European Team Championship Still Undecided Before Final Round

European Team Championship Still Undecided Before Final Round

| 20 | Chess Event Coverage

Russia is almost certain of double gold at the European Team Championship, but it's too early to celebrate. Especially the first tiebreak rule (after match points, that is) is so complicated that predictions are hard to make.

In the Open section, Russia is on 14 match points, followed by Hungary who have 12. The two will face each other in the final round.

In the women's section Russia is two points ahead of Georgia and Ukraine, and plays Germany.

In 2007 Russia won the “ETCC” for the last time (in the Open) — back then, with a round to spare. This time it's not decided yet, and we'll witness an exciting final round.

Make sure you don't miss's live broadcast of the final round on Sunday, on, with commentary by GM Simon William and WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni, starting from 11 a.m. local time (3 a.m. Pacific)

Russia could have decided matters in the penultimate round, but it was held 2-2 by Armenia.

Once again Gabriel Sargissian is transforming into a super grandmaster in a team event: in tournaments he's OK, but for Armenia he plays extremely well time and again.

He beat the mighty Grischuk today in a game that deviated from a 1962 encounter between Korchnoi and Suetin:

Sargissian (on board two next to Aronian) is again doing very well for Armenia.

In a sharp game, Ian Nepomniachtchi prevented a disaster for the Russians. He beat Sergei Movsesian in a Taimanov Sicilian where Black was doing OK for about 30 moves. Two inaccuracies were enough to lose this game for Black.

Also on the second match board a 2-2 was seen, between France and Georgia. Bacrot defeated Gagunashvili in the last game, and so France keeps chances for a silver or bronze medal.

Edouard lost to Pantsulaia, who is now gaining more than 30 Elo points in one tournament. White should definitely have taken the draw there.

Hungary did surprisingly well at the Tromsø Olympiad, when Judit Polgar finished her career with a silver team medal. In Reykjavik she is the team captain, and with one round to go she is still playing for gold!

Who would have expected the Hungarians to not only beat Azerbaijan, but crush them 3.5-0.5 today? Well, that's what happened.

Leko held Mamedyarov to a draw as Black, and that was it for the Azeris. Both Almasi and Berkes slowly outplayed their opponents (Naiditsch and Safarli respectively), and Rapport... well, he actually did the same against Radjabov.

Two more countries are fighting for medals tomorrow: Netherlands and Germany. The Dutch team defeated Latvia, where Giri gave a good example for the rest of his team with a quick win over Shirov. In an already difficult position, the great Latvian blundered a rook:

Van Wely won his game against Neiksans, and with two more draws the final score was a convincing 3-1 for the Dutch.

Germany is also on 11 match points after a win against Norway. The match saw another slightly disappointing game for Magnus Carlsen, who couldn't create any winning chances against Nisipeanu and drew after 44 moves.

A draw for Carlsen vs Nisipeanu.

Hammer-Meier and Fridman-Tari were also drawn, and so the match was decided by Johan Salomon's speculative piece ‘sacrifice.’ It didn't work out:

The good news is that Tari secured a nine-round GM norm, which counts double at this tournament and so Norway has a new grandmaster.

The game between Esen and Short was a bit similar, with an early piece sac not working out for White. It was a fun game in a match won by England 2.5-1.5 against Turkey.

An entertaining game by Nigel Short.

The game of the day was played by Romanian GM Mircea-Emilian Parligras, who defeated Sweden's Jonathan Westerberg in great style (although a lot of it turned out to be theory):

2015 European Team Championship | Round 8 Standings (Top 10)

Rk. SNo FED Team + = - TB1 TB2 TB3
1 1 RUS Russia 6 2 0 14 170,5 20,5
2 7 HUN Hungary 5 2 1 12 154,5 20,5
3 4 FRA France 4 3 1 11 164,5 18,5
4 6 ARM Armenia 4 3 1 11 150 19,5
5 17 GEO Georgia 4 3 1 11 149 19,5
6 10 GER Germany 5 1 2 11 130 17,5
7 9 NED Netherlands 5 1 2 11 126,5 19
8 2 UKR Ukraine 5 0 3 10 146 17,5
9 3 AZE Azerbaijan 4 2 2 10 140 18,5
10 25 MDA Moldova 4 2 2 10 124,5 18

(Full standings here.)

Like their male colleagues, a 2-2 tie will be enough tomorrow for Russia to win the gold medal in the women's section. Although Gunina lost, the win against Hungary today was never really in doubt. Kosteniuk won, and so did Goryachkina, who scored an undefeated 6.0/7 and a 2646 performance so far.

2015 European Women's Team Championship | Round 8 Standings (Top 10)

RK. SNo FED Team + = - TB1 TB2,5 TB#
1 2 RUS Russia 7 1 0 15 207,5 23
2 3 UKR Ukraine 6 1 1 13 219,5 24
3 1 GEO Georgia 6 1 1 13 156 18,5
4 7 GER Germany 5 1 2 11 140,5 19,5
5 4 POL Poland 5 0 3 10 155,5 18,5
6 15 ITA Italy 5 0 3 10 116 18
7 19 AUT Austria 5 0 3 10 110 16
8 12 SRB Serbia 3 3 2 9 139 18,5
9 5 FRA France 4 1 3 9 134,5 17,5
10 9 HUN Hungary 4 1 3 9 131 16

(Full standings here.)

The first tiebreak rule (after match points obviously) is “Olympiad-Sonneborn-Berger-Tie-Break without lowest result (Khanty-Mansiysk).” This means the number of match points multiplied by the number of game points, without taking into account the score against the worst performing team.

It is almost impossible to calculate all the possible scenarios actually. If Hungary beats Russia tomorrow, it's anyone's guess who will clinch the gold medal. We'll just have to wait and see!

Make sure you don't miss's live broadcast of the final round, on, with commentary by GM Simon William and WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni, starting from 11 a.m. local time (3 a.m. Pacific)

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