World Team Championship in Ningbo, China

China is again the focus of the chess world's attention with the start of the World Team Championship in Ningo. The best teams from all the main continents will compete in a nine round robin team event. Levon Aronian (2805) and eighteen 2700s are playing!

Ten teams will compete, eight of them having 'qualified' from recent high-ranking team competitions, China (hosts) and Armenia (strongest non-qualifiers) being the exceptions. The competition is taken seriously and most of the teams are at full strength, noting however the absence of Anand and Gelfand who are taking time out to prepare their coming confrontation.

Three other names that aren't playing are Nakamura, Kramnik and Ponomariov.

There are five players in each squad, with four playing in each particular match.

Here are the teams as officially announced:

Russia (average Elo 2757,4): 2009 champions

Karjakin (2788), Grischuk (2781), Nepomniachtchi (2746), Svidler (2739), Vitiugov (2733)

Azerbaijan (average Elo 2714,6): Continental qualifier

Mamedyarov (2765), Gashimov (2760), Radjabov (2744), Mamedov (2679), Guseinov (2625)

Ukraine (average Elo 2713): Qualified from Olympiads

Ivanchuk (2768), Moiseenko (2715), Efimenko (2706), Areshchenko (2682), Eljanov (2697)

China (average Elo 2684,4): Host country

Wang Hao (2718), Wang Yue (2709), Yu Yangyi (2672) , Li Chao B (2669), Ding Liren (2654)

Hungary (average Elo 2679,6): Qualified from Olympiads

Almasi (2726), Leko (2717) , Polgar (2699), Balogh (2643), Erdos (2613)

Armenia (average Elo 2678,2): FIDE invitation

Aronian (2805), Movsesian (2700), Akopian (2667), Sargissian (2663), Hovhannisyan (2556)

U.S.A. (average Elo 2655,4): Continental qualifier

Kamsky (2741), Onischuk (2675), Shulman (2617), Seirawan (2635), Hess (2609)

Israel (average Elo 2649,4): Qualified from Olympiads

Sutovsky (2700), Smirin (2676), Roiz (2669), Postny (2618), Nabaty (2584)

India (average Elo 2639): Continental qualifier

Sasikiran (2681), Harikrishna (2669), Paimarjan Negi (2642), Ganguly (2627), Gopal G.N (2576)

Egypt (average Elo 2531): Continental qualifier

Adly (2631), Amin (2609), El Gindy (2510), Shoker (2475), Ezat (2430)

The Schedule:

Rounds 1-5: 17th to 21st of July

Rest day: 22nd of July

Rounds 6-9 23rd to 26th of July

The first eight rounds will start at 3pm local time (GMT + 8 hours i.e. 9am in Paris, 8am in London, 3am in New York)

The final round will start 5 hours earlier (10 am local time, 4am in Paris etc).

The official site:

Live games:

A few rules specific to this competition:

The time limit will be 40 moves in 90 minutes, plus 30 mins KO, with an increment of 30 seconds per move. Draws of less than 30 moves (by mutual consent) are forbidden.

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