World Teams: India beats Azerbaijan, Russia beats USA

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
World Team ChThe World Team Championship is just three rounds old an already there's no team left that hasn't suffered a loss. Yesterday Russia recovered and defeated the USA while Azerbaijan lost to India.

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 3

After three rounds, Armenia has a slim lead of just half a board point but Azerbaijan, India, Israel, Russia and the United States also have four match points. Yesterday they beat Turkey 3.5-0.5; the draw was scored by IM Mert Erdogdu (2513) who was under slight pressure with White against Levon Aronian, but just didn't make a mistake.

Boards 2 and 3 went smoothly for the Armenians; Sargissian's opponent Emre Can went all or nothing with a King's-Gambit-19th-century-style, and got less than nothing. On 4, Baris Esen got his chances when Arman Pashikian, close to the time control, almost spoilt a winning position with 37.Rd4? (the simple 37.Qxc6, protecting Nf3, is just winning).


37...Rxg2+! was good here (do you see the main idea on move 39 for Black?), but 44...Kf7? a blunder. Perhaps White is winning anyway, but like this it was over instantly.

Azerbaijan suffered a surprising loss to India. Radjabov sacrificed a pawn against Harikrishna and got a strong, close to winning initiative in return, but then lost track. Black would have suffered after both 19.exf6 Bxf6 20.h4! and 21.Bd5 followed by 22.e6. On board 3 Ganguly defeated Guseinov, who plays at a higher board than Mamedyarov, repeating a successful strategy from last year's European Team Championship. "Shakh" has proven to be very good at beating weaker players, and yesterday Gopal was his victim.

Things were decided when Sasikiran beat Gashimov in a game that started as a rare Nimzo/Benoni hybrid. 13...Nxc3 was new compared to Dao Thien Hai-Garcia, Amsterdam (Donner Memorial) 1996, and as it turns out this variation was played by Donner himself with both colours! In the game, Sasikiran got wonderful play for just one pawn, with a terrible lack of development among the black troops. Gashimov saw it coming and decided to return the material and exchange queens, but even in the ending with rooks and opposite-coloured bishops Sasikiran managed to keep the initiative. The big question is: can White win after the obvious 46...Rb1 or 47...Rb1 - with 46...f5? Gashimov gave away the game and the match.

Russia was too strong for the USA, but not on boards 1 and 2. Nakamura played the Leningrad Dutch against Grischuk and at some point had much better bishops, but there was no way to get through. Onischuk was fine in the middlegame but snatching b7 was dangerous. If Morozevich had found Nd1 a move earlier he might have won the game. Shulman was completely crushed by Malakhov and Akobian clearly erred somewhere in the opening against Vitiugov because already at move 13 he was a pawn down in an ending, with White.

The surprise of the round: Egypt's upset against Greece, who had beaten Russia the round before. Israel defeated Brazil thanks to Gelfand who scored an easy win on board one against Vescovi. In Leitao-Sutovsky 28...Nxe4 looks dangerous, but it might be possible for Black.

World Team Ch 2010 | Results round 3

World Team Ch 2010 | Round 3 standings

Games round 3

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