Russia wins World Team Championship

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
World Team ChRussia won the World Team Champioinship Wednesday with a 3-1 victory against Israel. The USA drew 2-2 with Azerbaijan and edged out India by just half a board point to take silver. Games round 9 with notes.

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 India, Egypt (continental champions), Armenia, Israel, USA (Olympiad qualifiers), Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Greece (organizing country and two invited federations).

Round 9

A 2-2 against Israel would probably have been enough for Russia, since the USA, 1 match point and 1.5 board points behind, would never score a 4-0 against Azerbaijan. Well... perhaps it was theoretically possible in the end, since the Azeri's showed up without Gashimov and Radjabov. But Guseinov, Mamedyarov and the two Mamedovs held the Americans to 2-2 thanks to excellent opening preparation.

And so the Russians won the title quite convincingly in the end. After their surprising loss against Greece in round 2 they won all their matches (including a 3-1 against main rival USA) and drew with Armenia. In the last round they were too strong for Israel, where Boris Gelfand is still in a class of his own. He drew with Grischuk, but boards 2-4 lost 2.5-0.5 and Sutovsky must have been losing too.

Sutovsky-Malakhov World Team Ch Black just won an exchange and exchanged queens, but White managed to hold this.

Vitiugov's last move against Rodshtein was pretty:
Vitiugov-Rodshtein World Team Ch 33.Qxf7+! 1-0

Their 3-1 win against Egypt paints a too rosy picture for the Armenians. OK, Adly was outplayed by Aronian, but Amin was doing alright for most of the game against Akopian and it looks like Ezat could have drawn against Pashikian with 57.Bf7. India finished an excellent tournament with a convincing 3.5-0.5 victory over Brazil.

Both Egypt and Turkey scored one win and one draw in Bursa but Turkey finished last with just half a board point less. In the last round, Firat saw ghosts:

Firat-Mastrovasilis World Team Ch Here White resigned, but 31.g3 is not clear at all.

Mamedyarov seems to be fully back in the world elite. After some strong months at the end of 2009, he scored the highest tournament performance rating in Bursa: 2950.

Although we were a bit skeptical about the tournament formula (and we still are about the way teams are being selected - where on earth was the Ukraine?) we must say that the combination of strong and weak teams at least led to very interesting fights, and several brilliant games. If this event set an example for the rest of the year, 2010 will see great chess.

The next big one already starts in two days: the Corus Chess Tournament. Travelling from Bursa to Wijk aan Zee are Akobian, Harikrishna, Nakamura, Robson and Sutovsky.

World Team Ch 2010 | Results round 9

World Team Ch 2010 | Round 9 (final) standings

World Team Ch 2010 | Rating statistics after round 9 (top 20)

Games round 9

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