Azerbaijan & Bulgaria lose in second round Olympiad

0 | Chess Event Coverage
OlympiadThe second round of the Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk saw a number of upsets. Azerbaijan lost 1½-2½ to Vietnam and with the same score (and Topalov on board one) Bulgaria went down against Croatia. The Armenian ladies lost to the Czech Republic, also with 1½-2½.

General info

The 39th Chess Olympiad takes place September 20th – October 3rd at the Tennis Sport Development Center in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. 148 teams (735 players) in the Open section and 114 teams (559 players) in the Women section participate in the biannual event.

Each team consists four players and one reserve. The rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves and then 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move one.

Results round 2 | Open section | top 20 boards

Results round 2 | Women section | top 10 boards

Complete results and standings can be found here

Round 2 report

This 39th Olympiad is becoming interesting at a very early stage, as some strong teams faced difficulties already in the second round. At the same time, many top guns who were given some time to rest and acclimatize on the first day, sat down behind the board yesterday.

Azerbaijan suffered its first loss. It's hard to avoid the thought that with Vugar Gashimov in the team this wouldn't have happened, but this "upset" is perhaps less of a surprise than one might think. Vietnam has become quite strong in recent years and its board one Le Quang Liem played well in his first super tournament in Dortmund this summer. With three draws, the following game was decisive.

Mamedov-Nguyen Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad A bolt from the blue: 13... Nxe4!! 14. Qxe4 Bd5 15. Qe2 e4 16. Bxc6 (16. Ng1 e3 17. f3 Ne5 and Black's attack is too strong.) 16... Bxc6 17. Nd4 e3 18. Bxe3 (18. f3 Qh4+ 19. Kd1 Bxd4 20. cxd4 Qf6) 18... Bxh1 19. O-O-O Qf6 and Black won.

Bulgaria suffered in a similar scenario: three draws and one loss. It looks like Veselin Topalov was caught by surprise in the opening (something we rarely see) against Stevic. He faced a lost position after the theoretical sequence 1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 cxd4 5. cxd4 Nc6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. Nc3 Bxf3 8. gxf3 Qxd4 9. Qxd4 Nxd4 10. Nb5 e5 11. Nc7+ Kd7 12. Nxa8 Bb4+ 13. Kd1 Ne7 14. f4 and the Bulgarian had to use all his experience to hold it to a draw. Saric then proved up to the task of meeting the ancient but highly interesting Fritz variation (5...Nd4) in the Two Knights Defence, played by Kiril Georgiev.

Slovenia held France 2-2 with four draws, with Beliavsky defending a Ruy Lopez against Vachier-Lagrave.


Ivan Sokolov decided the Bosnia & Hercegovina vs England match on board one, showing fine endgame technique against Micky Adams.

Magnus Carlsen beat Portugal's Luis Galego convincingly. Although it wasn't really necessary, he could have used a tactic pointed out by the engines.

Carlsen-Galego Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad 26. Nd8! Qf6 27. Qe8+ Qf8 28. Qe6+ Kh8 29. Nf7+ Kg8 30. Rd8! Rxd8 31. Nxd8+ Kh8 32. Nf7+ Kg8 33. Ng5+ Kh8 34. Qe4 g6 35. Qd4+ Qg7 Olympiad Here Magnus won with 36. Qxb4 but even stronger was the forced sequence 36. Qd8+ Qg8 37. Qf6+ Qg7 38. Nf7+ Kg8 39. Nh6+! Qxh6 40. Bg4! and Black can resign.

Levon Aronian quickly mated his opponent Zhao Zong-Yuan.

Aronian-Zhao Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad After Black's last move 20... h6 the Armenian went in attacking mode: 21. Rh1!? Bf8 22. e5 f5? This seems to lose. 22... hxg5 23. hxg5 g6 24. Ne4 Bg7 looks dangerous too but maybe it's just possible. 23. Qh5 Re7 24. Qg6 hxg5 25. hxg5 c5 26. Nb5 Qc6+ 27. f3 cxd4 28. Qh7+ 1-0

Indonesia managed to hold the still fresh Israeli team, playing without Gelfand, on 2-2. Purnama met an uninspired Smirin, who kept on dropping material. On board 2 for the USA Kamsky had a nice finish in his game against Mongolia's Battulga.

Kamsky-Battulga Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad 31. Be6! Qb5 32. Rd7 Ne5 33. Rxf7+! Nxf7 34. Qxg6 1-0

Vuckovic decided to go all or nothing against Grischuk.

Vuckovic-Grischuk Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad 15. Nxf7!? Kxf7 16. Qf6+ Kg8 17. Rb3 g5 18. Bxg5! hxg5 19. Qxg5+ Kf8 20. Qf6+ Ke8 21. Qxh8+ Kd7 Olympiad A very interesting position on which one can analyze for weeks. Can White just start pushing pawns? In the game he didn't and lost relatively quickly.


Judit Polgar won with Black again and so decided the Argentina-Hungary match. However, she did miss a nice tactic.

Peralta-Polgar Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad Here Black can decide the game with 49... Rxf3+! 50. Kxf3 (50. Rxf3 Be5+) 50... Qd5+ 51. Ke2 Qc4+ and Black wins the rook. Instead, she played 50...Be3?! when after 51. Qd8! it's suddenly not so clear. Instead, 50. Kg4? Rf6 51. Nh4 Qc4+ was curtains.

In the women section Armenia lost to the Czech Republic and Latvia beat France. 2055-rated Sanja Dedijer from Bosna & Hercegovina beat Russia's Alisa Galliamova (2482).

Dedijer-Galliamova Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad 27... Bc6?? 28. Qd6 Qe8 29. Rfe1 and White won.

Selection of games

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Chess Olympiad & FIDE Congress 2010 | Schedule
Chess Olympiad & FIDE Congress 2010 | Schedule

Photos courtesy of FIDE, more at the official site


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