World Team Championship, Round 8: Russia Clinches First With a Round To Go
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 8:35PM
Dennis Monokroussos in 2019 World Team Championship

While they haven't managed to live up to their top seeding in Chess Olympiads since 2002, the Russians have had more success in World Team Championships. The 2019 WTC has gone especially well, and they have clinched clear first with a round to spare. In round 7 they eked out a win over the U.S., giving up draws on the first three boards and winning on board four (Vladislav Artemiev beat Zviad Izoria), and in round 8 they crushed Sweden, with only Nils Grandelius escaping on board 1 with a draw against Sergey Karjakin. The Russians' score of 7/8 (or 14/16 on the event's 2-1-0 scoring) has them 1.5 points (3 points) clear of India and England.

India drew with Azerbaijan in round 7 (four draws) and the U.S. in round 8 (2-2, losing on board 2, winning on board 3, and getting a huge break when Dariusz Swiercz failed to convert a very clearly (and long-lasting) winning advantage against Baskaran Adhiban on board 1). England beat Egypt 2.5-1.5 in round 7 but lost to China 3-1 in round 8. As China also won in round 7 (over Sweden, 2.5-1.5) they are now in fourth place.

Had Swiercz won that round 8 game, the U.S. would have been in a three-way tie for third place and in medal contention, but now it would take a quasi-miracle for that to happen. Here are the last-round pairings, with 2-1-0 team scores given in parentheses:

Event website here.

Article originally appeared on The Chess Mind (http://www.thechessmind.net/).
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