World Team Rd7: The mad battle for bronze

by Albert Silver
4/27/2015 – The clash of the titans, to abuse an oft-used movie reference, took place in round seven, with leaders Ukraine and China facing off against each other on the top boards. It was a dogged fight with blood spilled on both ends, but ended in a draw. With Cuba and Israel losing once more, seven teams, including tailenders USA and Russia, now have chances at bronze.

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On the top boards it was all about the leaders Ukraine and China, who have distanced themselves from the pack by now. Peaceful diplomacy was not an option and both tried their best to annihilate the other, and while Ding Liren and Ruslan Ponomariov drew after the Chinese player missed chances to increase the pressure, Vasil Ivanchuk completely outplayed Yu Yangyi to give Ukraine the advantage.

What, me worry?

Ivanchuk - Yu Yangyi

[Event "10th World Teams 2015"] [Site "Tsaghkadzor ARM"] [Date "2015.04.26"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Yu, Yangyi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E35"] [WhiteElo "2731"] [BlackElo "2724"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "7k/ppr1npp1/1q2b2p/8/2rNp3/P1N1P2P/1PR2PP1/1Q1R2K1 w - - 0 24"] [PlyCount "37"] [EventDate "2015.04.19"] [WhiteTeam "Ukraine"] [BlackTeam "China"] [WhiteTeamCountry "UKR"] [BlackTeamCountry "CHN"] 24. Rdc1 {[#]} Bd5 $2 {Although already in trouble, Black blunders here and loses soon thereafter.} 25. b3 $1 R4c5 (25... Rxc3 {was better according to the engines, but would still leave a losing position.} 26. Rxc3 Rd7) 26. Na4 $1 {and the exchange falls.} Rxc2 27. Rxc2 Qa5 (27... Qd6 28. Nb5 $18) 28. b4 $1 { and the queen can no longer protect the rook.} Qxa4 29. Rxc7 Nc6 30. Qa1 Nxd4 31. Qxd4 Qb3 32. Qxa7 Kh7 33. Qc5 Qb1+ 34. Qc1 Qa2 35. Rc2 Qb3 36. Rc3 Qa2 37. Rc2 Qb3 38. Rd2 Be6 39. Rd4 Bf5 40. Rd2 b5 41. Qb2 Qe6 42. Qd4 1-0

Bu Xiangzhi struck back on board three shortly after.

Bu Xiangzhi - Pavel Eljanov

[Event "10th World Teams 2015"] [Site "Tsaghkadzor ARM"] [Date "2015.04.26"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Bu, Xiangzhi"] [Black "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2681"] [BlackElo "2727"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2015.04.19"] [WhiteTeam "China"] [BlackTeam "Ukraine"] [WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"] [BlackTeamCountry "UKR"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Qc2 dxc4 5. Qxc4 Bf5 6. g3 e6 7. Bg2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. e3 Nbd7 10. Qe2 Qc7 11. Nbd2 h6 12. Nc4 c5 13. Bd2 Be4 14. Bc3 Nd5 15. Rfc1 Nxc3 16. Rxc3 Bf6 17. Ncd2 Bc6 18. Rac1 Rad8 19. R3c2 Qa5 $2 {A truly strange idea from a grandmaster. Sending off the queen to capture a lone pawn far from the theater of war.} 20. Nb3 Qxa2 21. Nfd2 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Qa4 23. Nxc5 Nxc5 24. Rxc5 Rd7 25. b3 Qb4 26. Ne4 Be7 27. Rc7 Rxc7 28. Rxc7 f5 29. Nd2 Bd6 30. Rc2 b5 $2 {Black wants to cut White off from the c4-square.} (30... a6) 31. Rc6 $1 {Want the c4-square? Take it, I'll just grab the c6-square in exchange.} a5 32. Nf3 Rd8 33. Qa2 Ra8 34. Rb6 Kh7 35. Qc2 Rd8 36. Ra6 Kh8 37. Qa2 Bc7 38. Rxe6 Qc3 39. Qb1 a4 40. bxa4 bxa4 41. Qxf5 a3 42. Nh4 Qa5 43. Ng6+ Kh7 44. Ne5+ 1-0

If Israel and Cuba were still licking their wounds from the previous round, they were not released from their pain the next day. Cuba had a hard time as they lost to India with an inspired game by Santosh Gujrathi Vidit, who defeated Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez.

India was the bronze medal winner at the 2014 Olympiad

Santosh Gujrathi Vidit - Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez

[Event "10th World Teams 2015"] [Site "Tsaghkadzor ARM"] [Date "2015.04.26"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"] [Black "Ortiz Suarez, Isan Reynaldo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A33"] [WhiteElo "2625"] [BlackElo "2625"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1r2r1k1/1b2qp2/1p1p2pp/p3n2n/2P1PR2/2B1N1PP/PP2Q1BK/5R2 w - - 0 29"] [PlyCount "25"] [EventDate "2015.04.19"] [WhiteTeam "India"] [BlackTeam "Cuba"] [WhiteTeamCountry "IND"] [BlackTeamCountry "CUB"] 29. Nf5 $1 Qf8 (29... gxf5 30. Qxh5 Qg5 31. Qd1 Qg7 32. Rxf5 $18) 30. Rh4 $1 Bc8 31. Qd2 Bxf5 32. exf5 {Black's knight has nowhere to go and g4 is threatened in no small way} Qg7 33. fxg6 Qxg6 (33... fxg6 34. g4 Nf6 35. Qxd6 { and the condemned castle will soon collapse}) 34. g4 Ng7 35. Rxh6 Qd3 36. Qf2 Qxc4 37. Bxe5 dxe5 38. Qh4 f5 39. Rh8+ Kf7 40. Rh7 Kg8 41. Qh6 1-0

Israel also fell, though to the United States in a very hard fought match. Shankland and
Gelfand's game on board one was the only peaceful result of the encounter, while Sutovsky
and Postny fell to Lenderman and Naroditsky respectively. Smirin took one back for the
Israelis, but it was not enough.

The saying says that misery likes company, and while Russia seemed to be recovering from
its early losses, it was unable to hold off Armenia in front of their home crowd, losing 2.5-1.5

Finally there was Hungary against Egypt, and while Egypt did lose, they earned respect for the hard battle and win on board three, to make sure their loss was by the strict minimum.

Photos by Arman Karakhanyan

Results of round seven

Bo. 4 Cuba Rtg FED - 10 India Rtg FED 1½:2½
1.1 GM Dominguez Perez, Leinier 2729 CUB - GM Harikrishna, P. 2731 IND ½ - ½
1.2 GM Bruzon Batista, Lazaro 2691 CUB - GM Sethuraman, S.P. 2634 IND ½ - ½
1.3 GM Quesada Perez, Yuniesky 2629 CUB - GM Sasikiran, Krishnan 2654 IND ½ - ½
1.4 GM Ortiz Suarez, Isan Reynaldo 2612 CUB - GM Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2630 IND 0 - 1
Bo. 5 China Rtg FED - 3 Ukraine Rtg FED 2 : 2
2.1 GM Ding, Liren 2751 CHN - GM Ponomariov, Ruslan 2713 UKR ½ - ½
2.2 GM Yu, Yangyi 2724 CHN - GM Ivanchuk, Vassily 2731 UKR 0 - 1
2.3 GM Bu, Xiangzhi 2681 CHN - GM Eljanov, Pavel 2733 UKR 1 - 0
2.4 GM Wei, Yi 2703 CHN - GM Moiseenko, Alexander 2697 UKR ½ - ½
Bo. 6 USA Rtg FED - 2 Israel Rtg FED 2½:1½
3.1 GM Shankland, Samuel L 2661 USA - GM Gelfand, Boris 2747 ISR ½ - ½
3.2 GM Lenderman, Aleksandr 2617 USA - GM Sutovsky, Emil 2628 ISR 1 - 0
3.3 GM Onischuk, Alexander 2665 USA - GM Smirin, Ilia 2652 ISR 0 - 1
3.4 GM Naroditsky, Daniel 2640 USA - GM Postny, Evgeny 2636 ISR 1 - 0
Bo. 7 Hungary Rtg FED - 1 Egypt Rtg FED 2½:1½
4.1 GM Leko, Peter 2713 HUN - GM Amin, Bassem 2634 EGY ½ - ½
4.2 GM Almasi, Zoltan 2698 HUN - IM Ezat, Mohamed 2479 EGY 1 - 0
4.3 GM Rapport, Richard 2710 HUN - GM Adly, Ahmed 2595 EGY 0 - 1
4.4 GM Balogh, Csaba 2651 HUN - IM Farahat, Ali 2389 EGY 1 - 0
Bo. 8 Russia Rtg FED - 9 Armenia Rtg FED 1½:2½
5.1 GM Grischuk, Alexander 2794 RUS - GM Aronian, Levon 2770 ARM ½ - ½
5.2 GM Karjakin, Sergey 2757 RUS - GM Sargissian, Gabriel 2674 ARM 0 - 1
5.3 GM Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2745 RUS - GM Movsesian, Sergei 2665 ARM ½ - ½
5.4 GM Vitiugov, Nikita 2736 RUS - GM Melkumyan, Hrant 2651 ARM ½ - ½

Current standings

Rk Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 Ukraine  *  2     4 11 17.5 229.3
2 China 2  *      2 2 11 17.0 228.0
3 Israel  *      2 7 15.0 204.8
4 Cuba    *  2   3 7 14.5 187.8
5 India   ½  *    2 3 7 13.5 176.3
6 Armenia ½    *  2   7 13.0 193.8
7 Hungary   2   2 2  *  ½ 7 13.0 171.5
8 Russia 2    *  2   6 14.5 208.8
9 USA     2 2  *  3 6 14.0 182.0
10 Egypt 0 2 1 1     1  *  1 8.0 117.0

Tie Break 1: Matchpoints (2 for wins, 1 for draws, 0 for losses)
Tie Break 2: points (game-points)
Tie Break 3: FIDE Sonneborn-Berger


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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DBRussell DBRussell 4/28/2015 02:08
Karjakin is completely out of form...

He better get in shape soon because I want to see a good fight from the Norway Chess Champion! =P
Boon-Swee Yen Boon-Swee Yen 4/28/2015 01:41
Chucky and Ukraine lost to USA, and China won against Cuba in round eight. China will definitely win the World Team Championship.
cptmajormajor cptmajormajor 4/28/2015 01:29
Karjakin may be wanting a transfer back to ukraine soon:)
Well played Chucky, keep up the good work and we will have u back in the big events soon enough
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