Gold medals for Russia's men & women

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Both the men and women teams from Russia have won gold medals at the European Team Championships that finished today in Crete, Greece. Armenia and Azerbaidzhan took silver and bronze; in the women's section Poland took silver and Armenia bronze. The Russian men had secured their victory yesterday already, ironically in their first match they didn't win. The 2-2 tie against Spain was enough to keep a three-point lead, because Slovenia had lost and both Azerbaidzhan-Armenia and Ukraine-Poland had also ended in 2-2. Today the dreamteam finished with another win: 2?Ǭ?-1?Ǭ? against Bulgaria.

Seventh round We left the tournament after six rounds, with the Russian men already two points clear of the Slovenians led by Alexander the Great Beliavsky, and the women on shared first with Poland. In the seventh round the men beat France 1?Ǭ?-2?Ǭ?, with three draws and another win by Morozevich, this time against this year's European individual champion, Tkachiev. Slovenia lost to Armenia 2?Ǭ?-1?Ǭ?, but Beliavsky and Pavasovic held their own against the giants Aronian and Akopian. It was only Tratar's loss against Sargissian that decided the matter. The same scenario in Ukraine-Azerbaidzhan: 1?Ǭ?-2?Ǭ? with three draws and Mamedyarov beating Ivanchuk. The Russian women beat Georgia 2?Ǭ?-1?Ǭ?, the only victory scored by Lomineishvili against Korbut. Poland had a very strong round, beating Ukraine 3-1.

Eighth round As already mentioned, Russia's 2-2 against Spain settled the tournament. Shirov, who wasn't having a very good tournament thus far, was responsible for Russia's first loss: Morozevich was his victim. Jakovenko saved the match against Khamrakulov. In the women's event Poland was defeated unexpectedly by Armenia, which allowed the Russians to become sole leaders, by beating The Netherlands 3?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?.

Ninth round The Russian team could play without any pressure today against the Bulgarians-without-Topalov, and perhaps Grischuk had decided to celebrate already after the penultimate round. He lost to K.Georgiev, but a new-born Svidler won yet another game, and a beautiful one, against Cheparinov. Alekseev defeated Delchev and so the team finished the tournament with a devastating 17 out of 9. The Russian women only needed a draw against Ukraine to win the gold medals, and that's exactly what they did. Kosteniuk lost to Lahno but this year's European individual champion Tatiana Kosintseva saved the Russian day by beating Zhukova. The closest rivals drew their matches: Armenia-Georgia and Romania-Poland.

Best players The first two boards of the Russian team, both participants of the WCC in Mexico, leave the Greec island with a fantastic score. Peter Svidler is the real hero of course, scoring 6/7 on board one which comes down to an unbelievable 2989 performance. But Morozevich's tourney wasn't too bad either: his 6/8 meant a performance exactly one hundred points (2855) above is own rating (2755). But also the two Michael's, Roiz (also performing on 2855) of Israel and Adams of England (perf. 2800), played a strong tournament. Great to see Mickey definitely back into the elite. In the women's section, despite her loss to Kosteniuk (!) in round 8, Dutch board one Zhaoqin Peng (2419) managed to keep the highest performance rating of the tournament (2597), a bit higher than no. 2 Kosteniuk who lost her last-round game.

Here's one of the most amazing games of the tournament, played on board 1 in the very last round (today):

The Russian men ready to play

Russia vs Bulgaria

The Russian women ready to play

Ukraine vs Russia

Gold medals for the Russian men | photo: Chessdom

Gold medals for the Russian women | photo: Chessdom

Both teams together | photo: Chessdom

More photos at the official site and at Chessdom, who have videos too.

Here are all statistics & standings of this year's European Team Championships. And remember, clicking on the top rows of the table sorts the table! Sorry for repeating this but I just think this is sooo cool. :-)




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