Armenia & Russia lead at Istanbul Olympiad and meet on Monday
Only Armenia and Russia won all of their five matches and so they are sharing the lead at the Olympiad in Istanbul during the first rest day. On Monday they will meet in what will be one of the crucial matches this year. In the women's section Russia defeated France to reach 10 match points as well. One point behind them are China, Serbia, Poland and Slovakia.
An official performs the first move in the Armenia-Ukraine match | All photos by David Llada, Arman Karakhayan and Anastasiya Karlovich courtesy of FIDE & the official website
Before we go to the games we'd like to mention one more time the Fantasy Chess Olympiad where you can create your own teams and see if you can do better than others. Following on from the success of the inaugural competition, the Yorkshire chess fans have opened a new competition centred on the second week of the Olympiad. The “Week 2 Sprint” competition scores teams from round 6 to round 11 of the Olympiad only and is designed to allow players whose initial selections have under-performed to have another go at selecting their dream team as well as allowing chess fans who missed the boat first time around to get involved.
As with the first competition, Fantasy Chess Olympiad managers can choose a “Free to Play” or “Winner Takes All” option (entry fee £3.00). The window for entering the “Week 2 Sprint” is brief one with entries closing at 11am (GMT) on Monday the 3rd of September.
You can enter the "Week 2 Sprint" competition here.
We'll arrive in Istanbul on Monday afternoon, and we're in for a treat. At the top boards of both sections there will be the clash between two big favorites: Armenia vs Russia (Open) and China vs Russia (Women). In the Open section Armenia and Russia won their matches on Saturday, against Ukraine and Hungary respectively. One point beind them are Azerbaijan and Croatia.
Levon Aronian started his Olympiad well with a score of 3.5/4. Against Ukraine, he won against Vassily Ivanchuk. It looked easy, but was it?
Levon Aronian beat Vassily Ivanchuk
With draws on the other boards Armenia defeated the Ukrainians 2.5-1.5. Russia won a similarly close match against Hungary which included a draw between Leko and Kramnik on one. Alexander Grischuk secured the two match points:
There were disappointing or slightly disappointing results for Germany, France and USA. Playing White Arkadij Naiditsch lost unexpectedly for the Germans. He went all or nothing and got nothing:
Daniel Fridman saved a match point for Germany:
Croatia-Germany in round 5
France drew on three boards with Croatia, but on board 4 it went wrong:
The USA drew all four games with the Czech Republic and so did England against India.
Azerabijan crushed Canada 3.5-0.5 where Radjabov played a nice King's Indian on board one to set his score to 4/4. (White was actually doing quite alright until the timetrouble phase.)
In the match Bulgaria-Peru (2.5-1.5) Veselin Topalov won a nice game against Jorge Cori.
Anish Giri has finally arrived in Istanbul. He played his first game for the Netherlands, who beat Monaco 4-0:
Besides Russia-Armenia the 6th round will have Azerbaijan-Croatia, Germany-USA, Czech Republic-Philippines, Bosnia & Herzegovina-China, Hungary-Poland, England-Italy, Montenegro-Ukraine and India-Israel.
After she had finished her game, Judit Polgar participated in a press conference with... both of her sisters! The official website reports:
Sophia’s visit was an incredibly pleasant surprise for both other sisters. As Susan lives in the USA, Judith lives in Hungary and Sophia - in Israel, sisters lack communication and try to catch opportunities to get together. Every year sisters meet during annual event - Polgar Chess Day. Sophia emphasized that she is very happy not only to meet her sisters, but also to be at such a Chess event as the Olympiad, since she hasn’t participated in Olympiads for 15 years.
All three Polgar sisters are in Istanbul after Sofia (l.) arrived on Saturday, here next to Judit and Susan
Russia is in sole lead in the women's section after beating France 2.5-1.5. Tatiana Kosintseva drew with Almira Skripchenko, Nadezhda Kosintseva beat Nino Maisuradze and Alexandra Kosteniuk won against Andreea Bollengier. We include the only loss for Russia because we liked that game a lot:
Russia with L-R Kosteniuk, N.Kosintseva, Gunina, T.Kosintseva
Monday's top matches between the ladies are China-Russia, Poland-Serbia, Slovakia-Georgia, Hungary-Spain and Ukraine-Azerbaijan.
Olympiad 2012 | Round 5 standings (top 30)
|9||5||United States Of America||3||2||0||8||73,5||15||27|
|17||50||Bosnia & Herzegovina||3||2||0||8||61,5||13,5||26|
Women's Olympiad 2012 | Round 5 standings (top 20)
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