Women's World Team Chess Championship: Part III

  • WGM Natalia_Pogonina
  • | Jan 17, 2012

The final part of the report about the Women’s World Team Chess Championship features the last three rounds. These are especially important in terms of the tournament’s results. Usually by that point everyone is tired, and the cost of making a mistake is huge, as there is no time to make up for it.

Let me remind you of the standings of the leaders after six rounds:

1. China – 12/12

2. India – 9/12

3-4. Russia and Georgia - 8

5-6. Ukraine and Vietnam - 6

The central match of the 7th round was the confrontation between Georgia and China. The tournament leaders won again: 3-1.


Our team defeated Turkey with the same score, but the victory was hard-fought. For example, in my game I was close to lost at some point. However, in the end I came out on top with a nice tactical shot delivered while having just 30 seconds left on the clock:


Armenia lost to Ukraine 1.5-2.5. India beat Greece 2.5-1.5, while RSA succumbed 0-4 against Vietnam.

China was still unbeatable. Could Ukraine or India stop them in the final rounds?

In the 8th round Ukraine recovered from their initial failures and became the #1 newsmaker by overcoming China. Natalia Zhukova emerged as the hero of the day:


Another important match was fought between Georgia and India. India was still in contention for gold at that point, but Georgia won the match 3-1 to ruin their opponents’ dreams.


Therefore, China became the champion with a round to go. They had too many individual points for us to catch up with them. Now the plot was in the distribution of the other medals.

Russia crushed RSA 4-0, Turkey-Greece 0.5-3.5, Armenia-Vietnam 2.5-1.5.

The standings before the decisive round were as follows:

1.      China – 14/16

2.      Russia – 12/16

3.      India – 11/16

4-5. Ukraine and Georgia – 10/16

Other teams were out of contention.

The 9th round began early in the morning at 10 a.m. A draw was sufficient for us to get medals, so it was decided to avoid taking risks and agree to a 2-2 score against Armenia. India was facing China and needing a win for silver, draw for bronze. The dramatic match was decided in the game between Zhao Xue and Tania Sachdev:


Meanwhile, Georgia prevailed over Turkey:

Georgia won 3-1 and got bronze. Ukraine failed to beat Vietnam and ended up with no medals, just like India. Greece earned another 4 board points against RSA.

Final standings:

1.      China – 16/18

2.      Russia – 13/18

3.      Georgia – 12/18

4-5.   India and Ukraine – 11/18

6-7. Armenia and Vietnam – 9/18

8.   Greece – 5/18

9.   Turkey – 4/18

10. RSA – 0/18


China got gold


We were tired and somewhat disappointed after winning the silver medals


Georgia - bronze medalist

China won the World Team Championship for the third time in a row. They had a remarkable performance except for the 8th round vs Ukraine. Our team was playing rather shakily. First a tie vs Greece, then a 0-4 loss to China. Frankly speaking, for some reason we were all in a pretty bad shape, but did our best to convert our mastery and experience into the highest result possible. For Georgia the tournament was a rollercoaster, although two victories in the final rounds allowed them to win bronze.

My personal result was 3.5/5 and a silver medal on board 5.


With my teammates, Valya Gunina and Sasha Kosteniuk


  • 3 years ago

    WGM Natalia_Pogonina

    Let’s stay in touch on social networks! Here are my official accounts:

    Account 1, Account 2, Account 3

  • 5 years ago


    Thank you for your articles, and promotion of our country

  • 5 years ago


    Hmmm...Natalia "Lovelina" Pogonina? Guys, did you know that she also plays chess?

  • 5 years ago


    Congratulation on the Silver, maybe next time.

  • 5 years ago


    Thanks for your reply Natalia.

    I tend to agree, I'm backing Lev for this one, and don't worry I'll keep it secret that you're keeping it secret!?

    Did you see my blog - 'Fischer - ever-after !?' How do you think he'd've faired against today's computing chess prodigies like Lev and Mags?

    70's chess v 21st century boys? Sounds a bit like paisley print flared trousers v Lady Gaga, but I still think Mr.Fischer would've held his own.

    Wot's your next outing? Are you going into the Aeroflot Open 6th Feb? Good luck either way.

  • 5 years ago

    WGM Natalia_Pogonina

    @Abi-Alx-Sam Following it, of course. All the three groups. As to the winners of A, I would agree with Garry Kasparov who said he'd take Carlsen & Aronian against the rest of the field. Who am I rooting for? I won't tell you, it's a secret! Tongue out

  • 5 years ago


    Many thanks, Natalia. A fine performance. Just a couple of unlucky results stopped you from winning, especially R3 against E.P. Very unlucky.  Next time, it's yours.

    Have you been watching tata? Who are you rootin' for? Or, who do you think will win, if not the same person? 

     thanks again for an excellent article, (as always). Smile

  • 5 years ago

    WGM Natalia_Pogonina

    @ Twobit They are making very impressive progress indeed. When a couple of years ago the friendly chess matches between Russia and China were established, to make them equal Russia could send the 3rd best male team or something. Now there are some really good players in China, so it's not that easy anymore.

    @ Jordan_G Thanks, nice to hear that. I have one book 90% complete, and the other drafted. Just a matter of reaching an agreement with the publishers, which sometimes takes more time than writing the book itself.

  • 5 years ago


    China got gold!

    congratulations to all the winners!!!

  • 5 years ago


    Natalia are you bussy
  • 5 years ago


    woohoo Natalia and Kosteniuk!!

  • 5 years ago


    point taken...I dont like not winning but I dont win many so take whats offered.

  • 5 years ago


    Ducks egg for South Africa. Not even a miserly draw.

  • 5 years ago


    Thank you so much for sharing your experience, sharing the games and photos and sharing your feelings. Jordan_G is right, you are very gifted.  And last, but ohhh not least by a long shot, Congratulations on your team's Silver medal and Congratulations on your individual silver!  Outstanding results in a tough field!!!

  • 5 years ago


    Pogonina you are smart and beutiful

  • 5 years ago


    Well done Natalia. The Chinese had strength in depth and numbers, but a silver medal is no mean feat against such a strong nation, bustling with top quality players. You played really well and I enjoyed your article immensely.

  • 5 years ago


    Thanks for the detailed review of the Women's World Team Championship Pogonina, I enjoyed reading it. Good performance by you also! Have you ever considered writing a chess book of some kind? I find that I am able to understand the concepts and ideas more easily the way you and Silman write your articles on them than how others present them. :)

  • 5 years ago


    Congratulations to all the winners !!!

  • 5 years ago



    Congratulations, taking silver is an achievement in itself. Hope you enjoyed yourselves, it looks like a lot of fun travelling and playing master level chess.

  • 5 years ago


    It is just a matter of time before the Chinese men will catch up with the women; currently their highest rated player is Hao Wang at 19th the next is Yue Wang at 49th. So it may be a little longer than next year.

Back to Top

Post your reply: