Tactics Abound As Russia Leads In World Team Championship

Tactics Abound As Russia Leads In World Team Championship

Never question the the home team. After round two in the World Team Championship, Russia trailed China and the Poland by one match point. After round five, they have switched places, leapfrogging China and Poland to lead by one point. With all the key matches between Russia, China, and Poland ahead, all results are still possible.

Svidler helmed the Russian team in round three.

Photo courtesy of the official site by Anastasia Balakhontseva.

Round 3

Russia only won one game in their match against Ukraine, but it was enough to win the match memorably. GM Ian Nepomniachtchi plowed through GM Anton Korobov in a Sicilian, sacing numerous pieces. Can you find the move that forced Korobov's resignation?

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Korobov seems full of energy. | Photo courtesy of the official site by Anastasia Balakhontseva.

Meanwhile, a handicapped U.S.A. (missing So, Caruana, and Nakamura), held the leading and top-seeded China to a draw while clean wins from boards one and two (GMs Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Jan-Krzysztof Duda) allowed Poland to power past Egypt.

Round 4

The meddlesome Turkish (who earlier drew the Russian team) upset the Poles as GM Emre Can defeated GM Mateusz Bartel with fine rook endgame play, proving the adage that endgames always favor Black in the Sicilian Defense.

Russia again benefited from a win again Nepomniachtchi (and new European Champion GM Maxim Matlakov) in a win over Belarus.

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Nepomniachtchi's secret weapon: his fearsome shirt. | Photo courtesy of the official site by Anastasia Balakhontseva.

The round also featured two blowouts as China defeated Egypt 3.5-0.5 (not so surprising) and India did the same to the U.S.A. (quite surprising). The most interesting game of the round was probably GM Krishnan Sasikiran's victory over GM Ray Robson which saw a fleeing king and interesting back rank combinations.

Adhiban also impressed the spectators with an excellent tactical sequence sure to appear in future collections. Black to play and win!

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Adhiban's games are invariably interesting. | Photo courtesy of the official site by Anastasia Balakhontseva.

Norwegian coach GM Jonathan Tisdall recounted an interesting tale of his team's match with Ukraine.

Round 5

In a round that saw only five decisive games, two came from Russia as they defeated Norway, and two more came from Poland as they defeated Ukraine, but the most interesting came from the Adhiban as he saced his queen to promote a mass of pawns.

World Teams | Round 5 Standings

# Flag Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
1 Russia 2 3 3 9 14
2 China 2 2 8 13½
3 Poland 3 3 8 12½
4 Turkey 2 2 2 7 11
5 India 6 11½
6 Ukraine 1 2 3 2 4
7 U.S.A. 2 ½ 2 4
8 Norway 1 1 2
9 Belarus 1 ½ 2 2 2 7
10 Egypt ½ ½ 1 0 5

In the women's championship, the Russian team is also in the lead, but this time they are joined by Ukraine.

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A sentiment popular in Ugra and in U.S. current events.

This is a bit of an under-performance for Russian in rounds 3-5 as the drew the much lower-ranked Azerbaijan and U.S.A. teams in rounds 3 and 5 respectively. Against Georgia in round four, they only won by 2.5-1.5. A key point was this interesting win on board two.

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GM Alexandra Kosteniuk leads the Russian team and here plays IM Anna Zatonskih. | Photo courtesy of the official site by Anastasia Balakhontseva.

Meanwhile, Ukraine drew Poland in round five, but defeated India by a half-point in round three and Vietnam by a full-point in round four.

Trailing by two points is China who earlier lost to Russia. They narrowly defeated Vietnam in round three as the new Women's World Champion Tan Zhongyi lost this nice game.

The Women's section actually featured multiple typical tactical themes. Can you find the solutions to these three puzzles?

Zatonskih vs Wafa

nullZatonskih must have been shocked to be able to play this trap. | Photo courtesy of the official site by Anastasia Balakhontseva.

Elansary vs Karavade

Wafa vs Javakhishvili

World Teams | Women, Round 5 Standings

# Flag Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
1 Russia 3 2 3 2 8 12½
2 Ukraine 2 2 3 8 12
3 India 2 3 7 11½
4 China 1 2 2 6 11
5 Poland 2 2 2 5 11
6 U.S.A. 2 2 4 10½
7 Vietnam 1 1 4 4 10
8 Georgia 2 ½ 2 4 4 10
9 Azerbaijan 2 2 ½ 4 4 10
10 Egypt 1 ½ 0 0 0 0

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