World Team 02: USA 3-1 Russia

11/27/2013 – The big news of the day is the convincing victory by the American team taking out the top seed Russia. Nakamura cleanly beat Kramnik while Robson managed to trick his opponent in a crazy game in which he was probably lost, albeit it was very complicated to find. Ukraine, Germany and Azerbaijan are the teams with two match wins Analysis of today's round.

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The World Chess Team Championship is currently being held in Antalya, Turkey. The tournament runs from November 26th to December 5th. The tournament is a round robin tournament between the best countries in the world who are sending their top participants. The event will have zero tolerance rules, no draw offers for the first 30 moves and will be played under the standard team tournament system with two points given to a match winner, one for a draw and zero the the loser of a match. Tiebreaks will be decided by board points. The time control is the FIDE 90 minutes for 40 moves and an additional 30 minutes at move 40 with thirty second increment throughout the game.

Round 2

The big news of the day is of course USA's win against Russia. This is the second year in a row that America topples the Russian powerhouse - in the 2012 Olympiad they were also victorious. In both ocassions Hikaru Nakamura was able to defeat Vladimir Kramnik with the white pieces. Today Kramnik committed a series of strange mistakes allowing Nakamura to slowly pile on the pressure. A miscalculation left Kramnik in a lost endgame simply down a piece.

Nakamura defeated Kramnik last year inthe Olympiad and did so again today

Kamsky almost looked impeccable today. At least his cap matched.

Grischuk and Nepomniachtchi had no real winning chances against Kamsky and Onischuk and they ended in a peaceful draws. The last board of the match was the shortest:

[Event "World Team Championship"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.11.27"] [Round "2"] [White "Vitiugov, Nikita"] [Black "Robson, Ray"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D31"] [WhiteElo "2741"] [BlackElo "2613"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "56"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e4 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Qxd4 7. Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8. Ne2 Na6 9. Bf8 Ne7 {Despite the crazy nature of the position this has all been played previously several times. Actually Robson had this position on the board with black four years ago.} 10. Bxg7 Nb4 11. Qd6 $5 (11. Bxh8 e5 $1 12. Qd6 Nc2+ 13. Kd2 Bf5 $1 {is considered to be ok for Black.}) 11... Nc2+ (11... Nd3+ 12. Kd2 Nf5 {Robson mentioned that this was also possible, but that the move in the game was more complex.}) 12. Kd2 Nxa1 13. Bxh8 Qc2+ 14. Ke1 e5 ( 14... Qxc4 15. Nc3 Qb4 16. Qd2 e5 17. Qc1 {ended in a win for Robson in this complicated position in Christiansen-Robson, 2009}) 15. f3 (15. Bxe5 $4 Be6 { was instantly winning for Black in the game Kononenko-Korneev of 2007.}) 15... Be6 16. Bf6 Ng6 17. h4 Qf5 18. Bg5 h6 19. Bxh6 Rd8 20. Qc5 Qb1+ 21. Kf2 Nc2 22. h5 {Robson didn't seem to know this, but this has all been played before.} Nf4 $1 {A strong improvement.} (22... Ne1 $2 23. Kg1 Nd3 24. Qe3 Ne7 {was decisively better for White in Nepomniachtchi-Pavasovic, 2011}) 23. Bxf4 exf4 24. Qa5 Qd1 $2 {This 'natural' move actually allows White a win.} (24... Ne3 $1 {is the most accurate.} 25. Qe5 Nd1+ (25... Rd1 $2 26. Nxf4 Nxf1 27. h6 $1 { And White's passed pawn is surprisingly strong.}) 26. Kg1 Ne3 $11) 25. Nxf4 $2 {After this it is White that gets in trouble.} (25. h6 $1 {This amazing move is correct.} Rd2 26. h7 Rxe2+ 27. Kg1 Qd4+ 28. Kh2 Re3 {preventing Qc3.} 29. Qg5 $1 Kd7 30. Qg8 f5 31. Qf8 {And Black has no way to stop the pawn. Robson saw this far but hallucinated the following variation:} Ne1 32. h8=Q Nxf3+ 33. gxf3 Re2+ {and he missed that the king can simply go to h3 cancelling his chances for a perpetual.}) 25... Rd2+ 26. Kg1 (26. Be2 Rxe2+ 27. Nxe2 Qxh1 28. Ng3 {gave White real chances for survival, but with the extra piece Black should eventually win.}) 26... Ne3 27. Qg5 Qxf1+ 28. Kh2 Qxf3 {White is getting mated after Ng4+. A crazy game that was surprisingly short. Vitiugov simply got lost in the complications.} 0-1

An important win by Ray Robson secured America's victory

Grischuk wondering if America has Russia's number

Wisn by Ivanchuk and Korobov gave Ukraine a win over China. Admittedly this could have gone either way as Ivanchuk must surely have been dead lost with his king on f6 in an exchange slav. It is not clear how this happened, but it happened. Caruana's comment on the game:

Armenia decided to rest Aronian but that was still a sufficiently strong team to beat Egypt 3-1 without too many complications.

Amin Bassem is Egypt's highest rated player. Their second highest, Ahmed Adly, was unable to participate.

In the Netherlands vs. Azerbaijan match Loek Van Wely blundered in a drawn rook endgame and that gave Safarli an unexpected win. Meanwhile Sokolov broke under the pressure of Nidjat Mamedov who wins his second game in a row. This gives Azerbaijan a 3-1 victory. Azerbaijan is tied with first with Germany and Ukraine.

A win by Mamedov helped Azerbaijan beat the Netherlands. Not this one though, this one is Rauf Mamedov who drew Giri today.

Naidtisch took advantage of a big mistake by his opponent in a complicated Poisoned Pawn variation of the Najdorf to win against Yilmaz. Meanwhile Meier showed excellent technique and won a French endgame against Solak, giving Germany a 3-1 win and a tie for first place as they have won both of their matches.

Germany convincingly took out the host country

2.1 Egypt 1 - 3 Armenia
1 Ezat Mohamed 2454 ½ : ½ Movsesian Sergei 2700
2 Shoker Samy 2500 0 : 1 Akopian Vladimir 2681
3 Amin Bassem 2652 ½ : ½ Sargissian Gabriel 2676
4 Labib Ibrahim Hasan 2411 0 : 1 Petrosian Tigran L. 2660
2.2 United States of America 3 - 1 Russia
1 Nakamura Hikaru 2786 1 : 0 Kramnik Vladimir 2793
2 Kamsky Gata 2721 ½ : ½ Grischuk Alexander 2785
3 Onischuk Alexander 2672 ½ : ½ Nepomniachtchi Ian 2721
4 Robson Ray 2613 1 : 0 Vitiugov Nikita 2741
2.3 China 1½ - 2½ Ukraine
1 Li Chao B 2679 0 : 1 Ivanchuk Vassily 2731
2 Ding Liren 2711 0 : 1 Korobov Anton 2713
3 Wang Yue 2725 1 : 0 Kryvoruchko Yuriy 2701
4 Bu Xiangzhi 2683 ½ : ½ Areshchenko Alexander 2720
2.4 Azerbaijan 3 - 1 Netherlands
1 Mamedov Rauf 2647 ½ : ½ Giri Anish 2732
2 Safarli Eltaj 2653 1 : 0 Van Wely Loek 2678
3 Mamedov Nidjat 2616 1 : 0 Sokolov Ivan 2625
4 Guseinov Gadir 2607 ½ : ½ L'ami Erwin 2648
2.5 Germany 3 - 1 Turkey
1 Khenkin Igor 2612 ½ : ½ Ipatov Alexander 2630
2 Meier Georg 2623 1 : 0 Solak Dragan 2618
3 Naiditsch Arkadij 2727 1 : 0 Yilmaz Mustafa 2577
4 Baramidze David 2614 ½ : ½ Esen Baris 2565

Replay today's games

Photos by Fatma Koc Ozturk


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