3rd World Team Chess Championship: Lucerne 1993

<< [ Information || The final group || Statistics ] >>


[ Basic data | Tournament review | Best board results | Interesting games ]

Basic data

3rd World Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 24th October - 3rd November 1993
City: Lucerne, Switzerland
Venue: Grand Casino Luzern
Tournament Director: N/A
Chief Arbiter: N/A
Teams participating: Switzerland - host nation;
Russia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, USA, Latvia - top five teams from 1992 Olympiad;
Ukraine - second at 1992 European Team Championship
(winners Russia qualified as Olympiad winners);
China - winners of 1989 and 1991 Asian Team Championship;
Cuba - winners of 1991 Panamerican Team Championship;
Egypt - winners of 1993 African Team Championship (did not arrive);
Algeria - third at 1993 African Team Championship to replace Egypt (did not arrive);
Iceland - 6th at 1992 Olympiad; replaced Egypt and Algeria.
Players participating: 55 (incl. 36 GMs and 18 IMs)
Games played: 180
Competition format: Four board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points; 3. Direct score; 4. Berlin system; 5. Extra match; 6. Drawing of lots
Time control: N/A
Downloadable game file: 93wtch.zip

Tournament review

The 1993 World Team Championship was the first one held after world's chess geography earthquake caused by collapse of Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. A number of extremely strong ex-Soviet teams appeared since many top players (too weak to qualify for Soviet team) were now legible to take part in the team events. The political disintegration was accompanied with a political thaw that let the Soviet people spill all over the world. This has caused outflow of pupils of famous Soviet chess school to an extent never seen before. Not only were five (half of all!) competitors representing former Soviet republics but also four of six members of winning US team were Soviet expatriates (and please do not forget by whom was the Swiss team led)! Of 55 participating players as much as 35 had Soviet background with the Rest of The World being represented by merely 20 players, of whom vast majority were by far weaker than the rest.

Russia had 5 players from 1992 Olympiad squad but no Kasparov (who consequently refuses joining WTCh). The leader was Kramnik who scored outstanding 8½/9 in Manila (being FM yet!). Uzbekistan, silver medal winners from Manila, were led by Serper, Nenashev and Zagrebelny, the three who had contributed most to the Manila sensation. Loginov was missing this time (quite expected given his 4/13 result at the Olympiad). Few expected the Uzbekistani to repeat the Olympic success. Armenia with same 6 guys as in Manila were lead by iron trio: Vaganian, Akopian, Lputian. As usual they were expected to fight for medals. USA were missing Seirawan, but were reinforced by Kaidanov who has just left Russia. Led by Kamsky (future WCh contender) and Yermolinsky they were predicted to finish within 3rd-5th zone. Latvia, who qualified as 5th team of the Olympiad celebrated long awaited statehood last seen in early 40's. Led by Širovs (already a top star at the moment) they decided to include legendary Gipslis (b. 1937) into the squad. Of course another Latvian legend, namely former World Champion Tal passed away one year earlier so his everlasting dream of representing independent Latvia never came true. Iceland, 6th in Manila, were also invited replacing African Team Championship winner and runner-up who both withdrew. A nice achievement for a country of 50,000 people. Ukraine earned their invitation thanks to second place achieved at the European Team Championship in Debrecen.

China and Russia took early lead with 3-1 wins over Uzbekistan and Switzerland respectively. Latvia were lucky to beat Armenia and team USA modestly defeated Cuba in a clash with some political tension in the background. Round 2 saw USA-Ukraine draw and Kamsky should be happy to save draw vs Ivanchuk. Dolmatov's win over Lin sealed Russia's modest win over China. Latvia moved into the nose of the pack wiping out Cuba 3-1. On the next day Russia lost sensationally to Iceland (please remember that Russia's population is superior's to Icelandic one by some 3,000 times!) and USA trashed Uzbekistan (who did not manage to refer to their memorable Manila run). Armenia continued their disappointment session with a measly 1½-2½ vs China. A hit clash of round four was USA-Russia which went on for a well-deserved draw, although Kamsky nicely defeated Kramnik. Dolmatov at board 4 managed to compensate the deficit of the point by beating Christiansen. Latvia halved vs China and Ukraine dropped clear 2 points vs Uzbekistan. On the next round Russia defeated Ukraine thanks to Dreev's quick win. Bareev came close to beat Tukmakov but the Ukrainian managed to save a draw. USA ran over Armenia (who lost their third match of first five rounds, a true rarity for them) with 2 wins and 1 loss. Latvia maintained good form defeating strong Iceland (another match with three decisive games; Širovs won excellent game vs Hjartarson). USA retained the lead after 5th round with 12½ points, half of a point ahead of Latvia and a clear point ahead of Russia and China. Round 6 brought a match at the top: Latvia-USA. Širovs went on for a stunning win over Kamsky and the Americans managed only to level the match score (Benjamin). Russia and China won their matches 2½-1½ making up for a lost ground. In round 7 Ukraine, who lost last two matches demolished Latvia 3-1 to replenish Latvian hopes for gold forever. China lost to Iceland and USA went on for a thumping 3½-½ win over Switzerland. Russia won 3-1. Standings after round 7: USA 18, Russia 17, China and Ukraine 15½. Round 8 virtually solved the problem of gold as USA beat China and Russia lost to progressive Armenia, who moved up to 4th place. Ukraine's 2½-1½ vs Switzerland was too little to extend their winning prospects. With one round to go USA had clear 2 point advantage over Russia - far too long distance to catch up - and Ukraine were just a fraction behind the Russians. China could well extend their medal dreams had they only beaten the Ukrainians in the last round.

A brisk 2-all draw vs Iceland (55 moves overall!) gave the American boys the main trophy. Russia only halved vs Latvia and lost second position in favour of Ukraine who beat China 3-1. Armenia defended 4th place, and Iceland came 5th. Latvia went down to 6th after dismal show in 8th round (1-3 vs Uzbekistan). Switzerland were the only team not to score a single match win but still they were not last...

Team USA that comprised of two native Americans and four Soviet expatriates won their title in excellent style with a clear 1½ point advantage. Benjamin scored excellent 5/6 with a rating performed of 2792. Every team member but Kamsky had plus score. Ukraine suffered deep crisis in the halfway but managed to recover to climb up to a second position after excellent final spurt. This must be contributed mainly to Ivanchuk (6/8) and Malaniuk (4½/7). Russia had no Kasparov and Karpov, who were both involved in a WCh match. Their newly emerged star Kramnik disappointed his fans scoring poor 3/7. Khalifman did not even try to add some pluses to his team's final score with a 3½/7 (=7) record. Vyzmanavin's pathetic 1/4 is worst ever achieved at international team event by a Russian player. It was only Dreev's excellent score that saved a podium for the Russians. Armenia's +2 was a credit of only two players: Akopian and Anastasian. Iceland finished 5th, despite Hjartarson's mediocre 2½/7 (facing toughest opposition at board 1 though). The big credit goes to second reserve Thorsteins, who achieved incredible +3=2 to win gold medal at his board and boost team's overall record. Latvia's hopes aroused once they held runner-up position in the halfway of the event but the final run was a 6/16 nightmare. Same happened to China who lost last three matches to fall down to 50% level. Interesting too see individual scores of the Chinese four (no reserves!): Xu -2, Lin -4, Peng +3, Li +3. Uzbekistan did poorly, everyone but second reserve Nadyrkhanov achieved minus scores. Switzerland, the home nation as usual were hoping only for not being last, and they succedeed since it was Cuba who came last - some disappointment for a team of four GMs.

Best board results

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Ivanchuk, Vasyl UKR 6 8 75.0
2. GM Kortschnoj, Viktor SUI 9 61.1
2. GM Širovs, Aleksejs LAT 9 61.1

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Malaniuk, Volodymyr UKR 7 64.3
2. GM Akopian, Vladimir ARM 5 8 62.5
3. GM Yermolinsky, Alexander USA 6 58.3

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Bareev, Evgeny RUS 4 6 66.7
1. IM Peng Xiaomin CHN 6 9 66.7
3. GM Gulko, Boris USA 6 58.3

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Dolmatov, Sergei RUS 4 6 66.7
1. Li Wenliang CHN 6 9 66.7
3. GM Kaidanov, Gregory USA 4 7 57.1

1st Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Benjamin, Joel USA 5 6 83.3
1. GM Dreev, Alexei RUS 5 6 83.3
3. IM Anastasian, Ashot ARM 5 70.0

2nd Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Þorsteins, Karl ISL 4 5 80.0
2. IM Nadyrkhanov, Sergei UZB 4 6 66.7
2. GM Christiansen, Larry USA 4 6 66.7

Interesting games

The stonewall splashing all over the wall.
Ivanchuk, Vasyl (UKR) - Nogueiras, Jesús (CUB) 1 - 0

White's play seemed so passive at fist glance.
Christiansen, Larry (USA) - Nadyrkhanov, Sergei (UZB) 1 - 0

Uncommon way of trading Rooks in this game
that was a magnificent show performed by the Chinese.
Xu Jun (CHN) - Širovs, Aleksejs (LAT) 1 - 0

We only wonder whether Black took Ne5 simply because he had nothing
better to do or was it an utterly far-sighted positional Queen sac...?!
Hjartarson, Jóhann (ISL) - Akopian, Vladimir (ARM) 0 - 1

USA beat Russia in probably most prestigious game of the event.
Kamsky, Gata (USA) - Kramnik, Vladimir (RUS) 1 - 0

Historia non est magistra vitae -
this line already had bad reputation, still Li decided to wade.
Li Wenliang (CHN) - Christiansen, Larry (USA) 0 - 1

White allowed fantastic Rook sac.
Lputian, Smbat (ARM) - Pétursson, Margeir (ISL) 0 - 1

Crazy game where Ivanchuk held Xu to a won RNNvQ ending.
Xu Jun (CHN) - Ivanchuk, Vasyl (UKR) 0 - 1