10 men’s and 10 women’s teams from 14 countries began to fight for the title of champion.

The draw took place on the previous day, deciding whom Kazakhstan would face on the first day of the tournament. The Kazakhstan women’s team was drawn against Russia, and the men’s against England.
So on March 5th, 2019, President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Arkady Dvorkovich made the first symbolic move on the board of Katerina Lagno (Russia) and Zhansai Abdumalik (Kazakhstan), which marked the beginning of the main chess event of this spring.

The Abdumalik-Lahno party considered the main event of the first round in the women’s section, and in terms of passion, absolutely lived up to expectation. The 19-year-old Kazakhstani maintained equality at first and then seized the initiative playing black against the 2018 vice world champion Katerina Lahno. For a long time, Zhansai was close to having a winning postion, but under time pressure our chess player made a miscalculation in a difficult position and was forced to stop the clock. By this time, Alexandra Goryachkina had managed to achieve a large material advantage with Guliskhan Nakhbaeva, before closing the game out. The score thus became 2-0 in favor of Russia.

On the second board, Dinara Saduakasova ended her match in a draw with former world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk. But the position of the team debutant Bibisara Assaubayeva looked very doubtful. At one point, the Kazakhstani master was down a whole piece (Bibisara’s knight fought against the rook of Valentina Gunina). When the majority of experts had already given the Russian grandmaster an unconditional victory, Bibisara found an unexpected queen sacrifice that allowed the creation of an impregnable fortress on the board. Draw!
So, in the first round, our girls lost to the world champions with a score of 1 – 3. Today, in the second round, the women’s team plays India:
Zhansaya Abdumalik – Karavade Yesha
Dinara Saduakasova — Sumya Swaminathan
Bibisara Asaubayeva – Padmini Rout
Gulmira Dauletova – Kulkarni Bktakti

In the men’s section, with England was playing against Kazakhstan there was real drama. As the coach of the English national team Jonathan Speelman noted, the team arrived ready to rumble. The match was difficult for Kazakhstan’s chess players. Pretty soon Denis Makhnev was in a poor position, and David Howell led his team forward. For a long time, Rinat Dzhumabaev defended a difficult position he difficult position. But in time trouble, Rinat showed restraint and managed to outplay a formidable opponent. Rinat’s victory over one of the strongest chess players in the world of the late 90s – early 2000s, Michael Adams, made it possible to even the score of the Kazakhstan national team. Unfortunately, Anuar Ismagambetov was unable to capitalise on an indisputable positional advantage against Luke McShane. As a result, a draw. Pyotr Kostenko tried to complicate the game against Gawain Jones, even sacrificing a piece, but the English grandmaster defended himself very precisely and achieved victory.

As a result, the Kazakhstan team lost in the first round with a minimum score of 1.5 – 2.5 for the United Kingdom team.

Another favorite of the competition – China – confidently beat Hungary 3.5-0.5. And almost a sensation was a draw between the United States and an experienced Ukrainian team. The USA team could achieve victory if young Rochelle Wu (USA) did not agree to a draw in a practically won position with Natalia Buksa (Ukraine).

The second round will be held today, March 6, at 15:00 in the AIFC building at the address: Astana, Mangilik Ave, 53, Pavilion C-3.3. Chess players from Sweden will compete against Kazakhstan.

Nils Grandelius – Rinat Jumabayev,
Hans Tikkanen – Anuar Ismagambetov (white),
Eric Blomqvist – Murtas Kazhgaleev,
Axel Smith – Denis Makhnev (white).

All results of the first round:

The live broadcast of the championship in Kazakh, Russian and English can be seen on the official website of the Team World Championship

All the latest news is also on the site



General Sponsor of the World Championship: Group of Companies Eurasian Resources Group





General Partner of the World Championship – Samruk Kazyna




Championship Partner – Astana International Financial Center



photo by David Llada