World Team Ch. – Armenia gold, China silver, Ukraine bronze

7/27/2011 – It was a glorious campaign for Armenia, who were the only undefeated team in the competition and deserved winners of the gold. Below it was a mad shoot-out for silver and bronze, with China surging in the last rounds to silver with brilliant performances by Wang Hao and Wang Yue, the top performance of the event with 2916. Ukraine took the bronze, and Russia was fourth. Illustrated final report.

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The Chinese Chess Association with the patronage and support of the Ningbo Municipal Government and Ningbo Sports Bureau is staging the 2011 World Team Chess Championship in Ningbo, China. The event is being held from July 15 2011 (arrival) to July 26 2011 (Departure) at the playing venue in the five-star New Century Grand Hotel Ningbo.

Round eight


The playing hall two minutes after the start of round eight

Although the eighth round provided few surprises, contrary to most of the topsy-turvy event, it did provide the first and only 4-0 whitewash of the event. One might expect the victim to be Egypt as they were easily the weakest team overall, but they always managed to score at least a half point no matter how tough the opposition. No, the John Doe of the round was Israel versus Russia. The Israeli team may not be the highest rated either, but their track record in the Olympiads shows that they are singularly successful in team events. Still, deprived of Gelfand, who may already be dedicating himself to preparing for his forthcoming World Championship against Anand, they were run over by the Russians, desperate to keep their chances for a medal alive.


Li Chao on board three is greeted by Yu Yangyi, sitting out that round

The Chinese won their match against India, their third in a row, keeping a lock on silver, while another set of statistics began to manifest itself, a change in the best scoring players. In the final sprint, the top Chinese players, Wang Hao on board one, and Wang Yue on board two, began a winning streak that was truly heroic, with Li Chao on board three outdoing himself as well.

[Event "8th World Teams"] [Site "Ningbo CHN"] [Date "2011.07.25"] [Round "8"] [White "Wang, Hao"] [Black "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E58"] [WhiteElo "2718"] [BlackElo "2669"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2011.07.17"] [WhiteTeam "China"] [BlackTeam "India"] [WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"] [BlackTeamCountry "IND"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 c5 6. Nf3 d5 7. O-O Nc6 8. a3 Bxc3 9. bxc3 Qc7 10. Bb2 Re8 11. a4 Na5 12. cxd5 exd5 13. Ne5 Rxe5 14. dxe5 Qxe5 15. e4 Bg4 16. f3 dxe4 17. Qe2 Be6 18. c4 Qh5 19. Bxe4 Nxe4 20. Qxe4 Qg6 21. Qf4 Nxc4 22. Bc3 Qd3 23. Rfc1 Qe3+ 24. Qxe3 Nxe3 25. Be1 Nc4 26. a5 Rc8 27. Rc2 b5 28. axb6 axb6 29. Rca2 Bd5 30. Ra7 h6 31. Rb1 Re8 32. Kf2 Ne5 33. Bc3 Nd3+ 34. Kg3 Re6 35. h4 {Necessary to prevent Rg6+ Kh3 and Nf2+ winning the g2-pawn.} Rg6+ ({Although hardly won, a safer way for Black to exploit his advantage might be in the rook endgame after} 35... Bc4 36. Rd7 Rg6+ 37. Kh2 b5 38. Rd1 b4 39. Rd8+ Kh7 40. R1xd3 Bxd3 41. Rxd3 bxc3 42. Rxc3 Rc6 43. Kg3 Kg6 44. Kf4 Kf6 45. Ke4 Ke6 46. Rc4 f5+ 47. Kd3 Kd5 48. Ra4 (48. Rf4 Ke5 49. Rc4 Rg6 $17) 48... h5 $15) 36. Kh2 Nf4 37. Rb2 Bc4 38. Rd2 h5 39. Rad7 b5 40. Rd8+ Kh7 41. Be5 Ne2 42. Rc8 Nc1 43. Rdd8 ({With the idea} 43. Rxc5 $2 Nb3) 43... Re6 44. Bd6 Nd3 45. Rh8+ Kg6 46. Bf8 $1 {Now the places have been switched and White wins a pawn with a nasty attack.} Re2 (46... b4 47. Rg8 Ba6 48. Rxg7+ Kf6 49. Rc7 $16) 47. Rg8 Nf4 48. Rxg7+ Kf6 49. Rg8 Ng6 50. Bh6 Ra2 51. Bg5+ Ke5 52. Rgd8 Bf1 53. Rxc5+ Ke6 54. Rc6+ Ke5 55. Bf6+ Kf4 56. Rd4+ Ke3 57. Rc3+ Kf2 58. Re4 Be2 59. Rc1 1-0

Armenia in the meantime drew against Azerbaijan, though not without a fight, and kept their grip on the gold.

Results of round eight

Bd
10
  Russia
Rtg
4 : 0
9
  Israel
Rtg
1.1
GM
Grischuk Alexander
2746
1 - 0
GM
Roiz Michael
2669
1.2
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2711
1 - 0
GM
Smirin Ilya
2676
1.3
GM
Svidler Peter
2739
1 - 0
GM
Postny Evgeny
2618
1.4
GM
Vitiugov Nikita
2733
1 - 0
GM
Nabaty Tamir
2584
Bd
1
  USA
Rtg
1½:2½
8
  Ukraine
Rtg
2.1
GM
Kamsky Gata
2741
½ - ½
GM
Ivanchuk Vassily
2768
2.2
GM
Onischuk Alexander
2675
½ - ½
GM
Efimenko Zahar
2706
2.3
GM
Seirawan Yasser
2635
½ - ½
GM
Moiseenko Alexander
2715
2.4
GM
Hess Robert
2609
0 - 1
GM
Areshchenko Alexander
2682
Bd
2
  Armenia
Rtg
2 : 2
7
  Azerbaijan
Rtg
3.1
GM
Aronian Levon
2805
½ - ½
GM
Radjabov Teimur
2744
3.2
GM
Movsesian Sergei
2700
½ - ½
GM
Gashimov Vugar
2760
3.3
GM
Akopian Vladimir
2667
1 - 0
GM
Mamedov Rauf
2679
3.4
GM
Sargissian Gabriel
2663
0 - 1
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2765
Bd
3
  Egypt
Rtg
1 : 3
6
  Hungary
Rtg
4.1
GM
Amin Bassem
2609
½ - ½
GM
Leko Peter
2717
4.2
GM
El Gindy Essam
2510
0 - 1
GM
Almasi Zoltan
2726
4.3
IM
Shoker Samy
2475
0 - 1
GM
Polgar Judit
2699
4.4
IM
Ezat Mohamed
2430
½ - ½
GM
Erdos Viktor
2613
Bd
4
  China
Rtg
3 : 1
5
  India
Rtg
5.1
GM
Wang Hao
2718
1 - 0
GM
Harikrishna Pentala
2669
5.2
GM
Wang Yue
2709
1 - 0
GM
Sasikiran Krishnan
2681
5.3
GM
Li Chao B
2669
½ - ½
GM
Ganguly Surya Shekhar
2627
5.4
GM
Ding Liren
2654
½ - ½
GM
Negi Parimarjan
2642

Round nine

Crunch time, and the real scramble was for silver and bronze. China faced Hungary and both teams came with their heaviest hitters. whereas a slip might give Ukraine a chance to snatch silver if they somehow managed to beat Armenia. Just below, Russia desperately needed a win over India, while hoping Ukraine screwed up enough to let them snatch the bronze instead. A veritable dog-eat-dog round.


Nikita Vitiugov (2733) playing board four for Russia

Armenia took no chances and held Ukraine to a draw securing the gold, a deserved conclusion to their brilliant campaign, with a 2826 performance by Aronian on board one, a no less impressive Movsesian with a 2824 performance, and Akopian who also overperformed with a 2784 performance on board three.

Russia soon had their issues laid clear after Svidler, clearly out of sorts, came crashing to resignation in just 24 moves against Ganguly. This placed extreme pressure on the rest of the team, and Nepomniachtchi bit the bullet and took inordinate risks in his game to try and make up for it. The Russians needed 2.5/3 in the other three boards to win the match. Though he cannot be blamed under the circumstances, it did not work out, and as often the case when trying to force chances the position does not justify, he also ended up losing, and the Russians chances were ended.

China's match against Hungary was no less bloody, with Yu Yangyi losing on board four, but both Wang Yue and Li Chao beating Zoltan Almasi and Judit Polgar respectively.


Wang Yue was an absolute star with a huge 7.0/9 and a 2916 performance

[Event "8th World Teams"] [Site "Ningbo CHN"] [Date "2011.07.26"] [Round "9"] [White "Wang, Yue"] [Black "Almasi, Zoltan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2709"] [BlackElo "2726"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2011.07.17"] [WhiteTeam "China"] [BlackTeam "Hungary"] [WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"] [BlackTeamCountry "HUN"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. Qa4+ c6 6. Qxc4 b5 7. Qc2 Bb7 8. O-O Nbd7 9. a4 Rc8 (9... a6 10. Nc3 Rc8 11. Rd1 Qa5 12. d3 Be7 13. Bg5 Qc7 14. Rdc1 O-O 15. Qb3 Qb6 16. Be3 Qd8 17. Nd2 Ng4 18. axb5 axb5 19. Ba7 Nc5 20. Qd1 Ra8 21. Bxc5 Rxa1 22. Rxa1 Bxc5 23. Nce4 Bb6 24. h3 Nf6 25. Qb3 Nd5 26. Nf3 f5 27. Nc3 Qd6 28. d4 $14 {1/2-1/2 (64) Wang Yue (2756)-Ghaem Maghami,E (2593)/ Guangzhou 2010/CB00_2011 (64)}) 10. d4 Be7 11. Bg5 O-O 12. Ne5 h6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Rd1 Bxe5 15. dxe5 Qe7 16. Nc3 Nxe5 17. Ne4 $1 {Wang Yue's positional ability is unique among his Chinese colleagues.} Rcd8 ({White is planning on exchanging queens and gaining a magnificent outpost for his knight, and if Black tries to thwart him with} 17... c5 $6 {he can then play} 18. Nd6 Bxg2 19. Nxc8 Rxc8 20. Kxg2 $14) 18. Qc5 Qxc5 19. Nxc5 Bc8 20. a5 g5 21. h3 Kg7 22. e3 Kf6 23. b3 Ke7 24. f4 Nd7 25. Nd3 gxf4 26. exf4 Rg8 27. Kf2 Nb8 28. Rac1 Rd6 29. Bf3 Rgd8 30. Ke3 f6 31. g4 Na6 $6 (31... Bd7 32. Nc5 {and White must still show how he improves on his position.}) 32. Bxc6 {Wang Yue wins back his pawn while still retaining his edge. In other words he is considerably better now.} Nc7 33. b4 Na6 34. Ke2 {Otherwise Black could play Nxb4, exploiting the pin.} Rd4 35. Bxb5 Re4+ 36. Kf3 Red4 37. Ke2 Re4+ 38. Kf3 Red4 39. Rxc8 Rxc8 40. Bxa6 Rc6 41. Ke3 Rdd6 42. Bb7 Rc4 43. b5 Ra4 44. a6 Ra3 45. Bc6 Rd8 46. Rd2 Kd6 47. Ke2 Kc7 48. Nc5 Rxd2+ 49. Kxd2 e5 50. fxe5 fxe5 51. Nd3 Kd6 52. Ke3 Ra4 53. Kf3 1-0

With their fourth straight victory, the Chinese not only managed to take silver, but Wang Hao won the gold medal for board one with 6.0/9 and a 2854 performance, while Wang Yue scored 7.0/9 with a 2916 performance, the highest of the event. In spite of the last-round loss, in which he tired eveyrthing for his team, Ian Nepomniachtchi still won gold for third board with 6.0/9 and a 2808 performance while Ukraine's Alexander Moiseenko scored 6.0/8 on board four with a 2818 performance.


Gata Kamsky fulfilled his obligations as US champion on board one, and was
undefeated with 5.5/9 and a 2807 TPR.


Yasser Seirawan surprised many with his strong showing including wins over Judit Polgar
and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and a 2773 performance.

On a side note, those following the reports may recall a shock win by Egyptian IM Samy Shoker in round one, after benefiting from a blunder, but his tale did not end there. The young IM rated 2475 proceeded to take full advantage of his opportunity against so many top players, and despite not playing a single player below 2609, scored 4.0/9 for a 2632 performance and GM norm, including a superb win over Mamedyarov (2765) in the last round.


Egyptian IM Samy Shoker arrived as the second lowest rating
of the event but scored a healthy GM norm in the end.

[Event "8th World Teams"] [Site "Ningbo CHN"] [Date "2011.07.26"] [Round "9"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Shoker, Samy"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B07"] [WhiteElo "2765"] [BlackElo "2475"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2011.07.17"] [WhiteTeam "Azerbaijan"] [BlackTeam "Egypt"] [WhiteTeamCountry "AZE"] [BlackTeamCountry "EGY"] 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Be3 c6 5. h3 Nbd7 6. f4 b5 7. Qf3 e5 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. O-O-O Qe7 10. g4 b4 11. Nb1 exf4 12. Bxf4 Ne5 13. Qg3 Bg7 14. Nd2 Nfd7 15. Ngf3 O-O 16. Nc4 Nxf3 17. Qxf3 Ne5 18. Qe3 Re8 19. Nxe5 Bxe5 20. Bg2 a5 21. Bxe5 Qxe5 22. Qd4 Qg5+ 23. Qd2 Qxd2+ 24. Kxd2 Be6 25. a4 Rad8+ 26. Ke3 Kg7 27. Rd3 Kf6 28. Rhd1 Rxd3+ 29. cxd3 c5 30. Rc1 Rc8 31. Bf3 g5 32. Bd1 Ke5 33. Rxc5+ Rxc5 34. d4+ Kd6 35. dxc5+ Kxc5 36. b3 f6 37. Bc2 h6 38. Bd1 Bf7 39. Kd3 Be6 40. Ke3 Bd7 41. Be2 Be8 42. Bd1 Bf7 43. Kd3 Bg6 $1 {It might seem as if the players are just shuffling the pieces around, but Shoker shows great ability in exploiting his advantage here and has now achieved decisive timing.} 44. Ke3 (44. Be2 {Also fails to hold.} Be8 45. Bf3 Kd6 46. Bd1 Bf7 47. Kd4 Bg8 48. Bc2 Be6 49. Bd1 Bf7 50. Bc2 h5 $1 {and White's position collapses.}) 44... Kd6 45. Kd4 Bf7 46. Kd3 ({White can no longer hold his position together. For example if} 46. Bc2 h5 $1 47. Bd1 (47. gxh5 Bxh5 48. Bd3 Bd1 49. Bc4 Bc2 50. Bg8 f5 51. e5+ (51. exf5 Bxf5 {and h3 falls.}) 51... Ke7) 47... hxg4 48. hxg4 Be6 {and White cannot avoid zugzwang.} 49. Kd3 Ke5 50. Ke3 Bg8 51. Bc2 Bf7 52. Bd1 Be6 { Zugzwang!}) 46... Ke5 47. Ke3 Bg6 48. Bf3 Bh7 49. Kd3 Kf4 0-1

Pictures by Gu Xiaobing, Fan Lulu, Wang Liang and FIDE

Results of round nine

Bd
5
  India
Rtg
2½:1½
10
  Russia
Rtg
1.1
GM
Harikrishna Pentala
2669
0 - 1
GM
Grischuk Alexander
2746
1.2
GM
Sasikiran Krishnan
2681
1 - 0
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2711
1.3
GM
Ganguly Surya Shekhar
2627
1 - 0
GM
Svidler Peter
2739
1.4
GM
Negi Parimarjan
2642
½ - ½
GM
Vitiugov Nikita
2733
Bd
6
  Hungary
Rtg
1½:2½
4
  China
Rtg
2.1
GM
Leko Peter
2717
½ - ½
GM
Wang Hao
2718
2.2
GM
Almasi Zoltan
2726
0 - 1
GM
Wang Yue
2709
2.3
GM
Polgar Judit
2699
0 - 1
GM
Li Chao B
2669
2.4
GM
Balogh Csaba
2643
1 - 0
GM
Yu Yangyi
2672
Bd
7
  Azerbaijan
Rtg
2½:1½
3
  Egypt
Rtg
3.1
GM
Radjabov Teimur
2744
1 - 0
GM
Adly Ahmed
2631
3.2
GM
Gashimov Vugar
2760
1 - 0
GM
Amin Bassem
2609
3.3
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2765
0 - 1
IM
Shoker Samy
2475
3.4
GM
Guseinov Gadir
2625
½ - ½
IM
Ezat Mohamed
2430
Bd
8
  Ukraine
Rtg
2 : 2
2
  Armenia
Rtg
4.1
GM
Ivanchuk Vassily
2768
½ - ½
GM
Aronian Levon
2805
4.2
GM
Eljanov Pavel
2697
½ - ½
GM
Movsesian Sergei
2700
4.3
GM
Efimenko Zahar
2706
½ - ½
GM
Akopian Vladimir
2667
4.4
GM
Moiseenko Alexander
2715
½ - ½
GM
Sargissian Gabriel
2663
Bd
9
  Israel
Rtg
1½:2½
1
  USA
Rtg
5.1
GM
Sutovsky Emil
2700
½ - ½
GM
Kamsky Gata
2741
5.2
GM
Roiz Michael
2669
½ - ½
GM
Onischuk Alexander
2675
5.3
GM
Smirin Ilya
2676
½ - ½
GM
Seirawan Yasser
2635
5.4
GM
Postny Evgeny
2618
0 - 1
GM
Hess Robert
2609

Final rankings

Rk.
Team Gms   +    =    -   Pts   BPts   TB3 
1
Armenia
9
5
4
0
14
22.5
0
2
China
9
6
1
2
13
22.5
0
3
Ukraine
9
5
2
2
12
19.5
0
4
Russia
9
4
2
3
10
21.0
0
5
Hungary
9
4
2
3
10
19.5
0
6
USA
9
4
2
3
10
18.5
0
7
Azerbaijan
9
3
3
3
9
19.0
0
8
India
9
3
1
5
7
15.5
0
9
Israel
9
2
1
6
5
13.0
0
10
Egypt
9
0
0
9
0
9.0
0

 

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