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Friday, August 31, 2012

Istanbul Chess Olympiad R3: Ukraine Survives Israel Scare in Open; China Ground Down Ukraine in Women's Section

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

The Istanbul Chess Olympiad 2012 is only three rounds old. The fun is just starting with stronger teams finding opponents closer in strength. Ukraine nearly lost against Israel, but for a cool turnaround by Ruslan Ponomariov. GM Ponomariov was clearly worse against his Israeli counterpart GM Maxim Rodshtein, but the former World Chess Champion somehow turned the tables after the first time control and managed to win the game. (left Ruslan Ponomariov).

GM Boris Avrukh ground down GM Pavel Eljanov, but GM Andrei Volokitin showed no mercy against GM Evgeny Postny. With Ivanchuk and Gelfand drawing on the top board, Ukraine won the match by 2,5-1,5.

Russia again played safely, scoring three draws and a win by Jakovenko in their match against Latvia. After yesterday's exhausting game with Lithuania, USA top board Hikaru Nakamura played the necessary 30 moves to take a draw with GM Eduardo Iturrizaga of Venezuela. Nakamura's team-mates cleared the rest of the opposing team for the convincing 3,5-0,5 victory.

Azerbaijan beat Faroe Island team with 3,5-0,5. England won the derby match against Cuba 3-1 with two full points by the most experienced players Adams and Short. Levon Aronian led the Armenian team to a narrow victory against Spain. Aronian defeated Paco Vallejo with white, while the remaining three boards were drawn. This is the first Chess Olympiad for Spain without Shirov but there is the new-comer Oleg Korneev on their 4th board.

France scored the same minimal victory against Bulgaria thanks to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave's handling of the rook endgame against Veselin Topalov as the remaining Frenchmen drew their games. In the Women's Section, World Champion Hou Yifan jumped into play and beat Kateryna Lahno for a very important point. That neutralised IM Maria Muzychuk's win over GM Zhao Xue. China and Ukraine drew 2-2 score. Georgia and Germany drew as well. However, Poland and France beat Hungary and Austria by a score of 3-1. Serbia beat Spain with 3,5-0,5. Russia and Greece beat Mongolia and Peru with the same score.

World Champion Hou Yifan helps China draw with Ukraine
India narrowly defeated Armenia, thanks to Tania Sachdev and the Czech Republic edged the higher-seeded Romania. The lower-seeded Uzbekistan held USA. Watch all the action live at the official website. (Photos: David Llada, Arman Karakhanyan, Anastasiya Karlovich)

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