Three teams are heading into the final round of the 40th Chess Olympiad with equal points. According to the tie-break rule (Olympiad-Sonneborn-Berger-Tie-Break without lowest result (Khanty-Mansiysk)), the order is: China, Armenia, Russia. This complicated term is (explained) in the FIDE Handbook - Olympiad Pairing Rules. http://www.fide.com/component/handbook/?id=95&view=article
USA were in fantastic position to go for the gold medal after beating Russia, but today they lost against China. Hikaru Nakamura couldn't do much with white as Wang Hao simply traded everything down to the drawing endgame. Hikaru Nakamura twitted after the match: "The cruel and harsh reality of playing in a team chess event is that you are only as good as your teammates."
Gata Kamsky and Wang Yue, as well as Varuzhan Akobian and Bu Xiangzhi, played a pretty uneventful draws. Alex Onischuk lost a pawn but he managed to trade the pieces down to the Rook endgame. His task appeared to be easier by the fact that he had two pawns against three on the same flank. But those pawns were split by a file. China's reigning champion Ding Liren skillfully traded a pair of pawns to emerge with two connected passers. Onischuk's only remaining pawn was too deep in the opponent's position and the Chinese player eventually hunted it down. China wins an important match, while USA can probably rely only on some extremely convenient development in the last round to claim the medal. Ding Liren also earns elo points that lift him above the 2700-barrier.
Russia defeated Argentina 2,5-1,5 but they can consider themselves lucky ad Diego Flores handed Sergey Karjakin a piece directly from the opening. Sandro Mareco held the upper hand against the European champion Dmitry Jakovenko but he couldn't deliver the final punch to win the game and tie the match with mighty opponents. Kramnik was resting after the loss against Nakamura, apparently his first defeat in the Olympiads since he joined komanda in 1992.
Netherlands didn't put up much of the resistance against Armenia. Levon Aronian and Vladimir Akopian scored with black pieces to secure a comfortable victory 3-1 for their team. Akopian played a nice game where he sacrificed a piece for three pawns and then simply pushed Ivan Sokolov off the board.
Ukraine is 4th thanks to a narrow 2,5-1,5 victory against Azerbaijan. Ruslan Ponomariov won the decisive point and then went to the press conference to complain about the toilets.
In the duel between two former world champions, Rustam Kasimdzhanov played a quiet opening against Veselin Topalov but the Bulgarian resigned after only 23(!) moves. Rustam explained in the press conference: "I did not expect to win at all. I thought that we will play a game and we will have maybe a draw. Then he ran into the opening problems. He seemed not to know the line I played with Be2 in Queen’s Gambit. Soon I realized that he does not have useful moves. It just turned out that a position was really very very bad."
Top round 11 pairings are Ukraine - China, Hungary - Armenia, Russia - Germany and Poland - USA.
In the Women Section, Kazakhstan, only 22nd in the starting list, held the top-seed and leader China to an even score. Madina Davletbayeva is the hero, having demolished Ding Yixin on the 4th board. World Champion Hou Yifan couldn't do much, despite playing white pieces, as Guliskhan Nakhbayeva defended very well and the game was eventually drawn.
Russia walked over Armenia by 3,5-0,5 to catch China on the shared first place. China still holds some edge in the tie-break though.
Ukraine is clear third after defeating Poland 2,5-1,5. Three games were drawn and Natalia Zhukova earned the decisive point.
France recovered from the defeat against China and won against Azerbaijan 2,5-1,5. India demolished Israel 3,5-0,5 and Germany edged Spain 3-1.
Uzbekistan and Italy, as well as Mongolia and USA, have split the points. Rusudan Goletiani won for USA, while Anna Zatonskih lost on the top board.
Top round 11 matches are Russia - Kazakhstan, Bulgaria - China, Ukraine - Germany and France - India.
Reports from the Russian media and Twitter buzz confirm that the FIDE leadership and Garry Kasparov have reached an agreement on the new FIDE Statutes. Only a handful of votes (Bulgaria, Montenegro...) were against. FIDE General Assembly also approved the agreement between FIDE and AGON and the WCC cycle will continue as announced earlier, with the first Grand Prix to start soon in London.
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