China and Ukraine lead in Women's Team Championship

5/24/2007 – After the traumatic 0:4 drubbing at the hands of the Chinese the main question of round three was whether the Russian team would be able to recover. They were, and the 3.5-0.5 victory over Vietnam set them back on track for the medals. In the meantime China and Ukrain conceded a draw each in round four, but still lead the field. Big illustrated report by WGM Elmira Mirzoeva.

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First World Women's Team Chess Championship 2007, Russia

This event is taking place from May 19 to 30 in Ekaterinburg, Russia, with women's teams from ten national federations – smong them Russia, Ukraine, China, Armenia, Georgia, Netherlands, Poland and Vietnam – participating. The venue is the five-star Atrium Palace Hotel, where the teams are also staying.

Round 3 – 22.5.2007

One of the main questions of the third round was if the Russian players would be able to vindicate themselves after their sensational defeat in the second round. The answer was simple. Yes they were, yes they did!


The start of round three of the women's team world championship in Yekaterinburg

The composition of the host team in the match against Vietnam was as follows: Tatyana Kosintseva, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya and Elena Tairova. The Russian players got good positions on all four boards, and step by step were gaining more and more advantage. Elena Tairova was the first who achieved success. She managed to outplay Nguyen Thi Thanh and as a result won. So the debutant of the Russian team, after an unlucky loss in the second round, could score a first win not just in this tournament, but also as a member of the main national team of Russia. After the game Elena looked satisfied but could not hide her excitement as she worried about her compatriots. She realized that after the “dry” defeat in their match against the Chinese team they had to summon their strength and begin to win.


Tatiana Kosintseva, playing on board one for Russia

And they began to do just that. Tatyana Kosintseva had the advantage during the whole game against Le Kieu Thien Kim, and ended it logically with victory. After the game Tatyana talked to journalists with enthusiasm and noted that despite the loss against the Chinese, for the Russian team and fight for Gold was not over yet. Tatyana’s sister Nadezhda did not take risks in her game against Le Than Tu and agreed to draw. Ekaterina Kovalevskaya had no serious problems with Hoang Thi Bao Tram and won in the rook endgame with the advantage. Final score in the match Russia – Vietnam is 3.5:0.5.


13-year-old Hou Yifan on board two for China

The Chinese team, one of the main aspirants for the gold medal, easily beat the team from Poland, with a 4:0 score. They played in their favourite sportswear as usual and did not give their opponents any chance.


Former world champion and chess legend Maia Chiburdanidze

In the match Georgia-Germany the first board game ended rather quickly, with Maya Chiburdanidze losing to Elizabeth Pähz. After the leader’s defeat the other team members managed only to equalize the score, so the result was 2:2. By the way it was the first match in the championship that ended with equal points. The players from Armenia crushed the team of the Czech Republic with a 4:0 score.


Still without points: a member of the Botswana squad

The team from Ukraine, which played without their leader Ekaterina Lahno, didn't have any difficulties in the match against Botswana. The result was 4:0. Thus teams from China and Ukraine are 100% leaders after three rounds. The participants from Georgia follow, Russia and Poland share 4th and 5th places.

Russia
3.5-0.5
Vietnam
Kosintseva, Tatiana
1-0
Le Kieu Thien Kim
Kosintseva, Nadezhda
½-½
Le Thanh Tu
Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina
1-0
Hoang Thi Bao Tram
Tairova, Elena
1-0
Nguyen, Thi Thanh An
Poland
0-4
China
Socko, Monika
0-1
Zhao Xue
Rajlich, Iweta
0-1
Hou Yifan
Zawadzka, Jolanta
0-1
Ruan Lufei
Przezdziecka, Marta
0-1
Shen Yang
Geogia
2-2
Germany
Chiburdanidze, Maya
0-1
Paehtz, Elisabeth
Javakhishvili, Lela
½-½
Kachiani-Gersinska, Ketino
Khurtsidze, Nino
1-0
Ohme, Melanie
Khukhashvili, Sopiko
½-½
Schoene, Maria Randi
Ukraine
4-0
Botswana
Ushenina, Anna
1-0
Sabure Tuduetso
Gaponenko, Inna
1-0
Lopang, Tshepiso
Vasilevich, Tatiana
1-0
Sabure Ontiretse
Vozovic, Oksana
1-0
Pilane Masego Sylvia
Armenia
4-0
Czech Republic
Danielian, Elina
1-0
Jackova, Jana
Mkrtchian, Lilit
1-0
Sikorova, Olga
Aghinian, Nelly
1-0
Blazkova, Petra
Aghabekian, Liana
1-0
Nemcova, Katerina

Round 4 – 23.5.2007

This round saw the key encounter of the experienced Georgian and the young but strong Chinese team. On the first board World Champion Maya Chiburdanidze played Zhao Xue. It was a New Indian Defense, with Maya managing to equalize with black very easily. In middlegame the former World Champion tried to outplay her less experienced opponent, but failed. The Chinese player exchanged queens expediently, and in the endgame she put up enough resistance to draw.


Start of round four, with China vs Georgia under way

Meanwhile Lela Javakhishvili and Hou Yifan were sorting out their relationship on the second board. They played a New Indian Defense as well. Javakhishvili gaind an advantage, which she increased move by move, until she finally scored a deserved victory. The players on the third board signed for peace, and on board four Shen Yang saved China from defeat when she outplayed Sofio Gvetadze and equalized the score in the match 2:2. The Chinese team lost its first point.


Ekaterina Korbut playing on board three for the Russian team

One more interesting match of the fourth round was between Russia and Poland. The Polish players had been whitewashed in the previous round by the Chinese team. But, according the coach Alexander Sulipa, they were not discouraged by this defeat and adopted a militant approach in the battle with Russia. The latter were in high spirits after their third-round victory over Vietnam. After the first hour play the material balance on the board was shaken. Iweta Rajlich played a sharp opening line and sacrificed a pawn, which was followed by the second one in a couple of minutes. She was trying to benefit from the opponent’s undeveloped pieces, but only managed to get an endgame a pawn down. The game ended peacefully in a draw.


Grim determination in the glare of Elena Tairova against Karina Szczepkowska

Russia’s fourth board didn’t have a lot of problems. Our Elena Tairova beat Karina Szczepkowska quite easily. But on the first table there was an uncompromising battle. Tatiana Kosintseva and Monika Socko were struggling until the very last seconds of time control. Their game was the longest and the most strenuous in round four. The young ladies played a French Defense, and in the middlegame the position was equal. Closer to the first time control their fortunes started to swing, and every other move changed the position. At first Tatiana missed the path to victorioy, then the Russian player could make a perpetual, but for reasons that were unclear to her coach she decided to try to win, when she had only 30 seconds left till the end of her time. Yuri Dokhoian couldn’t conceal his discontent; he shrugged his shoulders and went away from the table. But after a couple of minutes he came back. By that time Tatiana already had a bad position, and much less time than her opponent. But a miracle happened which saved Tatiana, and the game was drawn by three-fold repetition. The match Russia-Poland brought success to the hosts of the Championship and ended 2.5:1.5.


Kateryna Lahno on board one for Ukraine


Maia Chiburdanidze facing Zhao Xue in round four

Vietnam
3-1
Czech Republic
Le Kieu Thien Kim
½-½
Jackova, Jana
Le Thanh Tu
1-0
Sikorova, Olga
Hoang Thi Bao Tram
½-½
Blazkova, Petra
Pham Le Thao Nguyen
1-0
Nemcova, Katerina
Botswana
0-4
Armenia
Sabure Tuduetso
0-1
Danielian, Elina
Lopang Tshepiso
0-1
Aghinian, Nelly
Modongo Boikhutso
0-1
Andriasian, Siranush
Sabure, Ontiretse
0-1
Aghabekian, Liana
Germany
2-2
Ukraine
Paehtz, Elisabeth
½-½
Lahno, Kateryna
Kachiani-Gersinska, Ketino
½-½
Ushenina, Anna
Nill, Jessica
½-½
Gaponenko, Inna
Schoene, Maria Randi
½-½
Vasilevich, Tatiana
China
2-2
Georgia
Zhao Xue
½-½
Chiburdanidze, Maya
Hou Yifan
0-1
Javakhishvili, Lela
Ruan Lufei
½-½
Khurtsidze, Nino
Shen Yang
1-0
Gvetadze, Sofio
Russia
2.5-1.5
Poland
Kosintseva, Tatiana
½-½
Socko, Monika
Kosintseva, Nadezhda
½-½
Rajlich, Iweta
Korbut, Ekaterina
½-½
Zawadzka, Jolanta
Tairova, Elena
1-0
Szczepkowska, Karina

Match standings after four rounds

 
CHN 
RUS 
POL 
GEO 
UKR 
ARM 
CZE 
BOT 
GER 
VIE 
Total
China
2
2
1
2
7
Ukraine
2
2
2
1
7
Russia
0
2
2
2
6
Georgia
1
2
2
1
6
Poland
0
0
2
2
4
Armenia
0
2
2
0
4
Vietnam
0
0
2
2
4
Germany
0
0
1
1
2
Czech Republic
0
0
0
0
0
Botswana
0
0
0
0
0

Pictures and information supplied by Elmira Mirzoeva,
Press-attaché of the 1st World Women’s Team Championship

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