Before the start of the 40th Chess Olympiad many experts predicted that Russia and Armenia are the main favourites for the gold medal. These two teams were match in the 6th round after achieving perfect scores in the first five rounds.
Vladimir Kramnik sacrificed a piece for two pawns foreseeing that his queenside phalanx will be incredibly hard to deal with. At the press conference he said that he saw all the lines with 26...Rb7 or 26...Rb8. The game move, 26...Qe8, simply works perfectly for white who wins by force. Kramnik observed that black's troubles might have been caused by the pawn on f6. With a pawn on f7 it would have been somewhat easier for black to meet the threats. Read the transcript of the press conference. Around the same time Karjakin and Akopian signed a draw and the other two games were continued.
Loyal to his style, Alexander Grischuk tried to attack Sergei Movsesian and finish off the game in style. It didn't work however, and the Armenian player emerged with an extra exchange. Continuing the play after the time control, Movsesian converted the advantage to equalise the score. Sargissian - Jakovenko was pretty much equal from the very beginning, but both players continued to play while following the development on the other boards. With a draw signed on the 68th move the match ended in a 2-2 tie.
Azerbaijan dispatched their opponents from Croatia with two wins with white pieces to join Russia and Armenia on the shared first place. Azerbaijan is weakened by the absence of Gashimov, but so far Eltaj Safarli is doing a pretty good job on the 2nd board.
USA and German held each other to a tie with balanced games and even scores on all boards.
Spain achieved a narrow victory against the Czech Republic, while Philippines stunned the higher rated Bulgaria thanks to Oliver Barbosa's effort on the 2nd board.
China made an easy job of BIH and Italy and England have split the points after exchanging a pair of victories and signing two draws.
In the Women's section, top favorites Russia and China were matched to play one against another. World Champion Hou Yifan beat Tatiana Kosintseva, but then the elder Kosintseva sister evened the score by defeating GM Zhao Xue. The remaining two boards were drawn.
Poland moved to the shared lead with a massive 3,5-0,5 win over Serbia.
Georgia emerged victorious from the match with Slovakia, thanks to the full points on the middle tables. WIM Mrvova could only reduce the losing margin for her team. Ukraine demolished Azerbaijan 3,5-0,5 and France beat Philippines 3-1, even though their top board Almira Skripchenko lost to the much lower rated Catherine Perena. Vietnam continues playing in fantastic shape as after the match with USA they scored 3-1 against another strong team - Czech Republic. USA bounced back by demolishing their neighbors from Canada with 3,5-0,5. Iulia Lacau-Rodean took the honorary draw from Rusudan Goletiani.
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