Apparently Russia was not shaken by the missed victory in the previous round as they continued their winning spree in the 7th round of the World Chess Olympiad.
In the clash against Azerbaijan the Russians signed three draws and once again left the fate of the match in the hands of Alexander Grischuk.
As Vladimir Kramnik said in yesterday's press conference, team event or not, Sasha is always loyal to his style, which means repeated time trouble and wild complicated positions.
But as Grischuk might have had over-pressed against Movsesian of Armenia, allowing their great rivals to escape with a tied match, this time he was more controlled and steadily pressed against Eltaj Safarli with an extra pawn. Grischuk finally broke through to create a passed pawn and force the young Azeri to resignation. 2,5 points for Russia who remain the sole leaders and are paired to play against the defending champions from Ukraine.
Armenia might be seen lucky to snatch a draw from Russia yesterday, but this time Caissa smiled at their opponents from China. A tragic Chinese figure from the earlier match with Russia, Wang Yue, who then missed a tactical shot in an equal position and lost the Queen, is this time the hero of his nation as he coolly outplayed Sergei Movsesian in the only decisive game of the match. With the new two match points, China moves to the shared 2nd place, together with Ukraine. Vassily Ivanchuk's win on the first board, with other games being drawn, granted Ukraine an important victory against Spain.
The living legend of The Philippines and Asia, Eugenio Torre, turned the tables against the much younger and much higher rated opponent Ferenc Berkes to earn an important match point in the battle against the 4th-seed Hungary. Eugenio Torre is making his 21st appearance in the Chess Olympiads, which is an all-time record.
USA steamrolled the young Turkish team by 3,5-0,5. Nakamura, Kamsky and Onischuk won, while Ray Robson was held to a draw by Mustafa Yilmaz.
The top table of the Women section saw one of the most exciting clashes ever! Russia and Poland battled it out for longer than 5 hours without finishing a single game.
Nadezhda Kosintseva was almost scratched away with a zero, but Iweta Rajlich simply couldn't find the right continuation to finish off the game. To Rajlich's credit, it was a complicated endgame with the Queens and the pawns. Kosintseva somehow escaped and exactly this was the moment when the match victory started to slip away from Poland. Karina Szczepkowska simply cracked after the 2nd time control and handed the exchange to her opponent Natalija Pogonina, who then quickly concluded the game. Jolanta Zawadzka beat the former World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk to equalise. Finally, Valentina Gunina held the endgame against Monika Socko and the thrilling match ended in a tie.
China beat one of the main medal contestants, Georgia, by 2,5-1,5, but they obviously have a big problem with the 2nd board. Both Zhao Xue and Ju Wenjun have been suffering defeats.
The matches Ukraine - France and Serbia - Vietnam both finished with a 2-2 score. Hungary and Spain achieved narrow victories against Montenegro and Greece respectively.
The team of USA demolished Belgium with 4-0 and are paired to play Philippines in the next round.
Photos (c) http://photo.chessolympiadistanbul.com/Round7/
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