Women's World Team Championship: Mesopotamia and Zhao

12/25/2011 – During the rest day of important events, it is customary to organize activities to entertain the players as well as show off the region's interesting options. The Turkish Federation organized a great program showing sites and ancient ruins of Mesopotamia. In the seventh round, no changes in rankings, though Zhao Xue played a great attacking game. Don't miss Mesopotamia and Zhao.

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The Women's World Chess Team Championship is being held from December 17th to the 28th in Mardin, Turkey.


A satellite view of Mardin, Turkey
View Larger Map 

Ten teams of five players (four plus one reserve) will compete in a round-robin Scheveningen competition except on the scheduled rest day on December 23rd. The games are played at 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment as of move one. All rounds start at 3 PM local time (8 AM NY / 2 PM Paris) except round nine played at 10 AM (3 AM NY / 9 AM Paris). Tiebreaks are decided by game points, individual encounter, Berger, and then the Berlin system.

Women's World Chess Team Championship

Round seven

One could just report that nothing changed as China continued its streak, beating Georgia 3-1, with Russia doing the same to home team Turkey, and India squeaking by against Greece, but this is not the whole tale. China's victory was very much as described, efficient and powerful, highlighted by a beautiful game by GM Zhao Xue who completely overpowered her opponent with an attractive attack.

Zhao Xue continues the blistering form that nearly brought her the absolute record tournament performance just two months ago.


Kubra Ortuk (white top, black sleeves) completed the requirements for the WGM title
in her victory over Tatiana Kosintseva.

Russia's victory was much less obvious in spite of the score, as second board Tatiana Kosintseva lost to Kubra Ortuk, making her the second Turkish WGM in history. Without wishing to take anything away from Ortuk's victory and accomplishment, the loss by Tatiana highlights one of the reasons the Russian team, whose lineup is identical to the 2010 Olympic gold medal winners, has been struggling so hard.

There is no arguing with the talent of these sisters, and exactly one year ago, both had seemed poised to be the next females to break the 2600 barrier. Tatiana Kosintseva had managed to constantly stay just ahead of her sister Nadezhda throughout the year, and was rated 2581 in the November 2010 list, while her sibling was just an inch behind at 2576. The only real question seemed to be who would do it first. Fast forward a year, and Tatiana is in a freefall slump, rated 2526, and by the most recent Live Ratings list for women, is scheduled for 2513 in January at the moment. Whatever the reason, things are clearly amiss.


Although they struggled against Greece, a team that has produced several surprises,
India's women team has deservedly been clear number two thus far.

India struggled far more than expected and was barely able to squeak past Greece despite their large Elo advantage. Second board Harika Dronavalli was the only one to win, and things might have gotten ugly had top Greek board, Elena Dembo not acceded a draw in her game against Koneru, as she had an edge and nothing to lose by playing on.

Ukraine beat Armenia 2.5-1.5 in a bloody battle, while Vietnam swept RSA by 4-0.

Rest day

The rest day program was so interesting that a large number of the players, including coaches, and other affiliated people chose to participate and as a result several minibuses were packed.

The program included morning excursion to the city with its old buildings, historical monuments, bazaar and museum, ending in a ride to the ancient Mesopotamian city of Dara.

To top it all, the weather was warm and sunny – the perfect free day!


Souvenir photo in front of the historical Governor's Building 


The players then visited Sabanci Museum


The Turks showed the players a great time, with many interesting cultural choices


Tablets with ancient writing


The museum illustrated how deep the region's history goes


A group picture of everyone who went


A stroll through the old city


A fountain used to wash (or drink water)


The geological layout belies the numerous periods of civilizations that have lived there


A Madrasah is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether
secular or religious.


The entrance to the ruins of Dara


The Turkish team is proud of their heritage


The ancient city was an important strategic point, as it lay five kilometers from the
actual border of ancient Persia.
It was fought over and conquered more than once
by the Romans and Persians.


For the Romans, it was their "dux Mesopotamiae". After the city lost its military
significance, it fell into decline and was eventually abandoned


A final tour of the Deyrulzafaran Monastery was in the program

Team standings after seven rounds


Rank Team
Gms
+
=
M-Pts
G-Pts
1 China
7
7
0
0
14
23½
2 India
7
5
1
1
11
20½
3 Russia
7
4
2
1
10
15½
4 Ukraine
7
3
2
2
8
16½
5 Vietnam
7
4
0
3
8
15½
6 Georgia
7
3
2
2
8
15½
7 Armenia
7
3
0
4
6
15
8 Turkey
7
2
0
5
4
9 Greece
7
0
1
6
1
10 RSA
7
0
0
7
0
1

Pictures by FIDE and the Turkish Chess Federation


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client and get immediate access. Or you can get our latest Fritz 13 program, which includes six months free premium membership to Playchess.

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