Russia won the World Team Championship with a round to spare after beating Sweden and seeing its main rival England lose to China. In the women’s section, China has already secured gold as well with eight straight victories.

Open section:

The open tournament was such a close affair most of the time, but then suddenly it was decided in the eighth round. First, Russia got a pleasant pairing vs Sweden, and didn’t falter. On the contrary, this match was never in doubt.






Bo. Fed 10 Sweden Rtg Fed 9 Russia Rtg ½ :3½
1/1 GM Grandelius, Nils (w) 2694 GM Karjakin, Sergey (b) 2753 ½ – ½
1/2 GM Tikkanen, Hans (b) 2510 GM Grischuk, Alexander (w) 2771 0 – 1
1/3 GM Blomqvist, Erik (w) 2488 GM Andreikin, Dmitry (b) 2725 0 – 1
1/4 GM Smith, Axel (b) 2487 GM Artemiev, Vladislav (w) 2736 0 – 1

Especially on board two, the difference of strength was visible. Against Hans Tikkanen, Alexander Grischuk showed that you can’t just grab a pawn and then trade queens and be safe like that in the Winawer.

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Sweden World Team Chess Championship 2019

The Swedish team, about to face the mighty Russians. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Meanwhile, England lost the chance to pull off something truly magical (the gold medal) after being unbeaten for seven rounds. Today China, so far struggling in the competition, was too strong.






Bo. Fed 4 China Rtg Fed 5 England Rtg 3 : 1
5/1 GM Ding, Liren (w) 2812 GM Adams, Michael (b) 2708 1 – 0
5/2 GM Yu, Yangyi (b) 2761 GM Mcshane, Luke J (w) 2661 ½ – ½
5/3 GM Wei, Yi (w) 2733 GM Howell, David W L (b) 2693 1 – 0
5/4 GM Bu, Xiangzhi (b) 2731 GM Jones, Gawain C B (w) 2681 ½ – ½

Michael Adams had a big decision to make just before the time control. It was probably better to stay active and keep the exchange, but it was also understandable that he liquidated to an endgame with equal material. 

It’s hard to say where Black made the decisive mistake, but it’s a fact that Ding Liren made the most out of the advantage of bishop-vs-knight here!

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Ding Liren World Team Chess Championship 2019

Ding Liren won a long battle vs Michael Adams. | Photo: FIDE.

It went wrong on one more board for the Englishmen. David Howell was doing OK vs Wei Yi from an offbeat opening—a double fianchetto. However, in time trouble he lost the (tactical) thread in what turned out to be a big moment for the championship.

Wei Yi World Team Chess Championship 2019

Wei Yi outwitted David Howell tactically. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

China is now playing for medals again, with Kazakhstan on the program for the final round. England and India are currently tied for second place with one more match-point, with England facing Sweden and India having the toughest pairing of them all: Russia.

Today the Indians missed a chance to get into sole second place as they dropped a match point vs USA. A loss for India was more likely than a win, but Baskaran Adhiban held a difficult endgame vs Dariusz Swiercz.






Bo. Fed 1 India Rtg Fed 8 United States of America Rtg 2 : 2
2/1 GM Adhiban, B. (w) 2683 GM Swiercz, Dariusz (b) 2655 ½ – ½
2/2 GM Sasikiran, Krishnan (b) 2678 GM Sevian, Samuel (w) 2642 0 – 1
2/3 GM Ganguly, Surya Shekhar (w) 2633 GM Onischuk, Alexander (b) 2647 1 – 0
2/4 GM Sethuraman, S.P. (b) 2637 GM Lenderman, Aleksandr (w) 2637 ½ – ½

Adhiban Swiercz World Team Chess Championship 2019

The start of India vs USA with Adhiban-Swiercz on board one. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Whereas Surya Ganguly slowly outplayed Alexander Onischuk, Sam Sevian scored for America after a very interesting but perhaps not a 100-percent-correct pawn sac from Krishnan Sasikiran.

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India USA World Team Chess Championship 2019

India vs USA underway, with Ganguly vs Onischuk (middle) on board three. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Iran and Azerbaijan also ended in 2-2, but there was one more result that definitely needs to be mentioned. Egypt scored its first win in the tournament, beating Kazakhstan 2.5-1.5.






Bo. Fed 3 Egypt Rtg Fed 6 Kazakhstan Rtg 2½:1½
4/1 GM Amin, Bassem (w) 2709 GM Jumabayev, Rinat (b) 2609 1 – 0
4/2 GM Adly, Ahmed (b) 2611 GM Ismagambetov, Anuar (w) 2545 ½ – ½
4/3 IM Fawzy, Adham (w) 2461 GM Kazhgaleyev, Murtas (b) 2587 1 – 0
4/4 GM Hesham, Abdelrahman (b) 2450 IM Makhnev, Denis (w) 2476 0 – 1

Rinat Jumabayev had played an amazing tournament, scoring an undefeated 4.5/7 so far. However, he met his Waterloo in Bassem Amin, who was once again successful with his pet opening, the King’s Indian Attack.

Two dubious moves in a row in the opening forced Jumabayev to give up an exchange, but he almost came back (and was briefly OK in time trouble). Almost.

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Amin Jumabayev World Team Chess Championship 2019

Amin vs Jumabayev. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

And then there was the upset victory for IM Adham Fawzy vs GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev. The latter might have thought he played the winning move, but that turned out to be the losing move!

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World Teams (Open) | Round 8 standings












Rk. Fed Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TB1 TB2 TB3
1 Russia

2 2 3 3 14 21,0 0
2 India

2 2 2 2 2 11 20,5 0
3 England 2 2 1 2 3

11 17,5 0
4 China 2 3

2 10 18,5 0
5 USA 2 2

1 2 3 9 17,5 0
6 Iran 2 1

2 3 8 17,0 0
7 Azerbaijan 2 2 ½ 3 2 2 1

6 14,0 0
8 Kazakhstan 1 ½

2 2 3 4 13,0 0
9 Sweden ½ ½

½ ½ 3 1 4 10,0 0
10 Egypt 1 ½ 2 1 1

3 11,0 0

Pairings for the final round (Thursday, starting three hours earlier): England-Sweden, Kazakhstan-China, Azerbaijan-Egypt, USA-Iran, Russia-India.

Women’s section:

In the women’s tournament, things are also decided as far as the gold medals are concerned. Even without Hou Yifan and Ju Wenjun, the Chinese women’s team has been in a class of its own in Astana. It won all eight matches and is going into the final day three points ahead of Russia.






Bo. Fed 4 China Rtg Fed 5 United States of America Rtg 3 : 1
5/1 GM Tan, Zhongyi (w) 2513 WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev (b) 2377 1 – 0
5/2 WGM Huang, Qian (b) 2441 FM Yip, Carissa (w) 2279 ½ – ½
5/3 GM Lei, Tingjie (w) 2477 WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca (b) 2276 1 – 0
5/4 WGM Ding, Yixin (b) 2432 WCM Wu, Rochelle (w) 2120 ½ – ½

Tan Zhongyi scored a quick victory against Tatev Abrahamyan, who faced what seems to be a pretty strong novelty on move 16.

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Tan Zhongyi World Team Chess Championship 2019

Tan Zhongyi (right) and her teammates started the day in a good mood, and why wouldn’t they? | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com. 

Lei Tingjie won yet again, as well. Since she turned 22 today it means double celebrations for the team’s most valuable player!

These Chinese ladies are monsters when it comes to the calculation of variations in sharp positions.

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Lei Tingjie World Team Chess Championship 2019

A win for Lei Tingjie on her 22nd birthday. It’s her fifth win of the tournament, besides two draws. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The other results were Egypt-Kazakhstan ½-3½, Armenia-Georgia 2-2, Russia-Hungary 4-0 and India-Ukraine 1½-2½. The fight for silver will go between Ukraine, Russia and Georgia, with the former facing China (!) and the latter two playing each other. Even though we know who wins gold, this can still be a pretty exciting final day.

World Teams (Women) | Round 8 standings












Rk. Fed Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TB1 TB2 TB3
1 China

3 4 16 23,0 0
2 Russia 2

3 4 4 13 24,0 0
3 Ukraine

2 2 2 2 3 4 12 20,0 0
4 Georgia

2 2 2 3 11 21,0 0
5 India ½ 2 2 4

4 8 18,0 0
6 Kazakhstan 1 2 ½ 2

8 15,5 0
7 USA 1 2 ½ 0 3 3

5 12,5 0
8 Armenia ½ 2

1 2 4 4 14,0 0
9 Hungary ½ 0 1 1

1 2 3 9,5 0
10 Egypt 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½

0 0 2,5 0

Pairings for the final round (Thursday, starting three hours earlier): USA-Egypt, Ukraine-China, Hungary-India, Georgia-Russia, Kazakhstan-Armenia.

Ding Yixin Lei Tingjie Yu Shaoteng World Team Chess Championship 2019

A press conference after China’s victory with Ding Yixin, Lei Tingjie and team captain Yu Shaoteng. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.


Previous reports:

https://www.chess.com/news/view/russia-china-win-world-team-championships-with-round-to-spare