2009 World Team Championship News

Ben's Blog: U.S. wins silver in Bursa

The U.S. Team won the silver medals today at the World Team Championships in Bursa, Turkey, by drawing their match with Azerbaijan in the last round, as all four boards were drawn.

This is an amazing result for the U.S. team, especially with the absence of Gata Kamsky from the team.

Russia won the gold, and the surprising late entry India won the bronze after a devastating 3.5-0.5 victory over hapless Brazil. I will post the individual scores of our team below:

Ben's Blog: Russia back in first as U.S. team slips

Russia, as expected, had an easy time against Egypt, so the USA needed to win against the tough Armenian team to maintain their slim lead.  It was not to be, as Armenia's #1, Levon Aronian, played an excellent game against Hikaru Nakamura and scored the only decisive game of the match. 

The U.S. team played well on all four boards, but a slip on move 41 by Hikaru allowed Levon the amazing 42.Rb6!! from which Hikaru could not recover.  

U.S. stands alone atop leaderboard at WTC

BURSA, TURKEY -- The United States stands in clear first after round seven of the World Team Championship.

On a crucial must-win day, the Americans demonstrated true grit in their path to victory over Greece. The Greek team, with surprise victories over Russia and Armenia, are dangerous rivals capable of upsetting any team. The victory was by the smallest margin at 2.5-1.5 and was not decided until the last moment. On board two, the game between Alexander Onischuk and Ioannis Papaioannou was the first to finish and resulted in a draw.


Ben's Blog: U.S. wins again, seizes first place

The U.S. team seized first place today with another win against a tough Greek team. Russia drew Armenia, so the U.S. team is in clear first, with six match wins against one loss.

The hero today, once again, was Hikaru Nakamura, who took a worse position and managed to win due to his opponent's time pressure. Nakamura's opponent, Vasilios Kotronias, blundered terribly on move 40, and Naka easily converted his extra rook.

Ben's Blog: USA shares lead with Russia

The U.S. team kept up its winning ways with a decisive 3-1 win over hapless Brazil. Once again, Hikaru Nakamura beat a strong GM, and, our board four, Varuzhan Akobian was able to win with black, in a style that reminded me of Alexander Onischuk's best wins.

Solid draws on boards two and three meant a nice victory for the U.S. team, and now we can look seriously at fighting for gold! Russia squeaked by India by the smallest of margins, 2.5-1.5, whilst Armenia got crushed by giant killers Greece 3-1!

Ben's Blog: Hikaru leads U.S. to victory over Israel, Robson draw clutch

The USA maintained its lead in match points with a powerhouse performance by our two horses, Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Onischuk. Hikaru won in amazing style, sacrificing his queen all over the board! The threats were too much for World Cup Champion Boris Gelfand, who capitulated in only 33 moves with the white pieces. Oni was also his usual self on board two, putting the squeeze on American Swiss killer Ilya Smirin.

Once again, the U.S. team put in its youngsters, but Robert Hess got a worse position against a cagey veteran, 2009 U.S. Champion commentator ...

Ben's Blog: U.S. team back on track

Today, the U.S. team got back to its winning ways with a solid 3-1 victory over Egypt. Hikaru Nakamura and Yury Shulman took a rest today, so the reserves saw their first action, with Robert Hess and Ray Robson performing well. Hess won with white and Robson drew with black, and our first two boards, Alexander Onischuk and Varuzhan Akobian, followed suit. Onischuk is on fire with a blazing 3.5 points after four rounds.

The best game today was Hess' smooth victory over Mohamed Ezat on board three.

Field evens with Russian win and Azerbaijan loss

BURSA, TURKEY -- After a strong start in the first two rounds, round three proved far more difficult for the American team.

This round saw the end of perfect scores, as The U.S. team was beaten soundly by Russia, and, in a mild upset, Azerbaijan lost to India. In another upset, Egypt topped Greece, a team that must have had high hopes after their Herculean defeat of Russia in round two. The loss by Azerbaijan helped keep the field even. By match points, the U.S. team stays tied for the top, with a score of 2-1.

Ben's Blog: Russia Rebounds

This round saw a setback for the U.S. team as Russia seemed out for blood after their painful loss to lowly Greece. The U.S. team had bad positions out of the opening on boards three and four, and could not recover. Hikaru Nakamura tried to get a murky position against Alexander Grischuk, but the Russian player kept things under control, and the game was relatively equal throughout.

Alexander Onischuk seemed to have a worse position against Alexander Morozevich, but ended up holding the draw in the end.

U.S. wins, Russia loses in World Team Championship

BURSA, TURKEY -- A strong showing by the American team coupled with a Russian loss has got the U.S. team off to a running start in the long race for medals at the World Team Championship. 

The United States team, sponsored by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, had another stellar performance in round two as they beat a powerful Indian team. Convincing wins from Hikaru Nakamura (2708) and Alexander Onischuk (2670) propelled the U.S. to an easy win against a powerhouse opponent.