China, Uzbekistan at the Top, Heading into Knockout

China finished in first of pool A of the World Team Championship with an undefeated nine points. There was a three-way tie for second between France, Spain, and Ukraine, all of which qualify for the knockout stage.

Uzbekistan topped pool B, outscoring Azerbaijan by tiebreaks. India and Poland finished in third and fourth to score the final qualification spots.

The quarterfinals begin on Wednesday, November 23, starting at 5 a.m. PT / 14:00 CET.

China’s board five, GM Li Di, has proved to be their secret weapon, scoring 4.5 out of five rounds―the highest individual score of any player in either pool. He attained their only victory of the round vs. GM Maxime Lagarde, gaining greater activity in a double rook ending and setting up a mating net. 

This win secured the team draw, maintaining China’s undefeated score. Their board four, GM Bai Jinshi, has also achieved one of the highest scores of the event so far with four points―showing how team matches are often won due to reliable lower boards.

On the other side of China vs. France, GM Jules Moussard defeated GM Xu Xiangyu with inspired endgame play. Can you find his winning idea?

Vokhidov’s dazzling victory secured the top spot for Uzbekistan, heading into the next stage. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov won a fascinating game vs. GM Maxim Rodshtein to support Azerbaijan’s team victory. 

Although the Netherlands missed out on qualifying for the knockout, our Game of the Day is GM Jorden Van Foreest‘s board one victory vs. GM Vasyl Ivanchuk.

This extraordinary game may be remembered as an unfinished work of art or one of the great comebacks in chess, depending on who writes it and who reads it.

Van Foreest’s tournament ends on bittersweet note, winning his individual game as his team is knocked out. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Pool A Round 5 Standings

Pos Flag Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 BP MP
1 China 2 3 3 15 9
2 France 2 2 11½ 6
3 Spain 1 2 2 4 11½ 6
4 Ukraine 1 2 2 11 6
5 Netherlands ½ 2 4 3
6 South Africa ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0

Pool B Round 5 Standings

Pos Flag Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 BP MP
1 Uzbekistan 2 12 7
2 Azerbaijan 2 3 11½ 7
3 India ½ 2 2 3 10 6
4 Poland 2 2 2 2 4
5 Israel 2 2 4
6 United States 1 1 2

 The FIDE World Team Championship takes place November 19-26, 2022, in Jerusalem, Israel. The format is a round-robin for teams with five rounds, followed by a knockout with the top eight finishers. The time control is 45 minutes for the entire game plus a 10-second increment starting on move one.

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