Armenia Lead Olympiad After 5 Rounds
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Round five of the 40th Olympiad saw the biggest clashes yet, with the top four seeds facing-off at the top of the standings.
Top seeds Russia beat 4th seeds Hungary 2½-1½, with a win from Alexander Grischuk against Zoltan Almasi being all that separated the teams.
The other big clash of the day was just as close, with Lev Aronian dispatching Vassily Ivanchuk in style to give third seeds Armenia a crucial 2½-1½ victory against second seeded Ukraine.
Russia and Armenia are now the only teams with 100% match records and they will meet in round six, when something has to give!
Azerbaijan thrashed Canada 3½-½ to move up the standings, and China beat Iran by the same score to stay in medal contention. 19th seeds Croatia put a dent in 8th seed French hopes with a 2½-1½ win.
Elsewhere England and India battled to a 2-2 draw, Germany were held to a draw by Montenegro, and the US team had to settle for a draw with the Czech Republic.
The top standings after 5 rounds:
|17||Bosnia & Herzegovina||3||2||0||8||61.5||13.5|
The ceremonial first move between Armenia and Ukraine
Lev Aronian's victory against Vassily Ivanchuk won the match for Armenia
Russia beat Hungary 2½-1½ thanks to a win by Alexander Grischuk on board 2
Susan Polgar was in Istanbul to cheer on her little sister Judit
In the women's competition, the two remaining teams with 100% match records, Russia and France, faced each other and Russia took a narrow but important victory 2½-1½ to lead the standings.
Russia will face their main rivals, the top seeds China in round six!
The women's standings after 5 rounds:
Valentina Gunina has struggled to find her form so far in Istanbul
Nadezhda Kosintseva (centre frame) won on board 3 for Russia
Alexandra Kosteniuk won her game on board 4
Tomorrow (Sunday) is a rest day at the Olympiad, which can only mean one thing...tonight is the legendary Bermuda party! Let's hope the hangovers have faded by Monday for round 6!
Look out for live coverage on www.chess.com/tv (scroll down on that page to check the schedule for times).
Spanish speaking members may also like to check out the excellent Olympiad reports by David Kaufmann at his Chess Web blog.