Armenia takes early lead at World Team Championship

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Armenia takes early lead at World Team ChampionshipArmenia took an early lead at the World Team Championship in Ningbo, China. In the first round the team, with Levon Aronian on board one and Sergey Movsesian on two, defeated Israel (without Boris Gelfand) 3.5-0.5. Russia beat USA 3-1.

The World Team Championship takes place July 15-26 in the 5-star New Century Grand Hotel in Ningbo, China. This seaport city is located in the northeastern Zhejiang Province in Eastern China and has a population of 2.2 million.





This official FIDE event is organized by the Chinese Chess Association with the patronage and support of the Ningbo Municipal Government and the Ningbo Sports Bureau.

According to FIDE Regulations the following federations were entitled to send a team:
  1. China (host country)
  2. Russia (winner 2009)
  3. Ukraine (Olympiad 2010)
  4. Israel (Olympiad 2010)
  5. Hungary (Olympiad 2010)
  6. Azerbaijan (Europe qualifier)
  7. India (Asia qualifier)
  8. USA (America’s qualifier)
  9. Egypt (African qualifier)
  10. Armenia (FIDE President's nomination)


Each team consists of five players, one reserve and one coach/captain. The zero tolerance rule for appearing at the board is in effect, as well as a rule against draws before move thirty.

The championship is a round-robin of nine rounds. The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes to finish the game with 30 seconds increment starting from move 1. There is one rest day, on Friday, July 22nd.

The championship is very strong, with quite a few top 20 players participating for their country. The strongest is Levon Aronian (the world's number 3), who's been Armenia's board one for years. The world's number 4 is there too: Sergey Karjakin, playing on 1 for Russia. It will be very interesting to see how Peter Leko will be doing. The Hungarian, who has been inactive for about a year, is the top board for Hungary, which has Judit Polgar on 3.

It looks like the issues between Vugar Gashimov and the Azerbaijan Chess Federation have been solved, and the world's number 11 plays in the team again. (He had to cancel Biel and was replaced there by Alexei Shirov.) Interestingly, Yasser Seirawan, who returned to tournament chess this year at the U.S. Championships, is now also playing for the U.S. team in China.

The playing hall of the World Team Championship

The playing hall of the World Team Championship



Notable absences include World Champion Vishy Anand (India) and his challenger Boris Gelfand (Israel), who both got a new-born son this spring. Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Hikaru Nakamura (USA) and Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine) will be playing in Dortmund which starts soon as well.

In the first round Armenia took a small lead (half a board point) over Russia. The former won with 3.5-0.5 against Israel; the latter scored 3-1 against USA. On this first day only 8 of the 20 games ended in draws. With Biel and Dortmund starting soon, after a relatively quiet period the chess fans will be enjoying a huge amount of top level chess games in the coming weeks.

Games round 1



Game viewer by ChessTempo


World Team Championship 2011 | Round 1 Results
Bo. 1 USA Rtg - 10 Russia Rtg 1 : 3
1.1 GM Kamsky Gata 2741 - GM Karjakin Sergey 2788 ½ - ½
1.2 GM Onischuk Alexander 2675 - GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2711 0 - 1
1.3 GM Shulman Yuri 2617 - GM Svidler Peter 2739 ½ - ½
1.4 GM Hess Robert 2609 - GM Vitiugov Nikita 2733 0 - 1
Bo. 2 Armenia Rtg - 9 Israel Rtg 3½: ½
2.1 GM Aronian Levon 2805 - GM Sutovsky Emil 2700 1 - 0
2.2 GM Movsesian Sergei 2700 - GM Roiz Michael 2669 ½ - ½
2.3 GM Akopian Vladimir 2667 - GM Postny Evgeny 2618 1 - 0
2.4 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2663 - GM Nabaty Tamir 2584 1 - 0
Bo. 3 Egypt Rtg - 8 Ukraine Rtg 1½:2½
3.1 GM Adly Ahmed 2631 - GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2768 0 - 1
3.2 GM Amin Bassem 2609 - GM Efimenko Zahar 2706 ½ - ½
3.3 GM El Gindy Essam 2510 - GM Moiseenko Alexander 2715 0 - 1
3.4 IM Shoker Samy 2475 - GM Areshchenko Alexander 2682 1 - 0
Bo. 4 China Rtg - 7 Azerbaijan Rtg 2 : 2
4.1 GM Wang Hao 2718 - GM Radjabov Teimur 2744 ½ - ½
4.2 GM Wang Yue 2709 - GM Gashimov Vugar 2760 1 - 0
4.3 GM Li Chao B 2669 - GM Mamedov Rauf 2679 ½ - ½
4.4 GM Yu Yangyi 2672 - GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2765 0 - 1
Bo. 5 India Rtg - 6 Hungary Rtg 2 : 2
5.1 GM Harikrishna Pentala 2669 - GM Leko Peter 2717 ½ - ½
5.2 GM Sasikiran Krishnan 2681 - GM Almasi Zoltan 2726 1 - 0
5.3 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2627 - GM Polgar Judit 2699 0 - 1
5.4 GM Gopal G.N. 2576 - GM Balogh Csaba 2643 ½ - ½



World Team Championship 2011 | Round 1 Standings
Rk. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TB1 TB2 TB3
1 Armenia * 2 3.5 0
2 Russia * 3 2 3.0 0
3 Ukraine * 2 2.5 0
4 China * 2 1 2.0 1
5 India * 2 1 2.0 1
6 Hungary 2 * 1 2.0 1
7 Azerbaijan 2 * 1 2.0 1
8 Egypt * 0 1.5 0
9 USA 1 * 0 1.0 0
10 Israel ½ * 0 0.5 0



The traditional Chinese acrobats during the opening ceremony...

The traditional Chinese acrobats during the opening ceremony...



...which also featured a bit of a long flute

...which also featured a pretty long flute - perhaps one of our readers knows what this impressive instrument is called?



Former Women's World Champion Xie Jun and Chief Arbiter Panagiotis Nikolopoulos

Former Women's World Champion Xie Jun and Chief Arbiter Panagiotis Nikolopoulos



The drawing of lots conducted with Chinese fans - here Vassily Ivanchuk picking lot number 8

The drawing of lots conducted with Chinese fans - here Vassily Ivanchuk picking lot number 8



Vugar Gashimov back in the team of Azerbaijan - in the first round he lost to China's Wang Yue on board 2

Vugar Gashimov back in the team of Azerbaijan - in the first round he lost to China's Wang Yue



Peter Leko (Hungary) back behind the board - here against India's Pentala Harikrishna

Peter Leko (Hungary) back behind the board - here against India's Pentala Harikrishna



Judit Polgar started with a win on board 3 for Hungary, behind Leko and Zoltan Almasi

Judit Polgar started with a win on board 3 for Hungary



Ian Nepomniachtchi defeated Alexander Onischuk in the Russia-USA match

Ian Nepomniachtchi defeated Alexander Onischuk in the Russia-USA match



China's top talent Yu Yangyi in action

China's top talent Yu Yangyi in action



Ukraine's Vassily Ivanchuk, again playing with a cap

Ukraine's Vassily Ivanchuk again playing with a cap



The highest rated player in Ningbo: Levon Aronian

The highest rated player in Ningbo: Levon Aronian



Photos © Fan Lulu, more here



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