China wins in chess!

With perfect score, 18/18 in qualification stage and 8/8 in play-offs, Team China 1 became the 2020 FISU World University Mind Sport Champion! Out of 52 individual games of Chinese players, they lost only one, which is an outstanding result. What is also worth mentioning, China was seeded with the second number on the starting list, behind Armenia.

Road to the final:

Chinese players managed to enter the quarter finals by defeating Colombia 4-0. Then they had quite a tough match against their compatriots (China 4), the match finished with the result 2,5-1,5. In the semifinal we witnessed a great match against grandmasters from Armenia. Rating favorites had to accept the result 3,5-0,5!

In the GREAT FINALE China faced Team Ukraine. Three games ended with draws and it was the last one, where captain Lei Tingije (Silver Medalist of the World Rapid Chess Champion) was playing against the member of Ukrainian Olympic Team, Iulija Osmak.

In the crucial l position, white (Tingije) played with a rook to g4, threatening with a mate in two moves (queen h6-g7). Black is forced to give some material to defend herself. After a few moves of attack, white played with a queen to h6! Both queen and rook are not defended, but black cannot capture a queen because of a pin. Therefore black decided to take a rook for free which led to Qxe6. Check and knight is lost in the next move! With two pawns more and a weak black king, Chinese player secured a win for herself and for the team!

When China 1 and Ukraine 1 competed for the title, there was also a fight for the third place. Very strong teams of Belarus and Armenia faced each other. In this exciting encounter three games ended with a draw and it was up to Grandmaster Sargasyan and International Master Nikitienko to decidewho will come home with bronze medals.

Black launched the attack a few moves earlier and managed to get a quality advantage. But the final punch was about to come. In the position from the diagram, white bishop is pinned twice. It tries to protect both king and a queen from the rook and bishop of the opponent. But black has prepared a very nice solution to use lack of coordination of white pieces. He played with queen to d3, attacking both bishop and a knight. Sargasyan won the game and secured the third place for the team of Armenia.

Few minutes before the final, we had a special guest. FIDE Vice President Lukasz Turlejpaid a visit to our studio. He spoke about the importance of chess in schools and chess in universities. Chess is both a game and a tool for education. As a chess supervisor of the event Mr.Turlej said it was a big success of FISU and Polish University Sports Federation to organize such a great event, gathering 551 student athletes from four continents and forty countries. He expressed the feeling that chess will get stronger and stronger in the family of university sport.


2020 FISU World University Championship Mind Sports online has come to an end. After five days of play we have the winners of the bridge tournaments. In the final clash, CHINA 1 beat ITALY 1 141-71 in 48 board match. In play-offs for the 3rd place, FRANCE beat POLAND 3 72-40 (32 boards).

The final ranking of the championship is the following:

1st place: CHINA 1

Zijie CHU, Songyuan GUO, Yifan QU, Yuyang WANG, Yanwei ZHANG, Shijiao ZHANG          

2nd place: ITALY 1

Giovanni DONATI, Gabriele GIUBILO, Gianmarco GIUBILO, Andrea MANGANELLA, Federico PORTA TADOLINI, Sebastiano SCATA’

3rd place: FRANCE


4th place: POLAND 3


5th-8th place: POLAND 1

BAZYLUK Jakub, CICHY Krzysztof, KIEŁBASA Tomasz, KOPKA Kacper, PATREUHA Jakub, PATREUHA Patryk

5th-8th place: CHINA 3

DING Siyu, LI Yifan, LIU Yuting, WANG Zijian, YANG Lingyi, ZHANG Lihui

5th-8th place: CHINA 5

DUAN Liang, FANG Dongke, JIANG Shuijing, LI Zhangyang, QI Ming

The most interesting board of the finals is as follows: Double of voluntarily bid a slam asks for unusual lead. This is convention described for the first time by one of the bridge legends, Theodore Lightner, great American player of the early years of contract bridge. Usually “Lightner double” asks to lead suit first bid by dummy, shows ability to ruff the first trick (void anywhere), or simply says: “Partner, please, make the lead which is least obvious from all possible leads.” Let’s look at one of the boards from the final. You are sitting South with such close to Yarborough collection:

Lightner double against slam contracts, described roughly above, is the convention which is adopted by probably no less than 99% of advanced bridge players. It was proved beyond all doubts that there is substantial advantage to play according to it over straightforward penalty doubles. Let’s try to find the solution of the problem. When you analyze bidding in this board, in my opinion if partner would pass, then spade lead is obvious. Partner had chance to double hearts or even clubs if he would like me to lead one of those suits. Can be some doubts concerning clubs, because it looks like 6♣ could be misunderstanding and partner could be afraid that it can be a final contract. But anyway, without the double, I would have led a spade. But after double? Partner also could see the bidding and it should be obvious for him that after that bidding, without his double I will lead a spade, so he asks for a different suit. Which one? Heart? He could double 4♡ cue bid with even a short suit, but headed by the ace or king to show that lead. Club? Ho could double 6♣… OK, he should be afraid to double because there was a slight chance of misunderstanding and he could think that 6♣ will become a final contract. But another meaning of the double is “lead first suit bid by dummy”. It was discussed many times if that rule is still valid if the first suit bid was an artificial one (as it was here…). So in general, using Lightner doubles can be some doubts if to lead a heart ,or a club, but one thing is sure. If you play this convention, you should never lead a spade. It is the board No. 4 of the last session of the final:

South has led a spade and CHINA 1 chalked +1000 for two down. I do not know, may be North/South here used Lightner style doubles, but something more up to date. In their convention card l/d doubles are mentioned. I understand it as Lead Directing Doubles, so without any more remarks it should be understood like standard treatment. I can only admire the choice of the spade made here. What can I say… There were great masters in the past, all world champions – Jais, Trezel, Fantoni, Nunes, and some more who never erred in such the situations… At replay East-West were less ambitious:

Here also spade was led and the contract set by 1 trick, but it was one zero less and 14 imps for CHINA 1.

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