Olympiad leaders meet today: Germany vs Russia and Poland vs China

PeterDoggers
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Topalov and CheparinovGermany's first team keeps on rolling - yesterday they beat Spain with Naiditsch scoring an important victory against Shirov. Russia is the only other team left with a 100% score, after defeating India. Ukraine-Armenia and Norway-England ended in 2-2. China and Poland lead in the women's section. Round 4 report with games, results and photos.

The Chess Olympiad takes place 12-25 november in Dresden, Germany. ChessVibes provides daily coverage and will be reporting from the venue in Dresden during the last six rounds. In our round 4 report we'll see that top teams are starting to face each other.

Since Dortmund 2005 we know that Arkadij Naiditsch can sometimes (or rather, quite often) play at top level. With Black he simply outplayed (didn't he?) Alexei Shirov in a Berlin Wall and because Khenkin drew with Vallejo, Fridman lost to Illescas but Baramidze beat Khamrakulov, Germany won their fourth match.

Today they will face Russia, the only other team that won all matches. Yesterday they added India to their list of victims (especially in this match it would have been nice to see Anand on board one!). The top boards did fine; Sasikiran drawing Kramnik and Harikrisha even beating Svidler, but with guns like Grischuk on three and Morozevich on four, Russia is the clear favourite for gold of course. Speaking of medals - if he wins it for fourth board, isn't that sort of... cheating? ;-)

Kramnik played, and drew, his third game, against Sasikiran. Check out Harikrisna's blow 25.Rxe6!! versus Svidler - if Black takes, it's 26.Bxe6 followed by 27.Qg2!. Nice prep also by the Indians against that Gruenfeld. But in the same opening, Ganguly couldn't do it against Grischuk and Morozevich, well, he just completely sweeped Sandipan off the board.

The top match on "board one" was the first encounter between two teams who have expressed clear medal ambitions in Dresden. Ukraine and Armenia drew in all four games, to share match points. Aronian's 31...Bxh4 looked very dangerous - it led to a loss of an exchange, but Ivanchuk couldn't convert it. Perhaps the cunning 37.c4!?, not allowing the knight to b5 and simply winning the exchange on the next move, could have brought Black on the verge of defeat.

Magnus Carlsen scored an important victory against Mickey Adams - a fine positional game the Englishman would have been proud of himself. Although Adams' last move was a blunder, Black is clearly worse after White continues with h4-h5. 45.Rd7 would have been too early because Black can answer with 45...Qb2! and now 46.Qf3 doesn't work because of 46...Ng5, not possible in the game. The Norway-England match ended in 2-2 because Howell defeated Johannessen.

Hungary will play an important role as well after they beat Romania easily, and Azerbaijan recovered from their loss of a match point against The Netherlands with an excellent victory over the US team. Radjabov switched to 1.d4 to beat Kamsky in a Gruenfeld and in yet another Gruenfeld (clearly the theme of the day), Mamedarov defeated Nakamura with Black.

Despite Van Wely's loss versus IM Ziska The Netherlands naturally beat Faroe Islands, and China made clear that they shouldn't be playing on board ten, with a 4-0 win versus the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Italy beat Switzerland with Caruana completely crushing Korchnoi - perhaps the "grumpy old man", as one of our commenters called Kortchnoi, has a different opinion of the young Italian's chess by now!

Germany and The Netherlands are having some serious preparation at the moment of writing, since today they're facing Russia and Armenia on board one and two respectively. Not much less interesting are Hungary-Ukraine and Norway-Azerbaijan; a great 5th round is ahead of us!

Also in the women's section, the top match ended in 2-2: it was Hungary versus Georgia. India set aside the Germany ladies and China was far too strong for Armenia. But it was even worse for Indonesia, who lost 0-4 to a Russia without Kosteniuk. Poland shares the lead with China after beating Serbia, and the two will meet today of course. Germany plays Greece and Russia meets Georgia.

Results and standings in both the Open and Women's sections:

[TABLE=468] [TABLE=465] [TABLE=467] [TABLE=466]

Here's a selection of round 4 games for replay:



Armenia vs Ukraine

A match between two medal contenders: Armenia and Ukraine...



Ivanchuk vs Aronian

...with Ivanchuk-Aronian on board one



USA vs Azerbaijan

USA vs Azerbaijan, a tough loss for the Americans



Radjabov beats Kamsky

Radjabov recovered from his loss against Van Wely and beat Kamsky



Van Wely and Stellwagen

Loek himself showed how changeable he can be, losing to Faroer Islands' IM Ziska, but Stellwagen won (and L'Ami and Werle scored one and a half point more to win the match anyway)



Arshak Petrosian

Arshak Petrosian, Peter Leko's father-in-law and team captain of Armenia, giving final instructions to Gabriel Sargissian and Tigran Petrosian



Carlsen vs Adams

Magnus Carlsen beating Michael Adams, and securing a 2-2 in Norway versus England



France

We didn't see France yet but here they are: Etienne Bacrot, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Laurent Fressinet and Sebastien Maze



Germany vs Spain

Germany keeps on rolling - here first two boards Naiditsch and Khenkin vs Vallejo and Shirov



Baburin vs Nikolic

Alexander Baburin, Ireland's board one and editor of Chess Today, scores the only draw for his team against Predrag Nikolic



Susan and Maia

Two former world champions: Susan Polgar greets Maia Chiburdanidze, board one of Georgia...



Trang Hoang Thanh

...playing Hungary's board one, not a Polgar sister, but Trang Hoang Thanh, who happens to run a hotel in Budapest where many First Saturday participants have stayed...



Hungary vs Georgia

...a game that forms the top board of a top match in the women section ending in 2-2: Hungary versus Georgia



Topalov

And today we end with the world's number one, who scored another easy point against Gundavaa Bayarsaihan of Mongolia - Topalov increased his lead over Anand in the live ratings with a few points



Photos by Paul Truong; it's a selection of much more available.

In our link section below, we've added one. ICC's Macauley Peterson writes:

"In addition to our Game of the Day Grand Master coverage of the Olympiad, and podcasts by Mig Greengard (ChessNinja.com), ICC now has a Chess.FM blog! Anyone can read it, but ICC members can login to leave comments, and we plan to have additional members-only features in the future. Recent and upcoming posts feature audio & video from GMs Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Fabiano Caruana (Italy), IM David Smerdon Australia), Alejandro Ram?ɬ?rez ?É?lvarez (Costa Rica), Baadur Jobava (Georgia), Wang Hao and Hou Yifan (China), and Georg Meier (Germany). The inaugural post was a "Best of Bonn", highlights from our on-site coverage, featuring a 19 minute postmatch interview with World Champion Anand."


Update: and don't miss Rogers' first blog at Chess Life Online!

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