Person of day   -  31 MARCH 2021

WANG YUE

WANG YUE

Wang Yue was born on 31stMarch 1987 in Taiyuan, in the Shanxi province. As a child, Wang walked the streets with his peers when he saw that gentlemen were playing an exotic game on a park bench. While watching them, he learned the moves and rules of the Chinese chess. When Wang Yue went to school, he was taught the European chess.

His parents approved of their son’s interest; Wang Yue underwent intense training and, at the merge age of 12, he won the junior team championship of China, which is the Chinese equivalent of Russia’s White Rook. At 15, Wang was already playing for Taiyuan’s adult team. He won the U12 world championship and the junior Olympiad with the Chinese team. 

Wang Yue graduated from the communications faculty of Nanking’s liberal arts college and devoted himself to chess hereafter. From 2004, the young Chinese grandmaster has played for China’s Olympic team and a year later, he won the students’ and adult Chinese championships, becoming the youngest champion in history.  

Foreign analysts were amazed by the emergence of a promising player whose style was so different to the Chinese chess school: instead of calculation, dynamics and complications, Wang preferred a solid opening and measured development of positions that was accompanied by a wonderful endsgame technique. In interviews, Wang Yue said that he was most influenced by friendly matches with Russia: studying the style of Russian grandmasters allowed him to broaden his own understanding of chess considerably.  

In 2007, Wang Yue’s rating surpassed the 2700 mark and a short while later, the Chinese grandmaster played 85 matches without being defeated, which was one of history’s finest achievements that was included in the Guinness Book of Records. Wang Yue was the prize-winner of the Asian games with the Chinese team. At the 2007 World Cup, he made it to the fourth round. At that moment, the highest-rated Chinese player attained an Elo rating of 2752, which meant that he became one of the world’s top 10 players and a regular attendee of elite tournaments. 

He played in the Grand Prix series in 2008-2009 and in the first competition, he split 1stplace with Magnus Carlsen. The Chinese player was severely undermined by the 2009 World Cup. After progressing from the first two rounds in a confident manner, Wang Yue was scheduled to play Etienne Barcot in a tie-break. Wang and his friend Li Chao went outside for a smoke, while the arbiter in the playing hall started the clock. The Chinese received a score of zero according to the “zero tolerance” and they could not fight back from this. This fateful misfortune led to Wang Yue’s decline and he lost the position of Chinese chess leader.  

After winning the Universiad in 2010, the grandmaster lost the first board of the national team to Wang Hao. Before the Tournament of Nations in Tromso, Wang had by no means the highest individual coefficient in the Chinese team, but he was invited to lead the team at the recommendation of the senior trainer, grandmaster Ye. The plan worked, Wang Yue played multiple draws with leaders of other teams and the successes of young Chinese players gave the Celestial Kingdom a historic gold medal. 

In 2015, Wang Yue won the Eurocup with the Siberia super-club. “In my career, I was greatly influenced by Vladimir Kramnik’s style, I was amazed and astounded by his victory over Garry Kasparov in 2000. During childhood, my favourite player was Jose Raul Capablanca, but of course I identify with Kramnik’s style closer than with any other contemporary’s. I am proud that I could win this prestigious tournament on a team with the 14thworld champion.” (Wang Yue)