Person of day   -  8 JUNE 2024



Yu Yangyi was born on 8thJune in Huangshi, in the Hubei Province. The city was not among the foremost academies of the Middle Kingdom and Yu became one of the very few national champions from Huangshi. Yu Yangyi twice represented China in the world U10 championships, winning second and first places. In his victorious performance in 2004, the young virtuoso’s main opponent was a woman from the same country, Hou Yifan.  

Yu Yangyi went through the rigorous school of Russian tournaments. First, he came second in Group C of the Aeroflot Open, then came third in the secondary Aeroflot group. Notably, that same 2008 tournament became famous thanks to a huge cheating scandal that was based on suspicions of unfair play by the winner, Marat Askarov. However, by that time the Eastern star was playing so well that he did not lose with white pieces to this mighty opponent. 

Yu Yangyi easily fulfilled all the criteria for an international master, but he announced that he wouldn’t confirm his intermediate title to save money. So, after his success in the premier group of Aeroflot Open 2009, the Asian Championship in that same year and a few strong tournaments played according to the Swiss system, the 15-year-old chess player became a grandmaster. Alongside this, Yu Yangyi qualified from the Asian championship for the 2009 World Cup. In Khanty-Mansiysk, the young Chinese grandmaster performed one of the tournament’s outstanding sensations, when he defeated the highly-rated Sergei Movsesian in the first round. Afterthis, YuYangyibegantobetakenseriously. 

The young Chinese grandmaster advanced rapidly and became one of his country’s strongest players. His ascent began in 2013, when Yu Yangyi won the world U20 championship. The next year, the hero from Hubei became the champion of China and Asia. In his interview to a Chinese TV station, Yu Yangyi said that he was delighted to the prize fund of 6000 dollars- a sum he never expected to win back in 2014. 

In the most difficult Swiss tournament in Qatar, Yu Yangyi defeated Anish Giri and Vladimir Kramnik at the finish, thus winning first place and a huge jack-pot. In the following year, the Chinese master played a match against Magnus Carlsen, which ended with the world champion’s victory. In2015, YuYangyialsowontheCapablancaMemorial. 

At the 2015 World Cup, one of China’s greatest players defeated Viorel Iordăchescu and Igor Lysyj, but lost to the tournament’s eventual winner, Sergei Karjakin. This relative lack of individual success was compensated by the Chinese team’s overall performance. At the 2014 Olympiad, Yu showed a phenomenal result - 9,5 points out of 11 - winning important games in matches against France, Hungary, Azerbaijan and Poland. In the golden 2015 world championship, the grandmaster also won games in decisive encounters with Cuba and India. 

He is one of the few Chinese winners of the Grand Triad: the Olympiad, World and Asian championships. He currently lives in Beijing, where he studies economics at Beijing’s Sporting Academy. Yu Yangyi’s record rating was 2747 and he is consistently among the top 30 players of the world.