Batumi Olympiad Round 4: Poles beat the mighty Russians!

by Sagar Shah
9/28/2018 – The Olympiad in Batumi witnessed its most exciting round as India took on USA. While this was the biggest encounter, the match turned into something pretty one-sided as Fabiano Caruana beat Vishy Anand and took home the match with the score of 2½:1½. The real action was witnessed in the match between Poland and Russia, as the Poles managed to beat the mighty Russian team. The two decisive wins were scored by Jacek Tomczak, who beat Kramnik, and Kamil Dragun, who got the better of Dmitry Jakovenko. A report filled with pictures, videos and GM analysis.

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Round four was perhaps the most interesting round in the open section. Here's a look at how the teams, who were all on 100% score, did.

Results of Round 4 (Open)

Team Team Pts. MP Res. : Res. MP Pts. Team Team
VIE Vietnam 10 6 : 6 11½ France FRA
ISR Israel 11 6 3 : 1 6 10 Sweden SWE
USA United States of America 6 : 6 10½ India IND
CZE Czech Republic 6 : 6 10½ Iran IRI
AZE Azerbaijan 10 6 : ½ 6 9 England ENG
CHN China 6 : ½ 6 10½ Croatia CRO
GRE Greece 10 6 1 : 3 6 Armenia ARM
ARG Argentina 10 6 : 6 Ukraine UKR
POL Poland 10½ 6 : 6 Russia RUS

Complete list

France winning against Vietnam was expected. Israel beating Sweden (in spite of Boris Gelfand losing) was also expected. But the really unexpected result was Poland's win against the Russians!

Poland shocks Russia

The Polish team played some fine bit of chess to beat the Russians. After Wojtaszek lost to Nepomniachtchi, it didn't seem as if Poland  would be able to win the match, but then Jacek Tomczak managed to beat Vladimir Kramnik and Kamil Dragun got the better of Dmitry Jakovenko. On the top board, Duda managed to draw his game against Karjakin.

Sergey Karjakin has not been able to show his best chess in this tournament | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Tense moments of the match: Kramnik and Jakovenko losing, as a worried manager Andrey Filatov looks on | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Annotations by GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly

Interview with Dragun after he beat Jakovenko in an extremely complicated game. The young Polish GM discusses some of the lines and variations he calculated during the game.

For Bartosz Socko, the coach and captain of the Polish team, it was a proud moment

USA scored a convincing win against India

The score of 2½-1½ might mislead you into thinking that this was a close encounter. Quite the contrary. Both of India's players with the white pieces drew their games within two hours. Vishy Anand was outplayed by Fabiano Caruana and Vidit got no real edge against Nakamura and had to draw the game.

Some inside moments of the match between India and USA | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Caruana, Nakamura and the entire USA team come to the round in their van from the Hilton Hotel | Photo: Amruta Mokal

We were also in the same bus! As Wesley So jokingly said, "Stop spying on us!" | Photo: Amruta Mokal

One of India's main problems was that Harikrishna and Sasikiran could not find any traction with White and agreed to draws in less than two hours | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Caruana created chances with shrewd opening preparation | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Fabiano Caruana versus Vishy Anand, annotated by GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly

Christian Bauer helps to beat Vietnam

Le Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Truongson are strong players but Vietnam's last two boards were clearly weaker than their opponents. 

Le Quang Liem drew his game against MVL on board one. The person making the first move is Jabka Futkaradze, the minister of economy and finance in Adjara | Photo: Amruta Mokal

GM Le Quang Liem is a thoroughly accomplished GM. Apart from being a strong GM with a rating of 2715, he also has a "Summa Cum Laude" degree in Finance and Management from the Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. He is also a tremendous blitz player and was World Blitz Champion in 2013. We asked Liem about all of these important points in his life and also wanted to know how to become such a strong blitz player.

Christian Bauer (right) won with a fantastic attack on his opponent's king


Strike first with the Scandinavian

The Scandinavian is a rarely employed opening on the hightest level und guides your opponent on much less familiar terrain than for example the Sicilian, French or any 1.e4 e5 system. After 1.e4 d5 Black fights for the initiative from move one.

Azerbaijan too strong for England

The Azerbaijanis just seem to be too strong for now. Especially because their top board Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is playing some phenomenal bit of chess! Shakh beat Michael Adams on the top board. Teimour Radjabov also joined in and beat Luke Mcshane. Thus Azerbaijan managed to beat England with a score of 3-1.

The top two boards of Azerbaijan mean business! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Mamedyarov's win against Adams, analyzed by GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly

A funny incident that happened in the England vs Azerbaijan match was Gawain Jones playing on when he had a lone king against Mamedov's bishop and knight! Check out Mamedov's technique in the video below:

Mamedov checkmates Gawain Jones with a bishop and knight

Czech team without Navara beats Iran

The Iranian team has always looked very threatening. More so after the World Juniors where Parham Maghsoodloo managed to win the event with one round to spare and a score of 9½/10. Everyone was looking forward to the performance of the young Iranian team. And they started well winning their first three matches. In round four Iran faced a real challenge in the form of Czech Republic. But the Czech team played without its top board David Navara who did not feel well and decided to take a rest. Viktor Laznicka took held the fort on board one. He played an excellent game to beat Parham Maghsoodloo. The rest of the three players stayed solid on the remaining boards and Czech Republic — in spite of being the higher seeds — "surprisingly" won the match against Iran.

Viktor Laznicka gets a kiss from his wife Eva after winning the game! | Photo: Amruta Mokal


Amruta Mokal interviews Viktor Laznicka after the game

But we should not discount the Iranian team. They are determined and will fight back in the rounds to come. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Masterclass in the Scheveningen Sicilian by GM Anish Giri

Anish Giri has been very gracious with his time for our readers and we are very grateful. He joined us after round four to show us his win over GM Farrukh Amonatov with the black pieces in a Sicilian Najdorf. Going over Anish's analysis is sure to enhance your understanding of the opening and it will also give you a lot of interesting points as to how a 2780+ GM calculates. We also analyze the games of Caruana — Anand and Nakamura — Vidit. Towards the end, Anish quipped in typical fashion that he was glad to have three fans now! Don't miss the blooper at the end of the video!

Results of Round 4 (Women)

Team Team Pts. MP Res. : Res. MP Pts. Team Team
CHN China 10 6 3 : 1 6 Uzbekistan UZB
ITA Italy 9 6 : 6 10 Armenia ARM
IRI Iran 11 6 ½ : 6 Mongolia MGL
VIE Vietnam 11½ 6 1 : 3 6 Georgia 1 GEO1
AZE Azerbaijan 11 6 : 6 United States of America USA
UKR Ukraine 6 4 : 0 6 Slovenia SLO
HUN Hungary 5 : 5 Georgia 2 GEO2
IND India 10 5 3 : 1 5 Poland POL
TUR Turkey 10 5 : 5 9 Serbia SRB

Complete list

World Champion Ju Wenjun helped China to a 3-1 win against Uzbekistan | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Uzbek team lost to China in round four but beat Russia in round two | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Indian team played some fighting chess and managed to beat the strong Polish team with a score of 3-1. You can hear how the girls did in an interview with coach Jacob Aagaard. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The first and second board of the Iranian team: Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (standing) and Mitra Hejazipour (sitting). Iran did well in the first three rounds, but lost to Mongolia in round four. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The youngest participant at the Olympiad — 10-year-old Samantha Edithso from Indonesia | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Samantha Edithso, the girl who will be making waves in the chess world in the years to come | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Can you guess the name of the team that is wearing this colourful attire? | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The official broadcast and video team is extremely professional. You have wired drones moving above the playing venue to catch the perfect shot! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The legend of Georgian chess — Nona Gaprindashvili | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Security at the entrance of the playing hall | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Sitting on top of the stands and watching the Olympiad unfold before your eyes is a great feeling for a chess player | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Managing the transport of over 1500 people from the venue back to various hotels is not an easy task! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The branding of this tournament has been done extremely well | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The chess expo is the perfect place for all people who are interested in chess. There is something here for everyone, right from the casual chess player to the GM to the one interested in FIDE politics! Check out this video for more info. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The press room, filled with media people from all over the world! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Russian journalists who are present at just about every important tournament — IM Vladimir Barsky and Eteri Kublashvili | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The President of Georgian Chess Federation, Giorgi Giogardze, with Nino Maisuradze. Nino is interviewing players after their games for the official website. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Susan Polgar and her husband Paul Truong are always working hard during a mega event like the Olympiad | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Important pairings of Round 5 (Open)

Team Team Pts. MP Res. : Res. MP Pts. Team Team
ARM Armenia 11½ 8   :   8 13½ Azerbaijan AZE
FRA France 14 8   :   8 13 Poland POL
CHN China 13 8   :   8 12 Czech Republic CZE
USA United States of America 12 8   :   8 14 Israel ISR
UKR Ukraine 11 8   :   7 13 Spain ESP
GER Germany 12 7   :   7 10½ Moldova MDA
LTU Lithuania 10½ 7   :   6 13 Netherlands NED
IND India 12 6   :   6 11 Paraguay PAR
SWE Sweden 11 6   :   6 12½ Turkey TUR
CHI Chile 10 6   :   6 11½ Vietnam VIE

Complete list

Important pairings of Round 5 (Women)

Team Team Pts. MP Res. : Res. MP Pts. Team Team
ARM Armenia 12½ 8   :   8 13 China CHN
USA United States of America 12 8   :   8 13 Mongolia MGL
GEO1 Georgia 1 12½ 8   :   8 13½ Ukraine UKR
ARG Argentina 12½ 7   :   7 13 India IND
GEO2 Georgia 2 12 7   :   7 12½ Turkey TUR
CZE Czech Republic 13 6   :   7 11 Australia AUS
GRE Greece 11½ 6   :   6 12½ Azerbaijan AZE
TJK Tajikistan 11 6   :   6 12 Canada CAN
IRI Iran 11½ 6   :   6 12½ Vietnam VIE
ECU Ecuador 12 6   :   6 10½ Italy ITA

Complete list

All games of Round 4 (Open)


All games of Round 4 (Women)



Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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