China and Uzbekistan play for gold at the World Team Chess Championship

China and Uzbekistan reached the final of the World Team Chess Championship in Jerusalem. The two countries defeated Spain and India respectively in the second game on Thursday after both opening games ended in a 2-2 draw. The final and the battle for third place begin Friday, November 25, starting at 5:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. CET.

2022 FIDE World Team Chess Championship Live Matches

After their sensational gold win at the Chennai Olympics, the young players from Uzbekistan are once again showing the chess world that they are real. Without GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov, but still coached by Ivan Sokolov (who gave a revealing interview with Chess.com after Chess.com), the Uzbeks are also playing for the top medals in Jerusalem.

In the first of two semifinals against India, the score was 2-2 with a draw on boards one and two, GM SL Narayanan beat GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov by three and GM Jakhongir Vakhidov beat GM SP Sethuraman by four. It was a tough loss for Sethuraman, who blundered in the early middlegame after being much better from the opening when his opponent played a somewhat dodgy Accelerated Dragon.

India Uzbekistan World Teams 2022
The first game between India and Uzbekistan. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The second game was won by Uzbeks 2.5-1.5. On the top board, GM Nodirbek Yakubboev defeated GM Vidit Gujrathi, but Narayanan won again. With board four tied, Uzbekistan’s second win by Sindarov was decisive. His game with Nihal ended nicely:

Sindarov Nihal World Teams 2022
Javokhir Sindarov (left) against Nihal Sarin while Ivan Sokolov looks on. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Vakhidov Sasikiran World Teams 2022
Jakhongir Vakhidov secures a place in the final with a draw and is congratulated by captain Ivan Sokolov. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

China’s tournament was even more impressive considering they didn’t even bring one of their top eight rated players to Israel. As anger grows at home over the Chinese government’s strict Covid rules, most Chinese players in Jerusalem are playing with face masks.

Their first game against Spain was also a 2-2, with wins for GM David Anton over GM Xu Xiangyu and GM Li Di over GM Miguel Santos. In game two, China won their two white games and drew their black games to earn a 3-1 win on the scoreboard. A crucial game was GM Bai Jinshi’s win over GM Alexei Shirov and yes, there was fire on the board from the start!

China Spain World Team Chess Championship 2022
The start of the second match between China and Spain. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The FIDE World Team Championship will take place from November 19th to 26th, 2022 in Jerusalem, Israel. The format is a five-round team round-robin followed by a knockout with the top eight finishers. The time control is 45 minutes for the entire game plus 10 seconds extra from the first move.

Chess team of Uzbekistan
Will Uzbekistan achieve the double this year and win both the Olympiad and the World Teams? Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

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