Senior Team Champions: USA and Russia

by Alex Yermolinsky
7/18/2018 – The participants rave about a well-organized Senior World Team Championship of seniors in Radebeul, Germany. In the 65+ section, the Russian team won gold. The 50+ category was more competitive, but in the end, the favourites from the USA pulled ahead. GM ALEX YERMOLINSKY reports. | Photo: Karsten Wieland

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USA wins 50+

All's well that ends well, our captain and team leader Alexander Shabalov posted on our WhatsApp group as the author of these words was about to board a Minneapolis-bound plane at Frankfurt Airport. My plans were made far in advance, and my teammates were aware they would have to cover for me in the last round. (The bad things is, I'm MIA on the Championship photo!) But cover they did, defeating Canada by the count 3-1.

Last round team photo

The North American derby: USA vs Canada

It wouldn't have been enough, however, had the English team not stumbled at the finish line by losing to Germany 1. The decisive margin was provided by IM Karsten Volke who beat James Plaskett in a smooth game. The Germans actually held an advantage on all boards except for board one, where GMs Schlosser and Speelman drew quickly.

Considering that fact that even a tie in that match would see our team finishing first on tie-breaks (most board points scored), it wasn't really such a nail-biting wait for the US team. My teammates took advantage of the free hours between the end of their games and the closing ceremony to take another short car trip to downtown Dresden.

Final standings

Pl. Mannschaft ELO Man.Pkt. Brt.Pkt. SoBerg
1. USA United States   16:2 28 310
1.   Alexander Shabalov 2567 7.5:0.5 43.5 37.25
2.   Joel Benjamin 2544 6:2 46.5 34.5
3.   Jaan Ehlvest 2536 5.5:2.5 47.5 30.25
4.   Alex Yermolinsky 2505 6:1 44 29.25
5.   Sergey Kudrin 2468 3:2 42.5 17.5
2. ENG England 1   15:3 26.5 282.5
1.   Jon S Speelman 2493 4.5:2.5 46.5 24
2.   John M Emms 2488 5:2 45.5 26.75
3.   H James Plaskett 2455 5.5:2.5 44.5 27.75
4.   Mark L Hebden 2423 5:2 47 27.25
5.   Keith C Arkell 2406 6.5:0.5 43.5 30.5
3. GER Lasker Schachstiftung GK   15:3 26 268.5
1.   Alexander Graf 2561 6:2 43.5 28.25
2.   Artur Jussupow 2580 5:3 44.5 25
3.   Felix Levin 2468 6.5:1.5 43.5 33.75
4.   Jakob Meister 2432 6:2 47 30.75
5.   Dr. Gerhard Koehler 2181 2.5:1.5 39.5 12.5
4. GER Germany 1   14:4 24.5 245.5
1.   Philipp Schlosser 2501 6:3 41 26
2.   Uwe Boensch 2560 4.5:2.5 44 22.5
3.   Klaus Bischoff 2510 4:2 45 19.5
4.   Karsten Volke 2474 5:2 43.5 25.5
5.   Raj Tischbierek 2436 5:2 47 29.25
5. GER Thüringen   13:5 23 226
1.   Peter Enders 2445 5.5:3.5 45 24
2.   Thomas Paehtz 2347 3.5:1.5 42 16.5
3.   Joachim Brueggemann 2293 6.5:2.5 41.5 30.75
4.   Thomas Casper 2354 5:2 43.5 26.75
5.   Rudolf Ruether 2118 2.5:3.5 44 11.5

...67 Teams

In terms of individual board winners, Shabalov won on first board with 7½/8, and I captured the fourth board with 6 out of 7. Aside from losing against England in Round 4, the US team won their remaining matches by at least the count of 3 : 1, including decisive wins over the Lasker team and Germany 1, where the score was 3½ : ½.

The English played very well, and they could have won it, but there's no doubt in my mind our team was the class of the field.

Shabalov

Alexander Shabalov had a stellar event

Going back to round-by-round coverage, I mention that Round 7 didn't give us any grounds for optimism. Both teams that were ahead of us, England 1 and Lasker Schachstiftung, whitewashed their opponents, while we surrendered one point to the Thuringen team thanks to a rare Ehlvest loss.

Unfazed, we took a car ride to one of the numerous castles in the Dresden area and surveyed the hunting grounds about.

Team photo

At the castle | Photo: Alex Yermolinsky

The next day was to answer if we were to stay in contention. The US team rose to the occasion by defeating the Lasker team. The only draw was given on board three, where Ehlvest couldn't get the game off the ground against the determined Felix Levin. The rest of the games went massively our way.

 

Then there was a nice win for Benjamin over Jussupow. After the game, Joel expressed his surprise at Artur's opening choice of a horribly passive line in the French Defense. I hoped to get Joel's notes to the game, but I guess Daddy was missed too much for the last couple of weeks for the kids (9 and 7) to let him sit at chess the first day back home.

I chipped in with a solid effort of my own.

 

This crushing win all but assured the US team of finishing at least second. The rest of the day was split between watching the third-place match of the World Cup and a nice dinner in a downtown Dresden cafe “Alyonushka”, which features Russian cuisine.

The US Team headquarters | Photo: Alex Yermolinsky

Actually, I got lucky with my choice of room. Having what used to be called a "Murphy bed" proved useful when my room was used for team gatherings and meals.

On the morning of the last round, Shabalov drove me to Dresden Hauptbahnhof, where I boarded a fast train to Frankfurt, leaving my teammates to finish the business. 

 

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The World Cup 65+ Russia wins with 18 : 0

The over 65 age group was a clear and unambiguous affair. The Russian team won with 9 wins and 18 : 0 points tally. The gap to the following teams, St. Petersburg and Germany 1 is a whopping four points. "Germany 2" with Vlastimil Hort on board 1 finished fourth.

The winners of the 65+ group, Russia in the back row | Karsten Wieland

Final standings

Pl. Mannschaft ELO Man.Pkt. Brt.Pkt. SoBerg
1. RUS Russia   18:0 27 282
1.   Evgeny Sveshnikov 2464 7.5:1.5 41 33.75
2.   Yuri S Balashov 2423 5.5:1.5 42.5 25.75
3.   Nukhim Rashkovsky 2483 5.5:1.5 43 27
4.   Vladimir V Zhelnin 2453 3.5:2.5 44 18.5
5.   Nikolai Pushkov 2311 5:2 46 26.25
2. RUS Saint-Petersburg   14:4 23.5 242.5
1.   Vadim Z Faibisovich 2312 5:4 41 24.25
2.   Nikolai M. Mishuchkov 2311 5:4 45 25.5
3.   Vladimir I Karasev 2337 6:3 45.5 31.75
4.   Vladimir Shushpanov 2198 7.5:1.5 39.5 31
3. GER Germany 2   14:4 22 233.5
1.   Jefim Rotstein 2318 4:4 44 20
2.   Yuri Boidman 2358 7.5:1.5 40.5 34.75
3.   Anatoly Donchenko 2301 2.5:3.5 41 13.25
4.   Boris Khanukov 2273 5:3 42 24.25
5.   Boris Gruzmann 2176 3:2 43 12.25
4. GER Germany 1   13:5 22 212.5
1.   Vlastimil Hort 2421 5.5:2.5 42 24.5
2.   Bodo Schmidt 2344 5:4 44.5 26
3.   Stephan Buchal 2329 4:4 45 19.5
4.   Ulrich Schulze 2313 5.5:1.5 45 25.5
5.   Juergen Haakert 2302 2:2 36.5 9
5. ENG England 1   13:5 21.5 224
1.   Robert Bellin 2333 3.5:4.5 45 17.75
2.   Stephen H Berry 2298 4:3 42 20.5
3.   Nigel E Povah 2245 7:1 41 33.25
4.   Anthony J Stebbings 2257 5:2 45 25
5.   Roger Emerson 2211 2:4 40 9.75
6. GER Schwäbische Franken   13:5 21 196.5
1.   Klaus Klundt 2318 5:4 37 22.75
2.   Rainer Oechslein 2228 3.5:3.5 42 15.5
3.   Prof. Dr. Peter Krauseneck 2147 4.5:2.5 38.5 19.25
4.   Dr. Hubert Seibold 2113 4:3 42 19.75
5.   Horst Weisenburger 2096 4:2 41.5 17
7. FRA France   12:6 24.5 248.5
1.   Anatoly Vaisser 2502 5.5:1.5 45 30.25
2.   Mehrshad Sharif 2353 5.5:1.5 39.5 24
3.   Jean-Luc Seret 2353 3.5:3.5 41.5 18.25
4.   Nicolas Giffard 2260 5:2 41 22.5
5.   Christophe Bernard 2253 5:3 41.5 23.75

...61 Teams

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Yermo is enjoying his fifties. Lives in South Dakota, 600 miles way from the nearest grandmaster. Between his chess work online he plays snooker and spends time outdoors - happy as a clam.
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