Russia beats China in Beersheba int'l chess title

Israel finishes a disappointing sixth, one place behind last Olympic standing.

chess 88 (photo credit: )
chess 88
(photo credit: )
Russia on Thursday captured the world chess team championship with a last-minute, come-from-behind victory over the surprising Chinese team. The two teams had been battling for the top spot since the tournament began Nov. 1, with the Russians edging ahead on the tournament's final day by winning its last three matches against the Chinese. Russia finished with 22 points, followed by China with 21.5 points. China was seeking its first championship ever, but the team's coach, Ye Tiangchuan, said the second-place finish was still considered an astounding achievement. The team championships were held in Beersheba, which has the highest number of chess grand masters per capita in the world, most of them immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Israel owes them much of its success in the sport - finishing fifth in the world in the last Olympics. Armenia finished in third place, followed by Ukraine, the United States, Israel, Georgia, Cuba and the Chinese women's team, the first time a woman's team has competed against men.