Ukraine beats Israel; Poland leads women's

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Spassky making the first moveIn the penultimate round of the Olympiad, leader Israel lost to Ukraine; they took over the lead and share it with Armenia who beat Serbia. Poland is in clear first in the women's section after they beat Armenia and Serbia-Ukraine shared match points. Full round 10 report with games, results, standings and a special press conference with Boris Spassky on video.

The Chess Olympiad takes place 12-25 november in Dresden, Germany. ChessVibes provides on-the-spot coverage from the venue, until the end of the tournament.

Before we go to the 10th round, first we'd like to draw your attention to yesterday's special press conference with 10th World Champion Boris Spassky. Highly recommended!

Round 10 press conference with 10th World Champion Boris Spassky:

Israel's reign lasted just one round as they were defeated by the Armenian Ukrainian team. Like in the previous round it was Zahar Efimenko who was congratulated for bringing home the victory ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú in a long-lasting Closed Ruy Lopez with lots of manoeuvring he managed to win a difficult ending against Evgeny Postny. The other three games were drawn which meant 2?Ǭ?-1?Ǭ? for Armenia Ukraine.

The US team, led by Gata Kamsky, defeated Germany with the same score; Naiditsch-Kamsky was a theoretically important draw in the Ruy Lopez exchange and Fridman's win against Onischuk didn't matter since Nakamura and Shulmand defeated Khenkin and Baramidze respectively.

The Armenians had no trouble with Serbia (especially Ivanisevic-Aronian was a walk-over) and China beat England, a match that was decided by Li Chao's win over Gawain Jones.

Slovenia's veteran Beliavsky easily drew Kramnik but on the other three boards the Russians were clearly too strong ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú some nice endgames tactics in Svidler's and Morozevich's games. Veselin Topalov's winning streak was put to a halt by Alexei Shirov (we'd almost add: who else?) who refuted the Bulgarian's mistake 29...a5? beautifully. Vallejo's quite spectacular win against Cheparinov shouldn't be missed either and so the 1-1 on the lower boards decided this match in Spain's favour.

In Miton-Smeets, the decisive game in the Poland-The Netherlands match, you'll notice a move repetition. There Smeets actually asked team captain Chuchelov whether a draw was OK, but he got a clear answer: ?¢‚Ǩ?ìPlay on!?¢‚Ǩ? A few moves later Smeets realized that his position was better indeed and he finished the game with a nice defending countermove. I had predicted that the young Dutch team would be doing well here and indeed their fearless fighting spirit has awarded them a not so trivial last-round match against Israel.

Four teams still have a chance to win gold: Armenia, China, Israel and Ukraine. In the last round, China plays Armenia, Ukraine meets the USA and it's Russia versus Spain; we already mentioned Netherlands-Israel. This last round will start at 10:00 CET on Tuesday.

A most disappointing turn of events was witnessed in the women's section, where China lost their second match in a row and with it their hopes for a gold medal. In a position where Maia Chiburdanidze had already comfortably equalized, Hou Yifan had a rare tactical oversight, missing a double attack and losing a pawn without compensation. The former world champion had no trouble converting it ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú a big blow for the Chinese team, who couldn't recover on the other boards since Zhao Xue also lost, against Nana Dzagnidze.

The top match, Serbia-Ukraine, had ended in four draws and so Poland is now clear first with 17 match points thanks to a hard-fought victory (1?Ǭ?-2?Ǭ?) over Armenia. It's Ukraine, Georgia and Serbia who follow with a match point less. Poland will defend their lead versus Ukraine tomorrow, while Georgia plays Serbia. The United States meet France and Russia plays its last round against The Netherlands, who also perform well in the women's section.

Favorites for gold? We should anwer that one by: Ukraine. And Ukraine. Amazingly, in both sections they're the only undefeated teams! Results and standings in both the Open and Women's sections:

[TABLE=502] [TABLE=503] [TABLE=504] [TABLE=505] [TABLE=506] [TABLE=507]

Here's a selection of round 10 games for replay:


Another former world champion showed up for this round: Boris Spassky


An experienced showman, Spassky lifted up the pawn very high...


...captured by the flashing cameras all around


Alisa Maric, Serbia's board one, drawing against...


...Kateryna Lahno, Ukraine's number one


Israel-Ukraine, where the first moves are made on board 2...


...because Chuky always waits for his first move until the photographers have left...


...and so Gelfand is condemned to waiting as well


Sergey Karjakin, never looking away from the camera lense


Andrei Volokitin drew with...


...Rodshtein on board four


Vladimir Tukmakov, team captain of Ukraine, hoping for another act as in Calvia four years ago | this photo could also just have had the caption Stripes...


Aronian calculated a bit deeper than Ivanisevic


Tiger Hillarp Persson, on a fantastic 7/9 and 2740 performance for Sweden


Lazaro Bruzon Batista, Cuba's second board

Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and Le Quang Liem

Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and Le Quang Liem, Vietnam's board one and two




Topalov, unaware of what will happen later this round...


...Cheparinov, also still in a good mood


Gata Kamsky drew with Arkadij Naiditsch


Hikaru Nakamura beat Igor Khenkin

Ju Wenjun and Shen Yang versus Maia Lomineishvili and Javakhishvili



Maia Chiburdanidze, profiting from a blunder by Hou Yifan


Nigel Short, playing like in the good old days for England, on 7/9 and a 2812 performance

Jones vs Li Chao

Jones vs Li Chao, the decisive game in the England-China match

Sargissian vs Perunovic

Sargissian vs Perunovic - a draw


Dronavalli-Muzychuk from the match that India won 3-1 versus Slovenia


Shakhryiar Mamedyarov, after losing two back on track and beating Egypt's Ahmed Adly

Carlsen moves

Carlsen moves, with Agdestein on two

India-Czech Republic

India-Czech Republic with a draw between Sasikiran and Navara on board done


FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov - he arrived in Dresden two days ago, apparently recovered from his recent car accident

Al Modiahki

Mohamad Al Modiahki, who's probably going to miss three Grand Prix tournaments, but still showing good spirit


Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, one of the women who's playing in the open section, for Scotland

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