World Teams R5: Invincible Turkey

by Sagar Shah
6/22/2017 – It seemed as if Russia and China would run away with the top honours in both the open and women section of the World Teams 2017. But that does not seem to be the case. In the open section Russia is the sole leader with 9.0/10, but has yet to play against many strong teams. In the women's section Russia has been joined by Ukraine at the top. However, the surprise of this tournament is definitely the Turkish Open team, which has not only not lost a match, but the players have not even lost a single game!

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All photos by Anastasia Balakhontseva

Round five

The FIDE Open and Women’s World Team Chess Championships is taking place from June 16 to June 27, 2017 (June 21 is a free day) in the the Ugra Chess Academy of the oil-book town of Khanty-Mansiysk, in western Siberia. Ten open and ten women's teams are participating. Games start at 3 p.m. local time – 12 noon CEST, 6 a.m. New York (check your location).

Open section

Round 5 on 2017/06/21 at 15:00
No. SNo. Team Res. Team SNo.
2 4 EGYPT 1.5-2.5 INDIA 2
3 5 TURKEY 2-2 CHINA 1

For board wise break down, click here

Russians are now the sole leaders after they beat Norway in round five with a score of 3-1

Peter Svidler and Ian Nepomniachtchi made draws. Vitiugov and Fedoseev provided the wins

A smile naturally sprouts when you do the thing you love!

The second convincing match victory of the day was Poland beating Ukraine with a score of 3-1. On the top board Radoslaw Wojtaszek managed to beat Ruslan Ponomariov from the black side of a sicilian Najdorf

Analysis by GM Krikor Mekhitarian Sevag

[Event "11th World Teams 2017"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2017.06.21"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Ponomariov, Ruslan"] [Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B80"] [WhiteElo "2712"] [BlackElo "2730"] [Annotator "Sevag"] [PlyCount "90"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Bc1 Nf6 { One of the most famous 'draw' offers in chess. One can not blame black to be happy with a draw in a team tournament. Let the white pieces do their job! :-)} 8. f3 $1 {and so it is!} e6 9. Be3 b5 {This is the Scheveningen-style English Attack of the Najdorf Sicilian. Black makes a lot of pawn moves to start some action before developing the king-side. A very modern approach, that was tried numerous times by the one and only Garry Kasparov in the 2000's. Going deeper, I found that the first time where black tried something similar, was in 1979 by Wachinger (?) and later I found a stronger game, played by Yuri Razuvaev, in 1987.} (9... Be7 10. Qd2 b5 11. g4 Bb7 12. O-O-O b4 13. Nce2 d5 $2 {this is simply wrong, but kudos to Wachinger for trying something new :-). Before this, black always tried to develop the king-side and castle quickly, allowing a straightforward attack by white.} 14. g5 Nfd7 15. exd5 $5 (15. Nf4 $1 {a well-known idea nowadays, preparing to destroy the vulnerable e6 square.} dxe4 $2 16. Ndxe6 $1 fxe6 17. Nxe6 $18 {and white has a demolishing attack after Nxg7+ and Nf5}) 15... Bxd5 16. Kb1 Ne5 17. Nf4 Nxf3 $2 18. Qf2 $1 Nxd4 19. Nxd5 exd5 20. Bxd4 O-O 21. Bd3 Nc6 22. Bxh7+ $1 Kxh7 23. Qh4+ Kg8 24. Bxg7 {a nice finish. White has mate in few moves with Qh6+ and g6 if black takes. Thus Wachinger resigned. 1-0 (22) Teufel,J (2350)-Wachinger,G Passau 1979}) 10. Qd2 Nbd7 11. g4 h6 {slowing down white's attack, this move is very important.} ( 11... Nb6 $6 {was played by Kasparov, but is considered to be bad nowadays} 12. a4 $1 Nc4 13. Bxc4 bxc4 14. g5 Nd7 15. f4 Bb7 16. f5 Nc5 17. fxe6 fxe6 18. Qg2 $1 g6 19. Rf1 Bg7 20. O-O-O Qd7 21. Qg4 O-O-O 22. Ndb5 $1 $16 {and black is in big trouble: 1-0 (44) Stukopin,A (2500)-Artemiev,V (2499) Loo 2013}) 12. a3 $5 {I like this idea} (12. O-O-O {is the most common.} b4 $1 {is the critical move. Black wants to play d5 as fast as possible, before white has time to play h4 and g5.} (12... Ne5 {was seen in 1987, played by the notable Soviet player Yuri Razuvaev.} 13. Bd3 Qc7 14. Rhe1 b4 15. Nce2 Nxd3+ 16. Qxd3 Nd7 $5 $13 {1/2-1/2 (31) Ostojic,P (2385)-Razuvaev,Y (2490) Berlin West 1987}) 13. Nce2 Qc7 $1 {preparing d5 next} (13... d5 $6 14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Nf4 $1 {white gives away his strong bishop, in exchange for a dangerous piece activity towards e6 and the black king. Nxe3 already loses, for example} Nxe3 $2 16. Qxe3 $18 {and there is no good way to deal with the sacrifice on e6 (not to mention moves like Bc4 and Qe4)}) 14. h4 d5 $13 {dozens of games have been played here, and black has been able to control white's scary initiative.}) 12... Bb7 13. O-O-O Rc8 (13... d5 $6 {now is well met by:} 14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Nxd5 Bxd5 16. Bg2 $1 $36 {followed by f4 and black doesn't have time to stabilize the center} Nb6 17. Nf5 $1 Nc4 18. Qe2 $16 {and black is in trouble, a simple move like f4 is very strong}) 14. Kb1 $5 {I never took this move seriously, but Ponomariov showed it has to be investigated in future games.} ( 14. h4 {I thought this was the only critical move} d5 15. Rg1 $1 dxe4 (15... e5 $2 {is already bad} 16. g5 $1 exd4 17. Bxd4 hxg5 18. hxg5 Nh5 19. Bh3 $40 { with a devastating attack!}) 16. g5 hxg5 17. hxg5 Nd5 18. Nxe4 g6 {was a game I played back in 2013} 19. Bf2 (19. Kb1 $5 b4 20. axb4 Bxb4 21. c3 Nxe3 22. Qxe3 Bxe4+ 23. Qxe4 Bxc3 24. Nxe6 $1 $40 {ended in a draw after a wild game, but white is doing well here!: 1/2-1/2 (59) Robson,R (2668)-Zherebukh,Y (2605) Saint Louis 2017}) 19... b4 20. axb4 Nxb4 $2 (20... Bxb4 $1 $13) 21. Nxe6 $1 Bxe4 22. Nxd8 Rxc2+ 23. Qxc2 Bxc2 24. Nxf7 $1 Rh2 25. Rd2 $18 {1-0 (30) Mekhitarian,K (2544)-Ashwin,J (2472) Varna 2013}) 14... d5 $1 15. exd5 Nxd5 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Be2 (17. Bg2 {now this is not very effective} Nb6 $1 {quickly reaching the strong c4 outpost} 18. Nf5 Nc4 19. Qe2 Nxb2 $1 $40) 17... Bc5 18. Rhg1 O-O {black places his king in a dangerous spot, but in the other hand, gets ready for a queen-side assault - in these kind of positions, he has to create something fast, otherwise white slowly gets there on the king-side.} 19. h4 {visually black is entirely fine, but it is not that simple. the white pawns may get there soon!} (19. g5 $5 {was possible, and similar to the game} h5 (19... hxg5 {looks very dangerous} 20. Bxg5 $40) 20. g6 f5 $1 {And I have no idea what is going on}) 19... Ne5 20. f4 Nc4 (20... Bxd4 $5 21. Bxd4 (21. Qxd4 Nf3 22. Bxf3 Bxf3 {probably heading towards an equal endgame}) 21... Nf3 22. Bxf3 Bxf3 23. Rde1 Rc4 24. c3 Qxh4 $13 {white may try different moves here, like f5, g5, Re5, with an interesting attack}) 21. Bxc4 bxc4 22. g5 (22. h5 $5 {would be the ideal attacking setup, but black will do something before g5} Rb8 $1 (22... Qb6 23. Qc3 $1) 23. Qc3 Qd6 24. Ka1 (24. g5 $2 Bxa3 25. Bc1 Rxb2+ $1 {initiative is the key} 26. Bxb2 Rb8 27. Nb3 Bxb2 28. Qxc4 $1 Ba3 $17 {and black has clearly the better chances}) 24... a5 $1 {threatening Bb4} 25. Bc1 $1 (25. g5 $2 Bb4 $1 26. axb4 axb4 27. Qd2 Qa6+ 28. Kb1 Ra8 $19) 25... Bb4 26. Qe3 c3 27. g5 Rfc8 $13 {with a crazy position!}) 22... h5 {a typical reaction to delay white's attack} 23. g6 Qxh4 {brave!} (23... f5 $2 {fails now} 24. Qe2 $1 $18 {and black will get mated soon}) (23... Qf6 $5 24. gxf7+ Rxf7 {with a complex position}) 24. f5 $1 Qh3 $2 (24... Qe4 $1 {was the right square} 25. Rde1 $13 (25. gxf7+ Rxf7 26. fxe6 $2 Bxe6 $17 {and now the queen can't be chased, as in the game (26...Bxe6 27.Rh1)})) 25. gxf7+ Rxf7 26. fxe6 Rb7 $2 ( 26... Bxe6 {probably Wojtaszek dismissed this because of 27.Rh1, but there was still play then:} 27. Rh1 Qg3 {keeping an eye on e3} 28. Rxh5 $40 (28. Rdg1 c3 $1 29. Qxc3 Bxd4 {when black is surviving})) 27. Rg5 $1 {now white is winning} Bxd4 (27... Be4 28. Qc3 $18 {followed by Rdg1 with a tremendous attack, and somewow black can not create anymore counterplay}) 28. Qxd4 Bxe6 29. Rdg1 Rcc7 30. R5g3 $2 {one bad move and it all goes away! How cruel is chess?} (30. Bd2 $1 {adding a new attacker to g7 was decisive - and at the same time, safeguarding the king forever, since the black rooks become useless after the white bishop reaches c3.} Bg4 {this will be forced sooner or later} 31. Bc3 Rf7 32. Ka2 $18 {followed by Re1 or moves like Qd5 and black won't be able to hold it}) 30... Qf5 31. Bh6 Qf8 $1 {now black had time to bring the queen back to defense and also has an eye on the queen-side. Suddenly the position is complicated again} 32. Rg6 $1 c3 33. b4 {White stops the attack for now, but this is not stable at all} Bg4 {closing the file, but allowing something on the a2-g8 diagonal} 34. Bf4 $6 (34. Qd5+ $1 {was the only way to keep the initiative} Kh7 35. R6xg4 hxg4 36. Bc1 {threatening Rh1} Rf7 $1 {forced} 37. Rh1+ Kg8 38. Qe4 g6 $16 {and now both Qxg4 and Qxg6+ are appealing, white has a good attacking potential}) 34... Rf7 35. Bc1 $2 (35. Qc4 $1 {a hard move to find, pinning the rook and preparing Be5 (without allowing Rf1+)} a5 36. Be5 { when the position still remains unclear}) 35... a5 $1 {after some defensive moves, black has once again time to attack, and grabs the initiative until the end of the game. Ponomariov starts to feel the trouble, with his unsafe king.} 36. Rd6 {cutting the f8-queen, and also threatening Rd8} Rb8 $1 37. Qd5 Kh7 $19 {black has a pawn up and a decisive attack now} 38. Ka1 axb4 39. a4 Ra7 40. Kb1 b3 $1 41. cxb3 Rxb3+ 42. Kc2 (42. Qxb3 Qxd6 $19 {and black is simply two pawns up with a winning attack}) 42... Rb8 43. Be3 Bf5+ 44. Kxc3 Rc7+ 45. Bc5 Rbc8 { A dramatic win for Wojtaszek, in a rollercoaster game. Poland scores a major 3-1 victory against Ukraine and now is tied for 2nd-3rd place with China, right behind Russia, after 5 rounds!} 0-1

A sleepless night for Anton Korobov?!

The other win of the day for Poland was provided by GM Grzegorz Gajewski against Martyn Kravtsiv 

And now moving to the team which has won the hearts of everyone by their performance in the first five rounds of the World Team Championship 2017 - Turkey. This team has been simply invincible. They have already played big guns Russia, China, Ukraine and Poland and they have't lost a single game! Led by Dragan Solak on the top board, Turkey has drawn their encounters with Russia, China and Ukraine and beaten Poland and Norway. Just have a look at the indivual performances:

Dragan Solak has been like a wall on the top board with draws against Ponomariov, Svidler, Tari, Wojtaszek and Ding Liren

Mustafa Yilmaz has been extremely solid on board two

Emre Can's win over Mateusz Bartel helped Turkey beat Poland

Vahap Sanal beat Frode Elsness and powered Turkey to a win over Norway

With draws over Martyn Kravtsiv and Grzegorz Gajewski, Muhammed Dastan along with Vahap Sanal have held fort on the last board

We must definitely not forget Michal Krasenkow is the coach of the Turkish team

And one mustn't forget: In team tournaments the most important factor is the bonding the camaraderie which looks really great between the Turkish players

Turkey will now face India in round six. Indian team is on 6.0/10, but have been able to show great resurgence after losing the first two matches. In the fifth round they beat Egypt 2.5-1.5. Although it must be said that the Egyptian players played some excellent chess and put many of the Indian players on the backfoot.

Adhiban Baskaran (left) was the sole winner for India against Egypt. Here he is seen with Karthikeyan Murali and coach Ramesh R.B.

[Event "11th World Teams 2017"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2017.06.21"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Adhiban, Baskaran"] [Black "Fawzy, Adham"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B32"] [WhiteElo "2670"] [BlackElo "2418"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2017.06.17"] [WhiteTeam "India"] [BlackTeam "Egypt"] [WhiteTeamCountry "IND"] [BlackTeamCountry "EGY"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. N1c3 a6 7. Na3 b5 { This is very similar to the Sveshnikov, just that the knight is not on f6. So we call it the Kalashnikov. Now White can jump in to d5 with his knight.} 8. Nd5 Nge7 9. Bd3 Nxd5 10. exd5 Ne7 11. c4 g6 (11... bxc4 12. Nxc4 {is definitely the stronger move.} (12. Bxc4 g6 {Might be another way to play.}) 12... g6 13. Qa4+ $18 {is a cute win!}) 12. cxb5 Bg7 {Black sacrifices his queenside pawns for quick development and gaining the centre.} 13. O-O O-O 14. Re1 Bb7 15. bxa6 Bxd5 {A very interesting and imbalanced position has arisen. Black has the centre, White has this chunk of pawns on the queenside. In general I think White should be better, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with his development and the pawn on a6 is just two steps away from queening.} 16. Bf1 Be6 17. b4 d5 18. b5 e4 19. Rb1 {Black central pawns are now going nowhere, where as White pawns are ready to expand.} Qb6 20. Nc2 Nf5 ( 20... d4 {It could have been interesting to give the e4 pawn and complicated the game further.} 21. Rxe4 Nd5 22. Bd2 Rad8 $16 {I don't belive in Black's play, but perhaps he has some compensation.}) (20... Rxa6 21. Be3 $18) 21. a4 Rac8 (21... Rxa6 22. Be3 Nxe3 23. bxa6 $18) 22. Bd2 Be5 23. g3 Rxc2 {Black indulges in an incorrect sacrifice.} 24. Qxc2 Nd4 25. Qd1 $1 {Adhiban has seen it until the end.} Nf3+ 26. Qxf3 exf3 27. Rxe5 {White has a rook and a piece for the queen, but look at those queenside pawns. It's all over!} Rc8 28. Rxe6 $5 (28. a5 {was also just winning.}) 28... fxe6 29. a5 Qd4 30. b6 {[%csl Ga5, Ga6,Gb6] Yes, the d2 bishop is also falling, but those pawns on the queenside have won the day for White.} 1-0

The match between USA and Belarus ended in a draw with players splitting points on all the boards

Crosstable of Open section

Rank Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
1 RUSSIA *     2     3 3 9 14
2 CHINA   *   2   2   8 13½
3 POLAND     * 3     3 8 12½
4 TURKEY 2 2 *   2       7 11
5 INDIA     *     6 11½
6 UKRAINE   1 2   *   3 2   4
7 UNITED STATES   2   ½   * 2   4
8 NORWAY 1       1 *   2
9 BELARUS 1 ½     2 2   *   2 7
10 EGYPT ½ ½ 1         * 0 5

Russia is the sole leader right now with 9.0/10, but they are yet to play three strong teams - China, Poland and India. As we go into a rest day the open section promises to be very exciting.

Women's section

Round 5 on 2017/06/21 at 15:00
No. SNo. Team Res. Team SNo.
2 4 EGYPT 1-3 INDIA 2
4 6 CHINA 3.5-0.5 GEORGIA 9

For a board wise break down, click here

The Chinese women team showed no mercy on their opponents and thrashed Georgia by a score of 3.5-0.5

USA led by Anna Zatonskih were able to hold Russia to a draw 2-2. All the games of the match were drawn.

Although Russia did beat China in the first round, they are no longer the sole leaders. Ukraine has caught up with them

India beat Egypt 3-1, but on the top board Harika Dronavalli suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Wafa Shrook, who was rated 400 points below the Indian

[Event "11th World Teams Women"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2017.06.21"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Wafa, Shrook"] [Black "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B32"] [WhiteElo "2141"] [BlackElo "2535"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2017.06.17"] [WhiteTeam "Egypt"] [BlackTeam "India"] [WhiteTeamCountry "EGY"] [BlackTeamCountry "IND"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. a4 Nf6 7. N1c3 a6 8. Na3 Bg4 9. f3 Be6 10. Bc4 Rc8 11. O-O Be7 12. Kh1 O-O 13. Bg5 $2 {This was clearly an error which was not punished by Harika.} Kh8 (13... Nxe4 $1 14. Bxe7 Nxe7 $1 (14... Nxc3 {is also fine.}) 15. Nxe4 Bxc4 16. Nxc4 Rxc4 17. Qxd6 (17. Nxd6 Rd4 $19) 17... Qxd6 18. Nxd6 Rxc2 $17) 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Nd5 Bh4 16. c3 Rb8 17. Qd3 Ne7 18. Rad1 Ng6 19. g3 Bg5 20. Ne3 Bh3 21. Rfe1 Qb6 22. b4 a5 23. Nb5 { White has played a very logical game. She has slowly and steadily built up her position and pushed Harika back. Now the d6 pawn is pretty weak.} Be6 $2 24. Bxe6 $1 fxe6 25. Nc4 $1 Qd8 26. Nxa5 $18 {White has just won a pawn and is simply winning.} Qf6 27. Rf1 h5 28. Nxd6 h4 29. Qe2 Kh7 30. f4 (30. Naxb7 $18) 30... Bh6 (30... exf4 31. gxf4 (31. Qh5+ Bh6 $16) 31... Nxf4 32. Qg4 Bh6 $16 { Black can fight on.}) 31. f5 Ne7 32. Qg4 hxg3 33. hxg3 b6 34. fxe6 Qxf1+ 35. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 36. Kg2 {White has a completely winning position here.} Rc1 37. Nac4 Rc2+ 38. Kh3 Rxc3 39. Nxe5 Ra8 40. Nf5 Rc7 41. Nxe7 Rxe7 42. Qf5+ Kg8 43. Nc6 Rc7 44. Qd5 Kh7 45. Ne7 Rf8 46. Qd6 Rb7 47. Nd5 Re8 48. Nc7 Rc8 49. e7 Rbxc7 50. e8=Q Rxe8 51. Qxc7 Be3 52. Qc6 Re7 53. Kg4 Kg8 54. Qd5+ Kh7 55. e5 g6 56. e6 Kh6 57. Qe5 Bd2 58. Qh8+ Rh7 59. Qxh7+ {A very strong game by Wafa Shrook.} 1-0

Thi Mai Hung Nguyen beat Gulnar Mammadova and Vietnam registered a 2.5-1.5 victory over Azerbaijan

The match between Poland and Ukraine ended in a draw. 

Crosstable of Women's section

Rank Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
1 RUSSIA *     3   2 3 2   8 12½
2 UKRAINE   * 2 2 3       8 12
3 INDIA   *     2   3 7 11½
4 CHINA 1 2   *     2   6 11
5 POLAND   2   * 2   2   5 11
6 UNITED STATES 2   2 *       4 10½
7 VIETNAM 1 1       *   4 4 10
8 GEORGIA   2 ½ 2     *   4 4 10
9 AZERBAIJAN 2     2 ½     * 4 4 10
10 EGYPT     1     ½ 0 0 0 * 0

International Yoga Day

The International Yoga day is celebrated all over the world on 21st of June. Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. The Indian team wished the world in it's own unique way by releasing a few pictures:

Also known as Vriksasana, this pose helps to develop balance and concentration

Coach Ramesh joins in with all the Indian players indulging in different asanas!

Commentator Anna Rudolf also joins in the fun!

22nd of June is the rest day. Have a break, enjoy the games of the Grand Chess Tour and see you on 23rd for the sixth round of the World Team Championships 2017.


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Sagar Shah is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder of the ChessBase India website.
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than387 than387 6/23/2017 05:03
dhochee dhochee 6/22/2017 07:28
The last sentence of the opening paragraph has a mistake. It needs to be reworded for clarity, or at least have another "not" added:

"The surprise of this tournament is definitely the Turkish Open team, which has not only [NOT] lost a match, but the players have not even lost a single game!"
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 6/22/2017 04:35
like chess , yoga too is a contribution of india to humanity!