Armenia wins World Team title!

ARMENIA
Armenia Armenia Armenia

Arshak Petrosian (captain), Vladimir Akopian (board #3), Robert Hovhannisyan (reserve), Gabriel Sargissian (board #4), Sergei Movesesian (board #2), Levon Aronian (board #1)

Armenia continues to add to their success in team events by winning the 2011 World Team Championship held in Ningbo, China. Armenia and the Ukraine played to a draw in the last round while China beat Hungary to take the bronze. The Ukraine only had to wait for the India-Russia match to determine their medal fate. India scored the upset and the bronze went to the defending Olympiad champions, Ukraine.

Levon Aronian adds to his flourishing accomplishments. Photo by Fan Lulu, https://sports.sina.com.cn/chess/.

For Armenia, this victory will be cause for celebration in a country where chess has a rich tradition and chess players are considered celebrities. What seems to be the recipe for success is tremendous national support and team camaraderie. The team went undefeated throughout the tournament and suffered only three losses. China took the silver while the Ukraine earned the bronze medal. Russia, the top seed, placed 4th.

Top player Levon Aronian had a good supporting cast to go along with his 5/8 and 2826 performance. He was supported by Sergei Movesesian’s 6/9 and 2824 and Vladimir Akopian’s 6/9 and 2784 performance. Gabriel Sargissian, the Armenia who usually carries the team in Olympiad tournaments, played exactly to his rating on a 50% score.

FINAL STANDINGS

# Team
+
=
Match Pts.
Board Pts.
TB3 
1 Armenia
5
4
0
14
22.5
0
2 China
6
1
2
13
22.5
0
3 Ukraine
5
2
2
12
19.5
0
4 Russia
4
2
3
10
21.0
0
5 Hungary
4
2
3
10
19.5
0
6 USA
4
2
3
10
18.5
0
7 Azerbaijan
3
3
3
9
19.0
0
8 India
3
1
5
7
15.5
0
9 Israel
2
1
6
5
13.0
0
10 Egypt
0
0
9
0
9.0
0

Drum Coverage, https://www.thechessdrum.net/
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/

Daaim Shabazz

Dr. Daaim Shabazz is the creator and webmaster of The Chess Drum. He serves as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds an MBA in Marketing and a doctorate in International Affairs & Development. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

11 Comments

  1. There was an assertion by TWIC’s Mark Crowther that Armenia and the Ukraine struck a deal prior to the 9th round. That would be quite a strange agreement. Ukraine had quite a bit to lose, but I do understand that a drawn match was reasonable. The evolution of the India-Russia match perhaps assured the Ukraine that they will be in the medal count. The Ukraine would have had to beat Armenia by at least 3½-½ or 4-0 to catch up by board points. Slim chance of that happening. The games appears to be played out and three were imbalanced and sharp. The China-Hungary match was a bit more clear for the Ukraine to determine that Hungary would not win and overtake them.

    1. Not sure if they were nominated, but the 9th All-African Games was in 2007 in Algeria where Egypt had the top performing team. The 10th All-Africa Games is this September in Mozambique and chess will be featured.

      They may have decided on the FIDE ranking where Egypt is by far the strongest federation at #45. Both Adly and Amin are fine talents, but were not prepared for the big stage. In Olympiad tournaments they do not face 2700-level competition every single round. This will be an experience for the strongest field they’ve ever faced. They were rightful representatives of Africa.

      1. Sure, but they were labelled as “African qualifier” and FIDE Handbook reads as follows:
        (…)
        The four Continental Champions. The qualifiers will be the winners of the ultimate, respective Continental Championship organised at least six months prior to the World Team Championship.
        (…)

        Obviously nothing of this kind happened. In fact there is no African Team Championship and last All-Africa tournament was held in 2007

        1. Chess is very difficult to organize in Africa. They probably went with the reigning champion. If no African Team was held, then I suppose you go with the last champion or the highest ranking. To my knowledge, the Americas also did not have a team championship. The USA qualified because of the bronze medal from 2010 Olympiad, but you still need another representative from the American continents (South and North). How does India qualify? India was the last Asian champion in 2009 and China got in as the host. I believe if you do not have a championship in that year, there may be a nomination process. In addition, FIDE President has a nomination and perhaps Egypt was that team. Not sure how some of the teams were chosen.

        2. In fact the European Team Championships are not until November 2011, so they also used the reigning champion of a 2009. Not a perfect process. I believe this was a good tournament. They may change it in the future, but if they only invite the top teams in the world you’d basically have a European Team Championship plus China and U.S every single year.

        3. Same story with USA. Sadly they were just 9th in the 2010 Olympiad, so nothing close to automatic qualification.
          I believe you may be right, Egypt&USA just qualified on a basis of past achievement/rating, I am just trying to get official confirmation for that.

        4. Well… I wrote incorrectly. I meant their silver medal at 2009 World Team. I wonder if that qualified them as the rightful “American” representative. That may have been the rationale.

  2. By the way… Levon Aronian is perhaps the only top ten player (besides Hikaru Nakamura) who is a supporter of The Chess Drum. I’m thrilled that he is having the success he is having. He is very much down-to-earth and very jovial. I wish him well.

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