giovedì 19 aprile 2018

Captain Hook

Fabiano Caruana – Aleksandr Lenderman
62th U.S. Chess Championship; Saint Louis, April 19, 2018
French Defence C18

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Qa5 7. Bd2 Qa4 8. Qg4 Kf8 9. h4. Caruana is playing in the limelight of vintage Bobby Fischer, who in 1970 busted William “Bill” Hook with 9. Qd1! b6 10. h4! Ne7 11. h5 h6 12. Rh4! Ba6 13. Bxa6 Nxa6 14. Rf4 (Δ d4xc5) 14. ... Qd7 15. Qf3 Nc6 16. Nh3! Rc8 17. g4 Qe8 18. g5! Ne7 19. gxh6 gxh6 20. Rf6 Nf5 21. Nf4! Ke7 22. Nxd5+ Kd8 23. Ne3 Nxe3 24. Bxe3 Rc7 25. dxc5! Nxc5 (25. ... bxc5 26. Qa8+ Kf7 27. Qxe8+ Kxe8 28. Rxh6+−) 26. Rd1+ Ke7 (26. ... Rd7 27. Rxf7+−) 27. Bxc5+ bxc5 28. Rxe6+! 1 : 0 R. J. Fischer – Hook, 19th Chess Olympiad, Siegen 1970. It was such an impressive victory that most commentators did not hesitate to punctuate Black’s 6th move with a question mark! For instance, here is what International Master Stefano Tatai wrote in his notes to the game for L’Italia Scacchistica, No. 11, November 1970, p. 279: “Better is 6. ... Nc6 and only after 7. Nf3 bring the Queen to a5 not giving White the possibility of playing Qd1-g4”. 9. ... Nc6 10. h5 h6 11. Qd1! Back on Fischer’s tracks. 11. ... cxd4? There are situations in which a mistake can soon become endemic! Here 11. ... b6 12. Nf3 Nge7 followed by ... Bc8-a6 was perfectly playable and quite sound. 12. Nf3! dxc3? It wasn’t too late to play 12. ... Nge7 (13. Rh4!). 13. Bxc3. Threatening to trap Black’s Queen with Rh1-h4. 13. ... g5. 13. ... Nd8 14. Nd4 is also very good for White. 14. hxg6 Qe4+ 15. Be2 Qxg6 16. Qd2 Nge7 17. Bd3! Qxg2. Of course, such a Pawn cannot be anything else but deadly poisoned! 18. Ke2! And again White threatens to win Black’s Queen with Ra1-g1. 18. ... Qg4 19. Rh4! Qg7 20. Rg1 Ng6


21. Rf4! A brilliant solution! The Rook is taboo, since after 21. ... Nxf4+ 22. Qxf4 the Black Queen is once again trapped. 21. ... Nce7. This loses on the spot, but also after 21. ... Ke7 22. Rf6! Black is totally lost. 22. Bb4 a5. Or 22. ... Ke8 23. Bxe7 Kxe7 24. Qb4+ and Black can resign. 23. Rxg6 1 : 0.

Fabiano Caruana through the looking glass. Photo: Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (@STLChessClub).

三劍客 (The Three Musketeers)

She always does that when she suspects someone is guilty of skepticism with regard to the personality cult of her husband

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

One of the peacocks of the United Nations offices roams the Parc de l’Ariana in Genève, Switzerland. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images.

Closing credits

Polina Shuvalova – Mariya Olehivna Muzychuk
19th European Individual Women’s Chess Championship; Vysoké Tatry, April 19, 2018
Sicilian Defence B22

In the day when Valentina Evgenyevna Gunina from Russia won for the third time the European crown, one of her fellow female warriors, Polina Shuvalova, took over the scene as if she were her body double. 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 Nf6 4. e5 Nd5 5. d4 cxd4 6. cxd4 d6 7. Bc4 dxe5 8. dxe5 Ndb4 9. a3!? A sideline which might have surprised Muzychuk. Previously she experienced 9. Qxd8+ Nxd8 10. Na3 Bg4 11. Nd4 Ndc6 12. Nxc6 Nxc6 13. f4 e6 14. Be3 Bb4+ 15. Kf2 0-0-0 16. h3 Bf5 17. Rhd1 a6 and Black eventually drew a long ending, Sebag – M. Muzychuk, 4th Trophée Anatoly Karpov, Cap d’Agde 2015. 9. ... Be6? This novelty will probably appear only in a footnote, since it is anything but better than 9. ... Qxd1+ 10. Kxd1 Na6 with good prospects of equalising; for instance: 11. b4 Bg4 12. Bb2 Nc7 13. Nd2 e6 14. Ke2 0-0-0 15. Rac1 Bh5 ½ : ½ Stević – Palac, 15th Croatian Chess Championship, Split 2007/2008. 10. Bxe6 Nd3+ 11. Ke2 Nxc1+ 12. Qxc1 fxe6. White can no longer castle, but Muzychuk risks to pay a high price while making her way through a difficult development due to her doubled Pawns and her Bishop bottled up. 13. Nc3? Muzychuk’s hopes of going for complications are eventually to come true. Stockfish’s 13. Rd1 Qb6 14. Qc4 g6 15. Nc3 Bg7 16. Na4 would have ensured White a lasting and powerful advantage. 13. ... g6 14. Qf4 Bg7 15. Rhe1 Qb6 16. Kf1 Qxb2 17. Qc4 Qc2. Maybe, under other circumstances, Muzychuk would have been content with 17. ... Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Bxe5 19. Rxe5 0-0! 20. Ra2 Rxf2+! drawing by perpetual check. 18. Rab1 0-0-0?? This is a harakiri in grand style. After 18. ... 0-0 19. Qxe6+ (or 19. Rxb7 Rac8) 19. ... Kh8 everything was quite alright for Black. 19. Qxe6+ Rd7 20. Ne4+− Nd8 21. Qh3 Qc4+ 22. Kg1 Qe6 23. Rec1+ Rc7 24. Rxc7+ Kxc7


The finish is brilliant: 25. Rxb7+! Kc8 26. Qxe6+ Nxe6 27. Rxe7 Bxe5 28. Nxe5 Rd8 29. g3 Nc7 30. Rxh7 1 : 0.

White Lilac

North Korea’s women’s firsts Ri Sol-ju (Lilac) and Kim Yo-jong (White) attending the Chinese ballet 红色娘子军 (Red Detachment of Women) performance at the East Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 17, 2018. Photos: Newsis.

Oh, Edna, but you eclipsed everyone, even her, with your charm of white!

The Incredibles Poster Disney Pixar Movie Art | Edna Mode Print. Artwork © OnTrend&Fab.

A Night at the Ballet

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un elevated his wife Ri Sol-ju to the status of “First Lady”, a move that analysts say will signal a deep change in North Korean society’s power balance.


North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) referred to Ri Sol-ju as the “respected First Lady” in its report on her weekend attendance of a Chinese ballet performance in Pyongyang, the title being a step up from the usual “comrade” that she had previously been afforded.

Time dilation

On April 18, the opening ceremony of the 5th Gashimov Memorial was held in Şəmkir, Azerbaijan at the presence of FIDE President Kirsan Nikolayevich Ilyumzhinov, and of the representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan Republic. Here are the participants (in alphabetical order): Magnus Carlsen, 丁立人 (Dīng Lìrén), Anish Giri, Sergey Alexandrovich Karjakin, Rauf Mamedov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, David Navara, Teimour Radjabov, Veselin Aleksandrov Topalov, and Radosław Wojtaszek. The tournament starts today with all eyes pointed at Magnus Carlsen.

The 5th Gashimov Memorial was opened in Şəmkir, Azerbaijan on April 18, 2018. Photo: Eteri Kublashvili/Russian Chess Federation.

In the meantime, she arrived too late to enjoy a sumptuous banquet far in the East

No, Edna. No one dared to sell your portrait at the flea market!

The Incredibles Poster Disney Pixar Movie Art | Edna Mode Print. Artwork © OnTrend&Fab.

Come from Away

梁世奇 (Awonder Liáng) – Fabiano Caruana
62th U.S. Chess Championship; Saint Louis, April 18, 2018
Sicilian Defence B31

It’s never easy to play against a wunderkind – not even for the challenger to the World Chess Championship. 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d3 Bg7 6. h3 Nf6 7. Nc3 0-0 8. Be3 b6 9. Qd2 e5 10. Bh6. It’s interesting to take a look at how Caruana handled the opening playing with White against another opponent: 10. a3!? Qe7 11. 0-0 Rd8 12. Bg5 Ba6 13. Qe3 Rd7 14. Rfd1 Re8 15. a4 Qf8 16. a5 b5∞ Caruana – Cornette, PRO League Group Stage, Chess.com, 2018. 10. ... Re8 11. Bxg7 Kxg7 12. Qe3. If 12. 0-0 then 12. ... Nh5 13. Ne2 Qf6 14. Nh2 Be6 15. Ng4 Bxg4 16. hxg4 Nf4 17. g3 Nxe2+ 18. Qxe2 Rh8= Serper – Hellers, 27th World Junior Chess Championship, Adelaide 1998. 12. ... Qd6 13. Ne2 a5 14. 0-0. The best answer to 14. Nd2 is always 14. ... Nh5(!), since after 14. ... a4 15. 0-0 b5 16. a3 Rb8 17. Rae1 Rb7 18. f4 Black could suffer White’s initiative: 14. ... exf4 19. Nxf4 Nd5!? 20. Nxd5 cxd5 21. e5 Qe7 22. Nf3 b4 23. Ng5 Rf8 24. Rf6! h6 25. Nf3 bxa3 26. bxa3 Rb2? (26. ... Be6 27. h4!→) 27. Rf1 Rxc2? (27. ... Be6 28. Nh4!+−) 28. Nh4!+− Rg8 29. Rxf7+ Qxf7 30. Rxf7+ Kxf7 31. Qxh6 c4 32. dxc4 dxc4 33. Qg5 Rb2 34. Qf6+ Ke8 35. Nxg6 Rb7 36. Qc6+ Kf7 37. Qf6+ Ke8 38. Qc6+ Kf7 39. Nf4 1 : 0 Rašík – Zwardoń, 22nd Czech Chess Championship, Ostrava 2014. 14. ... Nh5 15. Nd2 Nf4 16. Nc4 Qc7 17. a4 Be6 18. b3 b5 19. Nd2 Qd6 20. Nxf4 exf4 21. Qe1 b4 22. Nf3 Qe7 23. Kh2 Qf6 24. g3 g5


25. Rg1! Kh8! Two of the most difficult moves of the game! 26. gxf4 gxf4 27. Ra2 Qh6 28. Ng5 Rad8. In order to parry the eventual check on a1 with ... Rd8-d4. 29. Nxe6. A rock-hard bone. 梁世奇 (Awonder Liáng) doesn’t let himself be tempted by “sharper” lines such as 29. Qc1 Qf6 30. Qa1 Rd4 31. Qd1 Rg8 32. Qh5 h6 33. h4 c4! 34. bxc4 b3! with a dynamic balance (Stockfish’s analysis). 29. ... Rxe6 30. Qe2 Rg6 31. Raa1 Qg7 32. Qf3 Qe5 33. Rxg6 hxg6 34. Rg1 Kg7 35. Rg4 g5. A formidable mutual blockade has been raised. Caruana tries to break it, but he tries in vain. 36. Rg2 Rh8 37. Qg4 Kg6 38. f3 Kf6 39. Rg1 Kg6 40. Rg2 Kf6 41. Rg1 Rh6 42. Qd7 Kg7 43. Qd8 Rg6 44. Rg2 Qd4 45. Qxd4+ cxd4 46. Rg4 f6 47. h4 Rh6 48. e5 Rh5 49. exf6+ Kxf6 50. Kh3 Kf5 51. Rxg5+ Rxg5 52. hxg5 Kxg5 ½ : ½.

梁世奇 (Awonder Liáng) (left) vs. Fabiano Caruana (right). Photo: Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (@STLChessClub).

mercoledì 18 aprile 2018

Lost & Found

Mariya Olehivna Muzychuk – Meri Arabidze
19th European Individual Women’s Chess Championship; Vysoké Tatry, April 18, 2018
Sicilian Defence B40

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 Nc6 4. Nc3 a6 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Qc7 7. Be3 Nf6 8. a3 b6 9. Rc1 Bb7 10. Be2 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 Bc5 12. Qd3 0-0 13. 0-0 Rfd8 14. b4 Bxe3 15. Qxe3 d6 16. Rfd1 Rab8. Another modus vivendi is 16. ... Qc6 17. Bf3 Qc7 18. Na4 Nd7 19. Qd4 Bc6 20. b5 Nc5! 21. Nxb6 Qxb6 22. bxc6 e5 23. Qd5 Rac8= Solovjova – Sirotkina, 1st Rudenko Memorial, Saint Petersburg 2005. 17. f3 Nd7? A new move and an unfortunate one. After 17. ... h6 18. Bf1 Ba8 19. Ne2 Nd7 20. Nd4 Nf8 Black somehow succeeded in consolidating his position, Jeitz – Srebrnič, 20th Czech Open, Pardubice 2009.


18. Nb5! In her last games Muzychuk found back her self-confidence and was able to play creatively. And maybe, in any event, she should be content to come back home with something that sometimes may even be more important than a medal. 18. ... axb5 19. cxb5 Nc5 20. e5! dxe5. 20. ... Rbc8 21. exd6 Rxd6 22. Rxd6 Qxd6 23. bxc5 bxc5 24. a4 also produces an endgame similar to that of the game, where, in spite of material equality, White’s duo of passers on the Queenside should make the difference. 21. bxc5 Rxd1+ 23. Bxd1 Qa5 24. Be2. The situation is sufficiently clear that White can put the autopilot in a “win” mode. 24. ... Rd8 25. Kf2 e4 26. b6! Qa8. 26. ... Qxc5+ 27. Rxc5 Rd6 28. Rb5 followed by the advance the a-Pawn is also completely hopeless for Black. 27. Qe7 Re8 28. Qb4 e5 29. fxe4 Bxe4 30. Rc7 Rb8 31. Bf3 Bxf3 32. gxf3 Qa6 33. b7 h6 34. Qb3 Kh7 35. Qxf7 Qb6+ 36. Kg2 Qb2+. Or 36. ... Qg6+ 37. Qxg6+ Kxg6 38. a4 and finis. 37. Kh3 Rg8 38. Rc8 1 : 0.

Well, Edna, I’m sure you understand it’s not the case of worrying more than necessary!

氨綸 (Lycra)

The day after tomorrow Diving Queen 吴敏霞 (Wú Mǐnxiá) is expected to attend the inauguration of the World Swimsuit Industry Park, an international exposition centre dedicated to the swimwear industry, which will take place at 英林园 (Yīnglín Park) in 晋江 (Jìnjiāng), 福建省 (Fújiàn province), China. Her presence will mark the grand début into swimsuit fashion high society of her own fashion brand, MXW Sensitive Swimwear, specialised in luxury and fashionable swimwears, mostly targeted to a young market.

Twining Lotus

“Loto Rampicante” ™ © Mado Flynn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Made_in_Italy

Handmade in Italy by Mado Flynn

Pit Stop

A street vendor making 煎饼 (jiānbǐng), literally “fried pancake”, a traditional Chinese street food similar to crêpes, on the streets of 上海 (Shànghǎi), China. Photo: AFP/Johannes Eisele.

C’mon, Edna, I’m sure it will take you no more than five minutes to hitchhike to the Gateway Arch

Credit: Luwd Media

Afterday

Daria Stanislavovna Voit – Mariya Olehivna Muzychuk
19th European Individual Women’s Chess Championship; Vysoké Tatry, April 17, 2018
English Opening A37

1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 e6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nb5 d5 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Nfxd4 Nge7. The B-plan is 9. ... Nf6 10. 0-0 0-0 11. Be3 Ng4 12. Bf4 Nxd4 13. Nxd4 Qb6 14. Nb3 Bxb2 15. Rb1 Bg7 16. Qxd5 Nf6 17. Qd6 Bf5 18. Rbc1 Be4 19. Rfd1 Bxg2 20. Kxg2 Qxd6 21. Rxd6 Rfc8 22. Na5 Ne4 23. Rd7 Nc5 24. Rd5 b6 25. Be3 Bf8 26. Nb3 Ne6 which, after a series of exchanges, finally led to a draw, Gelfand – Lékó, Grand Prix 2012-2013, second stage, Tashkent 2012. 10. 0-0 0-0 11. Be3 a6 12. Nc3 Be6 13. Qd2 Rc8 14. Nxc6 bxc6 15. Bc5 Re8 16. Na4 Nf5 17. Rad1 Nd6 18. b3 Nb5 19. Rc1 Bf5 20. e3. The game seems quite balanced, so now Muzychuk decides to break the routine: 20. ... h5! Let’s forget the past and just have a nice afternoon. 21. h4 g5! 22. Qd1. Perhaps White ought to have taken (more) seriously Muzychuk’s “war declaration” and aimed for simplifying matters, for instance by 22. e4 followed by Qd2xg5. 22. ... Bg4 23. Bf3. 31. f3, however unpleasant it might appear to Voit, was probably less sharp than the text (even if not better); there would have followed 31. ... Bf5 with far more pleasant prospects for Black.


23. ... Re4! A very brilliant positional pseudo-sac. 24. hxg5? Muzychuk’s pressing has its effect in producing the wished outcome. Best was 24. Rc4! dxc4 25. Qxd8+ Rxd8 26. Bxe4, although after 26. ... c3! 27. hxg5 Bd1! Black has enough compensation for the Pawn to make her own position easier to play. 24. ... Qxg5 (Δ ... h5-h4) 25. Kg2 h4 26. Rh1. Of course, not 26. gxh4?? on account of 26. ... Bxf3++ and mate next move. And also after 26. Bxg4 Rxg4 Black’s attack appears very telling; for instance: 27. Be7!? Rxg3+! 28. fxg3 Qxg3+ 29. Kh1 Qh3+ 30. Kg1 Qxe3+ 31. Rf2 Qxe7 with Black clearly superior. 26. ... hxg3 27. fxg3 Be5 28. Qg1? This allows Muzychuk to finish brilliantly. However, after 28. Bxg4 Rxg4 29. Rh3 Rxg3+ 30. Rxg3 Qxg3+ 31. Kf1 Qh3+ 32. Kf2 Bg3+ 33. Ke2 Qg2+ 34. Kd3 Qe4+ 35. Kd2 d4! the result is also the same. 28. ... Bxf3+ 29. Kxf3 Nd4+! 30. Bxd4. Not 30. exd4 because of 30. ... Qf5+ 31. Kg2 Re2+ and mate in two moves. 30. ... Bxd4 31. Re1 Rce8 32. Kg2 Rxe3 33. Rxe3 Rxe3 34. Qf2 Be5 0 : 1.

Daria Stanislavovna Voit (right) vs. Mariya Olehivna Muzychuk (left). Photo: Oleksandr Martynkov.

martedì 17 aprile 2018

Yes, Edna, I think it’s better you hide your chaperone under the carpet and pretend with everyone else that she’d never been your chaperone

The Way Things Happen

Valentina Evgenyevna Gunina – Klaudia Kulon
19th European Individual Women’s Chess Championship; Vysoké Tatry, April 17, 2018
King’s Indian Defence E94

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 0-0 6. Be2 e5 7. 0-0 exd4 8. Nxd4 Re8 9. f3 c6 10. Kh1 Nbd7 11. Bf4 Nh5 12. Bxd6 Qf6 13. Nc2 Nf4 14. Rf2 Ne5. The alternative is 14. ... Nxe2 15. Rxe2 Ne5 16. Ne3 Be6 17. c5 b6 18. Ned5 cxd5 19. Bxe5 Qxe5 20. exd5 Qf5 21. dxe6 Rxe6 22. cxb6 axb6 23. Rxe6 Qxe6 24. Qd2 Qc4 25. a3 Bxc3 ½ : ½ Lerner – Kuzmin, 1st International Tourmament, Simferopol 1992. 15. c5! A providential novelty by Gunina. 15. Bf1? Nfd3! is obviously good for Black, Kishnev – Brendel, 21st “Dortmunder Schachtage” International Tournament, Dortmund 1993. 15. ... Nxe2 16. Qxe2 Qe6? Perhaps for superstition, Kulon – who is a Pawn down – reverts back to her yesterday’s gambling strategy, which brought her very good luck. Now, however, the advance ... f7-f5 really doesn’t have any justification, so maybe she should have played more objectively (for instance: 16. ... b6!?). 17. Rd1 f5? Consistently moving towards catastrophe. If, however, 17. ... Qc4 (just to give a meaning to 16. ... Qf6-e6) then 18. Qd2 Qa6 19. Ne3 with great advantage to White. 18. exf5 gxf5? This is tantamount to surrender, but any other move wouldn’t have been better either.


19. Qf1? Gunina misses the coup de grâce 19. Qe1!+− – that no engines obviously fail to spot! – with the double threat of Rf2-e2 and f3-f4 (19. ... Qf6 20. f4+−). The text, of course, may not be wrong, but gives Black good reasons to keep fighting. 19. ... Qf7 20. b3 b6 21. Na4 b5 22. Nb2 a5 23. Nd3? Kulon’s good luck seems to repeat itself. Better appears to be 23. Nd4 followed by Rf2-d2 with a powerful advantage to White. 23. ... Nxd3 24. Qxd3 a4 25. h3 axb3 26. axb3 Be6 27. Rb1 Qf6 28. Nb4 Qh4! Black seizes the initiative, even if just for a moment. 29. Qd2 Bxb3! 30. Rff1. Clearly not 30. Rxb3?? because of 30. ... Ra1+ 31. Kh2 Ree1 winning heavy material. If, instead, 30. Nxc6 then 30. ... Ra2 and certainly Black is not worse. 30. ... Bc4 31. Rfe1 Rxe1+ 32. Rxe1 Rc8?? In the end, Gunina has been more lucky than Kulon. It didn’t seem too hard to find 32. ... Qxe1+! 33. Qxe1 Ra1 34. Qxa1 Bxa1 35. Nxc6 Kf7 with a likely draw in sight. 33. Kh2! Now White won’t give her opponent any other chance to take a break. 33. ... h6 34. f4 Bf7 35. Be7 Qh5 36. Qd7 Re8 37. Nxc6 Bc3 38. Re3 b4 39. Nd8 Bg7 40. c6 b3 41. c7 b2 42. Re1 Bc3 43. Rg1 Bd4 44. Qxd4 1 : 0.

Valentina Evgenyevna Gunina (right) vs. Klaudia Kulon (left). Photo: Oleksandr Martynkov.

Splines

The Florence Experiment, a research project by German artist Carsten Höller and Italian plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso, is displayed at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy. Visitors can slide down the structure while their emotional reactions are recorded and compared to those of plants. Photo: Maurizio Degl’Innocenti/EPA.

The Red Coat

In the morning of April 17, 2018 16th Women’s World Chess Champion 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí), wearing makeup and a red coat, held a press conference in her born city introducing the upcoming “莱茵体育杯” (“Lander Sports Cup”) Women’s World Chess Championship match between her herself and 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn), which will take place both in 上海 (Shànghǎi) and 重庆 (Chóngqìng), China from 2 to 20 May 2018. More precisely, 上海 (Shànghǎi) will host the first half (2–9 May), and 重庆 (Chóngqìng) the latter half (11–20 May). The World match will be sponsored, among others, by 杭州 (Hángzhōu)’s company Lander Sports.
“I knew since July of last year that my challenger was 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn). I had a year-long preparation for it”, 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) smiled shyly. “Yes, I’m confident, but I don’t know who will win. I can only say that I am doing my best. After all, the charm of competitive sports just lies in not knowing who’s gonna win”. Photos: 石涛 (Shí Tāo).