Person of day   -  4 AUGUST 2021

WANG HAO

WANG HAO

The young chess playerfrom Harbin saw his star rise at the world U10 championship: Wang Hao won a prize despite competing against wunderkinds such as Sergey Karjakin, Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi. Afterwards, he won two youth Olympiads with the Chinese team, finishing first at the 1st board in the latter of them, with 8 points out of 10.  

In 2005, the 15-year-old Chinese chess player qualified for the World Cup from the Asian zonal championship and became a grandmaster after a blistering victory in Kuala Lumpur. In 2007, he came second at the individual Asian championship and third at the world junior championship. He won several Asian team championships with the Chinese team and the Chinese individual championship in 2010. 

Wang Hao confirmed his reputation as an unparalleled team fighter while playing for ShSM-64, which won two Russian team championships largely thanks to the efforts of their Eastern leader. In 2011, he was the sparring-partner of Levon Aronian, who was preparing for the candidates matches in Kazan. In a conversation with Ilya Odesskiy, Aronian called his assistant “the best chess player of the contemporary age.”

At the peak of his career, Wang Hao achieved a rating of 2752 while defeating most elite grandmasters at the board, including world champions Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen. In 2010, he qualified for the Grand Slam Final in Shanghai, where he played against Vladimir Kramnik, Alexei Shirov and Levon Aronian. 

In 2011, he became the silver medallist of the world team championship with China while demonstrating the best result on his board. 

Yuri Vasilyev claimed in 2011: “Mark Glukhovsky, the editor-in-chief of 64 and captain of ShSM-64 told me many good things about Wang Hao, who has played for the for the last three years. His colleagues named him Cheburashka after a Russian figure known for his amicability and kindness towards others.

Wang Hao lives in Harbin, where, as he has told me, there are many Russians. He studies history at the university. He admits that chess isn’t very popular. For comparison, China has 200,000 professional Go players and only 30,000 chess players. Wang Hao has not set himself any grand targets, but he just aims to play better and better.”

In 2017, Wang Hao won a big open tournament in Sharjah and became the Asian champion in Chengdu, having edged out his compatriot Bu Xiangzhi. In October 2019, Wang Hao took the first place at the Grand Swiss Tournament on the Isle of Man, thus qualifying for the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020. At the end of the same year, the Chinese grandmaster won the Yinzhou Cup in Ningbo.