IM (1999); GM (1999); World U14 Champion (1998); Chinese Champion (2004); World University Champion (2012).
Bu Xiangzhi was born in Qingdao in China and is China's 10th Grandmaster. A cousin introduced him to chess when he was six, and he made quick progress, winning the Qingdao Junior Chess Championship in 1993 and the Children's Championship of the National S.T. Lee Cup in 1997. In 1998 at the age of 12, he captured the titles of National Pupil Champion and World U-14 champion. The following year, in 1999, he became the then youngest-ever International Grandmaster at the age of 13 years, 10 months, 13 days and the first to win the title before the age of 14. He remained the youngest Chinese to become a GM for 14 years until Wei Yi captured this honor in 2013.
<1999-2002> Bu won the 1999 German Open and in 2000, also in Germany, he won the International Neckar Open in Deizisau, Stuttgart. In 2002, he scored 6/9 at the Aeroflot Open Group A.
<2003-2005> Bu scored 6/9 (=6th, 0.5 points behind joint first place getters) at the Aeroflot Open (2003), and in December 2003, he won the 10th Aceimar International Open in Mondariz with 7.5/9. In 2004, he scored 5.5/9 in the Reykjavik Open (2004). In 2005, he came =2nd behind Wang Hao in the 7th Dubai Open, placed =3rd in the Sanjin International Hotel Cup (GM tournament) in China and scored 5.5/9 in the Aeroflot Open (2005).
<2006-2008> In 2006, also in China, he came equal second in the Railway Hotel Cup GM tournament, behind Baadur Jobava and scored 5/9 at the Aeroflot Open (2006). In 2007, he won the Canadian Open (2007), the International Open in Germany with 8.5/9, the International Neckar Open, again in Deizisau, with 7.5/9, and came second at Corus Group B (2007). In 2008, Bu came =1st at the Gibraltar (2008) with 8.0/10 and a performance rating of 2834, but lost the tie-break to Hikaru Nakamura. He won the Antwerp (2008) in Belgium in August 2008 with a score of 7.0/9 (+5, =4, -0) and a performance rating of 2748, came third behind Veselin Topalov and Levon Aronian in the Pu Kou Chess Tournament, Nanjing 2008.
<2009-2011> He won the 1st Danzhou Tournament (2010) in China in June 2010 on tiebreak from Li Chao. He also scored 6.5/10 in the Moscow Open (2010), half a point behind the joint winners, and came 7th in the Aeroflot Open (2010) with 5.5/9, his only loss being to outright winner Le Quang Liem. In March 2011, he came =2nd in the 2nd Danzhou Tournament (2011). In October 2011, he scored 6/9 in the the 1st Qin Huangdao Open Chess Tournament, placing =6th.
<2012-2014> In January 2012, Bu scored 6/9 at the Moscow Open (=15th) and in February 2012, scored 5.5/9 (+2 =7 -0 and TPR 2692) at the Aeroflot Open (2012), placing =9th (10th on tiebreak), thereby maintaining rough parity with his rating for the bi-monthly rating period leading to 1 March 2012. Bu lost some ground, and rating points, in the Chinese Championship of 2012 (see below) but made up lost ground by winning the 3rd Danzhou Tournament (2012) on tiebreak ahead of co-leader Ni Hua to take the prize and the final spot in the Chinese Team for the Chess Olympiad (2012). In May 2013, he was 2nd with 6/9, a point behind Ding Liren, at the 4th Danzhou Tournament (2013), a category 15 event. In July-August 2013, Bu scored 8/11 to place =2nd alongside Dragan Solak and Mateusz Bartel at the Biel International Masters, a half point behind Pentala Harikrishna. He had a quiet start to 2014 until June 2014, when he placed =1st with Ding Liren at the 5th Danzhou Tournament (2014), scoring 6.5/9. This result returned him to the "2700 club" for the first time since September 2009. He returned a stunning result to win the Politiken Cup (2014) outright, scoring 9/10 (+8 =2) to produce a TPR of 2881, providing another massive boost to his rating. A mediocre 7/9 at the 18th HZ Chess Tournament in Vlissingen in August 2014 took some of the rating sheen off his most recent accomplishments, but the September 2014 FIDE rating list still showed him at a career high rating of 2722. Since then, however, Bu has suffered a mild lapse of form, scoring 2/4 against weak opposition in rounds 12-15 of the Chinese League, a slightly substandard 6/9 at the Millionaire Chess (2014), and a distant 5th in the Zonal qualifier 3.5, the latter dragging him down from the 2700 club for the December 2014 rating list unless he scores a pick-me-up in time for the rating deadline. He finished 2014 with =3rd at the 24th Annual North American Open.
<2015> Bu picked up a handful of rating points at the category 17 6th Hainan Danzhou (2015) when he finished an unbeaten =5th, scoring 4.5/9.
<Youth> In 1998, Bu won the World U14 championship. In 2000, he defeated Teimour Radjabov 6.5-1.5 in an eight game Future World Champions Match competition in New York.
<Junior> In August 2001, he was =5th in the World Junior Championship held in Greece (won by Peter Acs) and in 2003 was fifth in the World Junior Championship (won by Aronian).
<National> He was =1st in the Chinese Championship in 2002 and in November of 2004, he won the Chinese Championship with the formidable score of 9.0/11. He placed 2nd in the Chinese Championship of 2007, 3rd in the Chinese Championship (2009) behind Wang Hao and Ding Liren and =2nd in the Chinese Championship (2010) with 7.5/11. He came 5th with 5.5/11 in the Chinese Chess Championships (2012) and in April 2013, he placed =4th at the Chinese Championships (2013).
<University> In August 2012, he easily won the 12th World University Chess Championship that was held in Portugal with a score of 8/9, 1.5 points clear of the field.
<Continental> He came =4th in the 10th Asian Individual Championships (2011).
<World> Also in 2003, he won the Zonal that entitled him to compete in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004) in Libya where he lost in the first round to Ashot Anastasian. He won the 2007 Zonal in China to qualify for the World Chess Cup (2007) in which he reached the 3rd round before losing to countryman Wang Hao. He fell to Yannick Pelletier in the 1st round of the World Cup (2009). Bu won the Asian Zonal Championship 2011, qualifying him to play in the World Cup (2011), where he beat Ahmed Adly, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Abhijeet Gupta in the first three rounds before losing to Vassily Ivanchuk in the Round of Sixteen, and exiting the tournament.
In October 2007, he won the Bilbao Blindfold Chess World Cup (2007) by a 1.5 point margin, after defeating Veselin Topalov, Magnus Carlsen , Pentala Harikrishna, Judit Polgar and Sergey Karjakin.
Bu has also been a regular member of the menís team in the Russia vs China matches: In October 2004 he scored 3/6, in August 2007, he lead from board one in the victorious Chinese team in the 4th Russia - China Match (2007). In September 2008, he scored 2.5/5 at the 5th Russia - China Match (2008) in Ningbo achieving a performance rating of 2707. In August 2009 at the 6th Russia - China (2009) in Sochi, he again scored 2.5/5. In the 7th China - Russia (2010) in Ningbo, he scored 4/5 in the classical games, his best result yet, representing a 2928 performance rating. In 2005, he won an individual and team silver playing top board for China in the 6th World Team Chess Championship at Beer Sheva. He played in the team that won the silver medal at the December 2006 Asian Games in Doha. In 2008, he won a bronze medal on board two when the team won gold at the 2008 15th Asian Team Chess Championship in Visakhapatnam. In April 2008, Bu competed at the Russian Team Championship (2008) in Dagomys, Sochi for the team Shatar-Metropole (Buryatia), where he achieved a score of 6.5/10 (+3=7-0) and a performance rating of 2771. Bu Xiangzhi plays for Shandong chess club in the China Chess League, which placed 6th out of 12 in 2013, Bu Xiangzhi scoring 14.5/20. (1) He played board 4 for China in the FIDE World Team Championship (2013), winning individual and team silver. In 2014, he played top board for Shandong, which placed 6th. (2) In 2015, he played board 3 for China at the FIDE World Team Championship (2015), helping his team to a stunning win of team gold. Also in 2015, he is playing for the Chongqing team in the Chinese League.
Bu has played for China in six Olympiads, including 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, scoring a team silver in 2006 when he played top board. He scored 6/10 on board 3 for China at the Chess Olympiad (2010) and 4.5/8 on board 4 for in the Chess Olympiad (2012) held in Istanbul, helping China to 4th place.
Ratings and rankings
Bu's peak ranking was world #22 in April 2008 when his rating was 2708. His peak rating was in September 2014 when it reached 2722, at which time his world ranking was #29.
References and sources
(1) http://chess-results.com/tnr99752.a...; (2) http://chess-results.com/tnr136416....
Chessbase table of youngest grandmasters: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...; Wikipedia article: Bu Xiangzhi
Last updated 11 July 2015