With two rounds to go in the World Team Championship in Lucerne, England still seemed to be in with a chance of winning the gold medals. At the end, however, they finished fourth, after below-par performances against both Ukraine and Armenia. The 2-2 draw with Ukraine in round eight (all four games ended in draws) was disappointing, but not too surprising. The Ukrainians had been one of the most solid teams throughout the event.

Meanwhile, Russia and America had drawn 2-2, so the leading scores entering the final round were: US 20, Russia 191/2, England 19, Armenia 181/2.

The last-round pairings saw the United States playing Kazakhstan, Russia against Georgia, and England facing Armenia. The Americans did well to score a 3-1 win against a team that had performed solidly, and that left Russia - whose match record was worse than that of the US - needing to win every game against the women of Georgia to capture the title.

They did it, with the only 4-0 whitewash of the entire event. The best game of the match was on top board where Yevgeny Bareyev played White against the ex-world women's champion, Maya Chiburdanidze.

In the diagram position, after White's 28th move, Black faces the threat of Bxg7 followed by Nf5+. Perhaps the best move is 28...Qd7, meeting 29.Nf5 with f6, but Chiburdanidze tried to free herself with 28...Be5 29.Qe2 Nxc4!?

Now 30.Qxc4 Bxb2 is good for Black, so Bareyev continued 30.Bxe5 Nxe5 31.f4 when 31...Qd8 enabled Black to save her piece and emerge a pawn ahead after 32.Qxe5 Qxh4.

Black must have calculated this war when playing 28...Be5, but she had misjudged the position - White's passed d-pawn is too strong. There followed 33.Qe8+ Kh7 34.Qe4+ and Black was in real trouble. After 34...g6 35.d6 Qd8 36.Qe7 White wins. Instead, she tried 34...f5 but after 35.Qxf5+ Kg8 36.d6 Qd8 37.d7 c4 38.g4 c3 39.Ke2 b5 40.Qxb5 Kf7 41.Kd3 Black resigned.

England and Armenia were thus left to fight for the bronze medals. Adams and Short had hard-fought draws, but Sadler had the misfortune to fall victim to the best combination of the whole event. White's 31.d6! and 32.Rxc5! launched a winning attack that took Armenia to the bronze medals.

White: Smbat Lputyan

Black: Matthew Sadler

1 Nf3 d5 20 Nh2 Be7

2 g3 Nf6 21 Ng4 Rf8

3 Bg2 e6 22 Ne5 Be8

4 0-0 Be7 23 Bf1 Rd6

5 c4 0-0 24 Nc4 Ra6

6 d4 dxc4 25 Ne3 Ra8

7 Qc2 a6 26 d5 e5

8 a4 Bd7 27 Nf5 Bc5

9 Qxc4 Bc6 28 Bb5 Kh7

10 Bg5 a5 29 Bxe8 Rxe8

11 Nc3 Na6 30 Nb5 b6

12 Bxf6 Bxf6 31 d6 cxd6

13 e4 Nb4 32 Rxc5 bxc5

14 Rfd1 Ra6 33 Rxd6 Qc8

15 Rac1 Rb6 34 Qh5 Ra6

16 h4 h6 35 Qxf7 Rg8

17 Qe2 Re8 36 Qg6+ Kh8

18 Rd2 Qd7 37 Rxa6 resigns

19 Qd1 Qd8

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