Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia lead with two rounds to go

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
etc09Two very exciting rounds are ahead of us at the European Team Championship in Novi Sad, where it's anyone's game after yesterday's 7th round. Armenia beat Azerbaijan and the two teams are both on 11 match points now, together with Russia. The Russian women crushed Azerbaijan 4-0; Georgia beat Israel 3-1.

The 17th European Team Championship is organized by the European Chess Union and Serbia Chess Federation. The Championship is held in Novi Sad, Serbia (80 km northwest of the capital Belgrade and 280 km south of Budapest).

The dates are October 21th (day of arrival) until October 31th 2009 (day of departure). It's a nine round Swiss played from October 22nd to 30th, without a rest day. The time control is 90 min. for 40 moves + 30 min. & 30 sec. increment.

Round 7

Wednesday was a bad day for Azerbaijan. In the clash with Armenia things went wrong on one board, but with three draws on the others it meant the match was lost. The Azeri women, who had a fantastic tournament so far, are back into reality after being crushed by Russia: 4-0.

Sargissian became the match winner for Armenia by beating Guseinov with Black in 70 moves. The Berlin Wall remains a tricky ending and Aronian himself has said that he sometimes employs it when he wants to play for a win with Black - we're talking two minds, same strategy here. Radjabov is not a Ruy Lopez kind of guy, and couldn't pose serious problems to Aronian in a Four Knights. Akopian-Gashimov was a hard-fought Petroff drawn when Black reached a fortress on the kingside while Mamedyarov's doubled extra pawn was of no significant value against Petrosian.

Alexander Morozevich decided the Russia-Georgia match with a victory over Mchedlishvili. It was an irregular Queen's Gambit Accepted where Black's 12...bxc5 was instructive; the c-pawn and open b-file became important factors later on. Svidler-Jobava was a really cool draw by the way.

Ukraine was clearly too strong for the Czech Republic while Hungary and Israel weren't really in a fighting mood. The Dutch team is suddenly only one match point behind Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia after beating Serbia 1 1½-2½. Switzerland upset England with three draws and their IM Roland Ekstroem defeating GM Stephen Gordon.

In the women section Georgia kept pace with Russia thanks to a 3-1 victory over Israel. There's a 2-point gap with Armenia, Czech Republic and Ukraine. Joanna Majdan, board 4 of Poland, currently has the highest performance rating (2686) with a score of 5.5/6. After drawing with Beliavsky, Jon Ludvig Hammer still leads the individual open list with a 2838 performance.

In today's penultimate round the open pairings include Armenia-Russia, Poland-Azerbaijan and Ukraine-Netherlands. It's Russia-Czech Republic and Georgia-Bulgaria in the women's.

All results round 7

European Team Ch 2009 | Round 7 Standings
European Team Ch 2009
European Team Ch Women 2009 | Round 7 Standings
European Team Ch 2009

Selection of games round 7

Game viewer by ChessTempo


Petrosian, Sargissian, Akopian and Aronian: back in the lead...

etc09 Russia, thanks to Alexander Morozevich


Serious medal chances for The Netherlands after beating Serbia


England-Switzerland decided on board 4


Russia was clearly too strong for Azerbaijan

Photos courtesy of the official website


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