2011 World Team Championship (Ningbo, China)

The bienniel World Team Championships will commence with round one on Sunday, July 17th. The ten teams are comprised of host China, Russia (defending champion), Ukraine, Israel Hungary (2010 Olympiad finishers), Azerbaijan, Egypt, India, USA (the continental champions) and Armenia (nomination from FIDE President). The field will prove to be very challenging and represent some of the strongest federations in the world.

Some of the strongest players will be present such as Levon Aronian (Armenia), Sergey Karjakin (Russia), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) and Gata Kamsky (USA). Some of the venerable names missing are Viswanathan Anand (India), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine) and Boris Gelfand (Israel). Kramnik, Nakamura and Ponomariov are at the 39th Dortmund Chess-Meeting.

This will be an interesting tournament as young talent will also be showcased. Host China will carry a very young and talented team with 17-year old Yu Yangyi (2672) and Chinese champion 18-year old Ding Liren (2654) anchoring the host nation. The Americans will trot out Robert Hess (2609), who was on the 2009 silver medal team, Egyptian duo of Ahmed Adly (2613) and Bassem Amin (2609) and Robert Hovhannisyan (2556) of Armenia who will be making his debut in the World Team event.

Live Games: https://live.chinaqiyuan.com/chess2.html

Photos by Fan Lulu, https://sports.sina.com.cn/chess/.

50 Comments

  1. Sounds like an interesting tournament, Daaim. I’ll be following the coverage on the drum. Looking forward to reading your commentary.

    1. Thanks Glenn. Here is the coverage I did for the event two years ago. I was pleased with the coverage and it was an exciting tournament.

      https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2010/01/03/2009-world-team-championship/

      John Henderson has asked me who I believe will win. It’s really hard to say. Azerbaijan, Russia, China and the Ukraine will be the frontrunners in my view. Here are the lineups:

      1. China (host): Wang Yue 2709, Wang Hao 2719, Li Chao 2669, Yu Yangui 2672, Ding Liren 2654
      2. Russia (reigning champion): Grischuk 2746, Nepomniatchi 2711, Karjakin 2788, Svidler 2739, Vitiugov 2733
      3. Ukraine (Olympiad 2010): Ivanchuk 2768, Eljanov 2697, Efimenko 2706, Areschenko 2682, Moiseenko 2715
      4. Israel (Olympiad 2010): Sutovsky 2700, Roiz 2669, Smirin 2676, Postny 2618, Nabaty 2584
      5. Hungary (Olympiad 2010): Leko 2717, Almasi 2726, Polgar 2699, Balogh 2643, Erdos 2613
      6. Azerbaijan (Europe qualifier): Mamemdyarov 2765, Radjabov 2744, Gashimov 2760, Mamedov 2679, Guseinov 2625
      7. India (Asia qualifier): Sasikiran 2681, Harikrishna 2669, Negi 2642, Ganguly 2627, Gopal 2576
      8. USA (America qualifier): Kamsky 2741, Onischuk 2675, Shulman 2617, Seirawan 2635, Hess 2609
      9. Egypt (Africa qualifier): Adly 2613, Amin 2609, El Gindy 2510, Shoker 2475, Ezat 2430
      10. Armenia (FIDE President’s nomination): Aronian 2805, Movsesian 2700, Akopian 2667, Sargissian 2663, Hovhannisyan 2556

      1. I agree that it is difficult to call the winner from such a field . My personal opinion is keep an eye on Russia and Ukraine . The player I am following very keenly is Karjakin ; I really hope he can build on his recent performances . Promises to be wonderful though . I need to remember to watch Dortmund as well , so many wonderful tournaments taking place internationally at the moment .

  2. 2011 World Team Championship
    July 16th-26th, 2011 (Ningbo, China)
    Round #1
    USA 1-3 Russia
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    1.1 Kamsky
    2741 ½-½ Karjakin
    2788
    1.2 Onischuk
    2675 0-1 Nepomniachtchi
    2711
    1.3 Shulman
    2617 ½-½ Svidler
    2739
    1.4 Hess
    2609 0-1 Vitiugov
    2733
    Armenia 3½-½ Israel
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    2.1 Aronian
    2805 1-0 Sutovsky
    2700
    2.2 Movsesian
    2700 ½-½ Roiz
    2669
    2.3 Akopian
    2667 1-0 Postny
    2618
    2.4 Sargissian
    2663 1-0 Nabaty
    2584
    Egypt 1½-2½ Ukraine
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    3.1 Adly
    2631 0-1 Ivanchuk
    2768
    3.2 Amin
    2609 ½-½ Efimenko
    2706
    3.3 El-Gindy
    2510 0-1 Moiseenko
    2715
    3.4 Shoker
    2475 1-0 Areshchenko
    2682
    China 2-2 Azerbaijan
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    4.1 Wang Hao
    2718 ½-½ Radjabov
    2744
    4.2 Wang Yue
    2709 1-0 Gashimov
    2760
    4.3 Li Chao
    2669 ½-½ Mamedov
    2679
    4.4 Yu Yangyi
    2672 0-1 Mamedyarov
    2765
    India 2-2 Hungary
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    5.1 Harikrishna
    2669 ½-½ Leko
    2717
    5.2 Sasikiran
    2681 1-0 Almasi
    2726
    5.3 Ganguly
    2627 0-1 Polgar
    2699
    5.4 Gopal
    2576 ½-½ Balogh
    2643
    Games
  3. Round #1
    Sunday, 17 July 2011

    USA 1-3 Russia
    Armenia 3½-½ Israel
    Egypt 1½-2½ Ukraine
    China 2-2 Azerbaijan
    India 2-2 Hungary

    Bloodbath in the opening round!

    The World Team Championship got off to a rousing start with 11/20 decisive games. This is a pleasant surprise given the snooze-fest of the Candidate’s Matches where 27/30 were drawn. One of the biggest upsets was Egypt’s IM Samy Shoker, not simply beating, but beating the Ukraine’s Alexander Areshchenko in a 28-move Pirc. The game was a continuing lesson that is now becoming a common refrain… beware of African players with low ELO ratings. They can beat you!

    IM Samy Shoker certainly shocked
    GM Alexander Areshchenko in round one.

    In an anticipated USA-Russia match, it turned out to be anti-climatic when Russia rolled over the Americans with two wins. Hess was losing material in the final position and Onischuk was outplayed by Nepomniachtchi. The USA is missing top player Hikaru Nakamura who will be competing in Dortmund along with Russian absentee, Vladimir Kramnik.

    Armenia dismantled Olympiad bronze-medalist Israel as Armenia’s powerful team got off to a good start with three wins. In an absolute wild affair, Sutovsky sacrificed his queen in the Grunfeld and Aronian’s white king marched all the way to f4 with black’s minor pieces assailing. When it appeared that black had some compensation, white was able to give back material and drew black’s king out in the open. Black resigned as white was poised to win more material.

    In Egypt-Ukraine, Adly went into a tactical melee with Ivanchuk and soon was faced with a losing proposition of a single rook battling three minor pieces. Entertaining battle, but simply a class win by Ivanchuk. In Efimenko-Amin, it appeared that the Egyptian has good winning chances toward the end, but the game ended when white’s rook was able gain a fortress against black’s knight and two pawns. Perhaps the talk of the round was Samy Shoker’s demolition of Alexander Areschenko in 28 moves (final position above). White seemed to have a good position (missed 23.Qg7!+-), but played too mechanically and allowed black to seize initiative on queenside. Big win for the Egyptian IM, but the Ukranians prevailed (See Game).

    Vugar Gashimov vs. Wang Yue (0-1)

    Host China-Azerbaijan played a very interesting match trading a pair of technical wins by Wang Yue and Mamedyarov. With Mamedyarov playing board four it provide a world-class player who can most suredly compile a big score against less opposition. Time will tell if that strategy proves correct.

    India- Hungary was accented by missteps. In Almasi-Sasikiran, it appeared as if white had a strong attack (better was 54.g4!), but was rebuffed and black ended up with more than enough compensation. Ganguly went down suddenly after a long series of parrying moves as a resurgent Judit Polgar was able to break through.

    Games (Java, PGN Games)
    Official Site, https://ningbo2011.fide.com/
    Photos by Fan Lulu, https://sports.sina.com.cn/chess/
    China Chess Blog, https://blog.sina.com.cn/chessnews/

  4. Standings after Round #1

    # Team
    +
    =
    Match Pts.
    Board Pts.
    TB3 
    1 Armenia
    1
    0
    0
    2
    3.5
    0
    2 Russia
    1
    0
    0
    2
    3.0
    0
    3 Ukraine
    1
    0
    0
    2
    2.5
    0
    4 China
    0
    1
    0
    1
    2.0
    1
    5 India
    0
    1
    0
    1
    2.0
    1
    6 Hungary
    0
    1
    0
    1
    2.0
    1
    7 Azerbaijan
    0
    1
    0
    1
    2.0
    1
    8 Egypt
    0
    0
    1
    0
    1.5
    0
    9 USA
    0
    0
    1
    0
    1.0
    0
    10 Israel
    0
    0
    1
    0
    0.5
    0

  5. 2011 World Team Championship
    July 16th-26th, 2011 (Ningbo, China)
    Round #2
    Russia 3-1 Hungary
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    1.1 Karjakin
    2788 ½-½ Leko
    2717
    1.2 Grischuk
    2746 1-0 Almasi
    2726
    1.3 Nepomniachtchi
    2711 1-0 Polgar
    2699
    1.4 Vitiugov
    2733 ½-½ Balogh
    2643
    Azerbaijan 3-1 India
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    2.1 Radjabov
    2744 1-0 Harikrishna
    2669
    2.2 Gashimov
    2760 ½-½ Sasikiran
    2681
    2.3 Mamedyarov
    2765 1-0 Ganguly
    2627
    2.4 Guseinov
    2625 ½-½ Parimarjan
    2642
    Ukraine 1½-2½ China
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    3.1 Ivanchuk
    2768 ½-½ Wang Hao
    2718
    3.2 Eljanov
    2697 ½-½ Wang Yue
    2709
    3.3 Efimenko
    2706 ½-½ Li Chao
    2669
    3.4 Areshchenko
    2682 0-1 Ding Liren
    2654
    Israel 3-1 Egypt
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    4.1 Sutovsky
    2700 1-0 Adly
    2631
    4.2 Smirin
    2676 ½-½ Amin
    2609
    4.3 Postny
    2618 ½-½ Shoker
    2475
    4.4 Nabaty
    2584 1-0 Ezat
    2430
    USA 2-2 Armenia
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    5.1 Kamsky
    2741 1-0 Aronian
    2805
    5.2 Onischuk
    2675 0-1 Movsesian
    2700
    5.3 Shulman
    2617 ½-½ Akopian
    2667
    5.4 Seirawan
    2635 ½-½ Sargissian
    2663
    Games
  6. Round #2
    Monday, 18 July 2011

    Russia 3-1 Hungary
    Azerbaijan 3-1 India
    Ukraine 1½-2½ China
    Israel 3-1 Egypt
    USA 2-2 Armenia

    Russia stay on point with convincing win over Hungary

    Nepomniachtchi initiated a blistering attack with 31.Bxa6! Polgar had to donate her queen but further losses were inevitable to avert mate.

    The second round of the World Team Championship had a bit of shuffling in the standings. Russia took sole possession of the lead with their second convincing win over Hungary. Ian Nepomaniachtchi lead the Russians with his second win. This game was accented by a vicious sacrificial attack on Judit Polgar’s queenside-castled king (see diagram).

    Whilst battling time pressure, Polgar had to find exact moves to avoid being mated. As Nepo’s pieces flowed into black’s camp sacrificed her queen, but her king was exposed to a battering by a knight and queen combo. See would have lost more material after 41.Qb5+ Ka7 42.Nc5. In the other decisive game, Grischuk dismantled Almasi for the margin of victory.

    In one of the clearest signs that Azerbaijan clearly “outprepared” India, two miniature wins shocked Pentala Harikrishna and Surya Ganguly from their seats. Harikrishna was literally pushed off the board by Radjabov’s vicious kingside attack beginning with the sack 32.Bxh6! While Harikrishna could not accept the piece, Radjabov sacrificed the same piece again with 33.Bxg7! With the entire kingside obliterated, black’s position collapsed and the king ended up on the bad end of a mating fury.

    Ganguly also fell on the sword when a well-prepared Mamedyarov got the initiative and proceeded to conjure up a winning attack without the queens on the board. With the Indians behind, Parimarjan Negi had to spurn a three-move repetition only to have to fight for a draw later. This demolition was perhaps unexpected for India who usually puts up a more valiant fight.

    Wang Hao vs. Vassily Ivanchuk (1/2-1/2)

    Ding Liren, the hero in the match against the Ukraine.

    Speaking of vicious attacks, Ding Liren, a rising star in China (and current national champion), unfurled a beautiful attack on a hapless the Ukraine’s Alexander Areshchenko who was mated by IM Samy Shoker in round one. Perhaps the Ukrainian had not completely recovered from his missed win yesterday and appeared sluggish against Ding.

    Coming out of a rather irregular King’s Indian, black fell far from equalizing as Ding was poised for a kingside attack. The attack started with 14.Ng4! and when black tried to simplify, Ding turned up the momentum with 17.Rf5! With black clearly reeling and pieces misplaced, sacrificing with 22…Rxe4 would not have helped. White finished off the attack with the coup de grâce 28.Nxh7!

    Israel-Egypt saw perhaps one of the most disheartening losses of the round Egyptian Ahmed Adly appeared to be have a slight edge against Emil Sutovsky when the tables turned. It appears that 37…a5? (instead of 37…Rc8 38.Rff6 Re8 blocakade) allows white to get the central pawns rolling. Adly had to donate a whole rook for a pawn and resigned some move later.

    Evgeny Postny was en guard against Samy Shoker. No upset today, but what a fierce battle it was!! (1/2-1/2)

    IM Samy Shoker had another good game in a fierce battle as black against Evgeny Postny. This game saw white sacrifice a pawn for a kingside attack, but black directed the attention to the queenside as he sacrificed a piece with 21…cxd5 22. bxa5 d4 23.Bg5 b5 to open lines against an exposed king. White had a solid plus, but lost his thread after 40.Nb3? allowing 40…Rxa2 with annoying threats for black. White must’ve have realize the danger, but panicked and allowed black an advantage after 49.Rd3? Rxd3 50.Kxd3. Black then blundered back with 50…Kh4? (50…Ra3+! 51.Kd2 g3!-+) when a draw was agreed on the 52nd move of the tense battle.

    Levon Aronian had trouble against Gata Kamsky in this heavyweight battle. However, the Armenians equalized.

    Yasser Seirawan back at the tables for the USA.

    USA-Armenia played to a draw with the heavyweight bout on board one going to Gata Kamsky against his 2800-rated opponent. The fierce battle went to a queen ending where Kamsky collected a couple of pawns and also the full point. Alex Onischuk was positionally crushed by Sergei Movesesian as the final phase of the game saw it hard to find any moves for black. Yasser Seirawan made a successful debut after retirement by holding off “Mr. Olympus” Gabriel Sargissian.

    Games (Java, PGN Games)
    Official Site, https://ningbo2011.fide.com/
    Photos by Fan Lulu, https://sports.sina.com.cn/chess/
    China Chess Blog, https://blog.sina.com.cn/chessnews/

  7. Standings after Round #2

    # Team
    +
    =
    Match Pts.
    Board Pts.
    TB3 
    1 Russia
    2
    0
    0
    4
    6.0
    0
    2 Armenia
    1
    1
    0
    3
    5.5
    0
    3 Azerbaijan
    1
    1
    0
    3
    4.5
    0
    4 China
    1
    1
    0
    3
    4.5
    0
    5 Ukraine
    1
    0
    1
    2
    3.5
    0
    6 Israel
    1
    0
    1
    0
    3.5
    0
    7 India
    0
    1
    1
    1
    3.0
    1
    8 Hungary
    0
    1
    1
    1
    3.0
    1
    9 USA
    0
    0
    1
    1
    3.0
    0
    10 Egypt
    0
    0
    2
    0
    2.5
    0

  8. 2011 World Team Championship
    July 16th-26th, 2011 (Ningbo, China)
    Round #3
    Armenia 2-2 Russia
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    1.1 Aronian
    2805 1-0 Karjakin
    2788
    1.2 Movsesian
    2700 ½-½ Grischuk
    2746
    1.3 Akopian
    2667 ½-½ Nepomniachtchi
    2711
    1.4 Sargissian
    2663 0-1 Svidler
    2739
    Egypt ½-3½ USA
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    2.1 Adly
    2631 ½-½ Kamsky
    2741
    2.2 Amin
    2609 0-1 Onischuk
    2675
    2.3 El-Gindy
    2510 0-1 Seirawan
    2635
    2.4 Shoker
    2475 0-1 Hess
    2609
    China 1½-2½ Israel
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    3.1 Wang Hao
    2718 ½-½ Sutovsky
    2700
    3.2 Wang Yue
    2709 ½-½ Roiz
    2669
    3.3 Yu Yangyi
    2672 ½-½ Smirin
    2676
    3.4 Ding Liren
    2654 0-1 Nabaty
    2584
    India 1½-2½ Ukraine
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    4.1 Harikrishna
    2669 ½-½ Ivanchuk
    2768
    4.2 Sasikiran
    2681 ½-½ Eljanov
    2697
    4.3 Parimarjan
    2642 ½-½ Efimenko
    2706
    4.4 Gopal
    2576 0-1 Moiseenko
    2715
    Hungary 2½-1½ Azerbaijan
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    5.1 Leko
    2717 ½-½ Radjabov
    2744
    5.2 Almasi
    2726 ½-½ Gashimov
    2760
    5.3 Polgar
    2699 1-0 Mamedov
    2679
    5.4 Balogh
    2643 ½-½ Mamedyarov
    2765
    Games
  9. Round #3
    Tuesday, 19 July 2011

    Armenia 2-2 Russia
    Egypt ½-3½ USA
    China 1½-2½ Israel
    India 1½-2½ Ukraine
    Hungary 2½-1½ Azerbaijan

    Russia stays atop field, USA bounces Egypt

    Big battle on top board! Aronian came through in the end to save the match for Armenia. Photo from https://ningbo2011.fide.com/.

    Russia had a big test against the powerful Armenian side and trotted out their best lineup. Top board featured the world’s third and fourth ranked players in an epic contest that would go 74 moves. The game started as a theoretical Slav with complications mounting almost immediately.

    Karjakin essayed a pawn sacrifice for active piece play, but after his 19…Rad8, Aronian was able to quickly consolidate his position. After a jousting battle with the heavy pieces, the Armenian decided to give a pawn back in order to advance his passed pawn. Armenia was down due to Gabriel Sargissian’s loss to Peter Svidler, so Aronian was ready to go 100 moves. It was not needed. A complicated queen ending ensued (after 40…Qxf6) and with 30 moves of tenacious probing by Aronian, he ended the game deftly with in a nice zugzwang maneuver. Karjakin had to relinquish a second pawn and Aronian went on to win a textbook pawn ending.

    The USA took their frustrations out on the Egyptians with a 3½-½ drubbing. Eighteen-year old Robert Hess scored his first win of the tournament beating “giant killer” Samy Shoker. Actually the game was not an easy one and Shoker had good chances after Hess sacrificed his queen for a rook and bishop with 22. Nxe4 Bxe4 23. Bxe4 Rxd2 24. Rxd2. However, black apparently blundered on 34…Kc7??

    After 34.c3 (threatening 35.Rd1 in diagram #1), black erred with 34…Kc7?? White continued with 35. Rxc5+ Kb8 36. Rce5 to pile back on the pawn eventually winning it (diagram #2). Black’s queen is overworked as her far-reaching powers were no match for the two optimally-positioned pieces. Unbelievable turn of events!

    In other action, both Onischuk and Seirawan scored surgical wins while Gata Kamsky and Ahmed Adly drew peacefully. The win gave the USA a reasonable position as they are on an even score.

    China was close to equalizing against Israel despite Ding Liren dropping his game to Tamir Nabaty. With the other games quickly drawn, Wang Hao tried to push his pawn advantage into a winning queen ending, but Sutovsky was able to harass the white king with endless checks securing the team victory.

    In India-Ukraine, the gigantic battles were on the bottom boards. Negi-Efimenko had its tense moments, but despite white’s extra piece, black had compensation due to his advanced pawns. The match rode on the Moiseenko-Gopal result. In a tense battle, white developed an advantage in the rook ending, but would it be enough to win? It appeared that the match was headed for a draw, but Gopal may have erred with 79…d3? allowing the white king to go into attack mode. The king ultimately waltzed up the board to help aid the sprint of the h-pawn. Disappointing loss for the Indians.

    Judit Polgar with an admiring Chinese girl before her game. This picture may be worth something one day. The archives are full of players who were shown as children with a famous Grandmaster. Photo from https://ningbo2011.fide.com/.

    Hungary rode on the victory of Judit Polgar as they toppled a surging Azerbaijan. In another theoretical battle, Rauf Mamedov use the Accelerated Sicilian and Polgar decided on a very solid Maroczy Bind setup and held a space advantage. A tactical melee ensued and Mamedov may have missed Polgar’s reply after his 30…Ra5?! After 31. bxa5 Rxb3, Polgar played 32. Bc4+! Nxc4 33. axb3 Nb2 34.a6! Both sides temporarily promoted to queens, but when the smoked cleared Polgar was a clear exchange up and converted the win smoothly.

    Games (Java, PGN Games)
    Official Site, https://ningbo2011.fide.com/
    China Chess Blog, https://blog.sina.com.cn/chessnews/

  10. Standings after Round #3

    # Team
    +
    =
    Match Pts.
    Board Pts.
    TB3 
    1 Russia
    2
    1
    0
    5
    8.0
    0
    2 Armenia
    1
    2
    0
    4
    7.5
    0
    3 Ukraine
    2
    0
    1
    4
    6.5
    0
    4 Israel
    2
    0
    1
    4
    6.0
    0
    5 Azerbaijan
    1
    1
    1
    3
    6.5
    0
    6 USA
    1
    1
    1
    3
    6.5
    0
    7 China
    1
    1
    1
    3
    6.0
    0
    8 Hungary
    1
    1
    1
    3
    5.5
    0
    9 India
    0
    1
    2
    1
    4.5
    0
    10 Egypt
    0
    0
    3
    0
    3.0
    0

  11. 2011 World Team Championship
    July 16th-26th, 2011 (Ningbo, China)
    Round #4
    Russia 1-3 Azerbaijan
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    1.1 Karjakin
    2788 ½-½ Radjabov
    2744
    1.2 Grischuk
    2746 0-1 Gashimov
    2760
    1.3 Nepomniachtchi
    2711 ½-½ Mamedyarov
    2765
    1.4 Svidler
    2739 0-1 Guseinov
    2625
    Ukraine 1½-2½ Hungary
    #
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    Result
    Name
    Flag
    Rating
    2.1 Ivanchuk
    2768 0-1 Leko
    2717
    2.2 Eljanov
    2697 ½-½ Almasi
    2726
    2.3 Efimenko
    2706 ½-½ Polgar
    2699
    2.4 Moiseenko
    2715 ½-½ Balogh