Women's Team Championship: China two points ahead

5/27/2007 – The Chinese team seems to be unstoppable. After six rounds they lead the World Women's Team Championship in Yekaterinburg with 11/12 points. They are followed by Russia with 9/12 and Georgia and Ukraine with eight points each. But it is the team from Botswana, with zero points, that seems to be having the most fun. 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 5 – 24.5.2007

Russian fans were worried about the first board in the important match against Georgia, which fielded Maya Chiburdanidze against Russia's Tatiana Kosintseva. But as it turned out later their concern was groundless. Tatiana managed to equalize with black and got a good position in end game. She later admitted that she intended to struggle for victory, not taking into consideration Chiburdanidze’s enormous experience. But a pitiful mistake changed the position and soon Tatiana and Maya agreed to draw. On the second board sister Nadezhda Kosintseva, playing Lela Javakhishvili with white, got a difficult position. But the game ended in a draw. On boards three and four the Russians didn’t their opponents any chances: Ekaterina Kovalevskaya beat Nino Khurtsidze, Elena Tairova outplayed Sopiko Khukashvili. As a result Russia scored 3:1.


The Chinese squad: Huang Qian, Zhao Xue, Hou Yefan, Sheng Yang and Ruan Lufei


Anna Ushenina, Kateryna Lahno and Inna Gaponenko of the Ukraine team


Start of a critical game between China and Ukraine

The struggle of the tournament leaders lasted longer, although in the end the Chinese team turned out to be much stronger than the Ukraines. They won confidently on the first two boards. Zhao Xue beat Katerina Lahno; and the youngest participant of the tournament Hou Yifan managed recover nicely from her previous loss by outplaying Anna Ushenina. The other boards resisted longer, but in the end the Ukrainians managed to win only 0.5 points, and China became the sole leader of the tournament.

Poland
2-2
Vietnam
Socko, Monika
0-1
Le Kieu Thien Kim
Rajlich, Iweta
0-1
Le Thanh Tu
Zawadzka, Jolanta
1-0
Nguyen Thi Thanh An
Przezdziecka, Marta
1-0
Pham Le Thao Nguyen
Georgia
1-3
Russia
Chiburdanidze, Maya
½-½
Kosintseva, Tatiana
Javakhishvili, Lela
½-½
Kosintseva, Nadezhda
Khurtsidze, Nino
0-1
Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina
Khukhashvili, Sopiko
0-1
Tairova, Elena
Ukraine
0.5-3.5
China
Lahno, Kateryna
0-1
Zhao Xue
Ushenina, Anna
0-1
Hou Yifan
Gaponenko, Inna
½-½
Ruan Lufei
Vozovic, Oksana
0-1
Shen Yang
Armenia
1.5-2.5
Germany
Danielian, Elina
½-½
Paehtz, Elisabeth
Mkrtchian, Lilit
½-½
Kachiani-Gersinska, Ketino
Aghinian, Nelly
½-½
Nill, Jessica
Andriasian, Siranush
0-1
Ohme, Melanie
Czech Republic
4-0
Botswana
Jackova, Jana
1-0
Sabure Tuduetso
Sikorova, Olga
1-0
Lopang Tshepiso
Blazkova, Petra
1-0
Modongo Boikhutso
Nemcova, Katerina
1-0
Sabure, Ontiretse

A day off with the Botswana team

The most active group on the day off was the team from Botswana, which visited a chess school for children in the Chkalovskiy district of Yekaterinburg. The girls from Africa took great pleasure in playing chess in the school with the children. Before their arrival the school had staged a special tournament, and the the best players of the school had the honour to play against the guests. After the games the players from Botswana gave autographs and made a lot of photos with the children, who were also taking pictures of their own.


An encounter between chess players from Botswana and Chkalovskiy


Playing against the best chess kids the school has produced


Getting to know you, getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.

The second part of the program was the visit to the industrial complex of Shabrovskiy. The guests were impressed by the beauty of landscape and nature around the complex. The ended with an outdoor picnic, and the guests also got to taste some of Russian drinks.


Enjoying the great outdoors at the Shabrovskiy complex


...and the cool splash of a Ural waterfall


Just feeling good about being here

Almost all the teams attended the show “Stars on Ice”, enjoying the great performances of such honoured masters of figure skating as Alexey Yagudin, Tatyana Navka, Roman Kostomarov, Mariya Petrova and Alexey Tikhonov.


An ice spectacular in the land of ice skating


Many great stars of figure scating are in the show

Round 6 – 26.5.2007

The Chinese team met Armenia, with Zhao Xue playing Elina Danielyan on board one. White won a pawn, Danielyan activated her central pieces and soon won a pawn back. The game was drawn.


The star in the Chinese team: 13-year-old Hou Yifan

On the second board the youngest participant of the World Championship, Hou Yifan, played Lilit Mkrtchyan. After three hours the physical condition of the players influenced the situation; Hou Yifan turned out to be more enduring, she kept on making precise moves, while Lilit let a couple of small mistakes slip in, which was enough to lose her the game. On the third board the superiority of the Chinese players was clear: Shen Yang beat Nelly Aghinyan. And on board four Liana Aghabekyan, playing Sicilian Defence, sacrificed a piece for an attack, but Huang Qian cooly counted all threats, kept th piece and earned the point. As a result, Chinese team scored heavils again: 3.5:0.5.


Lela Javakhishvili on board two for Georgia

Ther was one more important match in round six: Russia-Ukraine. On board one we had an encounter between two permanent rivals: Tatiana Kosintseva and Kateryna Lahno. These two have played about ten games against each other. This time it was a Ruy Lopez, and there was a complicated positional struggle in the middlegame. Tatiana won a piece for three pawns; the situation with the pawns was quite dangerous, but the Russian girl managed to overcome the problems and celebrate victory.


Following the running games with a visitor in the audience (no it isn't, really!)


...and analysing the position on a pocket chess set

Tatiana’s sister Nadezhda drew playing Anna Ushenina. But on the rest of the boards things didn’t go so well for the hosts of the tournament. On the third board Ekaterina Korbut playing Inna Gaponenko had an advantage, but a mistake lead to a loss. The experienced Ekaterina Kovalevskaya saved the Russian team from defeat by drawing a complicated game against Tatiana Vasilevich.

Vietnam
4-0
Botswana
Le Kieu Thien Kim
1-0
Sabure Tuduetso
Le Thanh Tu
1-0
Lopang Tshepiso
Nguyen Thi Thanh An
1-0
Modongo Boikhutso
Pham Le Thao Nguyen
1-0
Sabure, Ontiretse
Germany
2-2
Czech Republic
Paehtz, Elisabeth
½-½
Jackova, Jana
Nill, Jessica
1-0
Sikorova, Olga
Ohme, Melanie
½-½
Blazkova, Petra
Schoene, Maria Randi
0-1
Nemcova, Katerina
China
3.5-0.5
Armenia
Zhao Xue
½-½
Danielian, Elina
Hou Yifan
1-0
Mkrtchian, Lilit
Shen Yang
1-0
Aghinian, Nelly
Huang Qian
1-0
Aghabekian, Liana
Russia
2-2
Ukraine
Kosintseva, Tatiana
1-0
Lahno, Kateryna
Kosintseva, Nadezhda
½-½
Ushenina, Anna
Korbut, Ekaterina
0-1
Gaponenko, Inna
Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina
½-½
Vasilevich, Tatiana
Poland
1-3
Georgia
Socko, Monika
½-½
Chiburdanidze, Maya
Rajlich, Iweta
0-1
Javakhishvili, Lela
Zawadzka, Jolanta
0-1
Khurtsidze, Nino
Przezdziecka, Marta
½-½
Gvetadze, Sofio

Match standings after six rounds

 
CHN 
RUS 
POL 
GEO 
UKR 
ARM 
CZE 
BOT 
GER 
VIE 
Total
China
2
2
1
2
2
2
11
Russia
0
2
2
1
2
2
9
Poland
0
0
0
2
2
1
5
Georgia
1
0
2
2
2
1
8
Ukraine
0
1
2
2
2
1
8
Armenia
0
0
2
2
0
0
4
Czech Republic
0
0
0
2
1
0
3
Botswana
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Germany
0
0
1
1
2
1
5
Vietnam
0
0
1
2
2
2
7

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

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