Bursa: Aronian beats Nakamura, Russia in the lead

1/13/2010 – All good things come to an end, and Hikaru Nakamura's 3061 was dampened by a loss to Levon Aronian (Hikaru is now playing at a modest 2894 level). Armenia beat USA 2½-½, while Russia crushed Egypt 3½-½ to take the lead with 13 match points to 12 for the US. Two teams are in striking distance before the last round, which starts three hours earlier. Report and games.

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World Team Championship 2010

The World Team Championship, which is organised every four years, but has been delayed by one year this time, is taking place in Bursa from January 3rd to 14th 2010. The teams are from Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel, USA, India, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey and Greece. Top players are Levon Aronian (2786), Vugar Gashimov (2758), Boris Gelfand (2758), Alexander Morozevich (2750), Teimour Radjabov (2748), Alexander Grischuk (2736), Dmitry Jakovenko (2736), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2719), Hikaru Nakamura (2715), Evgeny Tomashevsky (2708), Vladimir Malakhov (2706), Vladimir Akopian (2700), Nikita Vityugov (2694), Gabriel Sargissian (2676), Pentala Harikrishna (2672), Alexander Onischuk (2672), Emil Sutovsky (2666) and Krishnan Sasikiran (2653).

Round eight report

By IM Gavin Crawley

The most exciting game looked to be Aronian-Nakamura, two players that like sharp positions, with the Armenians needing to win and Nakamura on great form. They played a sharp line of the KID, and Aronian produced a TN with the weird looking 19.Ncd1. This worked quite well: White didn’t get a huge advantage but he avoided Nakamura’s prep and left Black in a position where it was hard to generate an attack.


Armenian captain Arshak Petrosian anxiously follows the game Aronian-Nakamura

Aronian,L (2781)-Nakamura,Hi (2708) [E98]
7th World Team Championship Bursa TUR (8), 12.01.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.Bd2 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.c5 g5 14.cxd6 cxd6 15.Nf2 Ng6 16.Qc2 Rf7 17.Rfc1 Ne8 18.a4 h5 19.Ncd1!

A good TN, now blacks attack is hard to play and white has time to organise his pieces slowly. 19...Bf8 20.Ra3 a6 21.Qc3 Bd7 22.Qa5 b6 23.Qb4 Rg7 24.Rac3 Nh4 25.h3 Be7 26.Be1 Qb8 27.Kf1 Bd8 28.Rb3 Bc7 29.Qa3 Qd8 30.Rbc3 Bb8 31.b4 Ra7 32.Rc6 b5 33.axb5 axb5 34.Ra6 Rb7 35.Rcc6 Bxc6 36.dxc6 Ra7 37.Nc3

Black has a difficult position. White has lots of obvious ways of improving his position, but Black's normal g4 break in the KID hasn’t happened. Maybe Black's next move is a bit hyperactive, but its not easy to suggest anything better. 37...d5 38.Nxd5 Nf5 39.exf5 Qxd5 40.Ne4 Rgc7. White had a winning position. It is not easy to pinpoint Black's mistake, its just hard to defend a slightly worse but complicated and unbalanced position against Aronian. 41.Nxg5 Ng7 42.Rb6 Nxf5 43.Rxb8+ Kg7 44.Qb2 Ra2 45.Qb1 Rc2 46.Rxb5 Qd6 47.Rb7 Kh6 48.Kg1 Qxc6 49.Nf7+ Rxf7 50.Rxf7 Ne3 51.Ra7 Qd5 52.Qa1 Nxg2 53.Qa6+ 1-0. A very good game from Aronian, its not easy to contain Nakamura and keep control, but he made it look smooth. [Click to replay]

Pashikian got a promising position against Shulman, but the game fizzled out to a draw. Akobian-Petrosian was a very correct game where white didn’t get much and they agreed a quick draw in a drawish middlegame. Onischuck lost the advantage as white but still managed to liquidate to a drawn rook ending a pawn down. Akopian played on but never had any real winning chances.


Russia vs Egypt ended in a 3.5:0.5 sweep, but Bassem drew Grischuk on board one

Vitiugov won quickly on board four for Russia, after that it was always clear Russia would win their match. Grischuk kept pressing against Amin, but he couldn’t break down Black's solid fortress, and the game ended in a draw.

Malakhov-Abdelnabbi was a tense game. Malakhov created a very complicated position, with positional pawn sacrifices, that was more or less equal, and Black collapsed on move 40, falling into a nice mating net.

Malakhov,V (2716)-Abdelnabbi,I (2448) [A40]
7th World Team Championship Bursa TUR (8), 12.01.2010
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4+ 3.Bd2 Bxd2+ 4.Qxd2 d6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.g3 0-0 8.Bg2 Qe7 9.0-0 Re8 10.Nh4 a6 11.e4 Rb8 12.a4 Nf8 13.b4 Ng6 14.Nf3 e5 15.d5 a5 16.bxa5 Nd7 17.Ne1 Nc5 18.Ra3 Ra8 19.Nb5 Rd8 20.Nd3 c6 21.Nxc5 dxc5 22.Nc3 Qc7 23.Ne2 Rxa5 24.Nc1 b5 25.Qe3 bxc4 26.Ne2 cxd5 27.exd5 Bd7 28.Nc3 Rb8 29.Qd2 Ra6 30.Rc1 Rb3 31.Ra2 Rb4 32.Bf1 Qa7 33.Qe3 f6 34.Rd2 Ne7 35.Ne4 Ra5 36.Rxc4 Nf5 37.Qc3 Rxc4 38.Qxc4 Nd4 39.Rb2 Bxa4 40.Nd6

40...h5? 41.Nb7 Rb5 42.d6+ Kh7 43.Bd3+ f5 [43...Kh6 44.Qg8! wins] 44.d7 Qxb7 45.Bxf5+ Kh6 46.d8Q Nf3+ 47.Kh1 Nd4+ 48.Qcd5 Qxd5+ 49.Qxd5 Rxb2 50.Qd6+ Kg5 51.Qg6#

1-0. [Click to replay]

Jakovenko equalised easily but then allowed his opponent to reach a very drawish position. He played on and in the end managed to grind out a win.

Ezat,M (2471)-Jakovenko,D (2730) [D80]
7th World Team Championship Bursa TUR (8), 12.01.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.cxd5 Nxg5 6.h4 Ne4 7.Nxe4 Qxd5 8.Qd3 Bg7 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.Nc3 Qa5 11.e3 0-0 12.Qb5 Qb4 13.Qxb4 Nxb4 14.0-0-0 c6 15.h5 a5 16.a3 Na6 17.Na4 b5 18.Nb6 Rb8 19.Nxc8 Rfxc8 20.Kb1 a4 21.hxg6 hxg6 22.Be2 c5 23.dxc5 Nxc5 24.Rh4 Nb3 25.Rb4 Rc5 26.Nd2 Nxd2+ 27.Rxd2 e6 28.Rc2 Rg5 29.g4 Bf8 30.Rd4 b4 31.axb4 Bxb4 32.Ka2 Ra5 33.Rdc4 Kg7 34.Rc8 Rxc8 35.Rxc8 Be1 36.f4 Bd2 37.Rc4 Bxe3 38.Re4 Bf2 39.Bd1 Kh6 40.Rc4 Bg3 41.Bxa4 f5 42.Kb1 fxg4 43.Bd1 Kh5 44.Re4 Rf5 45.Rxe6 Rxf4 46.Bc2 Rf1+ 47.Ka2 Rf5 48.Bd1 g5 49.Re7 Bf2 50.b4 Rd5 51.Rh7+ Kg6 52.Bc2+ Kf6 53.Kb3 Re5 54.Rh6+ Ke7 55.Rh7+ Kd6 56.Rh6+ Kd5 57.Bd1 g3 58.Bf3+ Kd4 59.Bg2 Be1 60.Rd6+ Ke3 61.Rf6 Rb5 62.Rf3+ Ke2 63.Ka3 Rb8 64.Rf5 Bxb4+ 65.Kb3 Bd2+ 66.Kc4 Bf4 67.Ra5 Rb2 68.Kc3 Bd2+ 0-1. [Click to replay]

So Russia got a very useful 3.5-0.5 win, putting them into first place.

In the other matches, the Azeris beat Greece 3-1, with wins from Radjabov and Mamedyarov. India beat Israel with a good win by Ganguly after he won a pawn in some complicated tactics. Sasikiran had winning chances against Gelfand, but the Israeli managed to hang on with some tough defending.


Brazil beat Turkey 2.5-1.5 with wins from Lima and Leitao (foreground: Haznedaroglu-Vescovi 1-0)

Lima,Da (2481)-Esen,B (2513) [B50]
7th World Team Championship Bursa TUR (8), 12.01.2010
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Be2 Nbd7 5.d3 b6 6.Nbd2 Bb7 7.0–0 g6 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 Nxe4. Although this is playable it might be wiser to decline with Qc7. 10.Nxe4 Bxe4 11.Ng5 Bc6 12.d5 Bb7 13.Qd4 Rg8

14.Ne6 fxe6 15.dxe6 Ne5? 15...Rc8 was about equal. 16.Qxe5 Bg7 17.Qf4 Bf6 18.Qa4+ Kf8 19.Bh6+ Rg7 20.Rac1 d5 21.Qd7 Rb8 22.Rc7 Bxb2 23.Rxb7 Qxd7 24.Rxb8+ Qe8 25.Bxg7+ Kxg7 26.Rxe8 Kf6 27.Bf3 1-0. [Click to replay]

The last round starts three hours earlier tomorrow, Russia have a lead in both match points and game points and look like clear favourites to win the title.

Individual results of round eight

10 Armenia
2½-1½
 9 USA
GM Aronian Levon 2781
1:0
GM Nakamura Hikaru 2708
GM Akopian Vladimir 2678
½:½
GM Onischuk Alexander 2670
GM Pashikian Arman 2647
½:½
GM Shulman Yuri 2624
GM Petrosian Tigran L 2627
½:½
GM Akobian Varuzhan 2628
 1 Azerbaijan
3-1
 8 Greece
GM Gashimov Vugar 2759
½:½
GM Kotronias Vasilios 2599
GM Radjabov Teimour 2733
1:0
GM Banikas Hristos 2608
GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2741
1:0
GM Halkias Stelios 2566
GM Mamedov Rauf 2640
½:½
GM Mastrovasilis Athanasios 2510
 2 Turkey
1½-2½
 7 Brazil
GM Haznedaroglu Kivanc 2498
1:0
GM Vescovi Giovanni 2660
IM Yilmaz Mustafa 2478
0:1
GM Leitao Rafael 2620
IM Can Emre 2442
½:½
GM Fier Alexandr 2601
IM Esen Baris 2513
0:1
GM Lima Darcy 2481
 3 India
2½-1½
 6 Israel
GM Sasikiran Krishnan 2653
½:½
GM Gelfand Boris 2761
GM Harikrishna P 2672
½:½
GM Roiz Michael 2657
GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2654
1:0
GM Postny Evgeny 2648
GM Arun Prasad S 2567
½:½
GM Rodshtein Maxim 2622
 4 Russia
3½-½
 5 Egypt
GM Grischuk Alexander 2736
½:½
GM Amin Bassem 2544
GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2730
1:0
IM Ezat Mohamed 2471
GM Malakhov Vladimir 2716
1:0
IM Abdelnabbi Imed 2448
GM Vitiugov Nikita 2692
1:0
IM Sarwat Walaa 2386

In spite of the loss against Aronian, Hikaru Nakamura remains the top scorer on board one and overall in this event. His performance is now at 2894. Behind him is Alexander Onischuk with 6.0/8 and a 2824 performance on board two, with Alexander Grischuk following at 4.0/6 and 2809 on board one. Two other players are performing above the 2800 mark: Teimour Radjabov with 5.0/7 and 2808 on board two and Nikita Vitiugov with 4.5/5 and 2887 on board six. The supreme leader, however, remains Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with 7.5/8 on board four. His performance: a cool 3034!

All round results

Round 1 – 5.1.2010 Round 2 – 6.1.2010
Azerbaijan 
2½-1½
 Armenia
Turkey 
1-3
 USA
India 
2½-1½
 Greece
Russia 
2½-1½
 Brazil
Egypt 
1-3
 Israel
Armenia 
2½-1½
 Israel
Brazil 
2½-1½
 Egypt
Greece 
2½-1½
 Russia
USA 
3-1
 India
Azerbaijan 
3-1
 Turkey
Round 3 – 7.1.2010 Round 4 – 8.1.2010
Turkey 
½-3½
 Armenia
India 
2½-1½
 Azerbaijan
Russia 
3-1
 USA
Egypt 
2½-1½
 Greece
Israel 
2½-1½
 Brazil
Armenia 
2½-1½
 Brazil
Greece 
1½-2½
 Israel
USA 
3-1
 Egypt
Azerbaijan 
1½-2½
 Russia
Turkey 
1-3
 India
Round 5 – 9.1.2010 Round 6 – 10.1.2010
India 
2-2
 Armenia
Russia 
3½-½
 Turkey
Egypt 
1-3
 Azerbaijan
Israel 
1½-2½
 USA
Brazil 
1-3
 Greece
Armenia 
1-3
 Greece
USA 
3-1
 Brazil
Azerbaijan 
2-2
 Israel
Turkey 
2-2
 Egypt
India 
1½-2½
 Russia
Round 7 – 11.1.2010 Round 8 – 12.1.2010
Russia 
2-2
 Armenia
Egypt 
1½-2½
 India
Israel 
1½-2½
 Turkey
Brazil 
½-3½
 Azerbaijan
Greece 
1½-2½
 USA
Armenia 
2½-1½
 USA
Azerbaijan 
3-1
 Greece
Turkey 
1½-2½
 Brazil
India 
2½-1½
 Israel
Russia 
3½-½
 Egypt
Round 9 – 13.1.2010  
Egypt 
-
 Armenia
Israel 
-
 Russia
Brazil 
-
 India
Greece 
-
 Turkey
USA 
-
 Azerbaijan
 

Standings after eight rounds

 # Team
win
draw
loss
MP
BP
Res.
SB
 1 Russia
6
1
1
13
21
0
98.75
 2 USA
6
0
2
12
19½
0
82.00
 3 Azerbaijan
5
1
2
11
20
0
74.00
 4 India
5
1
2
11
17½
0
81.25
 5 Armenia
4
2
2
10
17½
0
76.75
 6 Israel
3
1
4
7
16
0
48.50
 7 Greece
3
0
5
6
15½
0
50.50
 8 Brazil
2
0
6
4
12
0
21.00
 9 Egypt
1
1
6
3
11
0
20.50
10 Turkey
1
1
6
3
10
0
21.50

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