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2012 Chess Olympiad Istanbul: Armenia, Russia win Gold

9/9/2012 – After ten rounds China was leading in both groups. But in the Open section they lost 1-3 to Ukraine, while Armenia and Russia both won. On tiebrake points Armenia took Gold, with Russia and Ukraine following with Silver and Bronze. In the Women's section China won 2.5-1.5, but the Russians beat Kazakhstan 4-0. There Russia won Gold, China and Ukraine got Silver and Bronze. Full report.
 

The 40th Chess Olympiad is taking place in the Turkish metropole of Istanbul, from August 27 to September 10th, 2012. A record of 158 national chess federations have brought teams to Istanbul to participate in this prestigious event, which is being staged in the WOW Hotel and Convention Center, just minutes away from the airport.

Final round comments by GM Alejandro Ramirez

If China won their final round match, they would, for the first time, be Olympiad champions in the Open section. It looked as if the dream was possible – in fact China could win the Open and the Women's sections at the same time. But it was not to be. Vassily Ivanchuk came to the board with nothing but brilliancy, and slayed that dream before it even began to take off.


China vs Ukraine, with Wang Hao facing Vassily Ivanchuk on board one

On the other side of the playing hall, Russia showed no mercy against Kazakhstan, and their 4-0 result allowed them to leapfrog China on tiebreak and take the gold medal. A sour day for the Asian country, but it just goes to show you how volatile these tournaments can be.


China vs Bulgaria, with Hou Yifan vs Antoaneta Stefanova, ended 2.5-1.5 ...


... while Russia (right) thashed Kazakhstan 4-0 to snatch Gold from the Chinese

In the Open section, since China was out of the race by losing, it came down to the matches between Hungary-Armenia and Russia-Germany. In what I can only describe as a strange game Kramnik beat Naiditsch, Karjakin beat Fridman after being up a pawn the whole game, and Russia took a 3-1 in a typical "let's draw with black and win with white" approach to chess.


Russia with Alexander Grischuk and Vladimir Kramnik

Armenia would not give up, however. In a very unclear match both Leko and Polgar were easily neutralized by Aronian and Akopian.


Gabriel Sargissian (left), however, was also not able to get anything at all against Ferenc Berkes.

So it was all up to Sergei Movsesian (above), who had by any definition had a bad Olympiad, and who was arguably the villain in the European Team Championship, when his loss against Meier cost Armenia Gold. But this time he came through, he had his shining moment, defeating Almasi and winning first place and Gold for his team with the narrow 2.5-1.5 victory.


The victorious Armenian team, with Aronian, Movsesian, Akopian and Sargissian (r.-l.)

The tiebreaks in this Olympiad are somewhat unpredictable, as they depend on your previous opponent's results, so I'm sure it was not easy to see who was going to finish in first place. Anyway, now that we know what happened on the results, let's see Dream Slayer Ivanchuk in action on the last round:

[Event "40th Olympiad 2012 Open1"] [Site "Istanbul"] [Date "2012.09.09"] [Round "11"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Wang, Hao"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E52"] [WhiteElo "2769"] [BlackElo "2726"] [Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "56"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [EventCountry "TUR"] [WhiteTeam "Ukraine"] [BlackTeam "China"] [WhiteTeamCountry "UKR"] [BlackTeamCountry "CHN"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 b6 {c5 is the main line but this idea of fianchettoing and keeping the e4 control is also good.} 7. a3 Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 c6 (8... Ba6 9. cxd5 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 exd5 $11 {this looks like it should give Black an okay position. White will try to put the knight on e5 and then play f3-e4, but Black should have resources.}) 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. Qe2 Nc6 11. O-O Na5 12. a4 Re8 {The rook is not super active here on e8, but it was either move it now or wait for White to kick it here with Ba3. White's position is definitely more comfortable. Despite the weakness on c3: he has better piece play and the possibility to go f3-e4 gaining central control. And let's not forget everyone's favorite pair of bishops.} 13. Ne5 Ne4 {maybe not terrible but I would have developed.} 14. f3 Nd6 (14... Nxc3 15. Qc2 $18) 15. Ba3 Bb7 16. Bxd6 $5 {I wouldn't have made this trade, but that's why I'm not Ivanchuk. He sees the importance of f4-f5, and to achieve this he is willing to part with the two bishop advantage. At first it seems that this plan cannot be all that dangerous, but apparently it was!} Qxd6 17. f4 g6 18. Qg4 Nc4 19. Qg3 Qc7 $2 (19... Qe7 20. Bxc4 dxc4 21. f5 exf5 22. Rxf5 f6 23. Nxc4 Rad8 {and Black is at least fine.}) 20. Bxc4 dxc4 21. f5 $1 f6 (21... exf5 22. Rxf5 Bd5 23. Raf1 Rf8 24. Qg5 $1 {Gives White a winning attack for free. It is posible that Wang Hao simply missed fxg6. We see in this variation why it was so important to keep the queen on e7 and not c7. The pressure on the f-file is too great.}) 22. fxg6 $1 {It's all over now.} fxe5 {At first I didn't get it. But Ivanchuk calculates quite well.} 23. Rf7 Qc6 24. gxh7+ $1 (24. Raf1 Qxg2+ 25. Qxg2 Bxg2 26. gxh7+ Kh8 27. Kxg2 exd4 28. exd4 e5 $14 {is a very survivable endgame. Maybe the Chinese player was hoping for this, which is not easy to hold, but possible.}) 24... Kxf7 25. Rf1+ Ke7 26. h8=Q $1 {This quiet move is, in essence, the point of the entire combination. The quiet move distracts the rook to h8, where it is vulnerable and not doing its defensive duties. We will see what I mean soon enough.} Rxh8 27. Qg7+ Kd6 {To the mere human, it is still unclear why the sacrifice works. To Ivanchuk, this is child's play.} (27... Kd8 28. Qxh8+ Qe8 (28... Kc7 29. Rf7+ $18) 29. Rf8 $18) 28. dxe5+ $1 (28. Qxe5+ $2 Ke7 {leads to no more than a draw.}) 28... Kd5 ( 28... Kc5 29. Qe7+ Kd5 30. Rd1+ Ke4 31. Qg5 {with unstoppable mate.}) (28... Kd5 29. Rd1+ Ke4 30. Qg5 {This quiet move is the finishing touch of the combination. White threatens both Qf4 and Rd4 mate, and Black cannot stop both of them at the same time. The king covers the a8-g2 diagonal so there is no desperado sacrifice or any check of any kind. A brilliancy you will find repeated in many future tactics books to come. A heartbreaking day for China, and a tough fight against Ukraine, who ended with the Bronze medal.}) 1-0

Top Board results – Open

Bo. 2 Ukraine (UKR) Rtg
3 : 1
6 China (CHN) Rtg
1.1 GM Ivanchuk, Vassily 2769
1 - 0
GM Wang, Hao 2726
1.2 GM Ponomariov, Ruslan 2734
½ - ½
GM Wang, Yue 2685
1.3 GM Volokitin, Andrei 2709
½ - ½
GM Ding, Liren 2695
1.4 GM Eljanov, Pavel 2693
1 - 0
GM Bu, Xiangzhi 2670
Bo. 4 Hungary (HUN) Rtg
1½:2½
3 Armenia (ARM) Rtg
2.1 GM Leko, Peter 2737
½ - ½
GM Aronian, Levon 2816
2.2 GM Almasi, Zoltan 2713
0 - 1
GM Movsesian, Sergei 2698
2.3 GM Polgar, Judit 2698
½ - ½
GM Akopian, Vladimir 2687
2.4 GM Berkes, Ferenc 2685
½ - ½
GM Sargissian, Gabriel 2693
Bo. 1 Russia (RUS) Rtg
3 : 1
14 Germany (GER) Rtg
3.1 GM Kramnik, Vladimir 2797
1 - 0
GM Naiditsch, Arkadij 2712
3.2 GM Grischuk, Alexander 2763
½ - ½
GM Khenkin, Igor 2656
3.3 GM Karjakin, Sergey 2785
1 - 0
GM Fridman, Daniel 2653
3.4 GM Jakovenko, Dmitry 2722
½ - ½
GM Gustafsson, Jan 2610
Bo. 16 Poland (POL) Rtg
1½:2½
5 USA Rtg
4.1 GM Wojtaszek, Rado. 2717
1 - 0
GM Nakamura, Hikaru 2778
4.2 GM Bartel, Mateusz 2654
0 - 1
GM Kamsky, Gata 2746
4.3 GM Swiercz, Dariusz 2594
½ - ½
GM Onishuk, Alexander 2666
4.4 GM Macieja, Bartlomiej 2594
0 - 1
GM Robson, Ray 2598
Bo. 29 Argentina (ARG) Rtg
1 : 3
9 Netherlands (NED) Rtg
5.1 GM Peralta, Fernando 2606
0 - 1
GM Giri, Anish 2711
5.2 GM Flores, Diego 2589
0 - 1
GM Van Wely, Loek 2691
5.3 GM Felgaer, Ruben 2570
½ - ½
GM Sokolov, Ivan 2696
5.4 GM Mareco, Sandro 2589
½ - ½
GM Smeets, Jan 2608

Round eleven: Top thirty team pairings – Open

No.
SNo
Team
Res.
Res.
Team
SNo
1
2
Ukraine
3
1
China
6
2
4
Hungary
Armenia
3
3
1
Russia
3
1
Germany
14
4
16
Poland
USA
5
5
29
Argentina
1
3
Netherlands
9
6
27
Vietnam
3
1
Uzbekistan
33
7
25
Romania
3
1
Philippines
35
8
15
Cuba
Slovenia
28
9
7
Azerbaijan
India
13
10
11
England
Czech Rep.
17
11
12
Israel
2
2
Belarus
32
12
26
Georgia
1
3
Denmark
39
13
22
Italy
½
Greece
21
14
18
Spain
1
3
Serbia
20
15
34
Sweden
3
1
Brazil
24
16
42
Slovakia
2
2
Australia
61
17
10
Bulgaria
4
0
Venezuela
58
18
23
Moldova
Portugal
64
19
8
France
½
South Africa
73
20
19
Croatia
3
1
Tajikistan
60
21
71
Peru
Latvia
30
22
48
Bangladesh
Bosnia Herz.
50
23
46
Chile
Turkmenistan
57
24
72
Turkey 2016
2
2
Austria
36
25
38
Mexico
Iran
45
26
65
Scotland
FYROM
49
27
40
Kazakhstan
Switzerland
43
28
53
Canada
2
2
Albania
62
29
52
Finland
0
4
Turkey
31
30
70
Uruguay
Iceland
51

Top final rankings (after eleven rounds)

Rk.
SNo
Team
  + 
  = 
  – 
 MPts
 TB2 
 TB3 
 TB4 
1
3
Armenia
9
1
1
19
397.0
29.0
155.00
2
1
Russia
9
1
1
19
388.5
28.5
157.00
3
2
Ukraine
9
0
2
18
363.0
29.5
147.00
4
6
China
8
1
2
17
390.5
29.5
157.00
5
5
USA
7
3
1
17
361.0
30.0
142.00
6
9
Netherlands
8
0
3
16
329.0
29.0
133.00
7
27
Vietnam
6
4
1
16
313.5
29.0
126.00
8
25
Romania
8
0
3
16
310.0
29.0
128.00
9
4
Hungary
7
1
3
15
368.0
28.0
151.00
10
7
Azerbaijan
6
3
2
15
344.0
29.0
144.00
11
15
Cuba
7
1
3
15
338.5
30.5
130.00
12
14
Germany
6
3
2
15
334.5
26.0
148.00
13
16
Poland
7
1
3
15
313.5
27.5
138.00
14
20
Serbia
6
3
2
15
307.0
28.5
126.00
15
22
Italy
7
1
3
15
306.0
28.0
134.00
16
34
Sweden
7
1
3
15
303.5
28.0
125.00
17
11
England
6
3
2
15
300.5
26.0
137.00
18
39
Denmark
7
1
3
15
270.5
27.0
121.00
19
23
Moldova
6
2
3
14
348.5
29.5
129.00
20
10
Bulgaria
7
0
4
14
321.5
28.0
134.00
21
35
Philippines
6
2
3
14
321.0
26.0
152.00
22
29
Argentina
6
2
3
14
316.0
25.0
146.00
23
8
France
6
2
3
14
305.0
26.5
141.00
24
33
Uzbekistan
6
2
3
14
303.0
27.0
138.00
25
28
Slovenia
6
2
3
14
297.0
24.0
138.00
26
12
Israel
5
4
2
14
296.0
25.0
136.00
27
19
Croatia
6
2
3
14
295.5
25.0
137.00
28
30
Latvia
7
0
4
14
295.0
26.0
136.00
29
32
Belarus
6
2
3
14
289.5
27.0
127.00
30
42
Slovakia
6
2
3
14
264.5
27.0
122.00

Top Board results – Women

Bo. 2 Russia (RUS) Rtg
4 : 0
22 Kazakhstan (KAZ) Rtg
1.1 GM Kosintseva, Tatiana 2530
1 - 0
WIM Nakhbayeva, Guliskhan 2291
1.2 IM Gunina, Valentina 2507
1 - 0
WIM Dauletova, Gulmira 2267
1.3 GM Kosintseva, Nadezhda 2524
1 - 0
WIM Saduakassova, Dinara 2216
1.4 GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2489
1 - 0
WIM Davletbayeva, Madina 2165
Bo. 13 Bulgaria (BUL) Rtg
1½:2½
1 China (CHN) Rtg
2.1 GM Stefanova, Antoaneta 2502
½ - ½
GM Hou, Yifan 2599
2.2 WGM Videnova, Iva 2317
0 - 1
GM Zhao, Xue 2549
2.3 WGM Voiska, Margarita 2281
1 - 0
WGM Ju, Wenjun 2528
2.4 WIM Raeva, Elitsa 2313
0 - 1
WGM Huang, Qian 2449
Bo. 4 Ukraine (UKR) Rtg
3½: ½
9 Germany (GER) Rtg
3.1 GM Lahno, Kateryna 2542
1 - 0
IM Paehtz, Elisabeth 2483
3.2 IM Muzychuk, Mariya 2466
½ - ½
WGM Melamed, Tetyana 2356
3.3 GM Zhukova, Natalia 2442
1 - 0
WGM Ohme, Melanie 2337
3.4 IM Ushenina, Anna 2433
1 - 0
WGM Michna, Marta 2380
Bo. 14 France (FRA) Rtg
1½:2½
6 India (IND) Rtg
4.1 IM Skripchenko, Almira 2442
0 - 1
GM Dronavalli, Harika 2503
4.2 IM Milliet, Sophie 2411
½ - ½
IM Sachdev, Tania 2379
4.3 WGM Maisuradze, Nino 2284
1 - 0
WGM Gomes, Mary Ann 2396
4.4 WIM Bollengier, Andreea 2253
0 - 1
WGM Soumya, Swaminathan 2271

Round eleven: Top thirty team pairings – Women

No.
SNo
Team
Res.
Res.
Team
SNo
1
2
Russia
4
0
Kazakhstan
22
2
13
Bulgaria
China
1
3
4
Ukraine
½
Germany
9
4
14
France
India
6
5
7
Poland
Armenia
8
6
37
Peru
Romania
10
7
35
Uzbekistan
½
Iran
26
8
11
Spain
Georgia
3
9
5
USA
3
1
Israel
25
10
36
Belarus
Azerbaijan
27
11
31
Italy
1
3
Mongolia
21
12
34
Colombia
2
2
Cuba
15
13
18
Greece
1
3
Indonesia
54
14
43
Austria
2
2
Serbia
19
15
16
Slovenia
½
Latvia
24
16
33
Lithuania
½
Hungary
12
17
17
Netherlands
3
1
Australia
50
18
20
Slovakia
Turkey
45
19
30
Croatia
Mexico
60
20
23
Czech Rep.
3
1
Brazil
47
21
84
Turkey 2016
0
4
Vietnam
28
22
39
Bosnia Herz.
2
2
Philippines
57
23
42
Montenegro
Norway
40
24
38
Switzerland
½
Venezuela
53
25
44
England
2
2
Moldova
41
26
83
Malaysia
1
3
Estonia
49
27
58
Turkmenistan
2
2
Bangladesh
63
28
59
Canada
1
3
Chile
55
29
64
Bolivia
3
1
Algeria
79
30
29
Argentina
Ecuador
32


India (with Harika Dronavalli) defeated France (with Almira Skripchenko) to take fourth place

Top final rankings women (after eleven rounds)

Rk.
SNo
Team
  + 
  = 
  – 
BPts 
 TB2 
 TB3 
 TB4 
1
2
Russia
8
3
0
19
450.0
33.0
155.00
2
1
China
8
3
0
19
416.0
31.5
154.00
3
4
Ukraine
7
4
0
18
408.5
30.5
154.00
4
6
India
8
1
2
17
336.0
28.0
148.00
5
10
Romania
8
0
3
16
313.5
28.5
129.00
6
8
Armenia
8
0
3
16
313.0
26.5
140.00
7
14
France
7
1
3
15
347.5
29.0
147.00
8
3
Georgia
6
3
2
15
344.0
28.5
144.00
9
26
Iran
7
1
3
15
339.0
31.0
132.00
10
5
USA
6
3
2
15
326.0
29.5
133.00
11
9
Germany
7
1
3
15
316.0
27.0
144.00
12
22
Kazakhstan
6
3
2
15
309.0
27.0
138.00
13
21
Mongolia
7
1
3
15
308.0
28.0
134.00
14
36
Belarus
6
3
2
15
292.0
28.5
121.00
15
7
Poland
6
2
3
14
336.5
27.5
151.00
16
13
Bulgaria
6
2
3
14
316.5
27.5
136.00
17
12
Hungary
6
2
3
14
303.0
27.5
129.00
18
24
Latvia
6
2
3
14
296.5
28.0
126.00
19
15
Cuba
5
4
2
14
286.0
25.5
129.00
20
17
Netherlands
6
2
3
14
285.5
27.0
133.00
21
35
Uzbekistan
6
2
3
14
278.5
24.5
138.00
22
20
Slovakia
5
4
2
14
278.0
23.5
133.00
23
37
Peru
6
2
3
14
273.5
26.0
127.00
24
54
Indonesia
6
2
3
14
262.5
26.0
122.00
25
60
Mexico
7
0
4
14
230.0
25.0
112.00
26
28
Vietnam
6
1
4
13
307.5
27.0
135.00
27
23
Czech Rep.
6
1
4
13
306.5
26.0
139.00
28
27
Azerbaijan
6
1
4
13
306.0
26.0
145.00
29
25
Israel
6
1
4
13
302.0
26.5
138.00
30
19
Serbia
4
5
2
13
290.5
25.5
137.00

Summaries from the official web site,
photos by David Llada, Arman Karakhanyan, Anastasiya Karlovich


Daniel King: Round 11 Play of the Day – Kramnik vs Naiditsch

Andrew Martin: Game of the Day Rd 11: Vassily Ivanchuk vs Wang Hao

Summary of round eleven from the official video coverage

Coming soon...

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