World Teams: China Beats Armenia, Ukraine Increases Lead
Ukraine increased its lead at the World Team Championship in Kemer, Antalya (Turkey) to a whopping 3 match points. In round 4 Germany was beaten 3-1, while their nearest rival Armenia went down 1.5-2.5 to China. Russia defeated Azerbaijan with the same score, while the Netherlands beat Turkey 3-1.
The big match in round 4 was China vs. Armenia, and on top board Levon Aronian showed the way for his team. The world number 2 beat Li Chao in an excellent game with Black, surprising his opponent in the opening and continuing with lots of powerful moves in the ending. The tactics at the end were a nice reward for the winner.
On board 4 Sargissian-Yu Yangyi was drawn, but the Chinese won this match thanks to victories on board 2 and 3. Especially Ding Liren's King's Indian against Sergei Movsesian was a pleasure to watch: on move 13 the 21-year-old GM from Wenzhou grabbed the initiative and moved his king's rook all the way to g3. When it was finally trapped, Movsesian didn't dare to take it because Black's black-squared bishop would become too strong. The Armenian GM got away with a rook ending a pawn down, but couldn't hold it.
27-year-old Bu Xiangzhi, who became a GM at 13, slowly outplayed Akopian in an English to seal the Armenians' fate.
Russia defeated Azerbaijan but not without a tough fight. Rauf Mamedov was actually just better against Vladimir Kramnik in an ending, but the 14th World Champion could avoid serious trouble.
Nidjat Mamedov and Alexander Grischuk completely copied one of the Anand-Carlsen draws in the Berlin (the one that ended in a pawn ending) - the only difference was that they stopped a few moves earlier! Guseinov and Vitiugov also drew and so it was Sergey Karjakin who won both match points for Russia.
USA and the Netherlands easily beat Egypt (3.5-0.5) and Turkey (3-1) respectively. Can you spot Alexander Onischuk's last move?
Although Loek van Wely makes more money from poker than from chess these days, he can still play some pretty good moves:
Loek van Wely (l.) at the press conference
World Team Championship 2013 | Round 4 standings
|4||United States of America||4||2||0||2||4||9½||0||12,50|