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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Istanbul Chess Olympiad Round 8: Russia, China Lead in Open & Women's Section Respectively

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

Hi everyone,

Russia is leading the open section at the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul after eight rounds with a total of 15 match points. China, Armenia, USA, Germany and the Philippines are tied in the second place with 13 points each. Azerbaijan, Ukraine, the Netherlands, France, Israel, Argentina and Poland are in third place with 12 points each. 

Azerbaijan-China Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich

In joint fourth place are Hungary, India, Georgia, England, Uzbekistan, Czech Republic, Serbia, Belarus, FYROM, Vietnam, Italy, Slovenia, Denmark, Brazil and Austria. 

China-Poland Photo: David Llada

In the women's section, China is leading with 14 points. In joint second place are Russia, France, India and Uzbekistan. In joint third place are Ukraine, USA, Poland, Kazakhstan and Armenia.

The eighth round was an interesting one. Russia beat Ukraine with Sergey Karjakin beating Andrei Volokitin to take the Russia score to 2.5-1.5 as other board results were draws. China took an early lead against Azerbaijan as Ding Liren beat Rauf Mamedov without much trouble. But Shakhriyar Mamedyarov struck back by winning brilliantly against Wang Yue. With the other two boards being drawn, the teams have split the points, 2-2.

Armenia beat Uzbekistan 3-1, while USA beat FYROM 3-1. In the next round USA is matched against Russia on the top table. Elo doesn't really play a game in chess, as repeatedly proven by Philippines. The 35th-seed soundly beat the strong team of England by 3-1. Oliver Barbosa on the 2nd and legendary Eugenio Torre on the 3rd board defeated their respective opponents. Germany and France have scored narrow victories against Hungary and Cuba respectively.

In the women's section Poland lost to China 1-3. Russia had a tough time drawing with Ukraine. Anna Ushenina beat reigning Russian chess champion Natalija Pogonina. Next game to finish was the draw between Mariya Muzychuk and Valentina Gunina. In the last move before the time control Natalia Zhukova missed a tactical shot that would have brought her substantial advantage. Instead, Nadezhda Kosintseva continued to gradually improve her position and then a neat trading sequence secured her a winning Queen endgame.

As for the top board, it is sufficient to say that a draw was signed after 157(!) moves! A stubborn defence from Kateryna Lahno finally worn Tatiana Kosintseva down and the Russian player conceded a draw after holding a huge advantage for most of the game. The match ended in a 2-2 tie.

France defeated their neighbors from Spain with 3-1 to schedule a clash with the powerful China in the next round. The 35th-seed Uzbekistan is also sharing the second place, but this shouldn't be a surprise anymore. The talented and underrated team beat Hungary, after scoring against USA in one of the previous rounds.

Don't forget to follow all the live action at the official website.

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