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15 March 2019

Champions Ahead of Time

Sport-Express on the Russian men’s team winning the World Team Championship.

Champions Ahead of Time
Champions Ahead of Time

The Russian women’s team finished second in Astana. Worthy of noting is that it was vice versa two years ago in Khanty-Mansiysk as representatives of the fair sex took gold and the men came in second.

Artemiev the Joker and an incredible Goryachkina

Head coach of the Russian men’s team Andrey Filatov has renewed the team by 60% as compared to the latest Olympiad in Baku. Joining Sergey Karjakin and Ian Nepomniachtchi were a three-time world blitz champion Alexander Grischuk, a reigning Russian champion Dmitry Andreikin and a 21-year old Vladislav Artemiev, who has gained so much in strength as of lately.

Our previous world championship’s medals date back to as many as six years ago. Featuring in this and the previous lineups have been Karjakin, Nepomniachtchi and Grischuk.

It was as soon as round three that the drawing of lots had us pitted against our main competitors - team China. There was no disagreement between connoisseurs in that this matchup winner’s path would be well-paved to claim the highest prizes in Astana. Scoring a narrow victory, Russia stopped China from contesting the gold because added to this upset was the Celestial Empire’s previous round loss to team USA. From then onward all Karjakin and Co needed to do was perform their usual strength. Undefeated and drawing only England and Azerbaijan, the Russians ended up claiming gold with one round to go. Even then the team would not relax but extend its success by defeating team India.

We need to pay credit to Filatov's decision of making Artemiev part of the team. With five wins and three draws, he has become our team’s principal scorer. Not only was Artemiev outperforming his board four opponents, but was also blowing wind in the sails of his teammates’ confidence. This event has increased his rating to his personal record of 2746 and No.16 in the world.

As opposed to this, our girls were unable to repeat their success of two years ago. Team China was out of our league this time around. This said, the Chinese women had no rivals in Astana in general as they ended up taking 18 out of 18. Aleksandra Goryachkina has been the one Russian player showing a phenomenal result. Having missed not a single game, she has finished with 8 out of 9, bringing home seven wins and two draws.

Filatov: “The team has demonstrated a rare consistency”

– It is six years now that our team has been unable to win the team championship, highlighted senior coach of the Russian men's team Andrey Filatov. – The two latest competitions in Tsaghkadzor and Khanty-Mansiysk saw the Chinese team taking gold medals. This year we were also anticipating competition from this powerful team that arrived with its strongest lineup. It was clear even before the event that there would be a lot at stake in this head-to-head encounter, which out team proved better prepared for. Ian Nepomniachtchi's quick victory was a match decider.

All in all, the team has demonstrated a rare consistency by taking seven matches and drawing two. Our players’ securing an overall victory with one round to go is yet another achievement! No less pleasant was the Russian team’s difficult success over team India in the final round that mattered to us no longer.

I would like to point out the young grandmaster Vladislav Artemiev’s personal achievement. Having had no breaks during the first eight games, he finished undefeated and scoring five wins at that. He has significantly increased his individual rating. What an outstanding debut for the national team! I hope to see him continually on the rise as time goes on.

Playing a vital role as part of the team with two victories in crucial matchups has been Nepomniachtchi. Decent performance has been displayed by Alexander Grischuk and Dmitry Andreikin. Sergey Karjakin’s fans have definitely been looking forward to better results, but one should not forget about Sergey's board being the most challenging one. I also want to say thanks to our headquarters – team captain Alexander Motylev and team coach Alexander Riazantsev. They have successfully done a great job of preparing for the event.

I would like to wrap up by congratulating the national women’s team on their silver medals earned in uncompromising battles with China, Ukraine and Georgia. This is an outstanding achievement testifying to the team and coaching staff’s highest class!

World Team Championship. Final tournament standings. 

Men: 1. Russia – 16 points; 2. England – 13; 3. China – 12; 4-5. India, USA - 11; 6-7. Iran, Azerbaijan - 8; 8-9. Kazakhstan, Sweden - 4; 10. Egypt – 3.

Women: 1. China – 18; 2. Russia – 14; 3-4. Georgia, Ukraine – 12; 5. Kazakhstan – 10; 6. India - 9; 7. USA – 7; 8-9. Armenia, Hungary - 4; 10. Egypt – 0.

Original in Russian 

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