World Team Chess Championships in 2015

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Here at we are looking at everything about the World Team Chess Championships in 2015. Held in Armenia, this was a tournament that was home to lots of excitement and exquisite playing. The World Team Chess Championships are held every two years and participation is only eligible to the 10 countries whose chess federation dominate their continent.

The chance to participate in this tournament is relished by every country who qualifies. Run by FIDE, the top name in chess, the tournament originally began in 1985 – thus the 2015 tournament marked the 30th anniversary of the competition. This was definitely a competition that celebrated the best chess in the world.

The World Team Chess Championships

This is an international team event that only 10 teams can participate in. Although it isn’t held every year, it is held every two years and is deemed as one of the most important international tournaments for teams, along with the Chess Olympiads.

This is a competition in which only the strongest teams in the world can participate, so just the fact that a team is invited to play gives the team a certain kudos. A full round is played by all the teams – meaning that every team must play every other team. When the tournament first started in 1985, the teams each consisted of 6 players. However, now, only 4 players are permitted, although you can use reserve players if necessary.

Originally, the tournament was only held every 4 years, however, due to its growing popularity, in 2011 it changed to every 2 years. As well as this, in 2007, a separate championship for women’s teams was founded and this is also held every 2 years.

This was a year that also saw the point structure altered – with the final scores changing to be dependent on the team results. Before that it was the individual scores that determined the team’s rankings. Since its beginnings, there have been many changes to the structure of the tournament and the way the tournament is held.

The 2015 Championships

The 2015 World Team Chess Championships was organised by the Armenian Chess Federations with the backing of FIDE. It took place between 18 – 29 April in the Golden Palace Tsakhkadzor Hotel in Tsakhkadzor, Armenia.

As per qualification rules, the ten countries that were invited to participate in the championships were: Russia, China, Hungary, India, USA, Egypt, Ukraine, Armenia, Cuba and Israel. It was held in accordance to the Handbook and Laws of Chess of FIDE. It was played using a nine-round, round robin system, with the colours and starting numbers being drawn in the opening ceremony. There was also a standard time control for the event which was 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes to end. As well as this there was an additional 30 seconds additional time per move which started at the first move.

Each team was made up of four players plus one reserve and the captain. Each team was then provided with full hospitality at the hotel including lodgings.

The matches were scored by match points as used in the FIDE Olympiad. The winner of the match would be awarded 2 points, a draw would be awarded 1 point and a loss would be rewarded with 0 points. The top three teams were awarded with trophies and their players would be awarded with medals.

The Results

After some very tense, exciting and close matches, the results were as follows:

  1. China
  2. Ukraine
  3. Armenia
  4. Russia
  5. USA
  6. Hungary
  7. Israel
  8. Cuba
  9. India
  10. Egypt

So, the trophies were awarded to the teams of China, Ukraine and Armenia.

The Chinese team that came out on top consisted of some of the very best players in the world. The players that led their team to success were:

  • Ding Liren
  • Yu Yangyi
  • Bu Xiangzhi
  • Wei Yi
  • Wang Chen

How it Happened

Round 1: The tournament started with a focus on the matches between Ukraine v Russia and Israel v Armenia. With Ukraine’s Pavel Eljanov beating Russia’s Evgeny Tomashevsy and Israeli Maxim Rodshtein beating the Armenian Vladimir Akopian these teams were off to a great start. China got off to a good start also, taking victory over USA and this was followed by the Indian team beating the Egyptian team. The only draw was between Hungary and Cuba.

Round 2: Saw the Russian team have another stumble with a loss against Cuba. Armenia took victory over Ukraine but the other games between Hungary and China, India and USA, Egypt and Israel all saw a draw.

Round 3: Cuba shone with another victory over Armenia. The Ukraine team gathered pace again, beating Egypt, and Israel beat India quite comfortably. Hungary managed to beat USA meanwhile China v Russia ended in a draw. At this point, Cuba and Israel were in the lead.

Round 4: Midway through the competition saw China take a comfortable victory over Armenia. In another great win, Egypt was beaten by Cuba and India won against Hungary. Ukraine had another good round when they beat Israel. The only draw in this round was between Russian and USA. Another good round saw Cuba stay at the top.

Round 5: Saw the teams continue with their matches with the top teams continue to gather pace with China taking victory, Armenia taking a solid win, Ukraine having another strong win and Russia getting into the competition. This was Cuba’s first real stumble.

Round 6: Starter off with China and Cuba at the top. Cuba suffered another stumble and lost at the hands of Ukraine. China did well and won well over Israel. Russia had another victory, this time over Israel and USA confidently beat Egypt.

Round 7: Cuba struggled with another loss against India. The match between Ukraine and China was as tight as chasing jackpot in slot games and the round ended up in a draw. USA took a comfortable victory over Israel and Hungary enjoyed a win over Egypt. Russia struggled in this round and lost against Armenia.

Round 8: This saw Armenia, Russia, USA and China celebrate success over India, Egypt, Ukraine and Cuba respectively. Israel and Hungary ended with a draw.

Despite highs and lows form all countries, and a surprisingly good competition from Cuba, eventually consistency and technique saw China come out on top.