2012 Chess Olympiad Istanbul: Round seven

9/5/2012 – A single win is often enough: Russia beat Azerbaijan through a win by Grischuk; the defending champions from Ukraine defeated Spain through a win by Ivanchuk; England defeated Georgia with a win by Nigel Short; and China sensationally beat Armenia with a win by Wang Yue. In the women's section Poland held Russia 2-2. We bring you full GM analysis of two key games.

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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.

Round seven

After taking a short break with the previous round, the Russian team (above with Kramnik and Grischuk) has returned to the winning paths in the Open section. The Russians and Azerbaijan signed three draws before the time control, but Alexander Grischuk remained in the seat and kept pressing against Eltaj Safarli, evenually converting the extra pawn into full point, bringing a 2.5-1.5 victory to Russia and redeeming himself for yesterday's setback in the match against Armenia.

Armenia had another tough match, this time against China, above with Wang Yue, who scored the decisive point against Sergei Movsesian (this game is analysed by GM Alejandro Ramirez below). With the other three games being drawn, China celebrated an important victory that leaves them on the shared second place, right behind Russia.

The defending champions from Ukraine have made a huge leap ahead by defeating Spain. Vassily Ivanchuk's win on the first board was the only decisive game in the match, and is analysed by Andrew Martin in the video below. Ukraine will play Russia in the next round.

The Philippines, seeded only 35th in the starting list, bravely resisted the fourth seed Hungary (above with Peter Leko) to go home with a 2-2 tie.


Peter Leko and Wesley So played a wild line of the Marshall Attack, but the game ended in a draw.

Zoltan Almasi took his team into the lead with a win against Oliver Barbosa, but the legendary Eugenio Torre, first Asian Grandmaster and record holder with 21 appearances in the Olympiads, escaped from a passive position to pull off a victory against Ferenc Berkes and equalise the score.


Germany edged Moldova 2.5-1-5 (above Akardij Naiditsch vs Viktor Bologan)


The USA (above with Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura) won against...


...the young Turkish team (above) by 3.5-0.5.

Argentina and India, as well as Israel and France, traded a couple of defeats for each team to split the points in their respective matches. England defeated Georgia 2.5-1-5, with Nigel Short scoring the sole victory on board three..

Round seven: Top twenty team pairings – Open

No.
SNo
Team
Res.
Res.
Team
SNo
1
7
Azerbaijan
Russia
1
2
6
China
Armenia
3
3
35
Philippines
2
2
Hungary
4
4
2
Ukraine
Spain
18
5
23
Moldova
Germany
14
6
29
Argentina
2
2
India
13
7
5
USA
½
Turkey
31
8
12
Israel
2
2
France
8
9
26
Georgia
England
11
10
38
Mexico
1
3
Uzbekistan
33
11
22
Italy
FYROM
49
12
19
Croatia
2
2
Greece
21
13
50
Bosnia Herz.
2
2
Czech Republic
17
14
57
Turkmenistan
Latvia
30
15
37
Egypt
1
3
Serbia
20
16
10
Bulgaria
Netherlands
9
17
16
Poland
3
1
Montenegro
44
18
27
Vietnam
2
2
Turkey 2016
72
19
64
Portugal
1
3
Romania
25
20
28
Slovenia
½
Sweden
34

The spectators of the Women's section witnessed the most exciting match since the beginning of the Olympiad. Russia and Poland were paired on the top table. All four games continued well into the fifth hour, and the defending champions were on the brink of defeat.

Nadezhda Kosintseva's king was running for its life, but Iweta Rajlich couldn't land the decisive punch and finish the game. The queens endgame was drawn. The position in Karina Szczepkowska-Natalija Pogonina was roughly equal, but after the second time control Karina suddenly panicked and gave up the exchange. The Russian women's champion duly converted the advantage. Around the same time Jolanta Zawadzka defeated Alexandra Kosteniuk to even the score. European champion Valentina Gunina and Monika Socko continued to play their rook endgame for about 50 moves, until it finally became obvious that black could not win. A gigantic battle that ended in a 2-2 tie.


India beat Estonia by 3-1 (above GM Harika Dronavalli beating WIM Monika Tsiganova)

China beat the eternal rivals from Georgia by 2.5-1.5, thanks to the victories on the lower two boards. Ukraine and France signed four draws, while the match Serbia-Vietnam was also tied, but only after the opponents exchanged a pair of victories for each team. Hungary somehow broke the resistance of the young team from Montenegro. Spain edged Greece and is now in the group of teams on the shared fourth place.

Round seven: Top twenty team pairings – Women

No.
SNo
Team
Res.
Res.
Team
SNo
1
2
Russia
2
2
Poland
7
2
3
Georgia
China
1
3
4
Ukraine
2
2
France
14
4
19
Serbia
2
2
Vietnam
28
5
12
Hungary
Montenegro
42
6
11
Spain
Greece
18
7
49
Estonia
1
3
India
6
8
35
Uzbekistan
Peru
37
9
20
Slovakia
½
Iran
26
10
5
USA
4
0
Belgium
48
11
22
Kazakhstan
3
1
Mongolia
21
12
39
Bosnia Herz.
½
Bulgaria
13
13
16
Slovenia
2
2
Azerbaijan
27
14
31
Italy
Armenia
8
15
38
Switzerland
3
1
Turkey
45
16
17
Netherlands
Lithuania
33
17
23
Czech Rep.
Indonesia
54
18
46
Sweden
½
Romania
10
19
57
Philippines
3
1
Portugal
52
20
74
Syria
0
4
Germany
9

Top rankings after seven rounds

# Open
+
=
Pts
1 Russia
6
1
0
13
2 China
6
0
1
12
3 Ukraine
6
0
1
12
4 Armenia
5
1
1
11
5 USA
4
3
0
11
6 Hungary
5
1
1
11
7 Azerbaijan
5
1
1
11
8 Germany
4
3
0
11
9 Uzbekistan
5
1
1
11
10 Philippines
5
1
1
11
11 England
4
3
0
11
12 FYROM
5
1
1
11
13 Cuba
5
0
2
10
14 India
3
4
0
10
15 Spain
5
0
2
10
16 Latvia
5
0
2
10
17 France
4
2
1
10
18 Romania
5
0
2
10
19 Serbia
4
2
1
10
20 Croatia
4
2
1
10
 
# Women
+
=
Pts
1 China
5
2
0
12
2 Russia
5
2
0
12
3 Poland
5
2
0
12
4 Ukraine
4
3
0
11
5 France
5
1
1
11
6 Hungary
5
1
1
11
7 Vietnam
5
1
1
11
8 India
5
1
1
11
9 Spain
5
1
1
11
10 Uzbekistan
5
1
1
11
11 Georgia
4
2
1
10
12 USA
4
2
1
10
13 Serbia
4
2
1
10
14 Romania
5
0
2
10
15 Armenia
5
0
2
10
16 Bulgaria
4
2
1
10
17 Iran
5
0
2
10
18 Czech Rep.
5
0
2
10
19 Kazakhstan
4
2
1
10
20 Philippines
5
0
2
10

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


Game of the day commentary by GM Alejandro Ramirez

This match-up needs little introduction. Armenia is a clear powerhouse, who is now even stronger by having added Movsesian to their line up. The Chinese are an extremely young and extremely solid team. Their chess is very 'correct' and you don't see them speculating too much. Armenia's experience made them favorites, but if favorites always won in chess, it just wouldn't be much fun.

[Event "40th Olympiad 2012 Open1"] [Site "Istanbul"] [Date "2012.09.04"] [Round "7"] [White "Movsesian, Sergei"] [Black "Wang, Yue"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D15"] [WhiteElo "2698"] [BlackElo "2685"] [Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [EventCountry "TUR"] [WhiteTeam "Armenien"] [BlackTeam "China"] [WhiteTeamCountry "ARM"] [BlackTeamCountry "CHN"] 1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 a6 {I remember a curious happening at one of the Olympiads I went to. I was casually glancing over the Chinese match, I don't remember against who, and saw this exact position in all four boards! The Chebanenko, or a6 Slav, has of late become a very solid option. It's possible to transpose into an a6 Semi-Slav now with the move 5... e6. That variation got a lot of coverage in the World Championship match earlier this year. Bu himself used it in the fourth board to hold Sargissian to a draw, but Wang Yue sticks to his old gun of 5... b5} 5. d4 b5 6. c5 g6 7. Ne5 Bg7 8. f4 { White has a great deal of control over e5. Black's setup questions what exactly he is going to do with that. After all, just having a knight on e5 is not an advantage in itself.} a5 {Wang Yue's pet line. The move is multipurpose. First it prevents some b4-a5 shenanigans, and second it might allow Black himself to push a4-b4.} 9. Be2 h5 {Ni Hua successfully drew with this move last year, and it is an improvement over Qc7 which was featured in Gelfand-Wang Yue two years ago. The Israeli took that one, so it's no surprise that the Chinese learned from each other and have for the time being switched to h5. The idea is simple, Black wants to put a bishop on f5 without it being harrassed.} 10. O-O Bf5 11. Bf3 Ne4 {It's hard to believe White has much of anything in this position.} 12. a4 $1 {I like this move. White reroutes his bishop to a good diagonal by first forcing the pawn on b5 to move. Alternatively, f6 was very dangerous.} b4 (12... f6 13. Nxc6 Nxc6 14. axb5 Nb4 15. Qb3 {and it is now Black that is not in a happy place. Those passed pawns are going to be eternally dangerous.}) 13. Nxe4 dxe4 14. Be2 Be6 $1 {Solid play. The bishop transfers to a wonderful defensive position on d5. It is somewhat time consuming, but Black is banking on the closed nature of the position to do all these maneouvers and pawn moves.} 15. Qc2 Bd5 16. f5 $6 { Overzealous. White begins an attack on the undeveloped Black camp. However his resulting structure is just too weak. Wang Yue is completely cold blooded in the defence.} (16. Bd2 Nd7 {looks like Black is alright.}) 16... Bxe5 17. dxe5 gxf5 18. Rxf5 {White's structure is obviously horrible, but he does have the threat on h5 which seems hard to stop, after which he will have pressure on f7. Wang Yue gets rid of his weaknesses by gifting them to his opponent!} Nd7 $1 { This move is just devilish and beautiful. The trap that it sets up is not so easy to see.} 19. Bxh5 {This runs into a surprising refutation.} (19. e6 {Was better according to the machine but I don't know of any human who would play this.} Bxe6 20. Rf2 Nf6 $17 {looks like a pawn to me.}) 19... e6 $1 {The bishop is under attack on h5, so White has no choice.} (19... Be6 $2 20. Rg5 $14) 20. Bxf7+ {White just took two pawns for free and is now giving check! And yet, his position is completely lost. His coordination is nonexistent, Black's king is surprisingly safe on e7 and it is White who will soon be under attack. How quickly tides turn in the game of chess!} Ke7 21. Rf1 Qc7 {A quiet move before the storm. Black threatens Nxe5 and a subsequent discovery.} (21... Nxe5 $2 22. Qf2 {spoils the position.}) 22. Bg6 (22. Qf2 Raf8 {and since the N on d7 is covering f6, Black is winning.}) 22... Nxe5 23. Bxe4 Nd3 $1 { Beautiful! The assault continues! The knight must be taken because of the interposition between the queen and the bishop, which means e4 is hanging.} 24. Qxd3 Qxh2+ 25. Kf2 Raf8+ 26. Ke2 Rxf1 27. Kxf1 Qg3 {And yet another quiet move to seal the deal. The threat is obviously Rh1, and it cannot be stopped.} 28. Ke2 Rh1 29. Bd2 Rxa1 30. Bxd5 cxd5 31. Qh7+ Kd8 32. Kd3 Qg4 {The mate threats continue, and since White is down the exchange he can't afford to go around trading queens. This is hopeless.} 33. Qh8+ Kd7 34. b3 Qf5+ 35. Kd4 {A powerful game by the Chinese player. If you wish, go over it again and see how quickly he powered up pieces that seemed completely dormant. This ability to realize pieces' power is the sign of a truly great player. Take a look at move 18 and where the knight and queen are placed, and then see them 5 moves later! The victory was specially tasty for China, as they defeated Armenia 2.5-1.5 and placed themselves in an excellent tournament situation!} 0-1

Daniel King: Round 7 Play of the Day: Movsesian vs Wang Yue


Andrew Martin: Game of the Day Rd 7: Ivanchuk vs Vallejo

Summary of round 7 from the official video coverage

Live video coverage of the Olympiad


Remaining schedule of the Olympiad

There is live commentary of the most interesting games on Playchess.com,
beginning around half an hour after the games have started.

4 September 2012 15.00 7th Round
Reeh/Müller
5 September 2012 15.00 8th Round
Daniel King
6 September 2012 15.00 9th Round
Valery Lilov
7 September 2012 15.00 10th Round
Daniel King
8 September 2012   Free Day
9 September 2011 11.00 11th Round, Closing
Daniel King
10 September 2011 Departure

Some hours after the end of each round we will be posting video summaries by Daniel King on our news page. If possible they will appear on the same night, otherwise early the next morning. We also expect best-game video commentary from Andrew Martin.


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