GMs Samvel Ter-Sahakyan and Robert Hovhannisyan took crucial wins to enable Armenia to beat India 2 by a score of 2.5-1.5 and take the lead by 12 match points at the end of the sixth round of the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad. GM Fabiano Caruana took his first tournament win over GM Parham Maghsoodloo in a crucial encounter to help the US defeat Iran and jump to second in the standings with 11 match points. India 2, Uzbekistan, France, India, Netherlands, Cuba, India 3, Germany, Kazakhstan, Serbia and Peru are all in third-13th place with 10 match points.
GM Dommaraju Gukesh of India 2 took his sixth straight win, this time over GM Gabriel Sargissian, to continue his dream run on the top board, as GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands defeated GM Baadur Jobava of Georgia in a spectacular creative game
GM Koneru Humpy and IM Vaishali R took two pivotal victories in a heavyweight showdown and helped India clinch victory over women’s chess powerhouse Georgia, with a score of 3-1, and take the sole lead in FIDE Women’s Chess Olympiad. India leads the ranking with 12 match points.
20th-seeded Romania continued their good showing with second-seeded Ukraine to a 2-2 draw, followed by Azerbaijan, which defeated Kazakhstan in a draw for 2-3 places with 11 match points each. Poland, Ukraine, Armenia, Bulgaria, Israel, Georgia, Vietnam and the Netherlands are tied for 4th-11th with 10 match points.
Romania’s WIM Miruana-Daria Lehaci (2193) collected the point when her opponent, Ukraine’s IM Iulija Osmak (2420) blundered a piece in a draw-like end, allowing her team to hold Ukraine in a draw.
Chess is an individual sport, but we as individuals love to connect with the world. We have rivals in our compatriots, with whom we fight over the chessboard since childhood, but when we play as a team we find instant camaraderie with each other—after all, we all share a common love for the game. We dress the same, or wear our uniforms, and take pleasure in fighting our opponents together, sitting side by side. Olympiad is also the place where we meet friends we don’t often meet—in fact we meet a few nothing but at Olympiads! Even for those who don’t play at the olympiad, even a group of people who work at the place forge friendships—After all, two weeks is a long time in life.
Gukesh’s win over Sargissian was again achieved in his signature sharp style, which is our game of the day:
Ter-Sahakyan’s victory over GM Baskaran Adhiban was achieved through concentrated play in the center, a remarkable positional victory:
Young GM Raunak Sadhwani came into battle well armed and showed deep preparation in a Ruy Lopez Berlin Defense. But Hovhannisyan gradually played it out as a rook and an endgame with bishops of opposite suit:
The young team of Uzbekistan kept India to a 2-2 draw. It all started well for India with a smooth top board win by GM Pentala Harikrishna against GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who appeared to be on top form leading up to this match:
But young GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov tied the scores with a long-lasting win over Indian GM Krishnan Sasikiran.
Giri carried out a wonderful tactical attack on Jobava:
How did Anish come to 21.Re6 in his thinking process? He came up with a brilliant insight: “…I think it was a thematic idea in this pawn structure. In this particular position, after he takes my rook, I only have the pieces I need…”
And was it particularly satisfying that he did it to Jobaava?! “[Giggles] No not really! Not satisfying – I think creative players, who like sacrifices, generally play worse against such sacrifices! They don’t like being… on the defensive side. So in that sense it works better against players like Jobava, Shirov, Mamedyarov… the attacking types.”
View the full results here.
In the heavyweight clash on the top board, Humpy seemed to have some trouble in the opening against GM Nana Dzagnidze:
When I asked her in the press conference if there was something wrong with her preparation and if she expected the opening, Humpy was candid: “No, not really. Yesterday she played the Benoni with Vantika [Agrawal]. So we figured she wouldn’t repeat it…it was quite a surprise. It was a practical decision to go for this Bf4 line… I believe instead of… [14.]Qb3 I should have started… with direct [14.]Bh2.”
Young IM R.Vaishali again came up with a remarkable concept against IM Lela Javakhishvili:
Osmak lost to Lehaci when she stretched it too far when trying to win a draw-like ending:
View the full results here.
The 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad and the Women’s Chess Olympiad are over-the-board team events where national chess federations compete in classic games for gold medals, trophies and the title of strongest chess nation in the world. The event consists of an 11-round Swiss tournament where each player from one national team plays against another player from the other national team. Teams receive “game points” for winning or drawing games and “match points” for winning or drawing a match. Teams with the most match points for each section will be crowned champions of their section, with a third prize for the team with the most points from both sections combined.