2010 Chess Olympiad: Round #5

Top Boards (Open)

Armenia 2½-1½ Russia 2
Vietnam ½-3½ Georgia
Hungary 2½-1½ Russia 1
Poland 2-2 Netherlands
Bosnia & Herzegovina 1-3 Ukraine
Azerbaijan 2½-1½ Sweden
Czech Republic 4-0 Mexico
China 2-2 Slovakia
Italy 2-2 Cuba
USA 3-1 Argentina

Round #5 Analysis: Now at the first rest day the field is shaking up as there are now only three teams with a perfect score. Both Russia 1 and Russia 2 fell to Hungary and defending champions Armenia. Peter Leko scored a very impressive victory over Alexander Grischuk who was in place of a resting Vladimir Kramnik. Some questioned the decision to rest Kramnik in this crucial round. The loss with the first full point given up either of the Russian teams.

Vietnam pawns off against Georgia.  Photo by ugra-chess.com.

Vietnam pawns off against Georgia.
Photo by ugra-chess.com.

Georgia continues its run with a convincing 3½-½ win over the Vietnam side. Baadur Jobava was interviewed and asserted that he focused play after his loss to Mexico’s Manuel Leon Hoyos resulted in his win over Magnus Carlsen and then the rising Le Quang Liem. Georgia is now at the top of the table. In other action, Poland and the Netherlands traded a pair of wins and draws and split the match 2-2.

Ivanchuk continues to steamroll his competition with 4/4 and a 3315 performance. The question always seems to be “Which Ivanchuk will show up, the 2800 or the 2600?” It is clear that at Olympiad tournaments, he is generally in top form. Here is his miniature against Ivan Sokolov of Bosnia. (See Sokolov-Ivanchuk)

Interesting matches after the rest are Georgia-Armenia, two neighboring nations with rich chess traditions. Vietnam-USA should also have an intrigue with the possibility of two of the brightest young stars in Le Quang Liem and Hikaru Nakamura facing off on board #1. Russia 3 is lurking in the trenches and looks to join the other Russian teams which have thus far, avoided each other. As we get deeper into the tournament, this could damage Russia’s medal chances as they will certainly be look to win crucial matches at the end.

1. Georgia +5=0-0 (17½)
2. Hungary +5=0-0 (13½)
3. Armenia +5=0-0 (15)

* * *

Top Boards (Women)

Ukraine 3-1 Bulgaria
China 1½-2½ Russia 1
Romania 1½-2½ Hungary
USA 2½-1½ Slovenia
India 3-1 Iran
Azerbaijan 0-4 Georgia
Indonesia 1-3 Serbia
Greece 1½-2½ Armenia
Peru 1-3 Germany
Poland 4-0 Austria

Round #5 Analysis: Exciting round as the top teams are battling. Ukraine beat Bulgaria on the strength of the bottom boards and have now moved into the top position. They will face Russia 1 who beat a tough China side. Zhao Xue played a very powerful game against Alexandra Kosteniuk. However, Nadezhda Kosintseva beat a previously undefeated Ju Wenjun and Kosintseva Nadezhda beat Huang Qian who has now lost two in a row.

The USA moved up in the race on the shoulders of Tatev Abrahamyan’s nice attacking win over Slovenia’s Darja Kaps. (See Abrahamyan-Kaps) The Americans will play the defending champions Georgia in round #6. On the lowers, we also have inspired play that is often overlooked. Epah Tembo of Zambia got a nice win over previously undefeated Deborah Richards of Jamaica.

African Diaspora Spotlight
Zambia Jamaica Zambia Jamaica Zambia Jamaica Zambia Jamaica Zambia Jamaica Zambia Jamaica

1. Ukraine +5=0-0 (16)
2. Russia 1 +5=0-0 (15)
3. USA +4=1-0 (15)


  1. Did this actually happen? Yep… Sokolov (2641) hangs a pawn on move 7.

    Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010
    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. Qc2 bxc4 5. e4 d6 6. Bxc4 g6 7. b3?? Nxe4 8. Bb2 Qa5+ 9. Kf1 Nf6 and Black won in 25.

    Click HERE for this game and a couple of other fun games!

  2. I read on Chessvibes (from another poster) that Ivan Sokolov played 7.b3?? two weeks ago and the opponent did not grab the pawn. Well… Ivanchuk did. Now everyone knows this is a dubious idea.

  3. From: Joseph Kaamu [mailto:josephkaamu@yahoo.com]
    Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2010 9:06 AM

    Dear All,

    The day was not good for Ugandan teams and though some games have not ended yet, it seems the final result will be the same a single point, achieved by different routes. While Steve Kawuma agreed an early draw with his man, Harold Wanyama also got enough to deserve the half point. On the other hand both Kantinti and Bibasa positions look very unpromising and I won’t be surprised if we get 1-3 at the end of the day. Only Ivy Amoko has crushed her opponents; the other three Phiona, Grace and Rita are down and out. Our Kenyan neighbours are also facing an uphill struggle against the island of Jersey.

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