At the beginning of the 2nd round of the 40th Chess Olympiad a special guest paid visit to the playing venue. The famous Italian football trainer Fabio Capello, currently coaching the national team of Russia, entered the playing hall and posed for several photographs.
Meanwhile, on the chess boards, the still reigning Olympiad champion Ukraine outplayed Qatar 3-1, with GM Mohamad Al-Modiahki winning the only point for his team by defeating the famous Vassily Ivanchuk.
Ivanchuk stood slightly better with black but in the time trouble he allowed his opponent to complicate the matters and create some threats on the back rank. Ivanchuk's last move was dropping a piece, but there might have been some compensation in the couple of extra pawns on the black side. Soon-after, an arbiter informed that Ivanchuk didn't resign - he actually lost on time.
The Ukrainian couldn't get up from the table for almost an hour. He stared at the pieces and analysed with the team's captain GM Sulypa. Despite the rule that all players should leave the hall immediately after the end of their games, nobody bothered (or maybe nobody had the heart) to escort Chuky to the doors. All that while Nakamura was engaged in the marathon game right behind Chucky's back.
On the second board the USA defeated Lithuania by 3,5-0,5, after Nakamura finally broke the defences of GM Vidmantas Malisauskas on 107th move, in one of the longest games of the day.
Azerbaijan, who are missing the top player Vugar Gashimov and have Eltaj Safarli holding the 2nd board (today played 1st), easily outplayed Ireland by 3,5-0,5, however the young talent FM Ryan Rhys Griffiths earned a draw against the experienced GM Rauf Mamedov. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov stated that he believes in Safarli's ability to hold the high board.
Russians made two quick draws against Greece, continuing to play with minimal advantage in the other two games. It turned out to be a brilliant tactic of the newly-appointed captain Yuri Dokhoin, who earlier led the Russian women zbornaya to gold medals, as both Grischuk and Jakovenko cracked their opponents for the final 3-1 victory.
China beat Italy 3,5-0,5 as Wang Hao scored a full point against Fabiano Caruana. Full results here: http://results.chessolympiadistanbul.com/
In the Women's section there were a couple of clean sweeps on the top boards - China against Sweden, Georgia against Belgium and Poland against Venezuela. World Champion Hou Yifan rested for another day.
But Anna Muzychuk from Slovenia, the top rated woman in the Olympiad (apart from Judit Polgar who is in the Open section), tested the water today and defeated her opponent from The Philippines. Slovenia won 2,5-1,5.
WFM Vanessa Feliciano Ebert of Brazil held the European champion Valentina Gunina to a draw but this was all that Brazil could do against the powerful Russian team.
Former U.S. Champion and top board in the Olympiad team Anna Zatonskih rested today but her team-mates still outplayed Estonia convincingly - 3,5-0,5.
Irina Krush said that the top 5 finish would be a great result for both Men and Women USA teams. She added that they are secretly hoping that the fantastic team spirit, similar to the famed Armenians, could push them higher and help them grab a medal.
Full results here: http://results.chessolympiadistanbul.com/