World Team 09: Russia takes gold; China silver

by ChessBase
12/6/2013 – There was little chance of any surprises in the last round as the leader Russia defeated Egypt as expected, taking gold. Ukraine managed to overcome Armenia, but was outscored by China's 3-1 victory over Turkey, giving the Chinese Silver, and Ukraine Bronze. Aronian was the biggest performer, but of note is Nakamura moving into no.3, only the third American in Elo history.

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The World Chess Team Championship is currently being held in Antalya, Turkey. The tournament runs from November 26th to December 5th. The tournament is a round robin tournament between the best countries in the world who are sending their top participants. The event will have zero tolerance rules, no draw offers for the first 30 moves and will be played under the standard team tournament system with two points given to a match winner, one for a draw and zero the the loser of a match. Tiebreaks will be decided by board points. The time control is the FIDE 90 minutes for 40 moves and an additional 30 minutes at move 40 with thirty second increment throughout the game.

Not every fan was welcome in the tournament hall

Round 9

Kramnik had a surprising amount of difficulties today

Today's most important match was a seemingly simple one on paper. Russia had to defeat Egypt to clinch the first place in the tournament, and surely they could do it as they outrated their opponents by hundreds of points (except on board four, where the difference was only 89 points). And yet at some point things started to look shady for Russia. Karjakin's black side of a queen's gambit accepted was good enough for equality but little more than that.

Ezat tried for a full 90 moves before admitting to the draw

Vitiugov played a crazy game against Bassem and it ended in an unusual perpetual. As this was happening Kramnik had a queen for two pieces against Egypt's first board and surely he would win. Yet somehow it was the Ezat Mohamed that outplayed Kramnik and slowly but surely he obtained an advantage. Kramnik was able to pull himself together and salvage a draw from a position that was starting to look very scary for him. Luckily for the Russians, Nepomniachtchi was still at the top of his game and he beat Shoker with no questions asked, securing the gold medal for them.

Nepo was an incredibly important force for Russia in the
last two matches

Korobov's win against Akopian gave Ukraine the win

Armenia faced a tough last round opponent in Ukraine, who still was hoping to obtain a gold medal if Russia failed, or at least was trying to fight for the silver. Akopian sacrificed a pawn against Korobov on the second board but was unable to follow through with sufficient counterplay and once Korobov consolidated who was able to to convert his extra pawn into a win. Aronian never had real chances against Ivanchuk, while Sargissian and Moiseenko also drew quietly. Areschenko might have had good chances to beat Petrosian, even in the final position, but a draw was good enough for Ukraine to take the match.

Tony Rich of the Saint Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center, and Wesley So,
the coach, are part of team USA

The duel between the Americans and the Dutch was very even. Giri held Nakamura to a draw without problems while Van Wely-Kamsky was wild but also ended peacefully. On the lower boards Onischuk convincingly beat Tiviakov, but Sokolov did the same against Akobian, and the points were split between the teams.

Nakamura had a very good tournament and is now third in the live rating list, ahead
of Kramnik. He is only the third American in ratings history to enter the top three
after Fischer and Kamsky.

The Chinese had no serious problems on their black boards as Yu Yangyi and Ding Liren held off Emre Can and Mustafa Yilmaz. Turkey was not so solid in their boards one and three and Li Chao convincingly swept Ipatov off the board while Wang Yue pushed a slight edge throughout the game against Baris Esen and eventually also took a full point. With this victory China still left itself vulnerable to lose the silver medal if Ukraine beat Armenia by a margin of 3.5-0.5 or 4-0, but of course this did not happen.

Chuchelov (standing) is both Giri's and Caruana's personal coach - he is also the
coach of team Netherlands. Busy guy!

Lastly the young Azerbaijanis Mamedov Nidjat and Vasif Durarbali lost slightly inferior endgame against Daniel Fridman and Arakij Naiditsch. With two other draws on the other boards Germany scored a win that allowed them to leapfrog over their opponents.

Closing Ceremony

First of all a beautiful dinner to kick things off

Best Reserves (from gold to bronze): Akobian (America), Yu Yangyi (China) and Vitiugov (Russia)

Fourth boards: Nepomniachtchi (Russia), Bu Xiangzhi (China) and Kryvoruchko (Ukraine). Nepo's super tournament performance (2858) was not only impressive, it was well timed. Bu was actually very close to taking Nepo's gold medal on fourth board as his own performance was 2844. Kryvoruchko's performance was very low compared to this at "only" 2675.

Fridman (Germany) scored a 2794 performance on board three which was good enough for him to obtain the gold medal. Onischuk for America had a very solid tournament and at 5.0/8 obtained silver, while Wang Yue only had to score as well as expected for bronze.

On board two the winners were Korobov (Ukraine), Karjakin (Russia) and Ding Liren (China)

Aronian had an amazing event and scored at almost 2900 performance. He gained a nice nine rating points from this event which puts him solidly in second on the live rating list, 23 points ahead of third place Nakamura. Ivanchuk's 2805 performance was one of the reasons Ukraine was leading for so long.

Silver medal went to a resilient Chinese team. Interestingly enough they were even
missing their highest rated player: Wang Hao was not participating. They edged out
Ukraine in the board points tiebreak score.

Russia started slowly, with only 1.0/4 in the first two matches after drawing Armenia
and losing to America, and then they steamrolled through the rest of the event

A happy Russian team regains the title of the best team in the world, something that
has been eluding them lately

Ukraine led for most of the tournament, but Ivanchuk will have his chance for
vengeance at next year's Olympiad

Grischuk seems pleased enough with the result

The next World Team Championship will be held in 2015, tentatively in Armenia from March 1st to March 15th. Before that, however, the 2014 Olympiad in Tromso, Norway, which will be held in August, is the next major World Team title at stake.


9.1 Russia
2½ - 1½
1 Kramnik Vladimir 2793
½ : ½
Ezat Mohamed 2454
2 Karjakin Sergey 2756
½ : ½
Abdel Razik Khaled 2450
3 Nepomniachtchi Ian 2721
1 : 0
Shoker Samy 2500
4 Vitiugov Nikita 2741
½ : ½
Amin Bassem 2652
9.2 Armenia
1½ - 2½
1 Aronian Levon 2801
½ : ½
Ivanchuk Vassily 2731
2 Akopian Vladimir 2681
0 : 1
Korobov Anton 2713
3 Sargissian Gabriel 2676
½ : ½
Moiseenko Alexander 2709
4 Petrosian Tigran L. 2660
½ : ½
Areshchenko Alexander 2720
9.3 United States of America
2 - 2
1 Nakamura Hikaru 2786
½ : ½
Giri Anish 2732
2 Kamsky Gata 2721
½ : ½
Van Wely Loek 2678
3 Onischuk Alexander 2672
1 : 0
Tiviakov Sergei 2663
4 Akobian Varuzhan 2625
0 : 1
Sokolov Ivan 2625
9.4 China
3 - 1
1 Li Chao B 2679
1 : 0
Ipatov Alexander 2630
2 Ding Liren 2711
½ : ½
Yilmaz Mustafa 2577
3 Wang Yue 2725
1 : 0
Esen Baris 2565
4 Yu Yangyi 2668
½ : ½
Can Emre 2519
9.5 Azerbaijan
1 - 3
1 Mamedov Rauf 2647
½ : ½
Khenkin Igor 2612
2 Safarli Eltaj 2653
½ : ½
Meier Georg 2623
3 Mamedov Nidjat 2616
0 : 1
Fridman Daniel 2600
4 Durarbayli Vasif 2559
0 : 1
Naiditsch Arkadij 2727


Rank Team
Match Pts.
Board Pts.
1 Russia
2 China
3 Ukraine
4 United States of America
5 Armenia
6 Netherlands
7 Germany
8 Azerbaijan
9 Turkey
10 Egypt

Teams receive two points for a match win, one for a draw and zero for a loss

Replay today's games

Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich


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