqìng) would have become gloomy. 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) opened with the not-so-frequent “Torre Attack”, thus by-passing 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn)’s theoretical preparation. In a balanced confrontation from the opening to the middle game, it was 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) who first started the offensive. And, after some questionable answers from Black, she put 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) on the defensive. At the 35th move, by now harmless, 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) resigned.
Thus 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) accomplished her goal to reset the score to 1½ – 2½. As for the trend of the fourth game, 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn)’s attitude appeared slightly conservative when compared to 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí)’s killing mood. “The match is getting more and more exciting”, said the coach of Chinese team 余少腾 (Yú Shǎoténg). It’s the third time in Chinese chess history that a “China Derby” occurred; whatever it goes, next Women’s World Chess Champion will be Chinese. Thus, more exciting games might even eclipse who wins and who loses.
In fact, the “中国移动” (“China Mobile”) Women’s World Chess Championship match is not “Only One”. Beyond and behind 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) and 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn), there are Grandmasters who provide their assistance. President of 上海 (Shànghǎi) Chess Academy, 单霞丽 (Dān Xiálì), reveals that as soon as 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) qualified as a challenger to play for the title of the Woman’s World Chess Champion in 2016, 上海 (Shànghǎi)-born Grandmaster 倪华 (Ní Huá), a member of the men’s Olympic team, promptly began to take care of her. However, during all post-game interviews, both players remained rigorously tight-lipped on the subject, keeping both secrets and suspense.
After four games, 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) still has one-point lead. Most foreign professional players prefer 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn), because of her higher score, but 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) knows what to do on the board, and everything can happen. A “kill” has made the match more exciting. “Yeah, you guessed it!”, then 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) joked about that.

(Very free translation by Nobody’s Perfect)

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