The 5th round of the Istanbul Chess Olympiad saw the heavyweights crossing the swords on the top two tables.
The 2011 World Champion Armenia was paired against the defending Olympiad Champion Ukraine. Levon Aronian was very energetic with white pieces and already my move 30 he won an exchange from Vassily Ivanchuk. The Armenian continued posing problems to his opponent who eventually resigned when a loss of the piece became imminent. You can see this game analyzed by GM Ronen Har-Zvi here: https://www.chessclub.com/videos/chess-olympiad-2012-game-of-the-day-round-5
In the other three games the Ukrainians couldn't achieve advantage and thus the match ended 2,5-1,5 in the favour of Armenia.
Russia and Hungary played on the 2nd table. Leko and Kramnik performed one of their trademarked draws, while Judit Polgar and Karjakin continued the theoretical discussion in the Ruy Lopez Berlin. Polgar said at the press conference that last year she managed to beat the young Russian in this line, but this time black was better prepared and easily held the draw with the Petroff-like pawn structure.
At the first time control Tomashevsky and Balog also drew, but around the same time Grischuk completed the demolition of Almasi's king flank to deliver the overall victory for Russia.
Montenegro played another fantastic match as they held the reigning European Champions of Germany to a 2-2 tie. Djukic defeated Naiditsch on the top board, while Fridman won the point for Germany.
The match USA - Czech Republic ended in a quick 2-2 tie as all the games were drawn after making the necessary 30 moves.
Azerbaijan and China demolished their Canadian and Iranian counterparts respectively with a 3,5-0,5 score. IM Eric Hansen took the only draw for Canada by holding GM Gadir Guseinov with black pieces.
In the Women Section Russia swiftly secured the overall match victory with two wins on the lower boards. European Champion Valentina Gunina was supposed to save the unbalanced endgame against Sophie Milliet but she carelessly allowed a series of checks that win at least a rook for the French player. Russia wins 2,5-1,5 to move into the sole lead as the only team with the perfect score.
Serbia, Poland and Slovakia won their match with a narrow margin against Bulgaria, Greece and Slovakia respectively.
Harika Dronavalli made a good start for India in the match with China as she held the World Champion Hou Yifan to a draw with black pieces. But on the other three boards the Chinese signed three victories for the convincing 3,5-0,5 score.
Georgia and Ukraine, as well as Slovenia and Israel, equally distributed the points with draws on all four boards.
USA suffered another setback as they went down 1-3 in the match against 28th-seed Vietnam. Irina Krush made her 4th victory to maintain the perfect streak, but all of her teammates were defeated. In the next round USA will play against the neighbors from Canada.
Full results and standings on the official website: http://results.chessolympiadistanbul.com/