16 year old Chinese Prodigy Plays Chess Game of the Century

16 year old Chinese Prodigy Plays Chess Game of the Century


Hey guys! This is Jan for Chess24.com In this video, I’m going to take a look
at what many people have already called “the game of the century so far,”
a truly spectacular game. It was played in the Danzhou Super
Grandmaster Tournament in China, a tournament featuring
most of China’s best players, Wang Yu is playing, Ding Liren, Yu Yangyi, and the 16 years old prodigy Wei Yi, whom many people are already
comparing to Magnus Carlsen. He is rated above 2700 at his age, and he is the guy who features
on the White side in this game. He is playing one of the two foreigners
in the tournament, Lazaro Bruzon Batista from Cuba. Here we’ve got a picture
of the protagonists, and it was going to be
a very spectacular game indeed, so let’s get right to it. Wei Yi does open with 1. e4,
as he normally does, and Lazaro Bruzon picks up
the gauntlet and goes for c5, the uncompromising Sicilian defense. We have a little bit
of move order trickery in the opening. White is, before committing to d4, trying to feel out what setup
Black wants to play, and Bruzon, by playing e6 and a6, indicates that he wants to go for
the so-called Taimanov or Kan variation. Be2, once again, waiting for Black
to show his cards, d5 is possible here,
but then White would take and go d4. That wasn’t to Bruzon’s liking.
He goes Nc6. And now Wei Yi says
“OK. I was just kidding.” “I do want to play
an open Sicilian after all.” He plays d4, and we do get
a main line Taimanov position after Qc7. 0-0, Nf6, Be3, all of this
is well-known theory. Here, Black faces a choice: Bb4, sort of the typical Taimanov move
when White quite often goes Na4 trying to get something going
with that b6 square with a lot of theory to follow. But Bruzon decides to play
the more humble move Be7, and now the game transposes, after f4, d6,
to a setup that we call the Scheveningen. It was featured heavily in games
between Karpov and Kasparov in the 80’s and the 90’s for the World Championship. Kasparov really brought
this setup to the limelight in his many battles with Karpov
and it’s been topical ever since. Also, in the match
Anand against Kasparov in 95′, Anand tried his luck
here on the White side. It is still as up-to-day as ever, and the theoretical
discussions are ongoing. Kh1 is a typical move here. White faces a choice:
If he wants to play with a4 to restrict Black from going b5,
or he wants to ignore the queen side and dedicate his forces to the king side. That’s what Wei Yi does here,
he goes Kh1, 0-0, and Qe1, intending to put the queen on g3, where it is at least in proximity
to the Black king. Nxd4, still theory, Bxd4, b5. Qg3, Bg7. White takes a time out
to stop Black from going b4, so he plays a3. Rad8, this is preparing
for a potential opening of the center. It’s directed against White going e5
and then recapturing with a pawn, because the bishop on d4 would be loose. In my childhood they used to play
Bc6 here, intending Qb7 and then b4, that’s another line, but Rad8
has been fashionable. And something like this is… yeah,
a line from the old days, but Rad8 has been fashionable and both players, no doubt,
still knew this position. Rae1, Rd7, a strange looking move,
making way for the other rook to go to e8 or d8, and in the game
we will see, it has another strange idea. Bd3, White plays very logically,
puts his pieces on the king side, directs his bishops
against the castled Black king, and is hoping to open the position,
either by e5 or by f5, and Black has to prepare himself
for this onslaught. Here, strangely enough, the main move
according to theory is Re8, which, in some lines,
prepares for going e5. For example, if White
were to play Qh3 here, which we’ll see in the game, then Black would be well positioned
to open the center up with e5, now that White no longer controls
this square with his queen. So Re8 is, arguably, a better choice
than what Bruzon plays in the game, a move I’m, frankly, not a 100% sure
why you would play this, but many people have, the move Qd8 back,
reinforcing the defense of the f6 knight, and, in some lines, maybe hoping to go d5,
and then, after e5, to play Ne4, blasting open the center, but it does feel
a little suspicious, that move. And Wei Yi continues attacking after Qd8,
now goes Qh3, e5 was no longer possible. He’s eyeing the h7 pawn,
already threatening Bxf6. Let’s say, harmless moves like Re8,
Bxf6 would already be a possibility. Bxf6, e5, even though
Black might still defend with Bh4, you don’t want to have
this threat hanging over you, so Black plays g6 here, closing this diagonal,
but opening that one. And Wei Yi, once again, wastes no time,
a very direct play, plays f5. All of this has already been seen. I’m not sure how far
Wei Yi’s preparation reached. After e5, Be3, Re8, this position
has been seen in predecessors, in previous games, let’s say. White, for example,
tried the move Qf3 here, in a game by Alekseev,
a strong Russian GM, but Wei Yi maybe still prepared, maybe not, maybe over
the board inspiration, more or less refutes the Black setup
here with a beautiful attack. And that’s where the game really starts.
He goes fxg. Note that he is not wasting any time
moving his pieces twice, he just goes for it directly. Every piece has moved once,
except for the queen that took some time to get into attacking position on h3. fxg, hxg, so far, Black looks solid.
But Wei Yi now sprints into action, he goes Nd5, and this knight
cannot be ignored, threatening Nxe7 or Nxf6 in some lines,
so it has to be captured, and Bruzon plays the logical move Nxd5,
which turns out to be losing already. The only way to defend was Bxd5,
but that is an ugly move, after exd5, you’ve opened up this bishop,
you lose your own bishop, and White has a very serious
attack already. One plan could be putting your queen on f3
and then pushing the g pawn to get rid of this knight,
or putting your queen on f3 and then going Bg5. There are also ideas with Bxh6 in the air. So, this is a very unpleasant
position for Black, and it’s not surprising
Bruzon avoided this. He goes Nxd5, and now
if White were to go exd5, he could just capture with a bishop,
defending his vulnerable f7 spot and Black would be fine. But that wasn’t Wei Yi’s intention, and instead he goes for one of the most
beautiful king hunts I’ve seen, at the very least in the recent time. Many people compared it with the game
Kasparov against Topalov from 99′, where Kasparov also sacrifices
a lot of material to drag the Black king into the open. Wei Yi plays Rxf7 here. He’s already a piece down after Nxd5
and now he offers a whole rook, and this offer has to be accepted. He’s threatening Qh7#,
and if Black were to parry that by Nf6, he would lose after Qe6,
threatening a powerful discovered check. Black would have to go Kh8,
and here it turns out that, after Bg5, the Black position
is not defensible. White has too many threats,
the biggest one being Rxe7, followed by Bxf6, but also Rxf6,
or Bxf6 are threatened. If this knight were to move,
let’s say Nh5, then Qxg6 is coming, threatening checkmate. So, long story short,
you have to accept the rook, because else you are losing on the spot. Kxf7, rook and piece up,
but the king is a little shaky. And Wei Yi continues to lure it
into the open by playing Qh7+. Ke6 is the only move. If you went back,
that’s checkmate in one after Bh6#. If you went forward to f6,
then the rook stays on this f file, which is not very pleasant,
because after exd5, Rf1+ is on the agenda in many lines. There’s also a checkmate threat
in one with Qxg6#, and Black is just totally lost
because there’s no defense. Let’s say Bxd5, Qxg6#. So, he has to go to e6,
that’s the only square. I’m not sure how far Wei Yi
calculated the variations. He has a safety net here, if he wanted to,
he could repeat moves with Qh3+, Kf7, Qh7+,
but, of course, that’s not his intention. Still, it’s always nice when you,
at least for me, if you start a sacrificial attack,
to have this backup option of a perpetual when you are calculating
the lines from far away. Wei Yi continues the king hunt, he goes exd5 and it turns out the king
has to come out to play even further with Kxd5. Bxd5 might look more natural, but here we start getting
a feel of the depth of Wei Yi’s attack because
the geometry works in many lines, and it’s very complicated:
here White has to go Bxg6, threatening Qf7#, and, once again,
it turns out that Black has no defense even though he is a rook up. Bf6 looks logical
but only until you spot Bf5# because now the king
doesn’t have access to f6 anymore. So, Black has no defense here.
Try it for yourself. White is winning in every line. Sometimes he’s winning by headcount,
after Bxg2+, Kxg2, d5, for example, clearing this d6 square for the king,
White just grabs a rook, and, all of the sudden,
he would be a piece up. So, you cannot go Bxd5. And the king –I’m sure
he wasn’t thrilled about it– has to continue his journey. Still, he is a rook up,
and there’s no direct checkmate. Black is dreaming of going Kc6,
when all of the sudden, his king would be pretty safe. So, Wei Yi has to invest another piece
to keep the attack going, and that’s what he does. He plays the spectacular Be4+, stopping Kc6, obviously,
because that’s not a legal move. And the bishop has to be accepted, but that means the king
has to continue his journey. Ke6, returning home,
once again, would lose because of a very complicated variation. Wei Yi, once again, I’m not sure
of how much he calculated, or had to calculate,
but it is very impressive because, even here,
there’s only one winning line: Qf5+, Kf6, Qh7+, Kf8, because Ke6, once again, the king gets lured into the center,
and White now continues his mating attack with equal material, threatening Qd3#. So, nothing works for Black.
The king has to return to f8. And even this position from afar,
you’re still a piece down, well, a rook down,
but you can capture this, it might not look that obvious
but White is winning, he just includes his last force
into the attack, he goes Rf1, threatening Qxg7# and,
once again, there’s no defense. But try working all of this stuff out
in your head after Nxd5; it’s not an easy feat. So, Be4+, Kxe4 is forced. And, once again,
things are not so obvious. The king can return to d5 and c6,
he is a piece and a rook up. Maybe Bruzon wasn’t so sure
if things were so bad for him here. But Wei Yi continues
with some very impressive moves. He plays Qf7, this cut off the king’s retreat to d5,
and threatens Qf3#. Yeah, this is what makes
this game so beautiful, all those quiet moves,
while being a lot of material down, are really not so easy to come up with. Everyone can calculate
check, check, and mate, but to anticipate Qf7, and that Black
has no defense here, is pretty amazing. Still, the game isn’t over.
Qf7 threatens mate in one. So, Black has to do something
about it and he does. He goes Bf6, blocking the f file. By the way, for completeness sake, I should mention the computer
gives another solution here: the move c4, which is just
as beautiful, also stopping Kd5, and after bxc4, Qxg6+, Kd5, Qf7+,
White is also winning, but Wei Yi’s choice
is just as strong with Qf7. Bf6, now he sort of teases Black
by repeating moves once with Bd2+. The king has to go to d4. If it were to go to f5,
Rf1+ would decide the issue. King returns to e4,
and now the quiet move Qb3 with the deadly threat of Qd3#. The king has to continue
his journey across the board. Kd4 and Wei Yi repeats
the position: Be3+, Ke4. But now he does destroy
Black’s dreams of emerging with half a point from this game, and plays another very pretty quiet
queen move, Qb3, threatening Qd3#. It’s always a very direct threat
and Black makes only moves to parry those. Here, the only move is Qf5
to avoid checkmate in one, but the king will not find
peace in this game. Rf1+, once again, only move: Kg4 and the third quiet queen move: Qd3. After this Qf7 and Qb3, now Qd3, once again, carrying some
very heavy direct threats, in this case, Qe2+, Qd1+ or Qxg6+, and it overstretches Black’s defenses. The king cannot keep running, if it were to go to h5,
Qd1+ lures him back out, and after Kh4, Rf3 finishes him off
threatening Rh3#. Bxf3 and then Qxf3, once again, it turns out that Black
has no defense to Qh3#, or g3+ followed by g4. For example, Bg5, Qh3#
is the end of the game. So, after Qd3 Bruzon finds
a way to continue the fight. Credit to Bruzon,
he’s found all the only moves to keep the game going,
but it is not enough. He gives one piece back
with Bxg2+, Kxg2, and Qa8+, trying to distract White a little bit,
stop some of White’s attacking resources, but it is too little too late. The king goes back to g1
and White’s attack is still overwhelming, still threatening Qxg6+ and Qe2+. There’s nothing you can do. Bruzon, once again,
goes for the only move: Bg5, so that Qxg6, at least,
is no longer a check. But there’s trouble from the other side,
Qe2+, the king goes to h4. If it were to go to h3, then Rf3+,
or the quiet Bxg5, both finish the game. Rf3+, let’s say, Kh4, Bf2+, Kg4, Rf8+, Kh3, Qd3+, Kg4, Qg3+. I’m just having fun. Kh5, Qh3+, Bh4, Qxh4# is checkmate. So Kh4 was played, Bf2+, once again,
no mercy for the poor king, can’t go here, can’t go here,
has to go forward, Kh3, and, to finish the game,
another quiet lethal move, the move Be1. Once again, try anticipating
this move or this position when you go Nd5, Nxd5, Rxf7. 36. Be1 and the poor Black king
has no defense. The threat is Rf3+, followed by Qg2 or…
Well, let’s make a neutral move. Let’s say Qc6, then Rf3+, Kg4, Qg2+, Kh5, Rh3+, Bh4, Rxh4#. There’s nothing Black can do about it.
If he blocks Rf3+ with e4, then Qh2# is checkmate in one move. If he tries, let’s say, Rf8 stopping Rf3+,
then White just takes on f8, and after Qxf8, once again,
Qg2# is checkmate. So, there is just
absolutely nothing you can do, and that’s why Lazaro Bruzon
decided to resign the game here, a fantastic game. Let’s show one more line. Black goes Bf4,
trying to clear f5 for his king. Then trouble comes from the other side:
Qd3+, Kg4, Qxg6+, Bg5, h3+, Kxh3, and Qf5#. Bruzon had seen enough after Be1,
all these lines remain behind the scenes and he resigned the game. What an attack by Mr. Wei Yi,
this 16 years old, a lot of buzz about him being
the next Magnus Carlsen, the biggest potential challenger. He just keeps winning rating,
rated about 2720 already at his young age, at 16. So, there’s a lot to come
from this young man, it looks like. And I can’t wait to see him
playing his first super tournament against likes of Carlsen, Caruana,
Nakamura, Anand and so on. There’s a very exciting player
over there: Wei Yi. Keep an eye on that guy. Thanks for watching the…
maybe the game of the century so far, it’s hard to judge,
let us know what you think. We’ll be back with, hopefully,
more beautiful attacks by Wei Yi. Thanks for watching. Bye bye.

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