Chess: England win first major medal in 22 years with silver at world teams

Final-round victory clinches second place behind Russia while Luke McShane wins board two gold in Astana

England’s silver medals on Thursday at the World Team Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan were the team’s first of any colour in major competition since 1997. European gold in that year seemed the last hurrah of a generation which had proved itself No 2 to the former Soviet Union. Before that, England won bronze at the 1989 world teams and the 1990 Olympiad, but then the Berlin Wall came down and new strong chess nations appeared from Eastern Europe and Asia.

England proved themselves more consistent than their major rivals China, India and the US although the margins were narrow. They were mentally tough, too, often fighting back strongly from dubious mid-session positions.

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