China Wins World Team Chess Championship

The surprise winners in the final of the World Team Chess Championship in Jerusalem were the Chinese team, the Chinese Chess Olympiad champions after winning both matches against Uzbekistan.

In the bronze medal battle, at the time of writing, Spain and India went into a blitz play-off after the first two matches were tied, but in the end, Spain drew the longest straw to win.

2022 FIDE World Team Chess Championship Live Games

In relative terms, the experienced but under-ranked Chinese team of the “Unknowns” showed that just because none of their top eight players participated was not stopping them from showing up. That’s how good they are in this format and bringing down the young sensation. Uzbek gold winners at Chennai Olympiad.

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All the players are ready to go on the day of the finals. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

The finals

Uzbekistan reaffirmed with their appearance in the final that they are, in fact, the real deal, even when they appear to be without their usual top board, Nordebek Abdulsaturov.

In the first match of the final, it quickly became clear that both teams were willing to fight. The first game to end was between Board Two GMs Jakhungir Sindarov and Xu Xiangyu.

After the end there was a draw between Javongir Vakhidov and Li Di, a not very exciting game in the Namzo-Indian Defense (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4) which ended in a draw. Where the players did not compete. Both check each other’s ability for a long time.

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On board one, things started with a scotch game where both players sent their kings to the queen even though it looked like the most dangerous place on the planet. However, very soon the players took the game to the sawworks, cutting the wood from the board, sending the game into an endgame that never got out of the draw zone despite being played for a very long time, mainly because Because it was on one side. Trying to level the score with the only decisive play of the match.

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This brought us to a three-way battle between board GMs Bai Jinshi and Shamsuddin Vukhidov, a game that decided the match…

The result sealed victory for China in round one, forcing the Uzbeks to play to win the match in round two.

The coaches look nervously at their supporters. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

On the 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 and that’s why we chose it as our game of the day. .

For a while, it looked like the two board contests between Xu Xiangyu and Sindarov would be the clincher for the Chinese team, when White had a decisive lead in the endgame, but despite a huge time advantage, almost 10 minutes vs. less than one. In favor of the Chinese player, White played too fast and blew everything, once again opening the match for the Uzbeks.

On board three, things were no less turbulent than on board one.

Prior to the round, team captain GM Ivan Sokolov had decided to play his reserve, IM Ortik Nigmatov, with the Black Peas against Li Di. At first, it looked like an excellent decision as Nigmatov easily equalized and even gained something resembling an upper hand.

Ortik Ngamatov was a surprise choice to play the final match for Uzbekistan. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

However, in the rook end, things went from bad to worse for the Uzbek player, allowing Li Di to win both the game, round and match.

To say that China’s success in this tournament was unexpected. Missing all of their top players, yet comfortably breezed through every stage of the tournament, including a resounding victory in the final, it was breathtaking to watch and showed the rest of 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, yet frustrated Uzbek team, with coach Ivan Sokolov. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

match for bronze medals

Playing for a bronze medal on finals day is certainly not what these two teams had hoped for, but a bronze medal certainly isn’t anything. Both India and Spain had strong lineups despite missing several of their top players. Despite this, Spain brought something close to their strongest line-up.

In one round of the match, top players GMs Jimmy Santos Latasa and Vidit Gurajathi played an uncertain draw where the Spaniard, with the black pieces, was never worse.

Similarly, on board three, the Spaniard, legendary GM Alexey Sheroff, drew with seemingly ease against SL Narayanan in a Greenfield Indian.

On board three, GM Miguel Santos Ruiz sacrificed/lost a pawn shortly after opening with white pieces against GM Krishnan Sasekaran. In the early middle game, he quickly regained it and then gradually gained a small but clear advantage. After a series of subpar moves on both sides, Black made a final error from which there was no return.

In the game between GMs David Anton Guijarro and Nihal Sarin, the Indian players gradually took control of the game in the middle game and eventually secured a crucial victory for India to secure a crucial 2-2 draw.

The second round saw very solid play from both teams, and neither game was ever in danger of winning the round and thus securing the bronze medals.

This necessitated a blitz playoff, where Shroff returned to the lineup with a black piece against Narayanan. However, the game ended in a draw. And so Santos Ruiz and GM Abhijit Gupta battled for board four, as they had in their round two game.

On the top board, Santos Latasa took command and squeezed out a convincing win from the game against Vidit.

Against Nihal, Anton Guijarro applied pressure and eventually secured another win for Spain, a 3–1 win for Spain.

David Anton Gujero defeats Nihal Sarin in blitz playoff. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

Fortunately, with the decisive outcome of the blitz playoffs, the teams avoided a final tiebreaker, which I believe was chess boxing, for which neither the players nor the organizers were prepared.

The Spanish team that won the bronze medal, along with Alexey Sheroff, along with some familiar FIDE figures. Photo: Maria Emelyanova/Chess.com.

The FIDE World Team Championship takes place from 19-26 November 2022 in Jerusalem, Israel. The format is a round robin for teams with five rounds, followed by a knockout with the top eight finishers. The time control is 45 minutes for the entire game and a 10 second increment starts at one step.

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The FIDE World Team Championship takes place from 19-26 November 2022 in Jerusalem, Israel. The format is a round robin for teams with five rounds, followed by a knockout with the top eight finishers. The time control is 45 minutes for the entire game and a 10 second increment starts at one step.


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