Six share lead at Olympiad; China first in women's section

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Naiditsch vs KramnikAfter Naiditsch and Kramnik had shaken hands relatively quickly, three hard-fought draws resulted in an exciting 2-2 between Germany and Russia - an excellent result for the home team. The two countries now share the lead with Armenia, Azerbaijan, England and Ukraine who all won their 5th round. In the women's section China crushed Poland to take sole lead.

The Chess Olympiad takes place 12-25 november in Dresden, Germany. ChessVibes provides daily coverage and today, on the first rest day, your editor-in-chief will be travelling to Dresden to provide on-the-spot coverage during the last six rounds!

For this fifth round, let's look at the exciting Russia-Germany match first. Earlier this year, in Dortmund, Kramnik had lost with Black against Naiditsch after Germany's number one had placed a piece sacrifice that should have led to a draw, as computers quickly found after the game. With 8.c4 Naiditsch deviated and a well-prepared Kramnik had no trouble securing the draw this time.

On board two Khenkin seemed in big trouble after Grischuk used some tactical fireworks but the German was probably in full control all the time and after many accurate moves he more or less forced his opponent to go for the draw. Fridman's Petroff was almost as solid as Kramnik's and so the decision had to come from Gustafsson-Morozevich. As always, "Gusti" played ultra-solid for most of the game, but then quite unnecessarily he lost a pawn. However, after that he just defended and defended and defended, and the world's number two played on until stalemate, but a draw it was!

The Netherlands came very close to also tieing their match with the Armenians after Van Wely, Smeets and L'Ami drew without much trouble against Aronian, Akopian and Petrosian respectively, but Sargissian was the man of the match, beating Stellwagen in style. Check out Aronian-Van Wely where the Dutchman used a Botvinnik Slav - he knew how to play with kings in the centre long before Anand started to feel as comfortable!

Norway's great series came to an end in their match with Azerbaijan, who showed no mercy: 1-3. Carlsen was held by Mamedyarov and the rest of the Azeri's did... the rest. There was clearly more reason for disappointment on the next boards for Hungary, where both their top players lost, but Leko should have drawn - easily. Ivanchuk's persistence paid off: defending an ending with a pawn down for a long time, Leko decided to liquidate to a rook versus rook and bishop ending but just ten moves later he had to resign anyway! The position after 123...Kg3 is one that everyone should know by heart:

Leko-IvanchukLeko-Ivanchuk after 123...Kg3

Here Leko played 124. Rd8? where 124. Rf8 was the only move. After 124...Re3! (the only move that wins, preventing a check and threating a bishop check) Black won the game a few moves later (see the games selection below).

As if Ivanchuk was saying to his younger colleague: "I'm not going to allow a draw too easily, and you aren't either!", or perhaps it was team captain Tukmakov, anyway, Karjakin kept on trying to break throught Polgar's defence in an ending as well, and also managed. Because Almasi beat Eljanov and Balogh-Volokitin was drawn, Ukraine got their two match points.

England beat Italy despite Adams trying too hard get himself a nice birthday present against Caruana. Vietnam managed to hold Cuba to 2-2 and after sweeping Slovenia ?Ǭ?-3?Ǭ?, the Bulgarians are starting to climb up, like Gelfand's Israel. Oh yeah, the USA beat a "slightly" weaker Hongkong 4-0; did Akobian ever play an opponent a thousand rating points below him? Probably not.

China demolished Poland ?Ǭ?-3?Ǭ? in the women's section to take clear lead with ten board points out of five matches, followed by Hungary with nine, and then eleven countries on eight. The Russian ladies also finished on a 2-2, against Georgia - with a former world champion beating a current one: Kosteniuk-Chiburdanidze 0-1.

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

[TABLE=469] [TABLE=470] [TABLE=473] [TABLE=471] [TABLE=472] [TABLE=474]

Here's a selection of round 5 games for replay:


First a few more scenic photos of Dresden... | EZ

View the beautiful view from just outside the Congress Center | PT

Old architecture

Or another beautiful building that survived the World War II bombings... | EZ


...the result clearly shown on this old photo


Not all buildings are that beautiful - here some typical Dresden flats | EZ

Five days Dresden

But still there's reason enough to do a touristic five-days-Dresden | EZ


But beware - you cannot escape the Olympiad... | EZ

Poster co-editor IM Merijn van Delft realizes, standing next to a nice poster | EZ


Naiditsch-Kramnik, repeating their Petroff of Dortmund this year but Kramnik drew easily this time | PT

Khenkin, Grischuk, Kramnik

Next to him: Alexander Grischuk, who drew Igor Khenkin after a tactical slugfest | PT


...and Morozevich couldn't do it this time either | PT

Aronian - Van Wely

Aronian and Van Wely, the top board in the Armenia-Netherlands match, and an interesting draw | PT

Akopian, Aronian, Smeets and Van Wely

The first two boards of that same match: Akopian, Aronian, Smeets and Van Wely... | PT


...and L'Ami vs Petrosian, another draw | PT

Polgar and Leko

Leko and Polgar, unsuccessful in defending Hungary's pride against Ukraine's top boards Ivanchuk and Karjakin | PT


China-Scotland, only a small victory for the Chinese | PT

Adams - Caruana

Adams, who celebrated his birthday, tried for long and finally... lost to Caruana | PT


Alexander Beliavsky, one of the most experienced players at the Olympiad | PT

Harikrishna and Short

Harikrishna and Short, not playing each other but chatting before the game | PT

Vallejo, Topalov, Cheparinov

Paco Vallejo greeting Topalov and Cheparinov, surely in Spanish | PT

Socko Hou Yifan

Monica Socko shakes hands with Hou Yifan, the top board of the top match Poland vs China | PT

Rajlich and Socko

Iweta Rajlich (the wife of Rybka-programmer Vasik) and Monica Socko wearing the same outfit | PT

Arianne Caoili

Arianne Caoili, Levon Aronian's girlfriend | PT


The Netherlands-Ecuador with Martha Fierro vs Zhaoqin Peng on board one | PT

Photos: EZ = by Evi Zickelbein; PT = by Paul Truong; a selection of much more available.

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