Women's World Team Championship: China leads with perfect score

12/22/2011 – Not to be outdone by the men, the Women's World Team Championship is underway in Mardin, Turkey, from December 17-28, and has the world's top national teams. China, with Hou Yifan on top board, leads with a perfect four in four score, followed by India, a half-point behind, led by Humpy Koneru. Russia is third, and fielding their Olympic Gold lineup. Follow the action in this illustrated report.

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The Women's World Chess Team Championship is being held from December 17th to the 28th in Mardin, Turkey.


A satellite view of Mardin, Turkey
View Larger Map 

Ten teams of five players (four plus one reserve) will compete in a round-robin Scheveningen competition except on the scheduled rest day on December 23rd. The games are played at 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment as of move one. All rounds start at 3 PM local time (8 AM NY / 2 PM Paris) except round nine played at 10 AM (3 AM NY / 9 AM Paris). Tiebreaks are decided by game points, individual encounter, Berger, and then the Berlin system.

Women's World Chess Team Championship


The ever symbolic opening move


Eight minutes and counting to the start

Round one

The first round of the WWTC appeared to be not an easy one for the favorites. A clear rating favorite in the match, China was only able to overcome the ambitious Turkish squad by the strict minimum. Kubra Ozturk on second board got the upper hand against Zhao Xue and on board one, Betul Cemre Yildiz held GM Ju Wenjun to a draw. China only managed to win the match due to victories on the lower boards. 

The closest battle by rating was the Ukraine – India match. Here the teams exchanged punches – Humpy Koneru won against Anna Ushenina on first board and Rout Padmini lost to Natalia Zhukova on the last. A hard fought draw.


Russia is fielding the same team that won the Gold in the last Olympiads with one
slight change, Nadezhda Kosintseva on board one (her rating is higher than her sister's
at the moment), Tatiana Kosintseva, Alexandra Kosteniuk, and Valentina Gunina.


The last board was Russia's salvation in their win against Vietnam as Valentina Gunina was the only one to score a win against Hoang Thi Nhu Y. The other games were drawn. 


The Armenian team with a smile by WGM Maria Kursova, followed by IM Lilit Galojan,
and IM Lilit Mkrtchian.


Georgia and Armenia were the best in the round one, and did not drop even half a point against their opponents, RSA and Greece accordingly. 

Round two


Russia had a hard match against Ukraine, and once again Valentina Gunina scored
an important win. Tatiana Kosintseva's win promised her slump would not extend here.

One of the central matches of the second round was the encounter between Russia and Ukraine. After the start of the match, the result was not easy to predict due to the intense fighting on all boards. As time passed, Russia took the lead with another win by Valentina Gunina over Tatjana Vasilevich. The victory was secured by Tatiana Kosinseva who took the upper hand over Maria Muzychuk. The other games were drawn and Russian took the match by 3-1.

Another important encounter between two early leaders after round one: Georgia had a close match against Armenia and only the victory of Nana Dzagnidze against Elina Danielian on the first board contributed to an overall win. All the other games ended in draws. Georgia is another leader after round two.

China convincingly beat RSA 4-0 and is the third leader. 


India was an overwhelming favorite but weren't able to clean sweep Turkey

India scored 3.5/4 against Turkey – Kubra Ozturk on second board was again the hero of the team as she drew with Tania Sachdev who is rated nearly 200 points more.


Vietnam scored their first team victory by beating Greece

Round three

On 19 October 1987 the largest one-day percentage decline in recorded stock market history happened. This day is referred to as “Black Monday” since. In round three of the WWTC the stock of the favorite teams dropped too. Can we call it "Black Tuesday" now?


The Vietnamese team scored an astonishing 3-1 victory over Georgia

Georgia lost to Vietnam 1-3 as Lela Javakhishvili on the second board succumbed to to Hoang Thi Bao Tram and Nino Khurtsidze lost to Hoang Thi Nhu Y on the fourth board.


Turkey then actually beat Ukraine

Turkey actually beat Ukraine due to great performances by the first two boards – Betul Yildiz won against Anna Ushenina and Kubra Ozturk against Inna Gaponenko. Natalia Zhukova could not get more than a draw from Kardelen Cemhan while Tatiana Vasilevich's victory over Ebru Kaplan did not matter anymore, as Turkey secured a 2.5-1.5 overall win and scored their first match win. 


The Greek team, who had been having a very tough torunament, pulled off a coup by
holding the Russians to a draw. Valentina Gunina was the only win but it was not enough.

Russia was also held to a draw by the unlikely Greeks. The teams exchanged punches on boards three and four with Valentina Gunina scoring against Ekaterini Fakhiridou while Ekaterini-Pavlidou beat Natalia Pogonina. The Kosintseva sisters drew against Yelena Dembo and Marina Makropoulou thus giving Greece their first match point!


Indians Tania Sachdev (left) and Harika Dronavalli exchange a jest before the start...


... but after it is all business.

Although the stock of European teams matahced the economic situation of their countries, Asia is on the rise – India crushed RSA 4-0 and China did not cede a single point to Armenia (4-0) and became sole leader of the event! 


The Chinese made a firm pledge for the gold by crushing Armenia by 4-0


Hou Yifan joined the team on board one in rounds three and four

After three rounds China is ahead of the field with six match points (two per win), while India and Russia have five.

Round four


The Chinese team has been unstoppable so far

Round four did not bring many surprises. China beat Vietnam 3-1, scoring on the two lower boards (Zhao Xue - Nguyen Thi Thanh An 1-0 and Hoang Thi Nhu - Tan Zhongyi Y 1-0) and remain in the lead with a perfect score.


GM Humpy Koneru bounced back from her disappointing World
Championship bid with three wins in three.

India also hit Armenia hard with a 3.5-0.5 win. Lilit Mkrtchian was the only player able to draw, in her case against Harika Dronavalli on second board. India is second with seven match points.


Although Russia-Georgia was all draws, they were all fought

The close fight between Georgia and Russia ended with draw on all boards. The fourth board fight between Valentina Gunina and Nino Khurtsidze was the last game of the round, and both players danced around the equal queen versus queen plus knight ending trying to get an edge but finally a draw was agreed.


Ukrainians Inna Ushenina and Mariya Muzychuk in good spirits
 
Ukraine crushed Greece 3.5-0.5 and Turkey overcame RSA 3-1. However, South African players scored their first board points as Anzel Solomons drew against Kubra Ozturk and Lauren Van Niekerk shared the point with Yesim Patel.

Team standings after four rounds

Rank Team Gms
+
=
M-pts G-pts
1
China
4
4
0
0
8
13½
2
India
4
3
1
0
7
13
3
Russia
4
2
2
0
6
4
Georgia
4
2
1
1
5
5
Vietnam
4
2
0
2
4
8
6
Turkey
4
2
0
2
4
7
Ukraine
4
1
1
2
3
8
8
Armenia
4
1
0
3
2
6
9
Greece
4
0
1
3
1
4
10
RSA
4
0
0
4
0
1

Pictures by FIDE and the Turkish Chess Federation


Links

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