Uzbekistan and China continue to perform exceptionally, knocking out Ukraine and Poland. Spain defeated the powerhouse Azerbaijan team. India pulled ahead of France in a riveting blitz playoff.
The semifinals begin on Thursday, November 24, starting at 5 a.m. PT / 14:00 CET.
The Uzbekistan team is again putting on a sensational performance, proving that the gold medal at the Olympiad was not a fluke.
India won the first round, but France struck back in the next to send the match into a blitz playoff. GMs Nihal Sarin and Srinath Narayanan both came through with victories to clinch the match for India. With just seconds on the clock in a sharp position, Nihal―one of the most resourceful blitz players there is―worked his magic to turn an even position into a victory.
Narayanan showed remarkable foresight to simplify into a winning pawn-down king and pawn ending.
Despite Azerbaijan’s strong finish in the previous stage, Spain knocked them out in a close match, drawing the first round and winning the second by one point. GMs Miguel Santos and David Anton helped their team edge ahead with victories over GM Rauf Mamedov and GM Teimour Radjabov. Anton gained his win by turning an even two bishop and rook ending into a tactical skirmish.
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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.