Reports | November 26, 2013 10:36

World Teams Takes Off Today in Kemer, Antalya

Today the World Team Championship starts in Kemer, Antalya (Turkey). Ten countries will be playing a single round robin tournament over nine rounds. The top seeds are Russia, who have Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Nikita Vitiugov. Their biggest rivals will be reigning champion Armenia, Ukraine and China.

The FIDE World Team Championship is held every two years, and these are the qualification criteria:

  • the previous event's World Chess Team Champion;
  • the three highest-placed teams in the FIDE Olympiad prior to the event;
  • the four Continental Champions;
  • a team from the organizing federation;
  • a team to be nominated by FIDE President and ranked in the official FIDE top sixteen countries list six months prior to the event.

This year's World Teams takes place 26 November - 5 December in Antalya, Turkey. It's a single round robin among ten teams, so there will be nine rounds. There is one rest day, on December 1st. 

The tournament will be held in the Aspendos VI Hall in the Limar Limra Hotel in Kemer, Antalya. This is also where the players are staying.

The teams are made up of four players plus one reserve and one captain. Here's the line-up for all teams:

BOARD TITLE GERMANY RATING
1 GM KHENKIN IGOR 2612
2 GM MEIER GEORG 2623
3 GM FRIDMAN DANIEL 2600
4 GM NAIDITSCH ARKADIJ 2727
5 GM BARAMIDZE DAVID 2614
BOARD TITLE TURKEY RATING
1 GM IPATOV ALEXANDER 2630
2 GM SOLAK DRAGAN 2618
3 GM YILMAZ MUSTAFA 2577
4 GM ESEN BARIŞ 2565
5 GM CAN EMRE 2519
BOARD TITLE NETHERLANDS RATING
1 GM GIRI ANISH 2732
2 GM VAN WELY LOEK 2678
3 GM TIVIAKOV SERGEI 2663
4 GM SOKOLOV IVAN 2648
5 GM L ' AMI ERWIN 2625
BOARD TITLE UKRAINE RATING
1 GM IVANCHUK VASSILY 2731
2 GM KOROBOV ANTON 2713
3 GM MOISEENKO ALEXANDER 2709
4 GM KRYVORUCHKO YURIY 2701
5 GM ARESHCHENKO ALEXANDER 2720
BOARD TITLE RUSSIA RATING
1 GM KRAMNIK VLADLMIR 2793
2 GM KARJAKIN SERGEY 2756
3 GM GRISCHUK ALEXANDER 2785
4 GM NEPOMNIACHTCHI IAN 2721
5 GM VITIUGOV NIKITA 2741
BOARD TITLE ARMENIA RATING
1 GM ARONIAN LEVON 2801
2 GM MOVSESIAN SERGEI 2700
3 GM AKOPIAN VLADIMIR 2681
4 GM SARGISSIAN GABRIEL 2676
5 GM PETROSIAN TIGRAN 2660
BOARD TITLE USA RATING
1 GM HIKARU NAKAMURA 2786
2 GM GATA KAMSKY 2721
3 GM ALEX ONISCHUK 2672
4 GM RAY ROBSON 2613
5 GM VARUZHAN AKOBIAN 2625
BOARD TITLE CHINA RATING
1 GM CHAO LI 2679
2 GM LIREN DING 2711
3 GM YUE WANG 2725
4 GM XIANGZHI BU 2683
5 GM YANGYI YU 2668
BOARD TITLE AZERBAIJAN RATING
1 GM MAMEDOV RAUF 2647
2 GM SAFARLI ELTAJ 2653
3 GM MAMEDOV NIDJAD 2616
4 GM DURARBAYLI VASIF 2559
5 GM GUSEINOV GADIR 2607
BOARD TITLE EGYPT RATING
1 IM MOHAMED EZAT 2454
2 IM KHALED ABDEL RAZIK 2450
3 IM SHOKER SAMY AHMED 2500
4 GM BASSEM AMIN 2652
5 IM LABIB IBRAHIM HASAN 2411

It's clear that Russia should be considered favorite, closely followed by Armenia. If Ivanchuk is in good shape, Ukraine must be a force to reckon with, and China is always in that category these days. USA and the Netherlands can be considered dangerous outsiders.

Like Germany and Turkey, without Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov probably Azerbeidzjan (the wild card from the organizers) won't play a significant role. As Teimour Radjabov explained on Twitter, their absence was a decision by the federation and the players together. And Egypt... well, they have a tough tournament ahead!

Here are the pairings of the first round. We see some interesting clashes especially on the top boards, e.g. Kramnik-Aronian (yes, Russia and Armenia clash immediately), Ivanchuk-Nakamura and Giri-Ding Liren.

1.1 1 Germany   - 10 Egypt  
1 GM Khenkin Igor 2612 : IM Ezat Mohamed 2454
2 GM Meier Georg 2623 : IM Abdel Razik Khaled 2450
3 GM Naiditsch Arkadij 2727 : IM Shoker Samy 2500
4 GM Baramidze David 2614 : GM Amin Bassem 2652
1.2 2 Turkey   - 9 Azerbaijan  
1 GM Ipatov Alexander 2630 : GM Mamedov Rauf 2647
2 GM Solak Dragan 2618 : GM Safarli Eltaj 2653
3 GM Yilmaz Mustafa 2577 : GM Mamedov Nidjat 2616
4 GM Esen Baris 2565 : GM Durarbayli Vasif 2559
1.3 3 Netherlands   - 8 China  
1 GM Giri Anish 2732 : GM Ding Liren 2711
2 GM Van Wely Loek 2678 : GM Wang Yue 2725
3 GM Tiviakov Sergei 2663 : GM Bu Xiangzhi 2683
4 GM Sokolov Ivan 2625 : GM Yu Yangyi 2668
1.4 4 Ukraine   - 7 United States of America  
1 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2731 : GM Nakamura Hikaru 2786
2 GM Korobov Anton 2713 : GM Kamsky Gata 2721
3 GM Moiseenko Alexander 2709 : GM Onischuk Alexander 2672
4 GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy 2701 : GM Akobian Varuzhan 2625
1.5 5 Russia   - 6 Armenia  
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2793 : GM Aronian Levon 2801
2 GM Karjakin Sergey 2756 : GM Movsesian Sergei 2700
3 GM Grischuk Alexander 2785 : GM Akopian Vladimir 2681
4 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2721 : GM Sargissian Gabriel 2676

You can watch the games live here.

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

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Comments

Mother Russia's picture

The Russian team will be unstoppable.

Anonymous's picture

except in the first round !

B L 's picture

why is Naiditsch on board 3/4? He should be board one easily...

Anonymous's picture

Khenkin and Meier are known to be very solid and difficult to beat opponents. I can only assume that they are supposed to draw their games while Naiditsch goes for the kill on Board 3/4.

B L's picture

Thanks for the response, you're probably right. It's not like Naiditsch hasn't got many 2700+ scalps though!

Anonymous's picture

This event always seems rather pointless, with few teams (only ten) and several of them very weakened. Russia and Armenia alone have top teams, Azerbaijan are without Mamedyarov and Radjabov, China without Wang Hao, Ukraine without Ponomariov. Egypt has one player rated above 2500, Turkey's strongest is 2630, etc. Just not particularly prestigious compared to Olympiad and European Team Championships.

Christos Gitsis's picture

Wow, first round has Kramnik -- Aronian!

strana's picture

I can not understand what you are saying. Only the azeri team is weakened. It is very difficult to see all teams with all best 5 players, even in Olympiad. The team of Ukraine was clearly weaker in the European and the same can be said about Russia, meaning that both prefer the World Championship. I believe that winning this tournament is more problematic than Olympiad because there are no weak teams. Great tournament!!! . 1st Russia 2nd Ukraine 3rd China . Armenia will not get a medal.

Thomas Richter's picture

Indeed, the tournament is smaller than Olympiad or European Team Championship, but by no means weaker. And a round-robin for qualified teams seems fairer than a Swiss system for everyone, where luck with the pairings can play a role.

Eight teams have qualified (including Egypt - a world championship also includes the African continental champion), and Turkey is the organizer. The wildcard went to Azerbaijan - if I interpret some of Radjabov's other tweets correctly, at rather short notice when he and Mamedyarov had already committed to other forthcoming events e.g. the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing. This appears to be one reason for the Azeri B team, another one seems slightly paradox: as European champion 2013, they already qualified for the next World Team Championship.

Anonymous's picture

"by no means weaker"

You've got to be kidding, by no means weaker than the Olympiad where Azerbaijan had their best players, Ukraine had Pono, China had Wang Hao on first board, there were teams like Hungary, where you had players like Topalov and Gelfand and Caruana etc etc. Egypt was playing also there and finished 53rd, while Turkey were 42nd, by the way.

I fail to see how this event is not weaker than events which had the same teams in stronger version and other teams that were stronger than the teams here, and still not be stronger.

strana's picture

The teams represented in this tournament are not weaker: Korobov is definetely not worse than Ponomariov and Wang Hao is not so important to China, Yu Yangyi is underrated and there is no clear difference among all 5 chineses, anyone of them could play 1st board or 4th board. Believe me, Topalov, Caruana, Gelfand are from countries that did not qualify.

Anonymous's picture

Armenia will get a medal, just mark my words

Harry_Flashman's picture

well... Can Egypt be regarded as a " strong " team ??

Thomas Richter's picture

Yes, the strongest team from Africa - for example the football world championship also has relatively weak teams that qualified via continental events (in football Africa isn't too bad but Asia is, in chess it's the other way around).

@Anton below: read the article!? eight teams qualified, plus the host country and a top16 team nominated by Ilyumzhinov (rather than Yazici - who may or may not have been asked about his opinion). "Top 16" seems new: three years ago, for some reason also in Turkey (Bursa), Greece got a wildcard - to finish in 6th place ahead of the nominally stronger team from Israel, having beaten Russia and Armenia.

Anonymous's picture

Egypt is very strong, since they are the strongest team in Africa it is obvious that this event is stronger than the Olympiad.

Anton's picture

Who decides which countries are invited (Yazici ?)

Rini Luyks's picture

Link "World Team" doesn't work !?

Anonymous's picture

I think VLADLMIR will play awesome chess!

Anonymous's picture

Korobov is playing for Ukraine...?
How did this happen?

The Golden Knight's picture

Tournament without Magnus = BORING...zZzzZzzz

budo's picture

I wonder why team russia can't translate their rating superiority in team events into victory. It seems as though they are overated when infact not.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik getting his ass handed to him as usual by Naka, any comments on that one from T.O.?

thekingman's picture

More surprisingly, Vitiugov went down to Robson in a swashbuckling game from a very advantageous position. I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but Armenia may have to fend off the USA for the gold!

Dirk's picture

T.O. Has nothing to say. He will not give Nakamura, the new world number#3 for THE FIRST TIME IN HIS CAREER any credit. If he loses to Aronian tomorrow we will hear about it for sure though.

Thomas Richter's picture

Credit where credit is due: a clean and convincing win by Nakamura. But ... am I supposed to react immediately (I had gone for a run and didn't have Internet access)? "Getting his ass handed as usual" is an exaggeration, number 3 is a snapshot - as you say yourself with the perceived need for capital letters it's the first time and a snapshot [Kramnik has been there or better for most of the last 10 years or more, one reason why he will play the candidates event while Nakamura won't]. Yes, I will be rooting for Aronian tomorrow - mostly for Aronian and a bit against Nakamura or rather his fans.

Dirk's picture

I hope you get a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking.

Frits Fritschy's picture

It looked very much like Kramnik played the white pieces today. (That's meant as a compliment for Nakamura.)

Class-B player's picture

I was following the Naka-Kramnik game live. Kramnik had only a few minutes on his clock and missed the problem with his knight taking the pawn. Naka's reply dropped my jaw -great reply. Otherwise, the game should have been a draw. But that's human chess! I'm just glad Naka didn't tweet something dumb after victory. He's growing up. Russian chess fans must be very disappointed. GO TEAM USA!

Anonymous's picture

I'm a big Kramnik fan, but today's game was awesome and one has to applaud Nakamura for his fantastic play. Black's position looks awful already at move 17 and it is not obvious where Kramnik went wrong.

Thomas Richter's picture

Ï second this (even if "awesome" isn't part of my standard written vocabulary) and Frits Fritschy's comment. I could have written the same as Frits, actually I meant the same with "clean and convincing". According to engines, Kramnik had gone wrong just before with 16.-cxd4 and later 20.-Sxd4 rather than 20.-Rxc8 would have been a better practical try (the resulting position with queen and knight vs. two rooks and knights is hard to assess).

@ some other comments: Kramnik may well have seen that his knight sacrifice can be refuted with a counter-sacrifice, but this was a practical try in a position that was lost anyway. Without the Nc5 resource (immediately or one move later) the game would have been lost for white - who of course could have bailed out to a draw just before with 39.Nxb6.

The Kramnik-Aronian game in round 1 was also fascinating, "no problem" that it finished with a draw. Some people will say "it was a topical line, booo!" - actually it was a Botvinnik sideline hitherto rarely played at the very highest level (two games by Morozevich, one against Kramnik, and an old Kasparov-Smyslov game). But I rarely am the first one in any thread to mention a particular game, and rather waited for a full report on the action. It seems that after the European Team Championship, now also the World Team Championship is in the shadow of Chennai (and its aftermath) - this should and most likely will change in the next days. This event offers plenty of interesting chess, not just one game by a fan favorite (Nakamura) beating someone (Kramnik) who, for whichever reason, isn't as popular on this forum.

Anonymous's picture

Well, you kind of get used to "awesome" when watching HIMYM for a while :-).

I think Naka had to play Nc5 immediately, otherwise black chops off the knight and queens the a-pawn just in time.

Yes the engines point at 16...cxd4 but I think from a human perspective it's already bad before due to the misplaced Na6. If you shift around the pieces a little bit, you get the feeling how difficult it is for black to come up with something useful. And that is really amazing given that the position looks quite innocent at first glance.

Thomas Richter's picture

For better or for worse, "awesome" or similar terms are part of Nakamura's own vocabulary, and he seems to attract fans with a similar one?

Yep, that's what I meant: Nc5 has to be played immediately for a win, or one move later for a draw - everything else loses, BTW also the "tempting" 40.Nxb6? a3 41.Nd7 a2 42.b6 a1Q 43.b7 - white also queens and remains a piece up? No, 43.-Qa7 CHECK and 44.-Qxb7.

Not that I am qualified to comment on the opening (too weak and I don't play the Nimzo with either color), but I did a quick database check with surprising results: 10.Qc3 is extremely rare (6 games, all relatively "obscure") compared to 10.Qa4 (196 games) or 10.Qc2 (98 games), in both cases well-known names (Anand, Ivanchuk, Carlsen, Morozevich, Mamedyarov, Karpov, ...) playing white. Hard to imagine how/why Qc3 would be a killing semi-novelty.

Even more surprising: the idea g3/Bg2 seems pretty rare - usually white played e3 at some stage, allowing a bishop exchange and giving up the right to castle.

Anonymous's picture

I never thought or cared about the vocabulary of Nakamura or any other player when choosing my words for a post. And I'm not a fan of Nakamura, but I can appreciate good chess played by him or anybody else.

Frits Fritschy's picture

10... h6 was the first new move. Also to my surprise, even none of the following moves led to a known position by transposition. The pawn formation must have figured in thousands of games, so you would expect that, after relatively normal development moves.
This kind of symmetrical positions look deceptively simple, but practice proves otherwise. See for instance this famous example: http://www.chesscafe.com/text/dvoretsky76.pdf.
Kramnik excels in it with white, for instance in Catalan games: he has a little more space, forces black to play b6 or b5, uses the squares c6 and d6 to augment the pressure, until a seemingly inevitable black collapse.
The 'awesome' part of Nakamura's play here is not the simple tactics in the knight endgame, but the moves from 10 Qc3 onwards. It matters a lot which rook goes to which file, and how you let pieces be exchanged. I recommend to forget about Nxb5 and Nc5 and study the rest of the game.

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