Ukraine 2-2 Armenia
Spain 1½-2½ Germany 1
Norway 2-2 England
Russia 2½-1½ India
Romania 1-3 Hungary
Azerbaijan 3-1 USA
Pregame Analysis: These top matches may allow someone to make a break from the pack. There will be a number of drawn matches here, but two interesting matchups are Russia-India and Azerbaijan-USA. If Russia can continue marching, they will have enough momentum to establish a lead. China will be looking for a big score against Macedonia.
Round #4 Analysis: The battle of the last Olympiad champions (Ukraine and Armenia) ended in a hard-fought draw ending with Vassily Ivanchuk and Levon Aronian splitting the point. Germany 1 has been playing well and are now not on board #2 merely because they are the host. They beat Spain in a mild upset and will now play Russia on board #1.
Russia eked out a win over India after Kramnik escaped a loss at the hands of Krishnan Sasikiran who missed a win in his game. Pentala Harikrishna won beautifully over Peter Svidler with the stunning 25.Rxe6! At this point the match was tied, but Surya Ganguly could not hold the draw against Alexander Grischuk and the match went to Russia.
Norway and England split the match trading wins on boards #1 and #3 with Magnus Carlsen beating Michael Adams and David Howell beating Leif Erlend Johannessen. In other matches, Hungary and Azerbaijan put a 3-1 beating on Romania and USA, respectively. China crushed Macedonia 4-0 and is trying to make up ground since losing to Norway.
In the women’s section: Hungary and Georgia split the point while India is now is edging closer to contention after beating Germany. China battered Armenia 3½-½ and will play board #1 against Poland. China continues to produce unknown talent as 17-year old Tan Zhongyi is now 3-0. Russia made sure that China is within sights by putting a 4-0 drubbing on Indonesia. Defending champion Ukraine fell off the pace again with a draw against Slovakia. Interesting matchups tomorrow… Poland-China, Russia-Georgia (!).
African Diaspora: This report will focus on a recurring problem… the treatment of African federations. The consideration for the continent in the run-up to this Olympiad has been deplorable. Nations in Africa not only struggle with the currency difference, but struggle with the visa question. This was an issue of great concern when the Mayor of Dresden traveled to Calvia, Spain to bid for the Olympiad. There were assurances made that these issues would be smooth.
So far, Africans in Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Zambia and the USA have all experienced difficulties with the visa questions. This is despite, in most cases, submitting the papers in advance and having the proper documentation. There was the Ethiopian case of asking the players to show proof of personal finances. There was the case of stranded two Ugandans waiting at the Germany Embassy in Kampala. The Ugandans visas were denied, but the Olympiad organizers will try to get them to Dresden. However, they will have missed five rounds of play. Zambians are also forfeiting two boards every round.
As long as Africa continues to be an afterthought in the chess world, “Gens Una Suma” will NEVER be realized.
African-Caribbean scores (by board #): Israel 2½-1½ Egypt; Dominican Republic 0-4 France; Cuba 4-0 Venezuela; Pakistan 2-2 South Africa; Paraguay 3½-½; Aruba 0-4 Latvia; Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 Bermuda; Algeria 4-0 Ghana; Syria 3½-½ Suriname; Ethiopia 0-4 Albania; Kenya 0-4 Kyrgyzstan; Tunisia 2½-1½ Angola; Mauritius 1-3 Lebanon; Barbados 0-4 Iraq; Mozambique 1-3 Hong Kong; Nigeria 2-2 South Korea; Netherlands Antilles 2-2 Jamaica; Libya 3-1 Sri Lanka; Malawi ½-3½ Wales; Liechtenstein 1½-2½ Puerto Rico; British Virgin Islands 0-4 Mexico; Zambia 2-2 Cyprus; Uganda 2-2 Papua New Guinea; Honduras 4-0 U.S. Virgin Islands; Namibia 3½-½ Seychelles; Fiji 2-2 Rwanda; Gabon 2-2 Madagascar