Greece upsets Russia in 2nd round World Team Championship

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
World Team ChThe second round of the World Team Championship saw a big upset with Greece beating Russia: Morozevich and Tomashevsky lost to Papaioannou and Banikas. Aronian defeated Gelfand to decide the Armenia-Israel match.

The 7th World Team Championship takes place at the Merinos Congress Centre in Bursa, Turkey from January 3rd till 14th, 2010. It's a 9-round round-robin with 10 teams of 6 players: 4 players + 2 reserves, and one coach/captain. The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves +30 minutes to end the game, with 30 seconds increment from the start. At the tournament the zero-tolerance rule is in effect, and draw offers are not allowed before move 30. Teams are Russia, Brazil, China, Egypt (continental champions), Armenia, Israel, USA (Olympiad qualifiers), Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Greece (organizing country and two invited federations).

Round 2

What a game by Papaioannou. Morozevich lost in just 25 moves, with the White pieces! The former world's number 2 (as recent as July 2008) is always great fun to watch, and often delivers pure brilliancies, but sometimes he plays just a bit too frivolously. And somehow it's comforting to us mortals that classical rules such as "don't forget to develop your pieces" and "a wing attack should be answered by a central attack" still seem to hold sometimes, even in the computer era of concrete moves.

Morozevich played an early 4.g4 pawn push which perfectly suits his style, but the way Papaioannou played against it was impressive and instructive. He just castled against it, which seems possible as long as you don't make weakening pawn moves. Then there followed some central pawn pushes and some quick development, including a pawn sac, and soon White was under heavy pressure - just look at the position after 16 moves. The pawn on c4 played a key role in the game, basically controlling White's queenside on its own.

World Team Ch

But Papaioannou was not the only hero in Greece; Banikas played at a very high level as well. It started with strong opening preparation (did he close the 9...b5 chapter for good? We'll have to await the next CVO I guess) which led to a clear plus for White out of the opening. Banikas finished as strongly as he started, and the upset was there.

Aronian played a good game against Gelfand - it contained some long variations that were difficult to calculate, involving passed pawns for both sides and back rank mate stuff, but the Armenian had the sharpest vision. 32...Qd5 seems to be Black's last chance.

World Team Ch 2010 | Results round 2

World Team Ch 2010 | Round 2 standings

Games round 2

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