Russia holds a slim lead going into the final two rounds of the World Team Championship in Astana, but England is just a match-point behind. China is close to securing gold in the women’s section, with a three-point lead over Russia.

Open section:

In this report we’re looking at rounds six and seven. On Monday, the Russians dropped their second match-point with a 2-2 result against Azerbaijan. Whereas Ian Nepomniachtchi strongly countered Rauf Mamedov, Sergey Karjakin lost his second game in a row. Arkadij Naiditsch played very well in this game.






Bo. Fed 9 Russia Rtg Fed 7 Azerbaijan Rtg 2 : 2
2/1 GM Karjakin, Sergey (w) 2753 GM Naiditsch, Arkadij (b) 2710 0 – 1
2/2 GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian (b) 2771 GM Mamedov, Rauf (w) 2701 1 – 0
2/3 GM Grischuk, Alexander (w) 2771 GM Safarli, Eltaj (b) 2662 ½ – ½
2/4 GM Artemiev, Vladislav (b) 2736 GM Abasov, Nijat (w) 2627 ½ – ½

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Karjakin Naiditsch 2019 World Team Chess Championship

Karjakin resigns his game with Naiditsch and loses two in a row. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The Russians kept their narrow lead the next day, thanks to an also narrow victory over team USA. It was the 2019 Gibraltar winner, Vladislav Artemiev, who decided the match here.






Bo. Fed 8 United States of America Rtg Fed 9 Russia Rtg 1½:2½
5/1 GM Swiercz, Dariusz (w) 2655 GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian (b) 2771 ½ – ½
5/2 GM Sevian, Samuel (b) 2642 GM Grischuk, Alexander (w) 2771 ½ – ½
5/3 GM Lenderman, Aleksandr (w) 2637 GM Andreikin, Dmitry (b) 2725 ½ – ½
5/4 GM Izoria, Zviad (b) 2603 GM Artemiev, Vladislav (w) 2736 0 – 1

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Artemiev Izoria 2019 World Team Chess Championship

Artemiev took down Izoria with a pretty “magnet” combination. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

England keeps on doing well. The team got back to just one point behind the leaders thanks to an excellent 3-1 win against Iran.






Bo. Fed 2 Iran Rtg Fed 5 England Rtg 1 : 3
4/1 GM Maghsoodloo, Parham (w) 2673 GM Adams, Michael (b) 2708 0 – 1
4/2 GM Idani, Pouya (b) 2604 GM Mcshane, Luke J (w) 2661 0 – 1
4/3 GM Tabatabaei, M.Amin (w) 2600 GM Howell, David W L (b) 2693 0 – 1
4/4 GM Firouzja, Alireza (b) 2657 GM Speelman, Jon S (w) 2516 1 – 0

That was despite some minor troubles in the health department. Because Gawain Jones wasn’t feeling well, a 62-year-old former world championship candidate stepped in! In a quick but spectacular loss, we got to see a “steel king” for Jon Speelman‘s opponent.

Speelman Firouzja 2019 World Team Chess Championship

Firouzja, in a good mood before what would be a quick win vs Speelman. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

All others won for England, and that also meant the first win for Michael Adams. Parham Maghsoodloo blundered on the last move before the time control:

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Iran England Artemiev Izoria 2019 World Team Chess Championship

England scored 3-0 on the other boards. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

With yet another win the next day, this time the expected victory vs Egypt, England is now in sole second place with two rounds to go and is in an excellent position to win a medal.






Bo. Fed 5 England Rtg Fed 3 Egypt Rtg 2½:1½
2/1 GM Adams, Michael (w) 2708 GM Amin, Bassem (b) 2709 0 – 1
2/2 GM Mcshane, Luke J (b) 2661 GM Adly, Ahmed (w) 2611 ½ – ½
2/3 GM Howell, David W L (w) 2693 IM Fawzy, Adham (b) 2461 1 – 0
2/4 GM Jones, Gawain C B (b) 2681 GM Hesham, Abdelrahman (w) 2450 1 – 0

David Howell won a fun game:

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Malcolm Pein was interviewed about England’s chances.

On Monday, India joined England in second place with a 3.5-0.5 win against Kazakhstan, but after a 2-2 vs Azerbaijan today it’s in third place now.

China is doing surprisingly badly. Who would have guessed that tail-ender Egypt would be scoring its first match point against the Olympic champions? This happened in round six:






Bo. Fed 3 Egypt Rtg Fed 4 China Rtg 2 : 2
5/1 GM Amin, Bassem (w) 2709 GM Ding, Liren (b) 2812 ½ – ½
5/2 GM Adly, Ahmed (b) 2611 GM Wei, Yi (w) 2733 1 – 0
5/3 IM Fawzy, Adham (w) 2461 GM Bu, Xiangzhi (b) 2731 ½ – ½
5/4 IM Abdelnabbi, Imed (b) 2435 GM Ni, Hua (w) 2683 0 – 1

The upset win here was Ahmed Adly beating Wei Yi with the black pieces. This was especially surprising since Wei was completely winning right out of the opening!

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World Teams (Open) | Round 7 standings












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

2 3

3 12 17,5 0
2 England 2 2 2

3

11 16,5 0
3 India

2

2 2 2 10 18,5 0
4 USA 2

1 2 3 8 15,5 2
5 China

2

2 8 15,5 0
6 Iran 1 2

3 7 15,0 0
7 Azerbaijan 2 2 3 ½

2 1

5 12,0 0
8 Kazakhstan 1 ½ 2

2 3

4 11,5 0
9 Sweden

½ ½ ½ 3 1 4 9,5 0
10 Egypt 1 ½ 1 2 1

1 8,5 0

Pairings for round eight (Wednesday): Sweden-Russia, India-USA, Iran-Azerbaijan, Egypt-Kazakhstan, China-England:

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

Women’s section:

While their male colleagues are doing poorly, the Chinese ladies are on fire. It’s all wins so far, and with two rounds to go the gap with Russia is three points.

Today’s 4-0 win against Egypt wasn’t a surprise. On Monday, India put up an excellent fight though, with draws on three boards. Once again it was Lei Tingjie who secured the two match points for China.






Bo. Fed 3 India Rtg Fed 4 China Rtg 1½:2½
5/1 IM Karavade, Eesha (w) 2357 GM Tan, Zhongyi (b) 2513 ½ – ½
5/2 WGM Soumya, Swaminathan (b) 2401 IM Shen, Yang (w) 2453 ½ – ½
5/3 IM Padmini, Rout (w) 2332 WGM Huang, Qian (b) 2441 ½ – ½
5/4 WGM Kulkarni, Bhakti (b) 2322 GM Lei, Tingjie (w) 2477 0 – 1

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Lei Tingjie

Lei Tingjie (left) scored two draws and four wins so far for China. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Whereas Russia kept the pace with China on Monday (a 2.5-1.5 win vs USA), it dropped a match point and basically lost the chance for gold today. It was a tie with Ukraine, where besides two draws it was mixed success for the Muzychuk sisters.






Bo. Fed 6 Ukraine Rtg Fed 2 Russia Rtg 2 : 2
3/1 GM Muzychuk, Mariya (w) 2560 GM Lagno, Kateryna (b) 2559 1 – 0
3/2 GM Muzychuk, Anna (b) 2555 GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra (w) 2545 0 – 1
3/3 GM Ushenina, Anna (w) 2443 GM Goryachkina, Aleksandra (b) 2504 ½ – ½
3/4 IM Gaponenko, Inna (b) 2427 WGM Girya, Olga (w) 2456 ½ – ½

Alexandra Kosteniuk had opened the score with a win against Anna Muzychuk, who must have underestimated White’s attack on the kingside. And indeed, it was winning for White surprisingly quickly.

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Muzychuk Kosteniuk 2019 World Team Chess Championship

Anna Muzychuk vs Kosteniuk. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

On board one, Mariya Muzychuk made up for her sister’s loss against Kateryna Lagno, who blundered only a few moves after the players had left a game Karjakin-Anand from 2017.

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Muzychuk Lagno 2019 World Team Chess Championship

Mariya Muzychuk vs Lagno. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

World Teams (Women) | Round 7 standings












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

4 14 20,0 0
2 Russia

2 3

4 11 20,0 0
3 Georgia

2 2

3 10 19,0 0
4 Ukraine

2 2

2 2 3 4 10 17,5 0
5 India ½ 2

2 4

4 8 16,5 0
6 Kazakhstan 1 ½ 2 2

6 12,0 0
7 USA

½ 2 0 3 3

5 11,5 0
8 Armenia ½

1 2 4 3 12,0 0
9 Hungary ½

1 1

1 2 3 9,5 0
10 Egypt 0 0 ½ 0 0

0 0 2,0 0

Pairings for round eight (Wednesday): Egypt-Kazakhstan, Armenia-Georgia, Russia-Hungary, India-Ukraine, China-USA.

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


Previous reports:

https://www.chess.com/news/view/russia-still-leads-chased-by-england-at-world-team-chess-championship