5th World Team Chess Championship: Yerevan 2001

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


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

Basic data

5th World Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 12th - 20th October 2001
City: Yerevan, Armenia
Venue: The Yerevan Opera House
Chairman of Organizing Committee: Mr. Vanik Zakarian (ARM)
Secretary of Organizing Committee: Mr. Gaguik Oganessian (ARM)
Chief Arbiter: IA Geurt Gijssen (NED)
Teams participating: Armenia - host nation;
Russia, Germany, Ukraine - top three teams from 2000 Olympiad;
Hungary - second at 1999 European Team Championship (winners Armenia already qualified as hosts);
Uzbekistan - winners of 1999 Asian Team Championship;
Cuba - winners of 2000 Panamerican Team Championship;
African Continental Team (did not arrive);
Iran, FYR Macedonia - invited teams.
Players participating: 53 (incl. 42 GMs, 5 IMs and 2 FMs)
Games played: 144
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: all moves in 90 minutes + 30 sec. increment per move
Official logo: YEREVAN 2001
Website: http://www.armchess.am/5thworld.html
Downloadable game file: 01wtch.zip

Tournament review

UkraineThe 5th World Team Championship was the first ever to leave cosy Lucerne to move to Armenia. Unlike 1997 no women's team was invited. We have seen only 9 teams in the event since combined African team did not finally arrive. Iran and FYR Macedonia were invited teams but were unable to produce any surprise being left far behind the rest. In the morning of October 12th the solemn opening ceremony took place in the beautiful Opera House building. The drawing of lots brought thrilling surprise as we have seen Ukraine-Russia hit match being scheduled on the last day of the games. Of the teams that arrived to Yerevan those two were considered big favourites: Russia were missing the K duo yet still a team led by Svidler, Dreev and Grischuk must be considered extremely strong. Ukraine had all the strongest players in the squad. Armenia, the host team, were led by Akopian and Vaganian who became the only player to have participated in all five World Team Championships (Kortschnoj and Hug were other candidates but Switzerland were missing this time). Hungary hired Lékó but Polgár was missing. Germany, sensational silver medal winners from Istanbul were again led by Jussupow, but had no Hübner and Dautov.

Armenia took early lead trashing Iran with a cold-blooded 4-0 ahead of Russia, who surprisingly easy ran over Hungary. Next day saw unstoppable Armenia running for another 4-0, this time vs FYR Macedonia. Russia dropped just a fraction vs Iran however. Hungary drew Germany and Ukraine beat Cuba. The leaders had a rest day in round 3 and lost the lead to Russia who destroyed FYR Macedonia by 3½-½. Ukraine von 3½-½ as well and Cuba produced a sensation of the day beating Hungary, thanks to low-board wins by Arencibia and Delgado. In a hit match of day 4 Armenia destroyed Russia 3-1 (Akopian beat Svidler and Lputian beat Sakaev) to level with the Russians on 11 points in tied lead with one extra match in the pocket. Hungary were still looking for their first match win as they halved vs Uzbekistan. Ukraine had a rest day. Standings: Armenia, Russia 11; Germany 10½; Ukraine 8½.

Armenia, who seemed 100% favourites for win in the halfway conceded a sensational, heavy defeat vs Germany on the next day. Lutz and Graf sent them to a 1-3 hell. Ukraine beat Hungary 2½-1½ to move into tied third. Russia were not playing, so Germany took the lead ahead of Armenia. Round 6 dispelled leaders' hopes about attaining the WTCh trophy as they were wiped out by desperate Russia by 3½-½. Armenia recovered from yesterday's nightmare beating Cuba 3-1 (perhaps not as high as they were planning though). FYR Macedonia achieved their first match win over Uzbekistan. Round 7 brought couple of unexpected results. Ukraine were awfully disappointed to see their men barely drawing with FYR Macedonia (four draws) and Armenia certainly aimed at more than a 2-2 vs Uzbekistan. Russia took advantage of their opposition slip-ups moving into a sole lead after nice 3-1 vs Cuba. Hungary won their first match - at last. With two rounds to go standings were: Russia 17½; Armenia 17; Ukraine 16½. Ukraine seemed to have toughest run as they were yet to face both contenders. The rest were far behind.

The penultimate round brought much excitement to the spectators as Russia held Uzbekistan to a hard-fought 2-2 and Ukraine narrowly beat Armenia thanks to Ponomarov who dealt decisive punch beating Vaganian after heroic battle. With last round to go Russia were in the lead with half a point advantage over Ukraine who they were yet to play, and a clear point ahead of Armenia who could extend their gold medal dream in case of a trashing win over Hungary. The Russia-Ukraine match was one of most memorable events in the history of the Championship. Ukraine needed a win and Russia were aiming at a draw.Sakaev of Russia produced a brisk draw at board 4 with white pieces. Ivanchuk-Svidler at board 1 was also held to a draw. Baklan was trying to push but was unable to achieve anything more than a draw vs Grischuk. So it was all about Dreev-Ponomarov. White was pushy but he overlooked a tactical motif and the R+B ending appeared, where White had a deficit of a pawn but opposite coloured Bishopes suggested like the game will go on for a draw. The inconspicuous Ruslan showed perfect technique and went on for a brilliant win to give Ukraine the first ever World Championship title! Armenia did not stand the pressure and lost to Hungary. They stayed in third place however. The Hungarians, who won last three matches moved up into 5th. Iran beat FYR Macedonia in an outsider clash but did not manage to avoid last place. Uzbekistan's 1½-2½ vs Germany was enough for 6th place ahead of Cuba. Germany were lying at safe 4th.

The 5th World Team Championship saw fourth winner, a rotation rarely seen at the Olympiads. Ukraine fully deserved the win with brilliant Ponomarov at board 2 who scored two decisive wins. They conceded only on game loss (in round 1) and were the only team to avoid match loss. Russia were a little bit disappointed with a second position. Apart from Rublevsky's excellent score they suffered poor performance by Dreev and Grischuk. Armenia had excellent start and terrible final run. Akopian and veteran Vaganian were by far the best players. Germany, who had no active reserves, easily took 4th position. It could have been even better hadn't they suffered a ½-3½ debacle vs Russia (which was their only match loss BTW). The rest of the teams did not show anything worth a note and Iran and FYR Macedonia's participation was useless, as they managed only one game win vs top 7.

Best board results

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Akopian, Vladimir ARM 5 7 71.4
2. GM Ivanchuk, Vasyl UKR 4 7 57.1
3. GM Svidler, Peter RUS 8 56.3
3. GM Jussupow, Artur GER 8 56.3

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 7 78.6
2. GM Vaganian, Rafael ARM 6 75.0
3. GM Gyimesi, Zoltán HUN 7 64.3

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Graf, Alexander GER 5 8 62.5
2. GM Grischuk, Alexander RUS 3 5 60.0
3. GM Ruck, Róbert HUN 4 7 57.1
3. GM Lputian, Smbat ARM 4 7 57.1

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Rublevsky, Sergei RUS 5 90.0
2. GM Eingorn, Vyacheslav UKR 4 5 80.0
3. GM Luther, Thomas GER 8 56.3

1st Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Sakaev, Konstantin RUS 5 70.0
2. GM Romanyshyn, Oleh UKR 4 62.5
3. GM Dzhumaev, Marat UZB 3 5 60.0

2nd Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Delgado Ramírez, Neuris CUB 3 4 75.0
2. IM Egin, Vladimir UZB 4 62.5
2. GM Minasian, Artashes ARM 4 62.5

Interesting games

Shortest decisive game.
Luther, Thomas (GER) - Bogdanovski, Vlatko (MKD) 1 - 0

One has to be careful with an opening like this one.
Brilliant tactical manoeuvre by White.
Rublevsky, Sergei (RUS) - Varga, Zoltán (HUN) 1 - 0

It took more then 10 moves to release f6-g7 tension.
Lékó, Péter (HUN) - Ghaem Maghami, Ehsan (IRI) 1 - 0

Pono's fantastic endgame play gave Ukraine the title.
Dreev, Alexei (RUS) - Ponomarov, Ruslan (UKR) 0 - 1

Crazy game where both players took a Rook in the corner.
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam (UZB) - Ivanchuk, Vasyl (UKR) 0 - 1

This one was extremely well played by White.
How many of you would resist the temptation of playing d3-d4?
Ponomarov, Ruslan (UKR) - Vaganian, Rafael (ARM) 1 - 0

Yes, a French without c7-c5 IS possible and apparently
you could even beat Lékó with a play like that!
Lékó, Péter (HUN) - Vaganian, Rafael (ARM) 0 - 1

Watch out White's 11th move, interesting plan isn't it (Qe3+ was a nasty threat)?
Svidler, Peter (RUS) - Lékó, Péter (HUN) 1 - 0