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. 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 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 Chess Festival (2008) with 8.0/10 (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; performance rating 2748), and 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 1st Qin Huangdao Open Chess Tournament, placing =6th.
<2012-2013> 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.
<2014-2015> 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 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. He finished 2014 with =3rd at the 24th Annual North American Open. 2015 was mainly occupied with team events, with his first standard tournament of the year being Bu playing in the category 17 6th Hainan Danzhou (2015), where he finished an unbeaten =5th, scoring 4.5/9. He was runner up to Wei Yi at the eight-player China Chess Kings (2015) knockout event.
<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.
Team play: (1)
<Olympiads> 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.
<Russia vs China> Bu was a member of the menís team in the Russia vs China matches in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008, scoring team gold in the last four events.
<World Team Championships> He played for China in the World Team championships of 2005, 2013 and 2015: in 2005, he won the individual and team silver playing top board for China in the 6th World Team Championship (2005) at Beer Sheva, in the FIDE World Team Championship (2013) he again won individual and team silver, this time playing board four, and in the FIDE World Team Championship (2015) he placed fourth for board four, but this was sufficient to help his team to win its historic first-ever gold in this event.
<Asian Teams> Bu played top board in the Chinese team that won the silver medal at the December 2006 Asian Games in Doha, and board three in the team that won gold at the Asian Games staged in Guangzhou in 2010. 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 2007 and 2009, he played for the Asian Indoor Games (Chess), coming away with team gold on both occasions.
<European Club Cup> Bu played board four in the winning Ekonomist SGSEU Saratov team that won the gold medal at the 17th European Team Championship (2009).
<Russian Premier League> In April 2008, Bu competed at the Russian Team Championship (2008) in Dagomys, Sochi, playing on board two for the team Shatar-Metropole (Buryatia), where he achieved a score of 6.5/10 (+3=7-0) and a performance rating of 2773 to win individual gold.
<Chinese League> Bu Xiangzhi played for Shandong club in the Chinese League from 2005 until 2014 inclusive. During this time, he won team golds in 2007 and 2010 and team silver in 2006 and 2009. Perhaps dissatisfied with the team's performances in the last few years, he switched to the Chongqing team in 2015, helping his team to win silver.
Rapid and Blitz
Bu does not seem to favor the faster forms of the game. His best result was equal second, a point behind Wang Yue, with 4/7 at the 2nd Chinese Fame Grandmaster Invitation Blitz Tournament in July 2012. His 5/10 at the the 9th China-Russia Chess Match (Blitz) Tournament that was staged in Yinzhou, China in July 2015 was a strong result for his rating, as he defeated Maxim Matlakov and Vladimir Fedoseev, and drew with Peter Svidler, all of whom had much higher ratings; ironically he lost to the players that were closest to his rating, namely Daniil Dubov and Nikita Vitiugov. Notwithstanding the scarcity of his involvement in the faster forms of the game, Bu is, to date, in the top 100 in blitz and would be in the top 100 in rapid had he not become inactive.
Ratings and rankings
Bu's peak ranking was world #22 in April 2008 when his rating was 2708. His peak rating to date was in January 2016 when it reached 2724, at which time his world ranking was #29.
References and sources
Chessbase table of youngest grandmasters: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...; Wikipedia article: Bu Xiangzhi
Last updated 23 January 2016