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Xiangzhi Bu
X Bu 
Photograph from Mtel Masters, 2008.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Number of games in database: 1,501
Years covered: 1997 to 2023
Last FIDE rating: 2705 (2642 rapid, 2760 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2730
Overall record: +418 -129 =589 (62.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 365 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 English (108) 
    A15 A17 A14 A16 A13
 Queen's Gambit Declined (91) 
    D38 D30 D37 D31 D39
 Slav (87) 
    D11 D12 D17 D15 D10
 King's Indian (65) 
    E62 E63 E81 E67 E97
 Reti System (55) 
    A04 A06
 Nimzo Indian (53) 
    E32 E34 E46 E42 E36
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (205) 
    B90 B31 B62 B32 B30
 Slav (160) 
    D17 D10 D11 D12 D14
 Sicilian Najdorf (66) 
    B90 B92 B97 B94 B91
 Petrov (62) 
    C42 C43
 Ruy Lopez (31) 
    C78 C92 C77 C67 C70
 Modern Benoni (25) 
    A70 A65 A56 A61 A75
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Carlsen vs X Bu, 2017 0-1
   X Zhao vs X Bu, 2005 0-1
   C Li vs X Bu, 2009 0-1
   Motylev vs X Bu, 2005 0-1
   Karjakin vs X Bu, 2008 0-1
   X Bu vs Zvjaginsev, 2008 1-0
   Bachmann vs X Bu, 2006 0-1
   Jobava vs X Bu, 2006 0-1
   Y Wang vs X Bu, 2015 0-1
   Ding Liren vs X Bu, 2010 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Antwerp (2008)
   Bilbao Blindfold Chess World Cup (2007)
   Canadian Open (2007)
   Politiken Cup (2014)
   Chinese Team Championship (2015)
   56th Biel Master Open (2023)
   Gibraltar Masters (2008)
   Biel Master Open (2013)
   World Junior Championship (2001)
   Chinese Chess League (2017)
   FIDE Online Steinitz Memorial (2020)
   Chinese League (2011)
   Yangon (1999)
   Torch Real Estate Cup China Chess League (2005)
   Chinese Chess League (2016)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   The best of Bu Xiangzhi by Cushion
   The best of Bu Xiangzhi by skisuitof12
   Corus Invitation Tens 2003 by Tabanus

   🏆 56th Biel Master Open
   X Peng vs X Bu (Jul-27-23) 1/2-1/2
   X Bu vs Anand Pranav (Jul-26-23) 1-0
   S Aditya vs X Bu (Jul-25-23) 1/2-1/2
   X Bu vs T S Nguyen (Jul-24-23) 1-0
   A Chopra vs X Bu (Jul-23-23) 1/2-1/2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Xiangzhi Bu
Search Google for Xiangzhi Bu
FIDE player card for Xiangzhi Bu

(born Dec-10-1985, 37 years old) China
[what is this?]

IM (1999); GM (1999); World U14 Champion (1998); Chinese Champion (2004); World University Champion (2012).

Early years:

Bu Xiangzhi was born in Qingdao in China and is China's 10th Grandmaster. A cousin introduced him to chess when he was six, and he made quick progress, winning the Qingdao Junior Chess Championship in 1993 and the Children's Championship of the National S.T. Lee Cup in 1997. In 1998 at the age of 12, he captured the titles of National Pupil Champion and World U-14 champion. In 1999, he became the then youngest-ever International Grandmaster at the age of 13 years, 10 months, 13 days and the first to win the title before the age of 14. He remained the youngest Chinese to become a GM for 14 years until Wei Yi captured this honor in 2013.

Classical tournaments:

<1999-2002> Bu won the 1999 German Open and in 2000 he won the International Neckar Open in Deizisau, Stuttgart. In 2002, he scored 6/9 at the Aeroflot Open Group A.

<2003-2005> Bu scored 6/9 (=6th, 0.5 points behind joint first place getters) at the Aeroflot Open (2003), and in December 2003, he won the 10th Aceimar International Open in Mondariz with 7.5/9. In 2004, he scored 5.5/9 in the Reykjavik Open (2004). In 2005, he came =2nd behind Wang Hao in the 7th Dubai Open, placed =3rd in the Sanjin International Hotel Cup (GM tournament) in China and scored 5.5/9 in the Aeroflot Open (2005).

<2006-2008> In 2006, also in China, he came equal second in the Railway Hotel Cup GM tournament, behind Baadur Jobava and scored 5/9 at the Aeroflot Open (2006). In 2007, he won the Canadian Open (2007), the International Open in Germany with 8.5/9, the International Neckar Open, again in Deizisau, with 7.5/9, and came second at Corus Group B (2007). In 2008, Bu came =1st at the Gibraltar Chess Festival (2008) with 8.0/10 (performance rating of 2834), but lost the tie-break to Hikaru Nakamura. He won the Antwerp (2008) in Belgium in August 2008 with a score of 7.0/9 (+5, =4, -0; performance rating 2748), and came third behind Veselin Topalov and Levon Aronian in the Pu Kou Chess Tournament, Nanjing 2008.

<2009-2011> He won the 1st Danzhou Tournament (2010) in China in June 2010 on tiebreak from Li Chao. He also scored 6.5/10 in the Moscow Open (2010), half a point behind the joint winners, and came 7th in the Aeroflot Open (2010) with 5.5/9, his only loss being to outright winner Le Quang Liem. In March 2011, he came =2nd in the 2nd Danzhou Tournament (2011). In October 2011, he scored 6/9 in the 1st Qin Huangdao Open Chess Tournament, placing =6th.

<2012-2013> In January 2012, Bu scored 6/9 at the Moscow Open (=15th) and in February 2012, scored 5.5/9 (+2 =7 -0 and TPR 2692) at the Aeroflot Open (2012), placing =9th (10th on tiebreak), thereby maintaining rough parity with his rating for the bi-monthly rating period leading to 1 March 2012. Bu lost some ground, and rating points, in the Chinese Championship of 2012 (see below) but made up lost ground by winning the 3rd Danzhou Tournament (2012) on tiebreak ahead of co-leader Ni Hua to take the prize and the final spot in the Chinese Team for the Chess Olympiad (2012). In May 2013, he was 2nd with 6/9, a point behind Ding Liren, at the 4th Danzhou Tournament (2013), a category 15 event. In July-August 2013, Bu scored 8/11 to place =2nd alongside Dragan Solak and Mateusz Bartel at the Biel International Masters, a half point behind Pentala Harikrishna.

<2014-2015> He had a quiet start to 2014 until June 2014, when he placed =1st with Ding Liren at the 5th Danzhou Tournament (2014), scoring 6.5/9. This result returned him to the "2700 club" for the first time since September 2009. He returned a stunning result to win the Politiken Cup (2014) outright, scoring 9/10 (+8 =2) to produce a TPR of 2881, providing another massive boost to his rating. A mediocre 7/9 at the 18th HZ Chess Tournament in Vlissingen in August 2014 took some of the rating sheen off his most recent accomplishments, but the September 2014 FIDE rating list still showed him at a career high rating of 2722. Since then Bu has suffered a mild lapse of form, scoring 2/4 against weak opposition in rounds 12-15 of the Chinese League, a slightly substandard 6/9 at the Millionaire Chess (2014), and a distant 5th in the Zonal qualifier 3.5, the latter dragging him down from the 2700 club. He finished 2014 with =3rd at the 24th Annual North American Open. 2015 was mainly occupied with team events, with his first standard tournament of the year being Bu playing in the category 17 6th Hainan Danzhou (2015), where he finished an unbeaten =5th, scoring 4.5/9. He was runner up to Wei Yi at the eight-player China Chess Kings (2015) knockout event.


<Youth> In 1998, Bu won the World U14 championship. In 2000, he defeated Teimour Radjabov 6.5-1.5 in an eight game Future World Champions Match competition in New York.

<Junior> In August 2001, he was =5th in the World Junior Championship held in Greece (won by Peter Acs) and in 2003 was fifth in the World Junior Championship (won by Aronian).

<National> He was =1st in the Chinese Championship in 2002 and in November of 2004, he won the Chinese Championship with the formidable score of 9.0/11. He placed 2nd in the Chinese Championship of 2007, 3rd in the Chinese Championship (2009) behind Wang Hao and Ding Liren and =2nd in the Chinese Championship (2010) with 7.5/11. He came 5th with 5.5/11 in the Chinese Chess Championships (2012) and in April 2013, he placed =4th at the Chinese Championships (2013).

<University> In August 2012, he easily won the 12th World University Chess Championship that was held in Portugal with a score of 8/9, 1.5 points clear of the field.

<Continental> He came =4th in the 10th Asian Individual Championships (2011).

<World> Also in 2003, he won the Zonal that entitled him to compete in the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004) in Libya where he lost in the first round to Ashot Anastasian. He won the 2007 Zonal in China to qualify for the World Chess Cup (2007) in which he reached the 3rd round before losing to countryman Wang Hao. He fell to Yannick Pelletier in the 1st round of the World Cup (2009). Bu won the Asian Zonal Championship 2011, qualifying him to play in the World Cup (2011), where he beat Ahmed Adly, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Abhijeet Gupta in the first three rounds before losing to Vassily Ivanchuk in the Round of Sixteen, and exiting the tournament.


In October 2007, he won the Bilbao Blindfold Chess World Cup (2007) by a 1.5 point margin, after defeating Veselin Topalov, Magnus Carlsen , Pentala Harikrishna, Judit Polgar and Sergey Karjakin.

Team play: (1)

<Olympiads> Bu has played for China in six Olympiads, including 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, scoring a team silver in 2006 when he played top board. He scored 6/10 on board 3 for China at the Chess Olympiad (2010) and 4.5/8 on board 4 for in the Chess Olympiad (2012) held in Istanbul, helping China to 4th place.

<Russia vs China> Bu was a member of the men’s team in the Russia vs China matches in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008, scoring team gold in the last four events.

<World Team Championships> He played for China in the World Team championships of 2005, 2013 and 2015: in 2005, he won the individual and team silver playing top board for China in the 6th World Team Championship (2005) at Beer Sheva, in the FIDE World Team Championship (2013) he again won individual and team silver, this time playing board four, and in the FIDE World Team Championship (2015) he placed fourth for board four, but this was sufficient to help his team to win its historic first-ever gold in this event.

<Asian Teams> Bu played top board in the Chinese team that won the silver medal at the December 2006 Asian Games in Doha, and board three in the team that won gold at the Asian Games staged in Guangzhou in 2010. In 2008, he won a bronze medal on board two when the team won gold at the 2008 15th Asian Team Chess Championship in Visakhapatnam. In 2007 and 2009, he played for the Asian Indoor Games (Chess), coming away with team gold on both occasions.

<European Club Cup> Bu played board four in the winning Ekonomist SGSEU Saratov team that won the gold medal at the 17th European Team Championship (2009).

<Russian Premier League> In April 2008, Bu competed at the Russian Team Championship (2008) in Dagomys, Sochi, playing on board two for the team Shatar-Metropole (Buryatia), where he achieved a score of 6.5/10 (+3=7-0) and a performance rating of 2773 to win individual gold.

<Chinese League> Bu Xiangzhi played for Shandong club in the Chinese League from 2005 until 2014 inclusive. During this time, he won team golds in 2007 and 2010 and team silver in 2006 and 2009. Perhaps dissatisfied with the team's performances in the last few years, he switched to the Chongqing team in 2015, helping his team to win silver.

Rapid and Blitz

Bu does not seem to favor the faster forms of the game. His best result was equal second, a point behind Wang Yue, with 4/7 at the 2nd Chinese Fame Grandmaster Invitation Blitz Tournament in July 2012. His 5/10 at the the 9th China-Russia Chess Match (Blitz) Tournament that was staged in Yinzhou, China in July 2015 was a strong result for his rating, as he defeated Maxim Matlakov and Vladimir Fedoseev, and drew with Peter Svidler, all of whom had much higher ratings; ironically he lost to the players that were closest to his rating, namely Daniil Dubov and Nikita Vitiugov. Notwithstanding the scarcity of his involvement in the faster forms of the game, Bu is, to date, in the top 100 in blitz and would be in the top 100 in rapid had he not become inactive.

Ratings and rankings

Bu's peak ranking was world #22 in April 2008 when his rating was 2708. His peak rating to date was in January 2016 when it reached 2724, at which time his world ranking was #29.

References and sources


Chessbase table of youngest grandmasters:; Wikipedia article: Bu Xiangzhi

Last updated: 2017-08-10 05:25:54

 page 1 of 61; games 1-25 of 1,510  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A Volokitin vs X Bu  0-1361997Wch U12B45 Sicilian, Taimanov
2. X Bu vs D Smerdon  1-0521998Wch U14 DisneyD60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
3. X Bu vs E Alekseev  ½-½541998Wch U14A45 Queen's Pawn Game
4. Khin Thaung vs X Bu 0-1571999YangonB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
5. X Bu vs Than Soe Aung 1-0251999YangonA60 Benoni Defense
6. J Liang vs X Bu  1-0311999YangonB54 Sicilian
7. X Bu vs Zaw Oo  ½-½491999YangonD85 Grunfeld
8. M Aung Hlaing vs X Bu 1-0421999YangonA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
9. X Bu vs J Ye  0-1451999YangonE83 King's Indian, Samisch
10. Thein Dan Oo vs X Bu 0-1421999YangonB20 Sicilian
11. X Bu vs Moun Moun Latt 1-0281999YangonE97 King's Indian
12. Htun Lynn Kyaw vs X Bu ½-½271999YangonB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
13. X Bu vs V Sunthornpongsathorn  ½-½131999YangonD57 Queen's Gambit Declined, Lasker Defense
14. Khin Than vs X Bu  1-0271999YangonB22 Sicilian, Alapin
15. X Bu vs Wynn Zaw Htun 1-0361999YangonA22 English
16. O Ganbold vs X Bu  ½-½41999YangonA45 Queen's Pawn Game
17. X Bu vs M Al-Modiahki ½-½621999YangonA46 Queen's Pawn Game
18. X Bu vs P Hrvacic  0-1331999FSIM MarchD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
19. V Malada vs X Bu  ½-½541999FSIM MarchA07 King's Indian Attack
20. X Bu vs A Turzo  1-0601999FSIM MarchA46 Queen's Pawn Game
21. G Kiss vs X Bu  1-0481999FSIM MarchB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
22. X Bu vs T Gara  1-0331999FSIM MarchD85 Grunfeld
23. L Eperjesi vs X Bu ½-½421999FSIM MarchA43 Old Benoni
24. X Bu vs Pham Minh Hoang  ½-½231999FSIM MarchA75 Benoni, Classical with ...a6 and 10...Bg4
25. X Bu vs A Gara  1-0741999FSIM MarchE81 King's Indian, Samisch
 page 1 of 61; games 1-25 of 1,510  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Bu wins | Bu loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-24-13  Dionysius1: Thanks <nightsurfer>. I like the look of the pieces and board in the video you link to. Your last link in your most recent post.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <Dionysius1> Thank you so much that you like that! If one plays Chinese Chess with pieces like that - instead of the traditional flat disks of <XiangQi> - it is a thrilling and very entertaining game! And it's got the potential of challenging our beloved International Chess!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Welcome back to the 2700 club Bu Xiangzhi! His recent performance at the 5th Danzhou Tournament helped him gain 14 points to leap to 2707. However, countryman Ding Liren did edge him out on tiebreaks (both finished with 6.5/9).
Jul-28-14  Billy Vaughan: Bu Xiangzhi's recent results have given him 38 points, more than is almost ever seen at the ~2700 level in just one rating period.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Congratz to Bu Xiangzhi for winning the Politiken Cup (2014) a full point ahead of 4 competitors with a score of 9/10 (+8,-0,=2). He continues to leap to career highs, as from that tournament alone he gained 24 points and leaps to world #24, which is a gain of 30(!) spots. However, he still trails Ding Liren for #1 Chinese player, but only by 10 points. Too bad he's not participating at the upcoming Olympiad: his team could really use him.
Jul-30-14  SimonWebbsTiger: @<penguincw>

Bu failed to qualify in an event to set the team. He finished fourth, where 1st and 2nd were required.

Jul-30-14  SimonWebbsTiger: ps. He seems to have taken it nicely. "I have played many times before for China," he said in Elsinore.

He is already on the road. In Vlissingen(?) and then the million dollar open in Las Vegas!

Aug-03-14  Oxnard: This guy went into a 5-6 year lull after cracking the 2700 barrier in 2008.

Now he's propelled himself to an all time high of 2732 (live rating)!

Oct-12-14  Ke2: Incredible drawing trick from Bu today in the Millionaire Open.
Jul-20-15  sonia91: He had the best individual result among the Chinese in the China-Russia Match (2015) with 4/5. This result allows him to come back in the 2700 list.
Jul-20-15  AzingaBonzer: I guess Bu got tired of drawing all of his games in Danzhou, and decided to win a bunch of them instead.
Aug-24-15  thegoodanarchist: Bu's bio states <He remained the youngest <<<Chinese>>> to become a GM for 14 years until Wei Yi captured this honor in 2013. >

My Grandmother referred to Chinese as "Chinamen". Is this politically incorrect now? Is it considered offensive?

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <thegoodanarchist> Well, if you wish to translate it literally, yes. Chinese is Chinaman or Chinamen.

Since, in the Chinese language, you add man/men to denote nationality. Same would be applied to Japanman or Englishman.

It's the English language that is confusing. Ugh!

Aug-24-15  markz: <thegoodanarchist>Yes, "Chinaman" is offensive.
Sep-16-15  dumbgai: I saw a list of highest rated chess couples which included Bu and Huang Qian.

Regarding "Chinaman" I refer you to this:

Dec-10-15  sonia91: Happy 30th birthday! He made a great present for himself by beating Wang Hao today in the Chinese Team Championship.
Dec-10-15  cro777: The last leg (Rounds 19-22) of the 2015 Chinese Chess League Division A is taking place in Zhuhai, China. Zhuhai is one of China's premier tourist destinations, being called the Chinese Riviera.

As <sonia91> reported, in the penultimate round, on his 30th birthday, Bu Xiangzhi beat Wang Hao helping his Chongching team to defeat the leader the Beijing team.

The game was decided in a theoretical ending rook with f- and h-pawns vs rook.

Bu Xiangzhi - Wang Hao. Position after 59...Rh3

click for larger view

60. Rc7+ Kf8 61. Kg6 Rg3+ 62. Kf6 Kg8 63. f5 Rg1 64. Rd7 Rf1 65. Re7 Rf2 66. Kg6 Rg2+ 67. Kf6 Rf2 68. Re8+ Kh7 69. Ke6 Kg7 70. h6+ Kxh6

click for larger view

71.f6 This apparent move is the only winning move in the position. After 71...Re2+ 72. Kf7 Rf2 73. Re1 Wang Hao resigned.

Dec-11-15  cro777: Bu Xiangzhi's Chongqing team took silver at the 2015 Chinese Chess League Division A. The winner is the Beijing team with Yu Yangyi and Wang Hao on top boards. In the last round Bu Xiangzhi drew with GM Ernesto Inarkiev with the black pieces. The best Chinese players participated.

May-06-16  AzingaBonzer: Bu Xiangzhi is currently playing as fourth board for the "Bronze Horseman" team at the Russian Team Championship. (Originally Li Chao was scheduled to play, but after he received an invitation to Norway Chess, Bu was sent to replace him.) Bu is currently on 3.5/5, having defeated Artemiev and Zvjaginsev after having already drawn once with the latter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Down goes Carlsen!!
Sep-09-17  markz: Bu Bu Bu!
Sep-10-17  markz: Bu beat the world champion! Congrats
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: He was the future once.
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Bu is less known among the Chinese players who have gotten more publicity like Wei Yi and Ding Liren, but very talented, youngest grandmaster in history at the age of 13 when he got GM title in 1999. I remember when he played in one of Jose Cuchi's NY Open Tournaments at a very young age, but that was a long time ago. Why he never developed up to the super GM level, I am not sure, but I believe he did take time to get a university education. Even now, I am not sure he is a full time, professional chess player, but that he is capable of winning a game against even the world champion is not that surprising. I find the just two game knockout format of the World Cup interesting, but not very indicative of an individual player's sustained playing strength, as shown by the numerous higher rated players that have already been eliminated. For example, Magnus would clearly be an overwhelming favorite against Bu in a 10 game match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: According to Bu’s bio: <A mediocre 7/9 at the 18th HZ Chess Tournament in Vlissingen in August 2014 took some of the rating sheen off his most recent accomplishments>

Even if he did lose some rating points how is a 7/9 score “mediocre”?

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