2016 Baku Rd11: US wins historic gold! China wins Women's

by Albert Silver
9/14/2016 – The win by the US at 2016 Baku, in the largest field ever, can only be described as historic. Ukraine held on to their pace and took silver, while Russia took bronze. Board one gold medal went to Baadur Jobava, and take note of board three bronze medal by 64-year-old Eugenio Torre! The Women's event saw China overcome Russia in an epic match, the first team gold for Hou Yifan, and denying Russia any medal. Poland took silver for their greatest result in Olympiads ever, while Ukraine took bronze. Huge report with videos and GM analysis.

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2016 Baku Olympiad

All games start at 3 p.m. local time = 1 p.m. in Europe (CEST), one hour earlier in Britain, and 2 p.m. in Moscow. You can find the starting time at your location here.

Watch it live on Playchess!

Final round

 

Song and video that embody the Olympic spirit

The suspense was killing everyone: would the US close the deal and conclude its brilliant campaign with the oh-so-coveted gold?

The start of the round presented significant mismatches on all the top boards, whether the US, Ukraine, or Russia. In a way the tournament was going full circle: after starting with mismatches in the first rounds until only the leaders were left to fight each other, now the leaders had already done battle among themselves and weaker teams were what were left.

Board one was the United States of course, facing an astonishingly successful Canada. Canada has certainly had a few grandmasters over the years, but as a team they aren’t the ones you expect to be positioning themselves for a possible medal at the end of the Olympiad, and yet that was precisely what was going on as they entered the last round at a tentative fourth place on tiebreak. Obviously a medal meant scoring against the US, but the chance, however slim, was there.

The action started with Evgeny Bareev against Fabiano Caruana (photo by E. Kublashvili)

The team was bolstered by the arrival of former Russian GM Evgeny Bareev, who played first board, and while it was not he who had done the heavy scoring to reach this point, he took on all the biggest guns of rival teams and was a stalwart rock on board one, playing all eleven rounds. His challenge now was to find a way to hold Fabiano Caruana.

Fabiano was everything one could hope for in the US team. He did more than just neutralize the top boards of rival teams, such as Magnus Carlsen no less, he scored crucial points when needed the most. The last round was just such an instance as he defeated Bareev in the quickest game of the match.

Anton Kovalyov was one of Canada's stars, a word that fully applies (photo by Paul Truong)

Board two was 24-year-old Anton Kovalyov, who has already made waves in Baku before, when he somehow survived not one, but two elite matches in the World Cup. In fact, he had been so shocked, he had been forced to change his flight arrangements as he had booked a flight home the day of the first round, expecting to be eliminated just as soon. Now, in the Olympiad, the young talent enjoyed a rush of form that was hard to believe, and finished on 8.0/10 with a 2852 performance.

Hikaru Nakamura was a true soldier and played all eleven rounds (photo by David Llada)

Playing for the US was Hikaru Nakamura, also scoring when needed, but who had suffered a minor setback in round ten, when ill, he lost to Georgian GM Mchedlishvili. Hikaru did not back down, and played all eleven rounds, and opted to keep it simple and contain Kovalyov and drew.

Board three for Canada was 40-year-old GM Alexandre Lesiege, rated 2512, and who also did his duty and then some with a 2585 performance, but his opponent was a sizzling hot Wesley So.

Wesley had recently won the elite Sinquefield Cup, and brought all that confidence and form to the Olympiad and more. He soundly defeated Lesiege, scoring 8.5/10 in total with a 2896 performance as well as a gold medal for board three. (photo by David Llada)

Wesley So - Alexandre Lesiege (annotated by GM Elshan Moradiabadi)

[Event "42nd Olympiad Baku 2016 Open"] [Site "Baku"] [Date "2016.09.13"] [Round "11.3"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Lesiege, Alexandre"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B13"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2512"] [Annotator "Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] [SourceTitle "playchess.com"] [Source "ChessBase"] [WhiteTeam "United States"] [BlackTeam "Canada"] [WhiteTeamCountry "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "CAN"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] {The USA team arrived at the last round of the 2016 Chess Olympiad as the leader, edging Ukraine thanks to their better tie-break. In this crucial final round, we watched a North American derby between the US and the surprisingly strong Canadian team. With Kovalyov and Hansen scoring in every other game, the Canadians reached 4th place after the penultimate round. Being ahead just by a whisker in tie-break, a victory in this match was direly needed by the US squad. With the team's "big three" guns culminating victories one after other, we just had to sit and wait for one of them to score. This time, it was Caruana and So who delivered the victory. So's victory came in a topsy-turvy game.} 1. c4 { (00:00) Wesley So is not trying to get into an opening debate and he opts for an "English".} c5 {(00:56)} 2. Nf3 {(00:00)} Nc6 {(01:52)} 3. Nc3 {(00:17)} g6 $6 {(03:00) There is nothing wrong with this move. However, Black usually does not combine it with Nc6 due to White's next move.} 4. e3 $1 {(00:10) Now the game enters a form of "Panov attack", in the Caro-Kann defense!} Nf6 {(00:07)} 5. d4 {(00:04)} cxd4 {(00:04)} 6. exd4 {(00:03)} d5 {(00:20)} 7. Bg5 {(00:13)} (7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Qb3 Nxc3 9. Bc4 Nd5 10. Bxd5 e6 11. Bxc6+ bxc6 12. O-O {is one of the most popular ways to play this opening. Wesley goes for more complications to keep the game more unbalanced and more difficult for his 'out of retirement' GM opponent.}) 7... Be6 {(00:36)} 8. Bxf6 {(00:49)} exf6 {(00:05)} 9. h3 $146 {(00:04) I could not believe my eyes but this move is a novelty according to the ChessBase Online database. White players had almost exclusively played c4-c5 in this position} (9. c5 Bg7 10. Bb5 O-O 11. O-O g5 12. Ne2 a6 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Ng3 a5 15. h3 Rb8 16. b3 Rb4 17. Ne1 Rb7 18. Nc2 Qc7 19. Qd2 Ra8 20. Nh5 Bf5 21. Ne3 Bg6 22. Ng3 Qf4 23. Ne2 Qe4 24. Nc3 Qh4 25. Rad1 f5 26. f4 gxf4 27. Nc2 Bh6 28. Qf2 Qg5 29. Rde1 Bh5 30. Kh1 Kh8 31. Ne2 f3 32. gxf3 f4 33. Kh2 Re7 34. Ng1 Bg6 35. h4 Qg3+ 36. Qxg3 fxg3+ {1/2-1/2 (36) Rakhmanov,A (2641)-Alekseev,E (2636) St Petersburg 2016}) 9... Bb4 {(05:40)} 10. c5 { (00:06)} O-O {(03:04)} (10... Qa5 11. Qd2 O-O 12. Be2 b6 {Looks very promising for Black.}) 11. Rc1 {( 05:05)} b6 $6 {(26:03) This is a bit risky.} (11... Qd7 12. Be2 Ba5 $5 13. O-O Bc7 {Looks interesting.}) 12. Bb5 {(08:52) White completes his development by winning a crucial tempo.} Na5 {(14:13)} 13. a3 { (03:05)} Bxc3+ {(00:17)} 14. Rxc3 {(00:02)} Nc4 {(07:42)} 15. b4 {(00:06)} a5 { (06:29)} (15... a6 16. Ba4 (16. Bxc4 dxc4 {and then Black plays b5-f5 and Bd5 and White has nothing there.}) 16... a5 {this looks more promising than the game.}) 16. O-O {( 00:08)} axb4 {(00:35)} 17. axb4 {(00:16) The position has already become too critical for Black.} Qb8 {(05:55)} (17... Ra2 18. Qc1 Qb8 { looks better because.} 19. Bxc4 dxc4 20. Nd2 Rd8 {and unlike in the game the pawn on d4 is hanging in this line.}) 18. Bxc4 {(18:30)} dxc4 {(00:10)} 19. Nd2 {(00:02)} bxc5 {(02:47)} 20. bxc5 {(00:02) White's knight is heading to d6 and Black has to do something about it.} Qb4 {(06:13)} 21. Qf3 {(03:05)} Bd5 { (08:22) A strong blockade but....} 22. Qxd5 $1 {(00:11) Wesley So has other things in mind.} Qxc3 {( 00:04)} 23. Ne4 {(00:01)} Qd3 {(00:22)} 24. Nxf6+ { (00:06)} Kh8 {(00:38)} 25. Nd7 {(00:07)} Rfe8 {(01:20)} 26. Ne5 {(01:01)} Qf5 $2 {(00:59) Up to this point Lesiege has been resilient and resourceful, but this move throws away everything. A series of miraculous moves would have saved him.} (26... Qe2 27. Nxf7+ Kg7 28. Ne5 Kh8 $3 {Only a machine would play like this!} 29. Rc1 (29. Qxc4 $4 Rxe5 $19) 29... Qd2 $1 30. Qxc4 Ra4 $1 31. Qf1 Qxd4 32. Nf3 Qf6 33. c6 Ra7 {And White has a good grip but he really cannot improve even though Black's weakened king offers potential 'time pressure' blunders in a game like this with such a high outcome at stake.}) 27. Qxc4 {(00:03) White's two passers are just way too strong .} Kg7 {(00:31)} 28. Qc3 {(03:55)} Ra2 { (02:05)} 29. Nd3 $4 {(00:07) Did he just let the other rook to the second rank?!} Qf6 $4 {(00:51) Lesiege returns the favor in time pressure.} (29... Ree2 30. d5+ f6 $1 {a move that is hard to see but forced.} 31. c6 Red2 $1 32. c7 Rac2 $1 {and Black is winning!!}) 30. Nb4 {(00:46)} Rae2 {(00:55)} 31. Nd5 {(00:22)} Qg5 {(00:21)} 32. Nc7 {(00:33)} R8e3 $6 {(00:31) Lesiege gets emotional} (32... Rb8 {would have maintained equality.}) 33. Qc1 {(00:49)} h6 {(01:30)} 34. d5 {(00:57)} Qe5 $4 {(01:25) Lesiege blunders a rook after a long game. He probably missed the check on a1.} 35. fxe3 {(00:52)} Qg3 {(00:55) } 36. Qa1+ {(00:10) And it is Black who gets mated not white! And US team wins the Olympiad after four decades!} (36. Qa1+ Kg8 37. Qa8+ Kg7 38. Ne6+ $1 fxe6 39. Qf8+ Kh7 40. Rf7#) 1-0

Board four had Sam Shankland once more taking the post, and as yet undefeated in the Olympiads, but he came against someone who had seen one step ahead. Facing him was Canada’s best scoring player (in points): 24-year-old Eric Hansen.

Both players had correctly guessed the opening of the game, but Eric’s preparation was the better and he emerged up a pawn, and inflicted Shankland’s first defeat. Although this was not enough to change the tale of the match, he can be proud of the result of Canada, and his magnificent 9.0/11 contribution with a 2738 performance. (photo by M. Emelianova)

Alejandro Ramirez has a quick chat with Eric Hansen

Former elite player, Alexander Beliavsky (left), was board one for Slovenia. He fell to Pavel Eljanov, whose victory contributed to a 3-1 win for Ukraine. (photo by M. Emelianova)

The main rival of the US, Ukraine, had come tied with the Americans in match points, behind on tiebreaks alone. The Ukrainians continued their fantastic onslaught, crushing the Slovenian team by 3.5-0.5. Much like the Americans, they had their share of miracle workers, such as Andrei Volokitin, who won yet again, taking gold medal on board four with 8.5/9 and a 2992 performance, the greatest of any player on any board.

The final medal match was played by Russia, who needed to win to guarantee none of the teams might threaten its bronze medal. They had no trouble beating Italy, scoring 3-1. (photo by E. Kublashvili)

Of special note, was Vladimir Kramnik’s win on board one. Not only did this net him the gold medal for board two, the board he had played on throughout the event, but his win catapulted him to a 2817 rating, which will appear in the next ratings list, his highest ever. (photo by E. Kublashvili)

Eteri Kublashvili and Anastasiya Karlovich, fixtures for the RCF and FIDE (photo by Paul Truong)

Still, the question on everyone’s mind was now that both teams had won their matches, who had taken gold? Incredibly, no one knew. While the first criterion was match points, where both US and Ukraine were tied, the next criterion was not game points, but Olympiad Sonneborn-Berger without the lowest result.

Even after both top matches were over the US team still had no idea if they had won gold or silver (photo by Paul Truong)

The basis of all Sonneborn-Berger tiebreak variants is to weight scores against high ranked opponents higher, which means winning against a team that finishes 5th is worth more than a victory over a team that finished 23rd even if their ratings were the same. Unfortunately that meant that victory for one or the other might lie not in the hands of the American or Ukrainian players, but some other team they had met earlier. The permutations are manifold as one can imagine, but to overcome the significant tiebreak score between the two teams, some experts wielding laptops and Excel spreadsheets concluded that if Ukraine won their final match by 3-1 and Germany failed to beat Estonia, then Ukraine would take gold.

Captain of the US Team, John Donaldson, begins doing calculations to try to figure out if the US won, and if not (yet) what they need to win

It seemed incredible, but even with both top table matches over, gold was going to be determined by table 28’s result, and it was not obvious. Germany had won their game on board one, but lost on board four, and tied board two. It all hinged on Matthias Bluebaum’s ability to win an endgame that until move 59 engines were declaring a resolute 0.00.

Both teams and many others were following this one game with unwavering focus, and one wonders whether Bluebaum knew that the winner’s fate lay entirely in his one game. Move 60 was the decider as the Estonian IM finally went astray, in a decisive blunder the German never forgave. (photo by Paul Truong)

The entire US team owes him a round of drinks, that is certain

It is fair to say that the US victory is their greatest ever result in a Chess Olympiad. Although it has been noted that although the Americans took gold in 1976 in Haifa, Israel, an event boycotted by the Soviet Union and many eastern bloc countries, weakening it considerably, their earlier victories in the 1930s were also without the Soviet participation. The Soviets only began participating in 1952, promptly winning it, it should be noted. The 2016 Open field not only has Russia in its lineup (though is missing Armenia sadly), but is also the largest field ever, with 170 teams present.

Garry Kasparov also commented that the United States had gone through the event without a single loss, a remarkable feat. Indeed they won nine matches and drew two. However, it should be pointed out that one other team went through the eleven rounds without suffering a defeat. Can you guess which? The answer is not one of the other top performers, but 18th place finisher Greece! They won four matches, lost none, and drew seven! Note that this included matches such as a draw with Slovenia, which ended in two wins each.

The Indian team that had started so strong, lost their chance to medal after losing both their matches to the US and Ukraine, and finished in fourth place. (photo by Paul Truong)

Alejandro Ramirez enjoys a quick chat with GM Vidit Gujrathi, one of India's best scoring players

The surprise fifth place was Norway led by Magnus Carlsen. They were in a group of teams that ended with 16 match points thanks to their last round draw with India. However, what really gave them a boost in their tiebreaks was their huge win over Iran in round 10. (photo by M. Emelianova)

Being such overperformers, the Iranians, ranked 46th at the start, ended in 16th place, including a crushing win over Chile in the last round. It is clear they are very much on the rise, and can expect even more promising results in the future. As it stands, two of the players scored double grandmaster norms and can expect the title very soon.

First was untitled Parham Maghsoodloo, 16 years old, who more than justified his 2566 rating. He played all eleven rounds with 8.0/11 and a superb 2684 performance, facing nine grandmasters. (photo by Paul Truong)

17-year-old IM Shahin Lorparizangeneh (2478) also scored a double GM norm, adding 17 Elo to his rating as well. (photo by Paul Truong)

They were hardly the only ones, needless to say, such as Italy’s FM Luca Moroni, 16 years old, who finished with a double GM norm as well. (photo by M. Emelianova)

Finally, a special salute to IM Helgi Dam Ziska from the Faroe Islands, who is by far the highest rated player ever from the micronation (population under 50 thousand), and is now its first grandmaster thanks to his norms. Note that with a rating of 2546 FIDE, he has already fulfilled the ratings requirements by a healthy margin. In round four, Helgi (right) drew against Veselin Topalov. (photo by Paul Truong)

 

Daniel King has a quick chat with Yannick Pelletier (Switzerland) asking him his impressions of the team and more

GM Maurice Ashley explains how he became the coach of the Ivory Coast

Women’s Event

The Women’s competition really came down to the epic match on table one. It isn’t that other matches were utterly denuded of interest, but with China facing Russia in a showdown for the gold, it was easily the center of attention. China only needed to win or draw the match to secure gold, but if Russia were to pull off an upset, not nearly as farfetched as the top matches in the Open section, they could conceivably snatch gold, though tiebreaks would still decide their fate.

The match was certainly all the fans had hoped for with hard-fought games on all boards. Russia’s attempt to torpedo China’s gold was thwarted though, and it was a team gold for the first time in 14 years, and the first with Hou Yifan. (photo by M. Emelianova)

Although Hou Yifan never quite scored as heavily as her fans might have hoped, the overall team was made up for it, such as WGM Tan Zhongyi on board three, rated 2475, but finished with 9.0/11 and a 2565 performance. (photo by David Llada)

99 seconds with Yuanling Yuan (Canada)

 

While Ukraine certainly did well, finishing in third, the true surprise of the event was without question Poland. Although they were consistently in the top three in the standings from round eight onward, the expectation each time was that another team would take their place the next round or after. If this seems unjust, consider that they had never achieved better than bronze, and ranked seventh this time, 100 Elo behind Ukraine and Russia, and more than that behind China, there was no reason to expect a miracle. Yet, they pulled it off in the end, with a magnificent 3.5-0.5 defeat over Hungary, ranked 8th, edging out Ukraine on tiebreak and taking a historic silver.

Team Poland pulled off a small miracle in not only penetrating the podium ahead of the numerous much higher rated rivals, but taking silver (photo by Paul Truong)

Janelle Mae Frayna from the Philippinnes scored a double WGM norm (photo by David Llada)

Closing Ceremony

All photos by Maria Emelianova

Open event

Team USA with their historic gold: Hikaru Nakamura, John Donaldson (captain), Sam Shankland, Ray Robson, Wesley So, and Fabiano Caruana

The Russian team: Ian Nepomniachtchi, Andrei Filatov (captain), Alexander Motylev, Vladimir Potkin, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Sergey Karjakin, Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk

Ukraine won the Gaprindashvili Cup, an award to the country with the best combined score of both Open and Women's teams

Gold Medal for Board one: Leinier Dominguez (silver), Baadur Jobava (gold), Fabiano Caruana (bronze)

Gold Medal for Board two: Vladimir Kramnik (gold), Jorge Cori (bronze), missing is Anton Kovalyov (silver)

Gold Medal for board three: Zoltan Almasi (silver), Wesley So (gold), Eugenio Torre (bronze)

The podium with Ukraine (silver), USA, (gold), and Russia (bronze) (click on photo for large version)

Women's event

China wins gold after a 14-year wait: Ju Wenjun, Tan Zhongyi, Guo Qi, Hou Yifan, Zhao Xue, Yu Shaoteng (captain)

Poland wins silver for their best result ever: Matlak Marak (captain), Mariola Wozniak, Klaudia Kulon, Karina Szczepkowska-Horowska, Jolanta Zawadzka, Monika Socko

Ukraine took bronze: Anna Ushenina, Natalia Zhukova, Mariya Muzychuk, Anna Muzychuk

Gold Medal for Board one: Hou Yifan (silver), Anna Muzychuk (gold), and Pia Cramling (bronze)

Gold Medal for Board two: Ju Wenjun (silver), Valentina Gunina (gold), Deimante Daulyte (bronze)

Final round games (with times per move)

Select games from the list below the board

Final Open standings

Rk
SNo
Team
Team
Gms
+
=
-
 TB1   TB2 
1
2
USA
11
9
2
0
20
413,5
2
5
UKR
11
10
0
1
20
404,5
3
1
RUS
11
8
2
1
18
419,0
4
9
IND
11
7
2
2
16
350,5
5
12
NOR
11
7
2
2
16
344,5
6
19
TUR
11
7
2
2
16
341,5
7
7
POL
11
7
2
2
16
331,0
8
8
FRA
11
6
4
1
16
326,5
9
6
ENG
11
7
2
2
16
323,0
10
34
PER
11
7
2
2
16
306,0
11
25
CAN
11
7
1
3
15
368,5
12
4
AZE
11
7
1
3
15
352,0
13
3
CHN
11
7
1
3
15
348,0
14
23
BLR
11
6
3
2
15
332,0
15
10
HUN
11
7
1
3
15
329,0

Click to view complete standings

Final Women's standings

Rk
SNo
Team
Team
Gms
 TB1   TB2 
1
1
CHN
11
9
2
0
20
416,0
2
7
POL
11
8
1
2
17
427,5
3
2
UKR
11
7
3
1
17
404,5
4
3
RUS
11
7
2
2
16
380,5
5
5
IND
11
6
4
1
16
342,5
6
6
USA
11
7
2
2
16
332,5
7
19
VIE
11
7
2
2
16
328,0
8
16
AZE
11
7
2
2
16
309,0
9
18
ISR
11
7
2
2
16
307,5
10
4
GEO
11
7
1
3
15
356,5
11
13
IRI
11
7
1
3
15
337,5
12
12
LTU
11
7
1
3
15
324,0
13
27
SRB
11
7
1
3
15
321,5
14
23
FRA
11
7
1
3
15
320,0
15
9
BUL
11
6
3
2
15
309,5

Click to view complete standings

Open section (top pairings)

Bo.
2
United States (USA)
Rtg
-
25
Canada (CAN)
Rtg
2½:1½
1.1
GM
Caruana, Fabiano
2808
-
GM
Bareev, Evgeny
2675
1-0
1.2
GM
Nakamura, Hikaru
2789
-
GM
Kovalyov, Anton
2617
½-½
1.3
GM
So, Wesley
2782
-
GM
Lesiege, Alexandre
2512
1-0
1.4
GM
Shankland, Samuel L
2679
-
GM
Hansen, Eric
2582
0-1
Bo.
5
Ukraine (UKR)
Rtg
-
29
Slovenia (SLO)
Rtg
3½:½
2.1
GM
Eljanov, Pavel
2739
-
GM
Beliavsky, Alexander G
2602
1-0
2.2
GM
Ponomariov, Ruslan
2709
-
GM
Lenic, Luka
2622
½-½
2.3
GM
Korobov, Anton
2675
-
GM
Borisek, Jure
2558
1-0
2.4
GM
Volokitin, Andrei
2647
-
GM
Sebenik, Matej
2526
1-0
Bo.
1
Russia (RUS)
Rtg
-
36
Italy (ITA)
Rtg
3:1
3.1
GM
Kramnik, Vladimir
2808
-
GM
Vocaturo, Daniele
2583
1-0
3.2
GM
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
2731
-
GM
Rombaldoni, Axel
2567
½-½
3.3
GM
Nepomniachtchi, Ian
2740
-
GM
Brunello, Sabino
2568
½-½
3.4
GM
Grischuk, Alexander
2754
-
FM
Moroni, Luca Jr
2459
1-0
Bo.
62
Turkmenistan (TKM)
Rtg
-
4
Azerbaijan 1 (AZE)
Rtg
1:3
4.1
GM
Atabayev, Maksat
2485
-
GM
Radjabov, Teimour
2722
½-½
4.2
IM
Atabayev, Yusup
2453
-
GM
Mamedov, Rauf
2666
½-½
4.3
FM
Atabayev, Saparmyrat
2406
-
GM
Naiditsch, Arkadij
2696
0-1
4.4
GM
Odeev, Handszar
2401
-
GM
Safarli, Eltaj
2688
0-1
Bo.
9
India (IND)
Rtg
-
12
Norway (NOR)
Rtg
2:2
5.1
GM
Harikrishna, P.
2752
-
GM
Carlsen, Magnus
2857
½-½
5.2
GM
Adhiban, B.
2671
-
GM
Hammer, Jon Ludvig
2651
½-½
5.3
GM
Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi
2669
-
GM
Tari, Aryan
2570
1-0
5.4
GM
Sethuraman, S.P.
2640
-
GM
Urkedal, Frode
2537
0-1
Bo.
34
Peru (PER)
Rtg
-
6
England (ENG)
Rtg
2:2
6.1
GM
Cordova, Emilio
2638
-
GM
Adams, Michael
2738
0-1
6.2
GM
Cori, Jorge
2609
-
GM
Howell, David W L
2665
1-0
6.3
IM
Vera Siguenas, Deivy
2499
-
GM
Jones, Gawain C B
2635
½-½
6.4
GM
Cruz, Cristhian
2519
-
GM
Short, Nigel D
2666
½-½
Bo.
19
Turkey (TUR)
Rtg
-
20
Georgia (GEO)
Rtg
2½:1½
7.1
GM
Solak, Dragan
2635
-
GM
Jobava, Baadur
2665
½-½
7.2
GM
Ipatov, Alexander
2652
-
GM
Mchedlishvili, Mikheil
2609
1-0
7.3
GM
Yilmaz, Mustafa
2616
-
GM
Pantsulaia, Levan
2601
0-1
7.4
GM
Can, Emre
2565
-
GM
Gelashvili, Tamaz
2575
1-0
Bo.
27
Greece (GRE)
Rtg
-
10
Hungary (HUN)
Rtg
2:2
8.1
GM
Papaioannou, Ioannis
2631
-
GM
Berkes, Ferenc
2640
½-½
8.2
GM
Mastrovasilis, Dimitrios
2601
-
GM
Almasi, Zoltan
2684
0-1
8.3
GM
Banikas, Hristos
2571
-
GM
Balogh, Csaba
2614
½-½
8.4
GM
Halkias, Stelios
2565
-
IM
Gledura, Benjamin
2585
1-0
Bo.
8
France (FRA)
Rtg
-
17
Czech Republic (CZE)
Rtg
3:1
9.1
GM
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
2813
-
GM
Navara, David
2742
½-½
9.2
GM
Maze, Sebastien
2617
-
GM
Laznicka, Viktor
2651
1-0
9.3
GM
Fressinet, Laurent
2664
-
GM
Hracek, Zbynek
2591
1-0
9.4
GM
Bauer, Christian
2623
-
IM
Plat, Vojtech
2519
½-½
Bo.
7
Poland (POL)
Rtg
-
14
Spain (ESP)
Rtg
3:1
10.1
GM
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw
2736
-
GM
Vallejo Pons, Francisco
2716
1-0
10.2
GM
Duda, Jan-Krzysztof
2675
-
GM
Salgado Lopez, Ivan
2662
½-½
10.3
GM
Bartel, Mateusz
2646
-
GM
Anton Guijarro, David
2630
1-0
10.4
GM
Swiercz, Dariusz
2639
-
GM
Ibarra Jerez, Jose Carlos
2566
½-½
Bo.
32
Vietnam (VIE)
Rtg
-
3
China (CHN)
Rtg
1:3
11.1
GM
Le, Quang Liem
2723
-
GM
Wang, Yue
2737
½-½
11.2
GM
Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son
2633
-
GM
Ding, Liren
2753
0-1
11.3
GM
Nguyen, Huynh Minh Huy
2435
-
GM
Yu, Yangyi
2725
½-½
11.4
FM
Nguyen, Anh Khoi
2448
-
GM
Wei, Yi
2717
0-1
Bo.
15
Cuba (CUB)
Rtg
-
30
Romania (ROU)
Rtg
2:2
12.1
GM
Dominguez Perez, Leinier
2720
-
GM
Lupulescu, Constantin
2618
1-0
12.2
GM
Quesada Perez, Yuniesky
2636
-
GM
Parligras, Mircea-Emilian
2595
½-½
12.3
GM
Ortiz Suarez, Isan Reynaldo
2581
-
IM
Deac, Bogdan-Daniel
2524
½-½
12.4
GM
Gonzalez Vidal, Yuri
2553
-
GM
Marin, Mihail
2572
0-1

Women's section (top pairings)

Bo.
1
China (CHN)
Rtg
-
3
Russia (RUS)
Rtg
2½:1½
1.1
GM
Hou, Yifan
2658
-
GM
Kosteniuk, Alexandra
2538
½-½
1.2
GM
Ju, Wenjun
2583
-
GM
Gunina, Valentina
2520
1-0
1.3
WGM
Tan, Zhongyi
2475
-
WGM
Goryachkina, Aleksandra
2475
1-0
1.4
IM
Guo, Qi
2417
-
WGM
Pogonina, Natalija
2484
0-1
Bo.
8
Hungary (HUN)
Rtg
-
7
Poland (POL)
Rtg
½:3½
2.1
GM
Hoang, Thanh Trang
2467
-
GM
Socko, Monika
2437
½-½
2.2
IM
Lazarne Vajda, Szidonia
2372
-
WGM
Zawadzka, Jolanta
2429
0-1
2.3
WGM
Gara, Ticia
2379
-
WGM
Kulon, Klaudia
2346
0-1
2.4
IM
Gara, Anita
2355
-
WIM
Wozniak, Mariola
2246
0-1
Bo.
2
Ukraine (UKR)
Rtg
-
9
Bulgaria (BUL)
Rtg
3:1
3.1
GM
Muzychuk, Anna
2550
-
GM
Stefanova, Antoaneta
2515
1-0
3.2
GM
Muzychuk, Mariya
2539
-
IM
Videnova, Iva
2386
½-½
3.3
GM
Zhukova, Natalia
2475
-
WGM
Nikolova, Adriana
2358
½-½
3.4
GM
Ushenina, Anna
2457
-
WIM
Raeva, Elitsa
2232
1-0
Bo.
16
Azerbaijan 1 (AZE)
Rtg
-
66
Malaysia (MAS)
Rtg
3:1
4.1
WGM
Mamedjarova, Zeinab
2295
-
WFM
Tan, Li Ting
1993
½-½
4.2
WGM
Mammadzada, Gunay
2361
-
WFM
Bakri, Alia Anin Azwa
1923
½-½
4.3
WFM
Hojjatova, Aydan
2339
-
WCM
Azman Hisham, Nur Nabila
1994
1-0
4.4
WGM
Kazimova, Narmin
2302
-
WFM
Azhar, Puteri Rifqah Fahada
1945
1-0
Bo.
6
United States (USA)
Rtg
-
5
India (IND)
Rtg
2:2
5.1
GM
Krush, Irina
2444
-
GM
Harika, Dronavalli
2542
½-½
5.2
IM
Paikidze, Nazi
2366
-
IM
Padmini, Rout
2408
1-0
5.3
IM
Zatonskih, Anna
2449
-
IM
Tania, Sachdev
2402
0-1
5.4
WGM
Nemcova, Katerina
2365
-
WGM
Soumya, Swaminathan
2379
½-½
Bo.
19
Vietnam (VIE)
Rtg
-
21
Netherlands (NED)
Rtg
2½:1½
6.1
IM
Pham, Le Thao Nguyen
2338
-
GM
Peng, Zhaoqin
2368
0-1
6.2
WGM
Hoang, Thi Bao Tram
2325
-
WGM
Haast, Anne
2306
1-0
6.3
WGM
Nguyen, Thi Mai Hung
2316
-
IM
Lanchava, Tea
2258
½-½
6.4
WGM
Nguyen, Thi Thanh An
2249
-
FM
Kazarian, Anna-Maja
2231
1-0
Bo.
18
Israel (ISR)
Rtg
-
15
Mongolia (MGL)
Rtg
3:1
7.1
WIM
Shvayger, Yuliya
2408
-
IM
Nomin-Erdene, Davaademberel
2422
½-½
7.2
WIM
Efroimski, Marsel
2322
-
IM
Batchimeg, Tuvshintugs
2391
½-½
7.3
IM
Klinova, Masha
2290
-
WGM
Enkhtuul, Altan-Ulzii
2288
1-0
7.4
WIM
Gutmakher, Olga
2216
-
WIM
Lkhamsuren, Uuganbayar
2147
1-0
Bo.
4
Georgia (GEO)
Rtg
-
35
Austria (AUT)
Rtg
3:1
8.1
IM
Javakhishvili, Lela
2486
-
WGM
Theissl Pokorna, Regina
2331
1-0
8.2
GM
Khotenashvili, Bela
2463
-
WIM
Newrkla, Katharina
2214
½-½
8.3
IM
Batsiashvili, Nino
2474
-
WFM
Exler, Veronika
2220
1-0
8.4
IM
Melia, Salome
2419
-
WFM
Hapala, Elisabeth
2021
½-½
Bo.
13
Iran (IRI)
Rtg
-
28
Azerbaijan 2 (AZE2)
Rtg
3½:½
9.1
IM
Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat
2429
-
WGM
Mamedjarova, Turkan
2304
1-0
9.2
WGM
Pourkashiyan, Atousa
2335
-
WIM
Khalafova, Narmin
2219
1-0
9.3
WGM
Hejazipour, Mitra
2314
-
WIM
Fataliyeva, Ulviyya
2234
1-0
9.4
WIM
Hakimifard, Ghazal
2308
-
WGM
Umudova, Nargiz
2247
½-½
Bo.
27
Serbia (SRB)
Rtg
-
26
Argentina (ARG)
Rtg
2½:1½
10.1
WGM
Rapport, Jovana
2318
-
IM
Lujan, Carolina
2378
½-½
10.2
WGM
Chelushkina, Irina
2221
-
WIM
Zuriel, Marisa
2272
1-0
10.3
WIM
Eric, Jovana
2161
-
WIM
Fernandez, Maria Florencia
2189
1-0
10.4
WIM
Drljevic, Ljilja
2207
-
WIM
Martinez, Ayelen
2219
0-1
Bo.
10
Germany (GER)
Rtg
-
23
France (FRA)
Rtg
1:3
11.1
IM
Paehtz, Elisabeth
2474
-
IM
Milliet, Sophie
2362
½-½
11.2
WGM
Michna, Marta
2383
-
IM
Collas, Silvia
2301
0-1
11.3
WGM
Levushkina, Elena
2342
-
WIM
Congiu, Mathilde
2232
½-½
11.4
WGM
Lubbe, Melanie
2324
-
WIM
Navrotescu, Andreea-Cristiana
2235
0-1
Bo.
46
Philippines (PHI)
Rtg
-
12
Lithuania (LTU)
Rtg
1:3
12.1
WIM
Frayna, Janelle Mae
2281
-
GM
Cmilyte, Viktorija
2536
0-1
12.2
WIM
Fronda, Jan Jodilyn
2128
-
IM
Daulyte, Deimante
2421
0-1
12.3
WIM
Secopito, Catherine
2119
-
WIM
Zaksaite, Salomeja
2298
1-0
12.4
WFM
Mendoza, Shania Mae
1965
-
WFM
Batyte, Daiva
2189
0-1

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.

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