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FIDE World Women's Team Championship R5: Azerbaijan, FIDE Americas Scrape Through To Knockout Stage
Photo: WGM Gulnar Mammadova helped Azerbaijan to qualify after her opponent blundered. Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE.

FIDE World Women's Team Championship R5: Azerbaijan, FIDE Americas Scrape Through To Knockout Stage

VSaravanan
| 9 | Chess Event Coverage

Azerbaijan and FIDE Americas qualified to the knockout stage of the World Women's Team Championship from their respective pools in contrasting fashion after an eventful fifth and final round of the Round-Robin stage of the tournament. Russia and Georgia topped the pools as expected, with India and Armenia in Pool A and Ukraine and Kazakhstan in Pool B joining the rest of the qualified teams. Although the last round was marked by a breakdown in DGT live transmission of the games, the episode did add to the suspense of the event.

How to watch?
The FIDE World Women's Team Championship games can be found on Chess.com/events. Live commentary for all rounds will be broadcast on Chess.com/tv.

Live coverage of round one. Watch all of the live coverage at youtube.com/chess.


Round 5

Pool A

Russia and India posted identical 3-1 victories over Armenia and France and topped the Pool with 10 and 7 match points, respectively. The only surprise came when the top seeded Russia survived a scare in the final round against Armenia after dominating the tournament for the first two days.

Russian top boards GM Aleksandra Goryachkina and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk settled for draws despite outranking their opponents by more than 200 Elo points. Though GM Kateryna Lagno won comfortably, the fourth board game posed some problems for Russia:

In another show of nerves, Indian IM Tania Sachdev escaped with a draw when her opponent repeated the moves and settled for a repetition despite having a winning position:

Indian fourth board WGM Mary Ann Gomes scored a steady win from a knight ending:

Indian WGM Mary Ann Gomes at World Women's Team Championship
Indian Mary Ann Gomes played a delightful knight ending. Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE.

The all-important match Azerbaijan-Spain where either side could qualify with a match win ended in a decisive 3.5-0.5 win for the Azerbaijanis, but the final score doesn't reveal the story behind the games.

IM David Martinez, coach of the Spanish team at Women's Chess Olympiad
IM David Martinez, the Spanish team's coach, had a tough day at the office. Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE.

On the second board, Spanish IM Sabrina Vega Gutierrez blundered while staring at a comfortable and advantageous position:

On the third board, FM Maria Eizaguerri Floris blundered while defending against a not-so-decisive attack:

And finally, Spanish fourth board IM Marta Garcia Martin also erred in a slightly better position:

IM Marta Garcia of Spain at the World Women's Team Championship
IM Marta Garcia of Spain. Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE.

Pool B

Comparatively, Pool B didn't bring much drama to the table in terms of match results, but the fourth place qualification was ultimately decided by game points, as both FIDE Americas and Germany tied with 3 Match Points each. This was after Georgia beat FIDE Americas 3-1, Kazakhstan beat Poland 3-0, and Ukraine beat Germany 3.5-0.5. FIDE Americas qualified to the knockout by virtue of having half a point more in game points than Germany.

The games broadcast was then marred by a breakdown in DGT transmission especially for the Pool-B games, but spectators were ultimately delighted to see two queen sacrifices from the round:

GM Zhansaya Abdumalik from Kazakhstan at the World Women's Team Championship
IM Zhansaya Abdumalik, sacrificing the queen for three pieces. Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE.

Though the other queen sacrifice was not a part of a "clean" game, it was still delightful to witness, indeed:

STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 5

2021 FIDE World Women's Team Championship Standings Round 5

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 Chess.com.


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