FIDE World Team Championship: China and Russia lead

by Albert Silver
6/26/2017 – The final rounds are ending and the gold medals in both Open and Women’s sections seem all but decided, though mathematically things can happen. In the Women’s event, Russia is all but certain of gold after their co-leader rivals, Ukraine, lost to Georgia. In the Open section, China has all but wrapped up the gold, while Russia beat India after a scare when Vidit Gujarathi missed a study-like win against Peter Svidler. Report with analysis by GM Alex Lenderman.

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All photos by Anastasia Balakhontseva

Round eight

The FIDE Open and Women’s World Team Chess Championships is taking place from June 16 to June 27, 2017 (June 21 is a free day) in the the Ugra Chess Academy of the oil-book town of Khanty-Mansiysk, in western Siberia. Ten open and ten women's teams are participating. Games start at 3 p.m. local time – 12 noon CEST, 6 a.m. New York (check your location).

Open section

Open section - Round 8 on 2017/06/25 at 15:00
No.
SNo.
Team
Res.
Team
SNo.
1
10
BELARUS
1-3
POLAND
9
2
1
CHINA
3.5-0.5
NORWAY
8
3
2
INDIA
1.5-2.5
RUSSIA
7
4
3
USA
1.5-2.5
UKRAINE
6
5
4
EGYPT
1-3
TURKEY
5

For board wise break down, click here

There wasn’t a lot to say about the matches overall inasmuch as the favorites all won their respective matches of the day. Among the closest ones, where a surprise was possible, the US held Ukraine to a bare minimum win of 1.5-2.5, but the real danger came for Russia against India.

India's team is one of youth and talent, and immense cameraderie

Young Vladimir Fedoseev has been one of the very happy surprises this year for Russian chess, with numerus breakthrough results. His performance at the World Team Championship has also been excellent, and he was the player who clinched it for the Russian team, as the only winner, defeating Parimarjan Negi.

Russia had a very close call in round eight, and it could have seriously jeopardized their medal plans

That said, Russia really had to sweat it on board on, when Peter Svidler was found himself completely lost against India’s top board Vidit Gujarathi. Unfortunately, he failed to find a lovely study-like win, that might have drastically changed the fates of both teams.

Vidit vs Svidler

 

Here is the full game with the solution and analysis:

Vidit Santosh Gujarathi (IND) vs Peter Svidler (RUS) (annotated by GM Alexander Lenderman)

[Event "World Team Championship"] [Site "Khanty-Maniysk, RUS"] [Date "2017.06.25"] [Round "8"] [White "Vidit Santosh, Gujarathi"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D78"] [Annotator "Aleksandr Lenderman"] [PlyCount "129"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] {Welcome everyone to the Round 8 Game of the Day of the World Team Championship. This is GM Aleksandr Lenderman. Despite the fact that there were a lot of decisive games this round, I decided to actually pick this interesting draw in the match between India and Russia. This was a Board One matchup between India's Vidit Gujrathi and Russia's Peter Svidler. This was a very tough fighting match, which really India probably feels like they could've also won with some good breaks. This keeps Russia in the fight for the gold medals and guarantees them at least a Bronze Medal no matter what happens in the last round. China won a relatively one-sided match against Norway, which is why I decided to choose a game from the India-Russia match. This game I found the most intriguing since white played very nicely, putting a lot of pressure on his very strong and experienced opponent, but then Svidler escaped after he found some strong practical chances and Vidit failed to find a quite beautiful study-like win.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 {The most solid reply. Black can also choose the more dynamic options, either with an early c5, transposing into Benoni or Benko Gambit, d5, which transposes into Grunfeld type positions, or just castle and d6, trying to get a g3 kings indian.} (3... c5) (3... Bg7 4. Bg2 c5 (4... d5) (4... O-O)) 4. Bg2 d5 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. b3 O-O 7. O-O Ne4 8. Bb2 Bf5 9. e3 Nd7 10. Qe2 a5 11. cxd5 $5 {According to my database a novelty. Before that, 11. Nc3 appeared two times in Svidler's games, from both sides interestingly enough.} (11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 Nf6 {was played by Svidler all the way back in 2006.} (12... Be4 {was played by Radjabov against Svidler.} 13. Rfc1 e6 14. Bf1 dxc4 15. bxc4 c5 16. Nd2 Bc6 17. Rab1 b6 18. Bg2 Bxg2 19. Kxg2 cxd4 20. exd4 Rc8 21. Rb5 $14 {Black still had some difficulties to solve but eventually he managed hold the draw 1/2 (40) Svidler,P (2731)-Radjabov,T (2748) Plovdiv 2010}) 13. Rfc1 Be4 14. Be1 e6 15. Bf1 c5 $11 {Black lost the game later on, but not because of the opening. He equalized pretty comfortably here. 1-0 (41) Nikolic,P (2645)-Svidler,P (2630) Ter Apel 1996}) 11... cxd5 12. Nc3 Nxc3 (12... Ndf6 13. Na4 $5 {And now the black knights are reduntant and he hasn't fully equalized yet.}) 13. Bxc3 Qb6 ( 13... Nf6 14. Rfc1 {Is still a little bit uncomfortable for Black.}) 14. Rfc1 Rfc8 15. Ne1 e5 $6 {An aggressive approach trying to equalize right away, but perhaps it was objectively better to play Nf6 with clear equality.} (15... Nf6 $11) 16. dxe5 Rxc3 17. Rxc3 Bxe5 18. Rac1 Bxc3 19. Rxc3 d4 20. exd4 Qxd4 21. Bxb7 Qxc3 22. Bxa8 Ne5 $6 {Black sacrificed a pawn, and now in order to get compensation he has to play very accurately. That's why it was maybe more practical to play 15...Nf6. Now he has only one path to equality, once again with 22...Nf6.} (22... Nf6 $1 23. Kg2 Bb1 $1 $44 {And here White can't make progress very easily while Black's pieces here are very active. One variation can go like this:} 24. Nf3 Qc8 $3 {This is why it is not good for Black to trade the knights. Now the bishop on a8 is short on squares.} 25. Qb2 Bf5 $1 26. Qxf6 Qxa8 27. Qc3 Be6 $11 {Black has very good compensation thanks to a vey strong light-squared bishop and White not having an easy way to breakthrough.}) 23. Kg2 h5 (23... Bb1 24. Nf3 Nxf3 25. Bxf3 Qa1 $6 26. Qe1 Qxa2 27. Qe8+ Kg7 28. Bd5 $18 {Shows how important the knight on f6 would be.}) 24. Nf3 $6 {Now it's Vidit's turn to make an inaccuracy. I'm pretty sure he missed Black's next move.} (24. Be4 $16 {is simply up a pawn without much compensation as far as I can see.}) 24... Qc8 $1 25. Kg1 Bh3 $1 (25... Qxa8 26. Nxe5 a4 {Also might be ok for Black.}) 26. Qxe5 Qxa8 27. Ne1 Qa6 28. Qe8+ Kg7 29. Ng2 g5 $2 {This move is too weakening and definitely unnecessary, and almost lost the game for Svidler as his king became much more exposed, even though it's not so obvious right now.} (29... Qd3 30. Qe1 Qd4 31. Nf4 Bg4 $44 { Is still full compensation according to the computer.}) 30. Qe5+ f6 31. Qe7+ Kg6 32. Qe4+ Kg7 33. Ne3 {Now White consolidates since Qe2 fails to Nf5+} Qc8 34. Qc2 Qb7 35. Qd1 (35. Qc4 {Might be a bit more accurate according to the computer, but here in time pressure it's very hard to criticize the players for making subtle inaccuracies.}) 35... Qe4 $6 {This just doesn't work out.} ( 35... Qb4 $3 {would be very strong here but it's very hard to find this move in time pressure.}) (35... Kg6 {Even this would be more solid than Qe4}) 36. Qxh5 Qb1+ 37. Qd1 Qxa2 38. g4 {Maybe Svidler missed this. Now this should be winning for White.} Qb2 39. Nf5+ $2 {This is a mistake.} (39. f3 Qe5 40. Qd3 $18 {is a win in the long run.}) (39. f4 $5 {is also interesting but almost impossible to play in time pressure.}) 39... Kg6 40. Nd6 Kh6 (40... Kg7 { is a little bit more accurate.}) 41. Nf5+ (41. Nc4 Qc3 42. Ne3 {Maybe gave more winning chances. But this again, is extremely hard.}) 41... Kg6 42. Ng3 Kg7 43. Nf1 Qe5 44. Ne3 Qc5 $2 (44... Qb2 {would allow White to transpose into the previous winning position on move 39.} 45. f3) (44... Qc3 $1 {would be very strong though, not allowing white to play f3 and activate his king, and also not allow White to activate his queen. This is close to equal. White's only winning try here is...} 45. Nf5+ Kg6 46. f3 Qc5+ 47. Nd4 f5 $1 {But now Black is in time to get sufficient counterplay and should equalize.} 48. Qd3 Kh6 $1 49. gxf5 Bxf5 50. Qe3 Bh3 51. f4 Bg4 52. fxg5+ Qxg5 $11) 45. Qd2 $18 {Suddenly White is winning again since he can play f3 next move and consolidate and then the bishop on h3 gets in trouble.} Qa3 $6 (45... Qe5 46. f3 Kg6 47. Qd3+ Kf7 48. Qh7+ Ke6 49. Qa7 Qb5 {is lost for Black in the long run but would be a little bit more tenacious.}) 46. Qc3 a4 47. Nf5+ Kf8 $5 { A very good practical chance, challening White to find the tricky study win.} ( 47... Kg6 48. Qxh3 {Threatening mate on h5.} Qc1+ 49. Kg2 Qc6+ 50. Qf3 Qxf3+ 51. Kxf3 axb3 52. Ne7+ Kf7 53. Nd5 b2 54. Nc3 $18 {Is a forced line which is very easy to calculate for grandmasters at this level.}) 48. Qc8+ (48. Qxf6+ Ke8 49. Qh8+ Kd7 50. Qd4+ Kc7 51. Qc3+ Kd7 52. Qd3+ Kc7 53. Qxh3 axb3 54. Qc3+ {Is also winning for white.}) 48... Kf7 49. Qd7+ Kf8 50. Qd8+ Kf7 51. Qd7+ $6 { This is still not a decisive mistake since he can return to the winning position but it's already a step in the wrong direction.} (51. Nd6+ $1 { was a study win that Vidit missed.} Ke6 (51... Kg6 52. Qg8+ Kh6 53. Nf5# $18) ( 51... Kg7 52. Qe7+ Kg8 53. Qf7+ Kh8 54. Qxf6+ {This is easy to see that it's a mop-up.} Kh7 55. Qf7+ Kh8 56. Qh5+ Kg7 57. Qxg5+ Kh8 (57... Kh7 58. Qh5+ Kg8 ( 58... Kg7 59. Nf5+ Kf6 60. Qh8+ Kf7 61. Qxh3 axb3 62. Qc3 Qa2 63. Qc7+ $18) 59. Qg6+ Kh8 60. Nf7#) 58. Qh6+) 52. Qg8+ $1 {This is the move that probably Vidit missed, though I might be wrong. Amazingly enough black loses his queen in every line now. He might've only saw Qe8+ which doesn't win because of Kd5!} ( 52. Qe8+ $2 Kd5) 52... Ke7 (52... Kxd6 53. Qf8+) (52... Kd7 53. Qe8+ Kc7 54. Qc8+ Kb6 55. Nc4+) (52... Ke5 53. Nc4+) 53. Qe8+ Kxd6 54. Qf8+) (51. Qc7+ Kf8 52. Qb8+ (52. Qc3 Bxg4 53. Qxf6+ Ke8 54. Qe5+ {Also wins but more complicated.} ) 52... Kf7 53. Nd6+ {Would also transpose into the same lines and therefore keep the win.}) 51... Kf8 52. Qg7+ $4 (52. Qd8+ {Still not too late to return to} Kf7 53. Nd6+) 52... Ke8 53. Qh8+ Kd7 54. Qh7+ Kd8 55. Qh8+ Kd7 56. Qh7+ Kd8 57. Qg8+ Kc7 58. Qf7+ Kb8 59. Qg8+ Kc7 60. Qc4+ Kb8 61. Qb5+ Kc7 62. Qa5+ Kb7 63. Qd5+ Kc7 64. Qc4+ Kb8 65. Qg8+ {A great save for Svidler and that completed an amazing comeback by Russia, who had also been in a difficult position with black on boards 3 and 4. At least tomorrow's match will be very intruiging as Russia will try to win against the 2016 Olympiad Gold Medal Winners, United States, and China will try to overcome a very strong Polish Team who is also playing great in the World Team Championship and is currently in 3rd place. In fact theoretically, Poland might even have a chance to win the World Team Championship if they beat China and Russia doesn't win against the United States.} 1/2-1/2

China won their match easily in round eight, as expected, and the only way they can lose gold is if not only they lose to Poland, but Russia beats the USA by 3.5-0.5. All in all, a tall order.

China had a relatively easy match in round eight, as they beat Norway. They face Poland in the final round, and though favorite, anything can happen.

Crosstable of Open section

Rank Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
1
CHINA
*
 
2
2
14
22
2
RUSSIA
*
3
2
 
3
3
13
21
3
POLAND
 
1
*
3
3
3
12
19
4
TURKEY
2
2
*
2
1
2
 
3
10
17
5
INDIA
2
*
 
9
17½
6
USA
2
 
3
½
*
2
3
8
16
7
UKRAINE
1
2
*
2
3
 
6
15
8
BELARUS
½
1
1
 
2
2
*
6
15
9
NORWAY
½
1
 
1
½
*
2
10
10
EGYPT
½
½
1
1
1
 
½
*
0

Women's section

Women's section - Round 8 on 2017/06/25 at 15:00
No.
SNo
Team
Res
Team
SNo
1
10
UKRAINE
1.5-2.5
GEORGIA
9
2
1
USA
2-2
AZERBAIJAN
8
3
2
INDIA
2.5-1.5
VIETNAM
7
4
3
POLAND
1-3
CHINA
6
5
4
EGYPT
0.5-3.5
RUSSIA
5

For a board wise break down, click here

In the women’s competition, entering round eight, both Russia and Ukraine were well ahead of the field, and shared first. Their personal encounter only scheduled for the last round, one of them would need to slip to relieve the pressure on that final encounter. Russia’s task was certainly the easiest as they face bottom-seed Egypt that is rated about 500 Elo below them (literally), but Ukraine’s was much less so as they faced Georgia, a traditional powerhouse in female chess.

Alexandra Goryachkina, one of the players of the leading Russian team

Some hours later Georgia’s Nino Batsiashvili signed the only victory of the match, with an important win. Though they are still behind China and Ukraine, Russia faces Ukraine in the final round, and should Ukraine suffer a second defeat, anything can happen in the silver and gold medals.

Ukraine's loss to Georgia has now put their entire campaign at risk

Crosstable of Women's section

Rank Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
1
RUSSIA
*
 
3
3
2
3
2
14
22½
2
UKRAINE
 
*
2
2
3
12
18½
3
CHINA
1
2
*
2
3
3
2
 
11
19
4
GEORGIA
½
*
2
2
 
3
3
4
10
18½
5
INDIA
1
2
2
*
 
3
10
17
6
POLAND
½
2
1
2
*
2
 
7
16
7
USA
2
1
 
2
*
2
2
6
15½
8
VIETNAM
1
1
1
 
2
*
4
5
14½
9
AZERBAIJAN
2
2
1
 
½
2
*
4
5
14½
10
EGYPT
½
 
0
1
½
½
0
0
*
0
4

Links

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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