Russia Lead Olympiad After 6 Rounds
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Russia lead both the Open and Women's competitions after six rounds of the Olympiad in Istanbul.
In the Open event, top seeds Russia faced third seeds Armenia with the top board clash between Vladimir Kramnik and Lev Aronian being a repeat of their friendly match in Zurich earlier this year.
This time it was Kramnik who came out on top, with a clever piece sacrifice which Aronian seemed to overlook. However, the Russians didn't have things all their own way, and the match ended all-square thanks to Sergey Movsesian's victory against Alexander Grischuk on board two.
Despite the drawn match, the Russian team took the lead thanks to a superior Sonneborn-Berger (S-B) tiebreak score.
Azerbaijan moved into third place thanks to a 3-1 win against Croatia. Azeri top board Teimour Radjabov has scored a perfect 5 wins out of 5 games played so far!
China claimed fourth place after crushing Bosnia & Herzegovina 3½-½, and the Philippines are fifth after upsetting Bulgaria 2½-1½. Reigning champions Ukraine defeated Montenegro 3-1 and lie in sixth place.
Russia will play Azerbaijan in round 7, and Armenia will play China.
The US team drew their third match in succession against Germany and will need to earn some match victories soon if they are to challenge for medals.
The top standings after 6 rounds:
The ceremonial first move is made between Kramnik and Aronian
Kramnik played a beautiful game to beat Aronian
Sergey Movsesian won on board 2, and the match ended all-square at 2-2
Teimour Radjabov is now #3 on the live ranking list!
China's crushing 3½-½ win kept them in contention near the top of the standings
The Philippines shocked the Bulgarians with a 2½-1½ win
Eugenio Torre is competing in a record 21st Olympiad for the Philippines!
In the women's competition the Russian leaders fought their nearest rivals, the top seeds China. Women's world champion Hou Yifan won on top board against Tatiana Kosintseva, but Tatiana's sister Nadezhda beat Zhao Xue on board two and the match ended drawn.
So Russia maintain their lead, but despite drawing the match China drop to third below Poland who crushed Serbia 3½-½ to move into second place. Russia will take on Poland in round 7, and China will play third seeds Georgia.
The top standings in the women's competition after 6 rounds:
The top two seeds in the women's competition - Russia and China
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