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40th Chess Olympiad - Daily Report: Round 8

Russia seems very determined to take the gold medal after the 10-years break since Bled 2002. In round 8 they defeated Ukraine, gold medalists from 2004 and 2010, thanks to Sergey Karjakin's effort against the former teammates. It is interesting that the then 14-years old Karjakin scored 6,5/7 for the Ukrainian team in Calvia 2004. Vassily Ivanchuk tried to convert an extra pawn to equalise the score, but his efforts were in vain as Vladimir Kramnik held in the endgame. Russia won 2,5-1,5 to extend the lead to full two points ahead of the five teams in the chasing pack.

In the match China - Azerbaijan, Rauf Mamedov quickly went down against the Chinese champion Ding Liren. However, China couldn't clinch the game as Shakhriyar Mamedyarov won a beautiful game against Wang Yue and the other two games were drawn. Shakh's exchange sacrifice will surely be a hit for the instructional manuals.

Hikaru Nakamura took a rest day but this wasn't felt in the team's performance as USA easily outplayed FYROM to schedule a big clash with Russia in the next round.

Philippines continue to cause upsets. After beating Bulgaria and drawing Hungary, the team led by Wesley So beat the higher-ranked England with 3-1. Oliver Barbosa took a long time and more than 100 moves, but he finally delievered the expected victory in the game against Gawain Jones. England's top performer Nigel Short, who had 6.0/7, was defeated by the veteran Eugenio Torre.

Germany and France have scored narrow victories against Hungary and Cuba respectively. India tied Serbia, while Israel demolished Spain 3,5-0,5. For the second time in succession Greece signed draws in all four games, this time against Slovenia.

In the Women section China dispatched Poland 3-1 and finally singled out on the top with 14 points, one point ahead of four teams on the shared 2nd place. World Champion Hou Yifan and Zhao Xue scored victories.

Russian team, the defending champion from the 2010 Olympiad, directed another drama, this time in the match against Ukraine.

Natalia Zhukova missed a tactical shot that would win her material and was instead gradually outplayed by Nadezhda Kosintseva. In return, Anna Ushenina ended Natalija Pogonina's winning streak.

Kateryna Lahno was probably totally lost against Tatiana Kosintseva, but she kept annoying the Russian star with some persistent defence. After 157 moves Kosintseva finally gave up and signed a draw. This was the third tied match for Russia and fourth for Ukraine.

The optimistic France defeated Spain with 3-1 and is set to take on China in the next round. French girls are enjoying a fantastic team atmosphere, and if they keep up the guard, they might as well turn to be a most pleasant surprise in the final ranking.

In the Asian derby India beat Vietnam 2,5-1,5, while Uzbekistan stunned another higher rated team and took home a victory against Hungary.

USA made a short work of Philippines to win by 3,5-0,5. Zatonskih, Krush and Abrahamyan won, while Goletiani drew as she is still struggling to find a good form. In the next round USA are paired against Ukraine.

Daily Reports:  Round-1 - Round-2 - Round-3 - Round-4 - Round-5 - Round-6 - Round-7 - Round-8 - Round-9 - Round-10 - Round-11

Games of the Day:  Round-1 - Round-2 - Round-3 - Round-4 - Round-5 - Round-6 - Round-7 - Round-8 - Round-9 - Round-10 - Round-11