Novi Sad: Azerbaijan leads by two points

10/27/2009 – The Azeris, led by Teimour Radjabov, have won five matches and drawn one to take a two-point lead in the European Team Championship. In the women's section Russia has caught Georgia, with both teams sharing a 10.0/12 point lead. The best performance so far in this event is by a Norwegian teenage grandmaster – and no, it is not Magnus Carlsen. Report on rounds four to six.

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This massive event, with 38 men's and 28 women's teams, four boards per round each – is taking place in the famous chess city of Novi Sad in Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia). We bring you results, games, photos and video reports by Europe Echecs.

Round four

The surprises in the men's section of round four were England's heavy loss against France and Russia's draw against Netherlands. In the latter Jan Smeets beat Alexander Morozevich with the black pieces. It is a dauntingly complex game which will bear many hours of analysis, but we can safely assume that Morozevich once again pressed a little too hard.

Veselin Topalov, appearing for the Bulgarian side for a second time in this team championship, drew against GM Vladimir Georgiev from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MKD). If the official notation is correct this is what transpired:

Georgiev,Vl (2537) - Topalov,V (2813) [E70]
17th TCh-Eur Novi Sad SRB (4), 25.10.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Bd3 0-0 6.Nge2 c5 7.d5 e6 8.0-0 Ng4 9.Bc2 Ne5 10.b3 exd5 11.cxd5 b5 12.Rb1 b4 13.Na4 Ba6 14.f4 Ned7 15.a3 bxa3 16.Bxa3 Nb6 17.Bd3 Re8 18.Nb2 Bxd3 19.Qxd3 a5 20.Nc4 Nxc4 21.bxc4 Na6 22.Qf3 Nb4 23.f5 Qh4 24.fxg6 fxg6 25.Nf4 Be5 26.g3 Qf6 27.Kg2 Nc2 28.Rb7 Nxa3 29.Qxa3 Rf8 30.Qa4 g5 31.Qd7 Qh6 32.Ne6 Rxf1 33.Kxf1 Qh5 34.Kg2 Qe2+ 35.Kh3 Qh5+ 36.Kg2

36...Bf6?? Topalov spurns the draw by repetition, but his effort to win lands him in big trouble. 37.Nf4 Qh6 38.Qe6+ Kh8 39.Nh5 Rf8

Now all Georgiev has to play is 40.Qxd6! But on his final move before the time control he lets his famous opponent, 276 points higher than himself on the rating scale, off the hook: 40.Rf7? Bg7 41.Rxg7 Qxh5 42.Rg8+ draw.


Round four, with MKD vs BUL and Georgiev vs Tolapov under way

In the women's section Ukraine beat France, with the two GMs on board one settling scores: Kateryna Lahno, rated 2483 defeated her old rival Marie Sebag, 2519, in 42 moves. Poland beat Serbia and Russia beat Hungary.

In both the Open and Women's sections Georgia scored convincing victories, so that both teams took pole position – in the men's section together with Azerbaijan with eight match points each; and in the women's section alone with four wins and 8.0 match points, one point ahead of Azerbaijan and Ukraine, followed by Poland, Russia and Armenia a point behind them.

Round five

Georgia lost to Azerbaijan, who thus took sole lead (with 5.0/5 match points) in the tournament. France held Armenia with a stunning win by Etienne Bacrot over Levon Aronian.

Bacrot,E (2709) - Aronian,L (2773) [D43]
17th TCh-Eur Novi Sad SRB (5), 26.10.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bd6 a6 14.a4 e5 15.Bg4 exd4 16.e5 c5 17.f4 dxc3 18.bxc3 Bf8 19.Qe2 Bxd6 20.exd6+ Kf8 21.fxg5 hxg5 22.Be6 Rh7 23.Qc2

Bacrot's attack is ferocious, and Aronian should defend by moving his rook to g7. Instead he blunders: 23...Kg8?? 24.Rxf7. Bacrot is only too pleased to oblige. 24...Rxf7 25.Rf1 Nf8 26.Qf5 Nxe6 27.Qxf7+ Kh8 28.Rf6 Qxf6 29.Qxf6+ Ng7 30.d7 b4 31.cxb4 cxb4 32.d8Q+ Rxd8 33.Qxd8+ Kh7 34.Qb6 Be4 35.Qxb4 Bd3 36.Qa5 1-0.


The French in round five: Etienne Bacrot, Laurent Fressinet


The Armenians with Vladimir Akopian and Levon Aronian

In the Women's section Georgia and Ukraine drew all their games, while Russia beat Poland. This left Georgia in the lead with nine match points, ahead of Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine with eight match points each. In the Open section Azerbaijan had 10.0/10 possible match points and was in the lead. Russia and Georgia followed two match points behind.

Round six

The top encounter, Azerbaijan vs Russia (above with Radjabov vs Svidler), brought three short draws – 21, 21 and 26 moves – with Tomashevsky and Mamedyarov battling it out for 55 moves. Ukraine vs Georgia and Netherlands vs France were also drawn. Bulgaria lost 1.5:2.5 to the Czech Republic, with Topalov drawing his third game in a row, and Ivan Cheparinov losing the decisive battle against Viktor Laznicka. Topalov's trusted second Cheparinov has so far won and lost three games, drawing none.


The Russians: Alexandra Kosteniuk, Tatiana and Nadezhda Kosintseva, Valentina Gunina


The Ukrainians: Kateryna Lahno, Natalia Zhukova, Anna Ushenina, Nataila Zdebskaja (r.-l.)

In the Women's section Georgia was held by Azerbaijan, while Russia defeated Ukrain 3:1, while other key encounters were draw. this allowed the Russians to catch up with the Georgians, both now having ten match points, followed by Azerbaijan with nine match points. In the men's section Azerbaijan has maintained their two-point lead over Russia, Armenia and Georgia.

Standings after round six – Men

Rk. SNo Team Team + = TB1 TB2 TB3
1 2 Azerbaijan AZE 5 1 0 11 15.0 78.0
2 1 Russia RUS 3 3 0 9 15.5 73.5
3 3 Armenia ARM 4 1 1 9 15.0 78.5
4 11 Georgia GEO 4 1 1 9 14.0 83.0
5 10 Hungary HUN 3 2 1 8 15.5 74.5
6 9 France FRA 3 2 1 8 14.5 79.0
7 15 Netherlands NED 2 4 0 8 14.5 76.0
8 12 Poland POL 3 2 1 8 14.5 72.0
9 5 Ukraine UKR 3 2 1 8 14.5 70.5
10 17 Serbia 1 SRB 1 3 2 1 8 14.0 78.0
11 6 Israel ISR 4 0 2 8 12.5 84.0
12 13 Czech Republic CZE 3 2 1 8 12.5 80.5
13 8 Spain ESP 3 1 2 7 13.5 76.5
14 25 Switzerland SUI 3 1 2 7 12.5 76.5
15 18 England ENG 3 1 2 7 12.5 71.0
16 19 Greece GRE 3 1 2 7 12.0 77.5

Standings after round six – Women

Rk. SNo Team Team + = TB1 TB2 TB3
1 1 Russia RUS 5 0 1 10 16.5 76.5
2 2 Georgia GEO 4 2 0 10 15.5 85.0
3 20 Azerbaijan AZE 3 3 0 9 15.5 80.5
4 13 Romania ROU 3 2 1 8 14.5 76.5
5 6 France FRA 3 2 1 8 14.5 75.0
6 5 Armenia ARM 3 2 1 8 14.0 87.0
7 16 Czech Republic CZE 3 2 1 8 14.0 80.0
8 3 Ukraine UKR 3 2 1 8 13.5 87.5
9 17 Israel ISR 4 0 2 8 12.5 77.0
10 12 Slovenia SLO 3 1 2 7 15.0 67.0
11 14 Greece GRE 2 3 1 7 14.0 70.0
12 10 Hungary HUN 3 1 2 7 13.5 75.5
13 15 Spain ESP 3 1 2 7 12.0 74.5
14 4 Poland POL 3 0 3 6 15.0 75.0
15 18 Croatia CRO 3 0 3 6 11.5 68.0
16 8 Bulgaria BUL 3 0 3 6 10.5 72.5

Performance

The best performance so far is by Norwegian GM Jon Ludvig Hammer, 19, who has scored 5.0/6 points on board one for his team and is playing as if he had a 2873 rating. In second place is another youngster: Fabiano Caruana, who is performing like a 2848 player. The older and more famous grandmasters are to be found lower on the list.

The best Open Section players after six rounds

No. Ti. Name Rtg Team Rp Pts. Gms % Bo.
1 GM Hammer Jon Ludvig 2585 Norway 2873 5.0 6 83.3 1
2 GM Caruana Fabiano 2662 Italy 2848 4.0 5 80.0 1
3 GM Gashimov Vugar 2740 Azerbaijan 2835 4.5 6 75.0 2
4 GM L'Ami Erwin 2606 Netherlands 2821 5.0 6 83.3 2
5 GM Bacrot Etienne 2709 France 2821 3.5 5 70.0 1
6 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2721 Azerbaijan 2805 4.5 6 75.0 3
7 GM Svidler Peter 2741 Russia 2800 3.5 5 70.0 1
8 GM Feller Sebastien 2570 France 2791 5.0 6 83.3 4
9 GM Navara David 2692 Czech Rep. 2790 4.0 6 66.7 1
10 GM Almasi Zoltan 2685 Hungary 2775 3.5 5 70.0 1
11 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2688 Russia 2770 4.5 6 75.0 4
12 GM Petrosian Tigran L 2602 Armenia 2769 4.0 5 80.0 4
13 GM Eljanov Pavel 2717 Ukraine 2755 3.5 5 70.0 1
14 GM Laznicka Viktor 2634 Czech Rep. 2741 3.5 5 70.0 2
15 GM Jobava Baadur 2696 Georgia 2740 3.5 6 58.3 1
16 GM Conquest Stuart C 2563 England 2735 4.5 6 75.0 2
17 GM Fridman Daniel 2661 Germany 2728 3.5 5 70.0 2
18 GM Alekseev Evgeny 2725 Russia 2726 3.5 5 70.0 3
19 GM Miladinovic Igor 2547 Serbia 2 2724 3.0 5 60.0 1
20 GM Aronian Levon 2773 Armenia 2717 3.0 5 60.0 1
21 GM Topalov Veselin 2813 Bulgaria 2710 2.5 4 62.5 1
22 GM Postny Evgeny 2651 Israel 2709 3.0 5 60.0 3
23 GM Berkes Ferenc 2663 Hungary 2705 4.0 6 66.7 1
24 GM Gallagher Joseph G 2464 Switzerland 2705 3.0 4 75.0 4
25 GM Akopian Vladimir 2698 Armenia 2705 3.0 5 60.0 1
26 GM Bartel Mateusz 2609 Poland 2703 4.5 6 75.0 3
27 GM Shirov Alexei 2730 Spain 2701 3.5 6 58.3 1

The best Women's Section players after six rounds

No. Ti. Name Rtg Team Rp Pts. Gms % Bo.
1 WGM Mamedjarova Zeinab 2285 Azerbaijan 2822 4.5 5 90.0 1
2 WGM Majdan Joanna 2361 Poland 2658 4.5 5 90.0 4
3 IM Javakhishvili Lela 2472 Georgia 2632 4.0 5 80.0 1
4 IM Milliet Sophie 2407 France 2616 4.0 5 80.0 2
5 IM Kosintseva Nadezhda 2493 Russia 2602 5.0 6 83.3 2
6 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2516 Russia 2600 3.5 5 70.0 1
7 GM Lahno Kateryna 2483 Ukraine 2581 4.0 6 66.7 1
8 IM Khukhashvili Sopiko 2451 Georgia 2579 3.0 4 75.0 2
9 IM Jackova Jana 2393 Czech Rep. 2572 4.0 6 66.7 1
10 IM Mkrtchian Lilit 2469 Armenia 2560 4.5 6 75.0 2
11 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2527 Bulgaria 2547 3.5 5 70.0 1
12 WGM Michna Marta 2366 Germany 2533 4.0 5 80.0 2
13 IM Gaponenko Inna 2438 Ukraine 2523 3.0 4 75.0 3
14 IM Paehtz Elisabeth 2482 Germany 2508 3.5 6 58.3 1
15 IM Sedina Elena 2335 Italy 2501 3.0 5 60.0 1

Video reports by Europe Echecs

Videos and pictures in this report by GM Robert Fontaine for Europe Echecs

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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