Russia 1st, England 2nd, China 3rd at World Team Open Championship


All medals awarded

The last round of the World Team Chess Championships produced a scenario of rare intensity, as team and individual medals were decided in the last minutes.

Both gold medals had already attributed one day before the end to Russia in the open section and China in the women section, and both teams were involved in crucial matches for the podium. In an epic battle against India, the Russian seemed on the verge of losing, before Ian Nepomniachtchi eventually saved his position to a draw and Alexander Grischuk won his game. With this 2,5-1,5 loss, India unluckily had to cede the bronze medal to China, which overcame Kazakhstan by a thread. The silver medal went to England, which convincingly beat Sweden. All results, final rankings and individual medal awards can be found on . The bilingual press conference with the Russian team can be viewed on .

Both local teams performed slightly above expectations. The men’s team had a tough tournament but ended on a positive 8th place. Team leader Rinat Jumabayev was the real hero with a tremendous 5 out of 9 score. The women team reached their initial goal, a 5th place just behind the big-4 . It is clear that this ambitious young team is promised to a bright future. Zhensaya Abdumalik speaks about the tournament at .

The whole event proceeded smoothly and was organized at a very high level. The Astana International Financial Centre, partner of the World Championship, offered a perfect venue. The general sponsor ERG and the general Samruk Kazyna greatly contributed to the success of the World Team Championship.

Silver medal for England

The English national team creates a sensation at the World Team Chess Championship 2019 in Astana. Thanks to a steady high-level performance throughout the event, the men squad lead by coach Malcolm Pein earns the silver medal behind Russia.

1989 and 1990. These are the last years when England won a medal in a world team competition at chess. The collapse of the Berlin wall has caused a complete redistribution of cards, and new superpowers China and India regularly mix up in the fight for the podium.

Yet this time, England overcame all hurdles and reached second place. Malcolm Pein bet on a risky team strategy, and it paid off. Reserve player Jonathan Speelman came to Astana mostly to help his colleagues in their pre-game preparation. He played only one game in the middle of the tournament when Gawain Jones felt unwell. The tension for players at such top events is so high, that they normally like to rest in one or another round to recover energy. Michael Adams had a rough time on the top board. His dedication for the team is exemplary, as he played through until the end. His sup-par score was largely compensated for by the strong performance of his teammates. Luke McShane earned the individual gold medal on the second board with 6 points in 9 games. David Howell got the bronze medal on board 3 with 6 out of 9 and Gawain Jones the silver medal on board 4 with 5,5 out of 8).

In this very open competition, all teams lost points against each other. Crucial for the English success was without a doubt the 2-2 draws vs gold medallist Russia, USA and India.

Final standings

  1. Russia 16 out of 18 (23,5 individual points)
  2. England 13 (21)
  3. China 12 (21)
  4. India 11 (22)
  5. USA 11 (20,5)
  6. Iran 8 (18)
  7. Azerbaijan 8 (16,5)
  8. Kazakhstan 4 (14,5)
  9. Sweden 4 (10,5)
  10. Egypt 3 (12,5)

Individual scores of the English players

  1. GM Michael Adams 3,5 out of 9
  2. GM Luke McShane 6 / 9 (individual gold)
  3. GM David Howell 6 / 9 (individual bronze)
  4. GM Gawain Jones 5,5 / 8 (individual silver)
  5. GM Jonathan Speelman 0 / 1