In the quarterfinals of the ongoing World Team Championship in Jerusalem, the Ukrainian team met the winner of group “B” Uzbekistan.
A year ago, our team was the clear favorite of this competition. But lately, Uzbek chess players have improved significantly. True, this time their leader Nodirbek Abdusattorov was not among them. He is probably preparing for two important competitions: the Rapid and Blitz World Championships (in Kazakhstan), as well as the classic tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.
However, other young Uzbeks are also not far behind. This was evident from the duel with the Ukrainians. According to the rules, playoff matches consist of two fights. And the first one was already very unpleasant for our chess players.
Vassily Ivanchuk got the best position in Indian king defense. His initiative looked very menacing. Unfortunately, the Lviv native made a mistake and did not find the right way to realize the advantage. The game ended in a draw on the 31st move.
Andrey Volokitin was also unable to make use of his right to speak in the Italian party. Granted, he moved to a rook that finished three pawns to two on the kingside, but the situation was theoretically a draw.
As black, our chess players performed poorly. Igor Kovalenko couldn’t hold the endgame, in which the white bishop and pawns fought successfully against his rook. Igor did not hold this position.
Kirill Shevchenko played the only failed game in Jerusalem. His rival Zhavokhir Sindarov has already proven himself from the best side at this championship. And the Uzbek played the match against Kirill at the highest level. And Kyivian’s mistake on the 24th move led to a difficult position, which he could no longer save. Thus, the score became 3:1 in favor of the Uzbek team.
In the second game there was still a chance for recovery. Unfortunately, the Ukrainians did not take advantage of it. Volokitin with black and Bernadsky with white lost to the Vakhidov brothers. And only Shevchenko managed to defeat Sindarov. He won a pawn and then confidently converted it. Thus the score became 1.5:2.5. The Uzbeks advanced to the semifinals.
Spain defeated Azerbaijan – 2.5:1.5 and 2:2. France lost the first game (1:3) to India, and in the second they managed to win back by the same score. Moreover, those who lost in the first duel with white, in the second – won back with black. These are Maxime Vache-Lagrave and Laurent Fressinet. But on stoppages, the Indian team prevailed – 2.5:1.5.
The Chinese defeated the Polish team – 2.5:1.5 and 2:2.
Peter Marusenkointernational master.