World Teams: Ukraine Loses First to Netherlands, Keeps Slim Lead
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Starting with two losses, the Netherlands recovered and even joined the group of favorites on Monday at the World Team Championship in Kemer, Antalya, Ukraine with a 2.5-1.5 win over tournament leader Ukraine. Beating Anton Korobov, it was former top 10 player Loek van Wely who was the match winner for the Dutch. Russia must be grateful as they saw the gap with Ukraine decrease to one match point.
All photos courtesy of the Turkish Chess Federation
It had to go wrong at some point, right? After five straight victories, the team from Ukraine was finally beaten, after the rest day. It happened against the Dutch, who started with two losses but clearly their spirit is back.
Anish Giri had some problems to solve in an opposite-colored bishop ending against Vassily Ivanchuk, but a pawn sac helped to hold it.
Erwin l'Ami played a very solid game and was never in serious trouble against Alexander Areshchenko. In the final position it's clear that the black king will reach the desired c8-square easily.
Ivan Sokolov got far against Yuriy Kryvoruchko, but just not far enough. At the end the black king was on the right side of the pawn, 'shouldering' his colleague away from the battle field.
The match winner was Loek van Wely, who defeated Anton Korobov with the black pieces from a Queen's Gambit Accepted. White's modest set-up wasn't too frightening, and Black could play the position for quite a while with the queen on b8. Repositioning the knight from f6 to d4 was a strong miniplan and when the game reached its climax just before the time control, it was Van Wely who had calculated deeper.
This was excellent news for Russia, who easily beat Turkey 3-1 to maintain their second place, but now they're only one point behind Ukraine. Vladimir Kramnik beat Alexander Ipatov from the black side of a Torre Attack. It's interesting to see that Black closed the position with 19...c4 and 22...g4, but still won rather easily. He must have had the sacrifice in mind already.
Mustafa Yilmaz lost his fourth consecutive game; he was outplayed by Ian Nepomniachtchi and his last move didn't exactly help either:
Armenia's 1-3 loss to Germany can be called a big surprise. In recent years the Armenians have been very successful at team events, but somehow the engine isn't running that smoothly in Kemer. Let's first look at the draw on board one, which had a spectacular final phase. Meier should have won:
Arkadij Naiditsch wasn't having a great tournament with "minus one" after five rounds, but he beat Vladimir Akopian in this match:
USA beat Azerbijan 2.5-1.5 thanks to Ray Robson's win on board four:
China beat Egypt of course, but "only" with a 3-1 score. Egypt's Bassem Amin won an excellent game against Wang Yue - look at that knight!
In the seventh round Ukraine will probably keep its lead as they play Egypt. Other interesting matches are Russia-Netherlands, USA-Germany and China-Azerbaijan.
World Team Championship 2013 | Round 6 standings
|5||United States of America||6||3||0||3||6||13½||0||33,00|