Going for the silver in Calvià

10/29/2004 – Heading into the final round on Friday Ukraine has locked up the men's gold and China has done the same in the women's event. But the battle for the less precious medals is at fever pitch. Russia, USA, Armenia, and Israel are in the hunt and nothing is certain. A big win in the final round will mean glory. Who can pull it off?

Search for the silver lining

Whoever wins the medals, it won't be an underdog. Going into the 14th and final round, the top seeds are at the top of the table in both the men's and women's Olympiads. The Chinese women have faltered in the past few rounds, but they had built up such an impressive lead that even match losses to nearest rivals USA and Georgia had little effect. Their 3.5-point lead over USA and Russia guarantees them the gold.

The USA and Russia are tied for second place with 25.5 going into the last round. The USA has the inside track because of better tiebreaks and a better last-round pairing. They get 22nd-ranked Vietnam while the Russians have to battle a French team still in the medal hunt. Legendary power Georgia still has an outside shot, but they face the tough young Ukrainian squad.


Maid in China. The Chinese women cruised to the gold medal with a round to spare.

Having a runaway winner in the men's event isn't terribly unusual, but it's always been Russia. This time it was Ukraine, driven by remarkable performances from their top and bottom players. First board Vassily Ivanchuk played the first twelve rounds without a break and scored six wins without a loss. But it was down on board six where something remarkable happened. 14-year-old Sergey Karjakin scored 6.5/7 for a phenomenal 2929 performance rating. (He's not playing in the last round, so his score stands.)


Teen dreams: Andrei Volokitin and Sergey Karjakin

Karjakin was only the youngest and most successful of the very young Ukrainian team. Ivanchuk is the only one over 30. Former FIDE champion Ruslan Ponomariov was out of form with an even score. It's even more impressive that Ukraine won the gold (well, will win) with an underperforming 2700 on board two. Russia has the inside track on the silver medal with 33.5, a half-point lead over Armenia and a full point on Israel. India, USA, and Cuba maintain outside chances with 31.5.

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Standings after Round 13

Men
Rank. Seed Team TB1
1 2 Ukraine 36.5
2 1 Russia 33.5
3 4 Armenia 33.0
4 3 Israel 32.5
5 5 India 31.5
6 10 United States 31.5
7 18 Cuba 31.5
8 20 Bulgaria 31.0
9 11 Georgia 31.0
10 12 France 30.5
11 16 China 30.5
12 14 Azerbaijan 30.0
13 9 Poland 30.0
14 21 Czech Republic 30.0
15 29 Switzerland 30.0
16 30 Uzbekistan 30.0
17 13 Germany 30.0
18 8 Netherlands 30.0
19 24 Greece 30.0
20 31 Norway 30.0
21 37 Bosnia Herzegovina 29.5
22 17 Belarus 29.5
23 15 Hungary 29.5
24 19 Romania 29.5
25 40 Philippines 29.5
26 35 Lithuania 29.5
27 34 Argentina 29.5
28 7 Spain A 29.0
29 22 Moldova 29.0
30 32 Slovakia 29.0
31 23 Slovenia 29.0
32 48 Kazakhstan 29.0
33 53 Finland 29.0
34 26 Serbia Montenegro 28.5
35 6 England 28.5
36 45 Australia 28.5
37 38 Macedonia 28.5
38 28 Croatia 28.5
39 41 Scotland 28.5
40 36 Latvia 28.0
41 33 Estonia 28.0
42 25 Sweden 28.0
43 44 Spain B 28.0
44 39 Vietnam 28.0
45 46 Chile 28.0
46 51 Mexico 28.0
47 52 Iran 28.0
48 27 Denmark 27.5
49 43 Canada 27.5
50 54 Ireland 27.5
51 60 Portugal 27.5
52 65 Indonesia 27.0
53 56 Belgium 27.0
54 57 Singapore 27.0
55 83 Tajikistan 27.0
56 42 Iceland 26.5
57 49 Brazil 26.5
58 69 Turkey 26.5
59 47 Bangladesh 26.5
60 50 Italy 26.5
61 55 Austria 26.5
62 58 Ecuador 26.5
63 87 Faroe Islands 26.5
64 67 Mongolia 26.0
65 66 South Africa 26.0
66 72 Venezuela 26.0
67 77 Lebanon 26.0
68 59 Colombia 25.5
69 68 Uruguay 25.5
70 63 Andorra 25.5
71 79 Bolivia 25.5
72 84 Pakistan 25.5
73 85 Wales 25.5
74 70 Tunisia 25.5
75 86 Nicaragua 25.5
76 90 Thailand 25.5
77 61 Peru 25.5
78 76 Kyrgystan 25.0
79 74 IPCA 25.0
80 78 Spain C 25.0
81 62 Albania 25.0
82 73 Dominican Rep. 25.0
83 81 New Zealand 25.0
84 80 Luxembourg 25.0
85 92 Guatemala 25.0
86 82 Paraguay 24.5
87 64 Costa Rica 24.5
88 94 Malaysia 24.5
89 93 Angola 24.5
90 88 Barbados 24.5
91 95 Honduras 24.5
92 89 Iraq 24.0
93 105 Botswana 24.0
94 96 Puerto Rico 23.5
95 75 Morocco 23.5
96 112 Japan 23.5
97 103 Jamaica 23.5
98 101 Uganda 23.5
99 91 Libya 23.5
100 100 Sri Lanka 23.0
101 110 Trinidad and Tobago 23.0
102 98 Cyprus 22.5
103 119 Kenya 22.5
104 97 Mauritius 22.5
105 104 Nepal 22.5
106 117 Palestine 22.0
107 109 Hongkong 22.0
108 120 Panama 22.0
109 115 Liechtenstein 22.0
110 107 Malta 22.0
111 71 IBCA 21.5
112 99 Surinam 21.5
113 102 Namibia 21.5
114 116 Neth. Antilles 21.5
115 108 Nigeria 21.0
116 111 Monaco 20.5
117 114 San Marino 20.5
118 113 Macao 20.5
119 124 Aruba 20.5
120 122 Papua New Guinea 20.0
121 121 British Virgin Islands 20.0
122 125 Bermuda 20.0
123 126 Guernsey 20.0
124 106 Jersey 19.5
125 118 Fiji 19.5
126 123 Afghanistan 19.5
127 127 Rwanda 17.0
128 129 US Virgin Islands 12.5
129 128 Seychelles 10.5
Women
     Rank. Seed Team TB1
1 1 China 29.0
2 3 United States 25.5
3 2 Russia 25.5
4 4 Georgia 25.0
5 8 France 24.5
6 13 Hungary 24.0
7 12 Slovakia 24.0
8 6 India 23.5
9 5 Ukraine 23.0
10 27 England 23.0
11 22 Vietnam 23.0
12 7 Poland 22.5
13 20 Lithuania 22.5
14 9 Bulgaria 22.5
15 14 Armenia 22.5
16 24 Sweden 22.5
17 11 Serbia Montenegro 22.5
18 10 Romania 22.5
19 15 Netherlands 22.5
20 16 Germany 22.0
21 23 Cuba 22.0
22 33 Israel 22.0
23 19 Azerbaijan 22.0
24 28 Slovenia 21.5
25 29 Belarus 21.5
26 30 Argentina 21.0
27 25 Moldova 20.5
28 17 Greece 20.5
29 41 Iran 20.5
30 43 Norway 20.5
31 40 Italy 20.5
32 38 Estonia 20.5
33 26 Latvia 20.0
34 18 Kazakhstan 20.0
35 21 Czech Rep. 20.0
36 31 Mongolia 20.0
37 35 Australia 20.0
38 32 Switzerland 20.0
39 47 Finland 20.0
40 46 Bosnia Herzegovina 20.0
41 51 Portugal 20.0
42 48 Peru 20.0
43 55 Colombia 19.5
44 36 Spain A 19.5
45 34 Croatia 19.5
46 39 Ecuador 19.5
47 42 Spain B 19.5
48 37 Uzbekistan 19.5
49 59 Brazil 19.5
50 63 Wales 19.5
51 56 Malaysia 19.0
52 53 Austria 19.0
53 64 Lebanon 19.0
54 65 Philippines 18.5
55 62 Luxembourg 18.5
56 44 Iceland 18.5
57 61 Macedonia 18.5
58 71 South Africa 18.5
59 45 Venezuela 18.5
60 50 Denmark 18.5
61 75 Kyrgystan 18.5
62 52 Canada 18.5
63 58 IPCA 18.5
64 57 Turkey 18.0
65 49 Mexico 17.5
66 77 Guatemala 17.5
67 54 Bangladesh 17.5
68 60 Dominican Rep. 17.5
69 85 Tajikistan 17.5
70 81 Sri Lanka 17.5
71 72 Indonesia 17.0
72 76 Albania 17.0
73 67 Ireland 17.0
74 79 Iraq 17.0
75 70 IBCA 16.5
76 74 Bolivia 16.5
77 66 New Zealand 16.5
78 73 Costa Rica 16.5
79 82 Fiji 16.5
80 68 Botswana 16.0
81 69 Puerto Rico 15.5
82 80 Libya 12.5
83 78 Japan 12.0
84 86 Trinidad and Tobago 12.0
85 83 Honduras 11.5
86 84 Kenya 11.0
87 87 US Virgin Islands 8.0

 

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