Men's Group: Round seven of the Olympiad in Calvià saw Russia losing to Bulgaria (without Topalov!) after Grischuk dropped a point toe IM Ivan Cheparinov and all other games were drawn. India lost to the Ukraine in similar fashion when 14-year-old Sergey Karjakin picked up the point against GM Abhijit Kunte. Full results of round seven.
Women's Group: Here continued its long march with another victory, this time a 2½:½ against France, to retain a perfect (7:0) match score. Bulgaria and Russia drew, with Alexandra Kosteniuk beating world champion Antoaneta Stefanova, but Ekaterina Kovalevskaya losing to Margarita Voiska. Germany, which had started very well at this Olympiad, received a 3-0 dubbing by Lithuania and sank to 27th place in the team rankings. Full results of round seven.
The highest performance rating, 2990, was recorded for local boy Paco Vallejo Pons, who scored 5.5 points in six games. There is an interview with him on the official site. On second place with a 2947 is Vassily Ivanchuk, who has played all seven games on board one for Ukraine. Michael Adams of England has been playing at a 2863 level in seven games on board one. Our young friend Sergey Karjakin is also doing fine with 3:0 points and a 2787 performance on board four of the Ukraine.
|1||GM||Vallejo Pons Francisco||2678||Spain A||2990||5.5||6||91.7||1|
|5||GM||Kosic Dragan||2519||Serbia Montenegro||2862||4.0||4||100.0||4|
|6||GM||Vaganian Rafael A||2640||Armenia||2837||4.0||5||80.0||2|
|7||GM||Ganguly Surya Shekhar||2559||India||2833||3.5||4||87.5||3|
|15||GM||Beliavsky Alexander G||2660||Slovenia||2776||4.0||5||80.0||1|
The performance leader at 2783, with 4.5 out of five on board one, is Xie Jun, who won the women's world championship in 1991 (from Maya Chiburdanidze, who had held the title since 1978) until 1996, when she lost it to Susan Polgar. Xie won in back in 1999. In 2001 the title went to Zhu Chen, who defeated Alexandra Kosteniuk in the finals. Zhu is not playing at the Olympiad for family reasons, Alexandra is doing well with a 2583 performance on board one of the Russian team. Susan Polgar is playing at a 2524 level on board one for the USA.
|12||GM||Polgar Zsuzsa||2567||United States||2524||4.5||7||64.3||1|
|18||IM||Krush Irina||2464||United States||2500||3.5||5||70.0||2|
The 36th edition of the Chess Olympiad is on in full swing at Gran Casino and if the buzz around was anything to go by, the Ukrainians had emerged as bigger favourites than mighty Russians after the first five rounds. And then Peter Svidler arrived. What a reassuring presence! Russian men defeated Israel 3.5-0.5 in round six and are now just one point behind Ukraine that has amassed 19 thus far.
A view of slightly overburdened playing hall.
There is a common view that the real fight in the Olympiad starts only in the last four rounds. Until then it is important to accumulate whatever you can and then around the 10th round you realize where you stand for the remaining matches. Some also say it is important to save energy here for later games.
Alexander Morozevich what to do about Ukraine!
However, they way it started for Ukraine it doesn't look like they believed in it at all especially after three 4-0 white wash of their rivals in first three rounds. In the sixth round too, Ivanchuk led his team to another fine victory here after beating Radjabov. The game caught everyone's fancy right from the very beginning, in a very normal position in the Kalashnikov, Ivanchuk uncorked 9. Nb4!?!? and caught Radjabov in a tactical skirmish in the latter part of the game.
There are many things that makes a complete man. Playing good chess is one of them!? Yes. Ask Vassily Ivanchuk who has scored 4.5/5 on the top board for Ukraine.
This was Ivanchuk's fifth victory in the event that took his personal score to 5.5/6. Add to this his Elo performance of 3015 and find out who has played the best so far here. However, the match against against Azerbaijan was quite keenly contested and in fact Sergei Karjakin's quick victory over Rauf Mamedov proved decisive in the end. The Ukrainians had rested Ponomariov in the sixth round.
"I have to make it" – Sergey Karjakin before his game against Rauf Mamedov
As things stand now, the Ukrainians are on 19, followed by Russia on 18. Having played amongst themselves, it remains to be seen who cashes in more in rounds to come. Or will we see some other team joining the race? India? What? They are on 17 along with Bulgaria and are pitted against the leader in the next round. Lets see what Vishy and his boys muster in that match.
Finally a yes! Vishy Anand plays for India in the Olympiad after a gap of 12 years.
Surya Shekhar Ganguly defeated Gabrial Sargissian of Armenia in Indian victory over fourth seeds.
Apparently, the Chinese eves are simply running away from everyone's reach in the women's section. What else could one say about a 3 points lead after the sixth round itself. Conceding a half point in round one, they walked off with two 3-0 victories and then it was again time to halt a little as they won 2.5:0.5 against Germany. Another 3-0 trouncing followed as the English ladies proved no match. It was the sixth round in fact that slowed them down when Huang Qian lost to Kovalevskaya for a 2-1 eventual victory. In this it appears already that who will win the silver and bronze is the bigger question!
What are we doing on table 2? Alexei Shirov playing for Spain A. In all the rounds the local team will be playing on one of the top boards as per some agreement/arrangement.
Can you give some tips? Ekaterina Kovalevskaya asking Kateryna Lahno and Natalia Zhukova before the important match against Chinese
14-year-old Kateryna Lahno, a great Ukrainian talent
Don't worry guys, here I am: Peter Svidler
Sleep sleep, Chinese are gonna win anyway
Woman in Red: Russia's board one Alexandra Kosteniuk
In a pensive mood: picture perfect Almira Skripchenko