Gold for Russia at World Teams
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Russia expectedly won the gold medals at the World Team Championship in Kemer, Antalya (Turkey). Ian Nepomniachtchi was again the one who decided the match in Russia's favor - he beat Samy Shoker, while the other three games against Egypt were drawn. China clinched the silver medals, while bronze went to Ukraine.
It's not common to start with the tail-enders but let's do that for a change. Egypt lost all its matches at the World Team Championship, but nonetheless leave an excellent impression. Without #2 Ahmed Adly and #4 Essam El Gindy they still scored 9.5 board points, and also in the last round they were close to a 2-2 against Russia. Even a 2.5-1.5 win seemed possible for a moment!
Khaled Abdel Razik played an excellent game as White against Sergey Karjakin and drew comfortably. The same result was seen on board 4, where the position exploded right after the opening:
Ian Nepomniachtchi again played a key role by beating Samy Shoker in a Pirc.
And then everyone waited for board one to finish. What a game that was! Mohamed Ezat played a known and interesting queen sacrifice against none other than Vladimir Kramnik. Materially speaking it shouldn't be enough, but over the board it's not so easy for White. At some point it was Black who was playing for a win (it was probably winning somewhere), but in the end Kramnik held the draw. (It should be noted that with a loss for Kramnik, Russia would have finished on the same number of match points as China and Ukraine but with half a board point more.)
China and Ukraine won their last-round matches and took the silver and bronze medals respectively - China scored one board point more. The Chinese GMs defeated Turkey 3-1 with wins for Li Chao and Wang Yue against Alexander Ipatov and Baris Esen respectively. At some point all Wang had to do was free the h-pawn and run with it.
Ukraine had a tougher pairing: Armenia, who still had a theoretical chance for a medal. The games Aronian-Ivanchuk, Sargissian-Moiseenko and Areshchenko-Petrosian were all drawn, and so it was Anton Korobov who secured bronze with the following win:
USA and the Netherlands finished their "so-so" tournament (not bad, not great) with a 2-2. Nakamura-Giri and Van Wely-Kamsky ended in draws but on board three Onischuk scored for the Americans.
Ivan Sokolov levelled the score with a fine positional game and an instructive rook ending.
Azerbaijan didn't do badly without Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov, but finished with a 1-3 loss to Germany. Here's Daniel Fridman's won on board three:
And so Russia won the tournament with 15 match points (7 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss). Both China (silver) and Ukraine (bronze) finished on 14 match points (7 wins, 2 losses) with 23 board points for China and 22 for Ukraine.
The first World Team Championship was held in 1985. Initially it was held every four years, but since 2011 every two years. After the Soviet Union win the first two editions, Russia won gold in 1997, 2005, 2010 and now in 2013.
World Team Championship 2013 | Final standings
|4||United States of America||9||4||2||3||10||20½||0||82,00|