USA beats Greece, leads in Bursa

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
World Team ChThe top match in round 7 between Armenia and Russia ended in 2-2, and thanks to a 1.5-2.5 victory over Greece, USA took a slim lead at the World Team Championship. Games round 7 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 7

As the tournament is getting closer to its end, the tension is getting higher in Bursa. After such a fantastic tournament already, the team of Greece yet again had excellent chances against the USA - objectively speaking this match should have ended in a 2-2 as well. Kotronias had a promising position against Nakamura but blew it completely on move 37. Akobian, on the other hand, was close to winning against Halkias but this game ended in draw, like boards 2 and 3.

Armenia-Russia was a hard-fought match, with two draws and two decisive games. Grischuk and Aronian finished their game in less than an hour (or was it less than half an hour?) since for 19 moves they followed Kramnik-Ni Hua, London last month and then immediately repeated moves. On board 2, Morozevich suffered yet another loss, with Black against Akopian. The two reached a typical good knight versus bad bishop middlegame, often seen in the Najdorf and the Sveshnikov. If Black can get his bishop to the g1-a7 diagonal he's usually doing fine because of the extra pressure on f2, but in this game we didn't see this scenario. Strong play by Akopian.

Two dubious moves in the early middlegame sealed Sargissian's fate in his game against Tomashevsky, and Pashikian couldn't break through Malakhov's defence in an ending with rooks and two bishops vs two knights (and later a RB-R).

The round included a big upset: Israel, without Gelfand, lost 1.5-2.5 to Turkey, who immediately left last place in the standings, where now Brazil can be found. There was no sign of problems on boards 1, where Smirin easily defeated Erdogdu. However, Sutovsky dropped a full piece in a drawn position:

Yilmaz-Sutovsky World Team Ch Where 67...Kf8 would have been equal, 67...Kf6?? 68.Rb6+ Ke7 69.Bd5! lost the knight.

Postny and Can drew a Saemisch King's Indian on 3, and then a dramatic end on board 4 decided the match in Turkey's favour:

Esen-Rodshtein World Team Ch Rodshtein had been an exchange up since move 43, and clearly played for a win too long here. Black should take the draw with 69...Rb8, but in the game there followed 69...Kxd3?? 70.a5 Ke4 71.a6 and both white pawns queened, and one with check which decided the game.

Another small upset was almost reached in Egypt-India, where boards 1, 2 and 4 had ended in a draw and Abdel Razik was defending a R-RB ending against Gopal.

Abdel-Gopal World Team Ch 42 moves after the last pawn was captured, White makes the first mistake: 116.Rb8? (the only move was 116.Rf8) 116...Rg4+! 117.Kh3 Rf4! 118.Rb2+ Be2 119.Ra2 Re4! 120. Rb2

World Team Ch 120...Re3+?
(Now it's a draw again; necessary was 120... Ra4! 121.Rd2 Ra3+ 122. Kh2 Ra5-+) 121.Kh4? (121.Kh2! Re5 122.Rb3=) 121...Re5! 122. Kh3 and resigned, since it's mate in one.

Note that exactly the same ending was reached in Pashikian-Malakhov, but there Black defended splendidly.

With two rounds to go, USA has a slim lead of one match point over Russia. On shared third place, again a point behind, are Azerbaijan and India. Pairings of the last two rounds: Armenia-USA, Azerbaijan-Greece, Turkey-Brazil, India-Israel and Russia-Egypt (today) and Egypt-Armenia, Israel-Russia, Brazil-India, Greece-Turkey and USA-Azerbaijan (tomorrow).

Below we also give the top 20 of best performing players. Both Nakamura and Mamedyarov are currently on a rating performance above 3000.

World Team Ch 2010 | Results round 7

World Team Ch 2010 | Round 7 standings

World Team Ch 2010 | Rating statistics after round 7 (top 20)

Games round 7

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