Women's World Team Chess Championship: Part III
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.
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