Azerbaijan and FIDE Americas advanced to the knockout stage of the Women’s World Team Championship in their respective pools in contrasting fashion after an eventful fifth and final round of the round robin stage of the tournament. Russia and Georgia dominated the pools as expected, with India and Armenia in Pool A and Ukraine and Kazakhstan in Pool B joining the rest of the qualifying teams. Although the last round was marked by a failure of the DGT transmission of live matches, the episode added to the suspense of the event.
How to look?
FIDE Women’s World Team Championship matches are available at Chess.com/events. Live commentary for all rounds will be broadcast on Chess.com/tv.
Live coverage of the first round. Watch all the coverage live on youtube.com/chess.
Russia and India won identical 3-1 victories over Armenia and France to dominate the pool with 10 and 7 match points respectively. The only surprise came when the Russian seed survived a scare in the final round against Armenia after dominating the tournament for the first two days.
Top Russian GM Tips Aleksandra Goryachkina and General Manager Alexandra Kosteniuk were content with a draw despite ranking above their opponents by more than 200 Elo points. Although GM Kateryna Lagno won comfortably, the fourth board game posed some problems for Russia:
In another display of nerves, Indian MI Tania Sachdev escaped with a draw when her opponent repeated the moves and settled for one repeat despite a winning position:
The Fourth Indian Council WGM Mary Ann Gomes achieved a consistent victory over a knight ending:
The all-important game between Azerbaijan and Spain, where each team could qualify with a victory, ended in a decisive 3.5-0.5 win for the Azerbaijanis, but the final score does not reveal the story behind the matches.
On the second chessboard, Spanish MI Sabrina Vega Gutierrez blundered by securing a comfortable and advantageous position:
On the third board, FM Maria Eizaguerri Floris made a mistake by defending against a not so decisive attack:
And finally, the fourth Spanish board IM Marta Garcia Martin was also wrong in a slightly better position:
Comparatively, Pool B didn’t bring much drama in terms of match results, but qualifying for fourth place was ultimately decided by game points, as FIDE Americas and Germany were tied at 3. match points each. This was after Georgia beat FIDE Americas 3-1, Kazakhstan beat Poland 3-0 and Ukraine beat Germany 3.5-0.5. FIDE Americas qualified for the round of 16 with half a point more than Germany.
The broadcast of the matches was then marred by a DGT transmission failure, especially for the Pool B matches, but the spectators were finally delighted to see two queens sacrificed from the round:
Although the sacrifice of the other queen was not part of a “clean” game, it was still nice to witness, indeed:
CLASSIFICATION AFTER THE 5th ROUND
The 2021 FIDE Women’s World Team Championship is a 12-team event featuring teams representing chess nations from around the world. The event runs from September 27 to October 2 and is broadcast live on Chess.com.