World Team Chess Championship: Russia Beats China; Lei Tingjie 'Sacs' Queen
The start of the big clash between Russian and China. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

World Team Chess Championship: Russia Beats China; Lei Tingjie 'Sacs' Queen

| 32 | Chess Event Coverage

A crushing win for Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Yu Yangyi brought Russia victory against its big rival China in round three of the World Team Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan. The same two countries kept their perfect scores in the women's section.

It was the board-two game between world the number-nine Nepomniachtchi and world number-11 Yu that decided the big clash between the top favorites in this World Team Championship. In their lifetime score, "Nepo" was in fact 1-2 down in classical games.

Leveling that score was hardly important though. Claiming the two match-points was.

Yu Nepomniachtchi World Team Chess Championship 2019
Alexander Grischuk (right) checking on the game of the hardly-thinking Ian Nepomniachtchi. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Though it has struggled at Olympiads since 2002, Russia has won the world teams three times since 2005. China, however, won the last two times, in 2015 and 2017. It's time to bring back the cup, team captain Alexander Motylev must be thinking.

Bo. Fed 4 China Rtg - Fed 9 Russia Rtg 1½:2½
3/1 GM Ding, Liren (w) 2812 - GM Karjakin, Sergey (b) 2753 ½ - ½
3/2 GM Yu, Yangyi (b) 2761 - GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian (w) 2771 0 - 1
3/3 GM Wei, Yi (w) 2733 - GM Grischuk, Alexander (b) 2771 ½ - ½
3/4 GM Bu, Xiangzhi (b) 2731 - GM Artemiev, Vladislav (w) 2736 ½ - ½

Nepomniachtchi's win was quite impressive. Using deep preparation in a 3.d4 Petroff, he ended the game with six minutes more on the clock than when he started!

Nepomniachtchi World Team Chess Championship 2019
A big win for Nepomniachtchi at this World Team Championship. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

That was already the second loss in a row for title-holder China. England, India and USA are the three teams trailing Russia at the moment.

Whereas India had an easy round against Egypt (3.5-0.5), England and USA dropped their first match points as they tied 2-2. All games ended in draws.

Bo. Fed 5 England Rtg - Fed 8 United States of America Rtg 2 : 2
4/1 GM Adams, Michael (w) 2708 - GM Swiercz, Dariusz (b) 2655 ½ - ½
4/2 GM Mcshane, Luke J (b) 2661 - GM Sevian, Samuel (w) 2642 ½ - ½
4/3 GM Howell, David W L (w) 2693 - GM Onischuk, Alexander (b) 2647 ½ - ½
4/4 GM Jones, Gawain C B (b) 2681 - GM Lenderman, Aleksandr (w) 2637 ½ - ½

The most interesting game was definitely board two, where Luke McShane played a Czech Benoni and continued in Benko/Volga Gambit style, followed by a Petrosian-style exchange sacrifice.

Although it was practically difficult, Sam Sevian might have been objectively winning somewhere. Engines do suggest so, but what do they know?

Sevian McShane Adams World Team Chess Championship 2019
Sevian-McShane, just visible behind Adams vs Swiercz Adams. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Iran was clearly too strong for Sweden (3.5-0.5). 

Bo. Fed 2 Iran Rtg - Fed 10 Sweden Rtg 3½: ½
1/1 GM Maghsoodloo, Parham (w) 2673 - GM Grandelius, Nils (b) 2694 1 - 0
1/2 GM Idani, Pouya (b) 2604 - GM Tikkanen, Hans (w) 2510 ½ - ½
1/3 GM Tabatabaei, M.Amin (w) 2600 - GM Smith, Axel (b) 2487 1 - 0
1/4 GM Firouzja, Alireza (b) 2657 - IM Johansson, Linus (w) 2479 1 - 0

Only on board one was the Iranian player lower-rated than his opponent. Nonetheless, the world junior champion Parham Maghsoodloo won by executing a very nice attack on the king against Nils Grandelius.

Maghsoodloo Grandelius World Team Chess Championship 2019
A great attacking win for Maghsoodloo vs Grandelius. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

A close match that ended in 2-2 was Kazakhstan vs Azerbaijan, where Anuar Ismagambetov was the (local) hero with a fine win over Rauf Mamedov.

Bo. Fed 6 Kazakhstan Rtg - Fed 7 Azerbaijan Rtg 2 : 2
5/1 GM Jumabayev, Rinat (w) 2609 - GM Naiditsch, Arkadij (b) 2710 ½ - ½
5/2 GM Ismagambetov, Anuar (b) 2545 - GM Mamedov, Rauf (w) 2701 1 - 0
5/3 GM Kazhgaleyev, Murtas (w) 2587 - GM Guseinov, Gadir (b) 2664 ½ - ½
5/4 GM Kostenko, Petr (b) 2466 - GM Abasov, Nijat (w) 2627 0 - 1

Naiditsch Jumabayev Mamedov World Team Chess Championship 2019
Mamedov vs Ismagambetov behind Jumabayev vs Naiditsch in Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Women's section:

China and Russia are still the only two teams on a perfect score. Whereas Russia crushed the Egyptian ladies 4-0, its Asian rivals had a much tougher day at the office.

Bo. Fed 4 China Rtg - Fed 9 Kazakhstan Rtg 2½:1½
3/1 GM Tan, Zhongyi (w) 2513 - IM Abdumalik, Zhansaya (b) 2469 ½ - ½
3/2 IM Shen, Yang (b) 2453 - IM Saduakassova, Dinara (w) 2462 0 - 1
3/3 GM Lei, Tingjie (w) 2477 - FM Assaubayeva, Bibisara (b) 2374 1 - 0
3/4 WGM Ding, Yixin (b) 2432 - IM Nakhbayeva, Guliskhan (w) 2295 1 - 0

If karma played a role here, you could say that China deserved the win thanks to GM Lei Tingjie's amazing queen sacrifice against FM Bibisara Assaubayeva. (Although getting three pieces for the queen can hardly be called a sacrifice.) During his commentary, GM Sergey Shipov had missed it and first thought Lei had blundered!

Lei interviewed after the game.

Lei Tingjie checking on board one World Team Chess Championship 2019
Winning a great game herself, here's Lei Tingjie (standing) checking on board one. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Ukraine is trailing the leaders by one match point after its 3-1 win against Hungary.

Bo. Fed 6 Ukraine Rtg - Fed 7 Hungary Rtg 3 : 1
5/1 GM Muzychuk, Mariya (w) 2560 - GM Hoang, Thanh Trang (b) 2454 1 - 0
5/2 GM Muzychuk, Anna (b) 2555 - IM Gara, Anita (w) 2384 ½ - ½
5/3 IM Gaponenko, Inna (w) 2427 - WIM Terbe, Julianna (b) 2306 1 - 0
5/4 IM Buksa, Nataliya (b) 2416 - WIM Havanecz, Bianka (w) 2270 ½ - ½

The former women's world champion GM Mariya Muzychuk played on board one (her sister Anna on two) and defeated the Vietnamese-born Hungarian GM Hoang Thanh Trang.

Mariya Muzychuk Hoang World Team Chess Championship 2019
Mariya Muzychuk (right) vs Hoang Thanh Trang. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

USA suffered its first loss. The team went down against Georgia, 0.5-3.5.

Bo. Fed 5 United States of America Rtg - Fed 8 Georgia Rtg ½ :3½
4/1 WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev (w) 2377 - GM Khotenashvili, Bela (b) 2474 0 - 1
4/2 WGM Nemcova, Katerina (b) 2315 - IM Javakhishvili, Lela (w) 2455 0 - 1
4/3 FM Yip, Carissa (w) 2279 - GM Batsiashvili, Nino (b) 2454 ½ - ½
4/4 WCM Wu, Rochelle (b) 2120 - IM Melia, Salome (w) 2385 0 - 1

The silver lining was once again FM Carissa Yip, who held the draw against GM Nino Batsiashvili and is now on 2.5/3.

Abrahamyan Yip World Team Chess Championship 2019
Tatev Abrahamyan (standing) looking at Carissa Yip's opening position. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

You can follow the games of the tournament live at

Previous reports:

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

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