China Wins World Team Chess Championship

In the final of the World Team Chess Championship held in Jerusalem, the Chinese team was the surprise winner, defeating the champion of the Chess Olympiad in Chennai, Uzbekistan, in both matches.

In the bronze medal match, at the time of writing, Spain and India entered a blitz play-off after drawing the first two matches, but in the end, Spain drew the longest straw and secured victory.

2022 FIDE World Team Chess Championship Live Games

In comparison, the veteran but under-rated Chinese “unknowns” showed that the absence of any of their top eight players could not stop them from showing how good they are in this format and bringing down the young sensation. Uzbek gold winners from the Chennai Olympics.

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The players are ready to go on the last day. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

The final

By reaching the final, Uzbekistan reaffirmed that they are the real deal, even without their usual top scorer Nordibek Abdusattorov.

In the first match of the final, it was quickly apparent that both teams were ready to fight. The first game ended between Major General Jahongir Sindarov and Xu Xiangyu on two boards.

Nearby was a draw between Javongir Vahidov and Lee Di, a less exciting game in the Nimzo-Indian Defense (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4) that ended in a line where neither player played. both to test each other’s abilities for too long.

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On the first board, it all started with a Scottish game, with both players sending their kings to queens in what seemed like the most dangerous place on the planet. However, the players quickly took the game to sawdust, sawing off the wood on the board and sending the game to a final game that, despite playing for a long time, was primarily an attempt by one side to level the score in the only decisive game of the match.

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That leaves us with a three-way tie between CEOs Bai Jinshi and Shamsiddin Vohidov, a game that decided the match…

The result sealed China’s first-round win, forcing the Uzbeks to play for a win in the second round.

The trainers are watching their students with concern. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

On board, GM Nodibek Yakubboev and Chinese “veteran”, 27-year-old GM Lu Shanglei played another marathon game, but this time their game was much more dramatic, which is why we chose it as “Game of the Day”.

For a while, Xu Xiangyu and Sindarov’s double match looked like the clincher for the Chinese team, when White had a decisive advantage in the last game, but despite a huge time advantage, it was less than one in almost 10 minutes. In favor of the Chinese player, White played too fast and destroyed everything, once again opening the match for the Uzbeks.

The third board was not as noisy as the first board.

Before the round, team captain GM Ivan Sokolov decided to play his reserve IM Ortik Nigmatov with black pieces against Li Di. At first, it looked like the perfect decision, as Nigmatov had no trouble equalizing and even taking the lead.

Ortik Nigmatov was a surprise choice for Uzbekistan in the final match. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

However, things turned out for the Uzbek player at the end of the game, allowing Li Di to win the game, the round and the match.

China’s success in this tournament was unexpected. Missing all of their best players, but seeing every stage of the tournament, including a huge victory in the final, was breathtaking and showed the world how strong China is as a chess nation.

The victorious Chinese team with FIDE president Dvorkovich and former world champion Anand. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

A proud but dejected Uzbek team, coached by Ivan Sokolov. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

Match for bronze medals

Playing for a bronze medal on the day of the finals is certainly not what either of these teams were hoping for, but a bronze is better than nothing. Both India and Spain had strong squads despite missing several of their best players. But Spain came with something close to their strongest line-up.

In the first round of the match, main players GMs Jaime Santos Latasa and Vidit Guraj played an uneventful draw, where the black pieces and the Spanish player were never at a disadvantage.

Similarly, on the third board, the Spanish player, legend Major General Alexey Shirov Grunfeld managed to draw with SL Narayanan in the Indian game.

On board three, GM Miguel Santos Ruiz sacrificed/lost a pawn shortly after opening with white pieces against GM Krishnan Sasikiran. In the early middle game, he soon won it back and then gradually gained a small but clear advantage. After sub-par moves from both sides, Black made a final mistake and never came back.

In a game between GMs David Anton Guijarro and Nihal Sarin, the Indian player gradually took control of the middle game and eventually secured a crucial win for India, securing a crucial 2-2 draw.

The second round saw a solid performance from both teams and neither game was in danger of winning this round and that is what secured the bronze medals.

This required a blitz playoff in which Shirov returned to the lineup by taking the black pieces against Narayanan. But this game ended in a draw. and also a four-way matchup between Santos Ruiz and GM Abhijeet Gupta, just like their second round.

On the top board, Santos Latasa took over the team and secured a convincing win against Vidit.

Against Nihal, Anton Guijarro put on the pressure and ended up scoring another win for Spain, securing a 3-1 win for Spain.

David Anton Guijarro beat Nihal Sarin in a blitz playoff. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

Fortunately, with a decisive blitz playoff, the teams avoided a final tiebreaker, which in my opinion was a chess box, probably not the players or the organizers.

Famous personalities of FIDE together with Alexey Shirov of the Spanish team who won the bronze medal. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

The FIDE World Team Championship will be held on November 19-26, 2022 in Jerusalem, Israel. The format is a round-robin system for teams of five rounds, followed by a knockout for the top eight. Time control is 45 minutes for the whole game and 10 second steps from the first move.

All games

The FIDE World Team Championship will be held on November 19-26, 2022 in Jerusalem, Israel. The format is a round-robin system for teams of five rounds, followed by a knockout for the top eight. Time control is 45 minutes for the whole game and 10 second steps from the first move.


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