2022 Chess Olympiad Rd 1-6: Indomitable Gukesh, Unstoppable Armenia and more
Gukesh moved to 6/6 after a brilliant win against Sargissian, but it wasn't enough for India 2 to beat the Armenians. Photo: Lennart Ootes, FIDE

2022 Chess Olympiad Rd 1-6: Indomitable Gukesh, Unstoppable Armenia and more

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Life is returning to normal, and after the Online Olympiad 2021 the multi-national event is back in grand style with the players battling it out over the board.

And it has hardly disappointed. Held in India, chess has seemingly taken over the host country; a surge of never-seen-before chess fever has emerged.

Chess Olympiad 2022, Live streaming: Know Dates, India Squad, Complete  Schedule, Live Streaming Details & More

The first half has seen some incredible fights, with Armenia taking the lead by winning all their matches so far. Despite missing out on their mainstay Levon Aronian, the 3-time gold medalists have been showing what makes them a champion team. (Use the menu to look at other games)

They are followed closely by their next opponent, rating favorites USA with 5 wins and 1 draw. The heavyweight team consisting of 3 of the world's top 10 have had a relatively shaky start according to their standards, winning by narrow margins and barely escaping against Uzbekistan. Having said that, they've still managed to move along nicely, and have the chance to take sole lead if they beat Armenia tomorrow.

However, the talk of the town has been the rampaging "India 2" team, who have been crushing opponents mercilessly:

Chess Olympiad 2022: Schedule, Dates, Venue, Live Streaming, Results, Team  Rankings and Standings - myKhel

Having an average age of just 19, the team registered scores of 4-0, 4-0, 4-0, 3-1, 2.5-1.5 in the first 5 rounds.

No fairytale has a smooth ride all the way through, and they were stopped in their tracks by Armenia (see above), losing out narrowly. This logic, however, doesn't seem to apply to the latest entrant in the 2700 club, who continued on his merry ways to reach 6/6, playing a sparkling game to beat Sargissian Gabriel:

Annotations by @vinniethepooh

Norway may be nowhere in the standings, but it's impossible not to give a mention of World Champion Magnus Carlsen, (at least for now!) who recently shook the chess world after his decision not to contest the next World Championship.

He said that he was looking forward to returning to his 2011-12 self, just aiming to be the best player in the world and not caring about the title. Poetically, he came in and played one of his classic 'squeeze water from the stone' grinds in his first classical game since this statement..

Intimidating... as ever.

One of the highlights of the event has been The USA-Uzbekistan clash, ending in 2-2, with Nodirbek Abdusattarov shocking Fabiano Caruana:

To end, here is a set of positions you can use as exercises. (Not necessarily increasing in difficulty)

The event has just crossed the half-way mark, and is only heating up now. Some big clashes are yet to be seen, and it starts with the all-important Armenia-USA in Round 7.

Thanks for reading!