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World Women's Team Chess Championship-2011: Part I

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Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 03 January 2012

by Natalia Pogonina for her
Chess.com Tuesday column


The World Team Chess Championship is one of the most prestigious team events, although womens championships have a very short history. This years edition in Mardin, Turkey was only third. The previous two tournaments ended in the same way: 1. China 2. Russia 3. Ukraine. What about year 2011?


Mardin is an unusual city on the south-east of Turkey close to the border of Syria. Its central part is located on a mountain.

mardin.jpg

The weather there is warm and sunny even in December. The participants were hosted in a wonderful hotel Erdoba Elegance two minutes outside the city. Among other notable things one can mention that each evening in the restaurant was dedicated to a national cuisine of one of the teams. The first day was Russian. 

russiancuisine.jpg

Our team (click the link for some nice pics), the reigning Olympic and European champions, was composed of the following players: Nadezhda Kosintseva (2546), Tatiana Kosintseva (2526), Valentina Gunina (2514), Natalia Pogonina (2451), Alexandra Kosteniuk (2439). Yuri Dokhoian stepped down as the teams captain and was assisting the Kosintseva sisters in preparation, while Alexei Korotylev took over his duties.
 

Usually the main competitors for the medals are China, Russia, Ukraine and Georgia, although this year India also looked powerful enough to be in contention. Koneru Humpy (rated 2600 at that time) has finally agreed to participate, thus greatly increasing the might of the team. Ukraine, on the contrary, was having a relatively hard time since Kateryna Lahno didnt take part.
 

The tournament is held as a round robin, thus eliminating the randomness of Swiss events where top dogs sometimes dont even get to face each other. All in all 10 teams were allowed to participate some from the Olympiad, others as continental champions. A brief overview of the schedule for our team revealed that we were to play face three of our main competitors in the first five rounds: Vietnam, Ukraine, Greece, Georgia, China.
 

The first round didnt bring any surprises for us. We defeated Vietnam with a minimal advantage (2.5-1.5). While our opponents ratings are not that high, we know quite well that they have a solid team.

 




The central match of the round, India vs Ukraine, ended in a draw. Koneru defeated Ushenina, and Zhukova stroke back against Padmini.



Other results of the 1st round: Turkey-China 1.5-2.5; RSA-Georgia 0-4; Armenia-Greece 4:0.  




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1. Written by on 22:23 03 2012 .
 
 
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 January 2012 )
 
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