FIDE World Women's Team Championship R3-4: Russia, Georgia Shine And Keep Lead

FIDE World Women's Team Championship R3-4: Russia, Georgia Shine And Keep Lead

| 4 | Chess Event Coverage

After the first day of the 2021 FIDE World Women Team Championship at Sitges, it was no doubt that Russia was the dominant force of Pool A, while Pool B looked like a comparatively open race for all teams. The second day of the event was expected to be the most crucial, as teams were vying to finish in the top 4 of the standings of each group to earn a place in the knockout stage of the tournament.

Matches in Pool A mainly went along expected lines, while Pool B saw much more hard-fought ones. Here's a detailed picture of the events as they unfolded.

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Round 3

Pool A:

Russia continued to roll over the competition, scoring a 3.5-0.5 win over Azerbaijan to maintain their all-win record. Birthday girl GM Alekandra Goryachkina played an endgame masterpiece and defeated IM Gulnar Mammadova. Goryachkina's play was strategically so profound that she could not have given herself a better present on her birthday:

GM Aleksandra Goryachkina at the World Women's Team Championship
Goryachkina gifted herself an endgame masterpiece on her birthday. Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE.

On another board, her colleague IM Alina Kashlinskaya also produced a positional beauty:

Overall, Russia scored a trouble-free 3.5-0.5 win over Azerbaijan.

WGM Tania Sachdev played an excellent tactical game to outwit WGM Anna Sargysyan and score an important victory for India:

WGM Tania Sachdev at the World Women's Team Championship
Tania Sachdev scored an excellent win in the third round. In the background is Indian team coach GM Abhijit Kunte. Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE.

India defeated Armenia with a score of 2.5-1.5 while Spain defeated France with the same margin.

Pool B:

Georgia scored a massive 3.5-0.5 win over Germany, while Kazakhstan scored a 2.5-1.5 win over the FIDE Americas team. The Ukraine-Poland match ended in a hard-fought 2-2 draw, where GM Anna Muzychuk lost on time in a difficult position against Polish WGM Jolanta Zawadska.

GM Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine at the World Women's Team Championship
Anna Muzychuk was unlcuky to lose on time in the third round. Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE.

Round 4

Pool A:

The fourth round saw the two leading teams of the group, Russia and India, going up against each other and producing an excellent fight. Though Russia was better on paper, with all their players being higher rated than their Indian opponents in their respective boards, the match turned out to be gripping.

After Goryachkina-Harika and Gomes-Shuvalova ended in draws, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk drew the first blood for Russia against WGM Vaishali.

WGM Vaishali Rameshbabu of India at the World Women's Team Championship
Young WGM Vaishali in an uneven form at Sitges. Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE.

After Kosteniuk's victory, GM Kateryna Lagno scored another point for Russia over Sachdev in a nice major pieces endgame squeeze:

With these results, Russia beat India 3-1.

GM Kateryna Lagno of Russia at the World Women's Team Championship
Kateryna Lagno, showing her prowess in a major pieces endgame. Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE.

Armenia too scored a massive 3.5-0.5 win over Spain but France's win over Azerbaijan with the same score was the biggest upset of the round.

France's WIM Natasha Benmesbah scored an easy win over WGM Ulviyya Fataliyeva:

Thus, with Russia, Armenia and India having already qualified for the knockout stage, the fight for the fourth place will likely be between Azerbaijan and Spain. The two teams will face each other in the final round on Wednesday, September 23.

However, France could still pull off an upset against their higher-rated final-round opponent, India. It is interesting to notice that all the teams still have a chance to qualify to the next stage—keeping the competition until the very last round.

Pool B:

Poland held Georgia to a 2-2 draw. The same happened in the match between FIDE Americas and Germany. Ukraine had a difficult 2.5-1.5 win over Kazakhstan, with GM Anna Muzychuk scoring a textbook win against the Berlin defense:

In the crucial final round, Georgia plays FIDE Americas, Ukraine plays Germany, and Kazakhstan plays Poland. This being a case of the higher placed teams of the group playing the lower placed teams, Pool B's qualifications will be more of a question of upsets and tie-breaks than straight fights during the final round. Another exciting final round is on the cards!


2021 Women's Team Chess Championship Round 4 Standings

The 2021 FIDE World Women's Team Championship is a 12-team event featuring teams representing chess nations from around the world. The event runs from September 27 through October 2 and is broadcast live on

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