World U10 Champion (2004); GM (2009); World Junior Champion (2013); Chinese Champion (2014).
Yu Yangyi is China's 29th Grandmaster and one of the world’s top Juniors. He gained his Grandmaster title with effect from 1 July 2009 aged 15 and 23 days, without having first acquired either a FM or IM title, winning his GM norms at the 8th Asian Continental Chess Championship (2009) (a double or 18-game norm due to the event’s continental status) and at the Subic International Open 2009 the following week.
<Youth> Yu’s first impact in international chess occurred when he came =2nd in the World U10 Championship in Halkidiki in Greece in 2003. He then went one step further in 2004 when he won the U10 title in Heraklio, also in Greece.
<Junior> In August 2012, he scored 9/13 in the World Junior Championship (2012), a point behind the winner, Alexander Ipatov. In September 2013, he reversed the result by winning the World Junior Championship (2013) with a stunning 11/13 (+9 =4) ahead of runner-up, Alexander Ipatov, also recording an extraordinary TPR of 2813.
<National and Continential> In May 2009, the then untitled teenager came equal third in the abovementioned 8th Asian Continental Chess Championship (2009), thereby qualifying for the World Cup (2009).
His performance at the 10th Asian Individual Championships (2011), where he placed =1st alongside Ngoc Truongson Nguyen and Pentala Harikrishna qualified him for the World Cup (2011). He placed outright second at the Chinese Chess Championships (2012), scoring 7/11. He then came =1st (2nd on tiebreak) with 7/9 at the Asian Continental Chess Championship (2012), qualifying him for the World Cup (2013). He won the Chinese Championship (2014) in 2014 with 7/11 on tiebreak ahead of Ding Liren.
<World> Yu was the 113th seed in the World Cup (2009) and caused the biggest upset of the first round by defeating 16th seeded Sergei Movsesian. In the second round he defeated number 80 seed, Mateusz Bartel, before being defeated in the third round by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. In the World Cup (2011), he fell in the first round to Romanian GM Mircea-Emilian Parligras. In the World Cup (2013), he defeated the Ukrainian-Slovenian veteran Alexander Beliavsky in the first round but lost to Italian GM Fabiano Caruana in the 2nd round.
Yu Yangyi's best results so far in other tournaments have been 2nd in the Aeroflot Open Group C in 2007, 3rd in the Aeroflot Open Group B in 2008, 3rd in the Dvorkovich Cup in Moscow in 2008, 2nd in the Zhejiang Lishui Xingqiu Open in September 2009 behind Le Quang Liem, and first in the 1st HD Bank Cup Open 2011. His breakthrough results came in the 2011 Moscow Open where he came =2nd (3rd on countback) with 6/9 (2768 performance rating) and at the Aeroflot Open (2011) when he placed =4th with 6/9 (+4 -1 =4 and a 2762 performance rating), half a point behind the leaders. He barnstormed a brilliant win with 7/9, 1.5 points clear of equal second placed Bu Xiangzhi and Wang Yue, at the 2nd Danzhou Tournament (2011), the result lifting him into the top 100 of the world. In October 2012 he won the 2nd Indonesia Open Chess Championship (2012).
2013 started with strong performances in the Tradewise Gibraltar (2013) where he placed =5th with 7.5/10, and at the Reykjavik Open (2013) where he scored 7/10 to bring his rating to within a few points of 2700. However, March 2013 saw a significant setback at the 3rd HD Bank Cup (2013) where he scored a poor 5.5/9, shedding 21 rating points. Poor results at the Chinese Championships (2013) in April and in the 4th Danzhou Tournament (2013) in May damaged his cause even further, however, a strong 6.5/7 at the 4th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games 2013 held in Incheon in South Korea in July 2013 partially restored his fortunes as did winning the World Junior championship soon afterwards (see above).
2014 saw a slow start with 7/13 at the Tata Steel (Group B) (2014), but in April he won the Asian Continental Championship Open outright with 7/9, and also won the blitz tournament that accompanied this event with 7.5/9. In June he was =5th at the 5th Danzhou Tournament (2014). In October he competed in the Millionaire Chess (2014), and finished in the top 4 to qualify for the rapid playoffs to decide the prizes, but lost to Ray Robson in the first playoff to finish 3rd-4th. Yu Yangyi's finest result to date occurred in December 2014 when he finished outright 1st with 7.5/9 (+6 -0 =3) in the immensely powerful Qatar Masters (2014), securing top position in the last two rounds when he defeated Vladimir Kramnik and Anish Giri.
Yu Yangyi's inaugural participation in the biennial Olympiad was outstandingly auspicious. Playing board 3 for China at the Chess Olympiad (2014), he blitzed the field with a stunning 9.5/11 (TPR of 2912!) to win gold for board 3 and to be one of the prime movers of China's first gold medal at Olympiads. This performance also elevated him to the 2700 rating group (in September 2014) for the first time on official lists.
Yu played board four for the silver medal winning Chinese team at the World Chess Team Championship (2011). He scored team gold and individual silver on the reserve board for China at the 17th Asian Team Championship held in Zaozhuang, China in May 2012. He also scored team and individual silver at the FIDE World Team Championship (2013). He also helped China to gold at the Asian Nations Cup (2014).
He plays for the Beijing AIGO Team in the Chinese Chess League and in the 2012 season, he scored 15.5/22 helping his team to 2nd place in the league. He again played for the Beijing team in 2013, scoring 14.5/22 with the team placing placed 2nd out of 12. (1) He played board 1 & 2 for Beijing in the 2014 competition, helping his team to 5th place.
Yu Yangyi managed a respectable 9.5/15 at the FIDE World Rapid Championship (2014), finishing 1.5 points from the lead and enhancing his rapid rating by over 50 points. He was not as successful at the FIDE World Blitz Championship (2014), but still ended up with 11.5/21.
Yu's rating as of 1 February 2015 is:
<Standard> 2724 (Chinese #4 player; and world #29).
<Rapid> 2713 (world #38); and
<Blitz> 2694 (world #55).
Sources and references
Wikipedia article: Yu Yangyi
Latest update 4 Feb 2015