Armenia 2½-1½ Ukraine
Hungary 1½-2½ Russia
Germany 2-2 Montenegro
Croatia 2½-1½ France
United States 2-2 Czech Republic
The plot thickens. At the first break and at the midway point, Armenia has made the climb to the top ekeing out slim 2½-1½ victories. This round Armenia dispatched defending Olympiad champion Ukraine pushing them in a dead heat with Russia who beat Hungary 2½-1½. Germany was held 2-2 by Montenegro after Arkadij Naiditsch’s wild attack went horribly wrong against Nikola Djukic. France was upset by Croatia and have cooled off after a good start. The USA also suffered an “upset draw” being held by the Czech Republic whose man and women are playing inspired chess.
In the China watch, they smashed Iran 3½-½ to keep pace. Azerbaijan keeps winning by big scores and now has the most board points of the contenders. This round they crushed Canada 3½-½ and will get a date with Croatia after the rest day.
Key matchups will be Armenia-Russia, Azerbaijan–Croatia and USA-Germany. Spain has quietly crept up into the top ten and the Philippines are playing for their best result in many years, but face a tough Bulgaria squad.
Russia 2½-1½ France
Serbia 2½-1½ Bulgaria
Greece 1½-2½ Poland
Georgia 2-2 Ukraine
Latvia 1½-2½ Slovakia
Russia passed the test today with clutch victory over France. The have sole possession of the lead at the halfway mark with China on their trail. Serbia, not one of the pre-tournament favorites kept pace and is now third after a narrow win over Bulgaria and Antoaneta Stefanova.
Poland toppled Greece while the Ukraine and Georgia called a truce in a hard-fought match. USA was shocked by Vietnam and even at the midway point, their chances are slipping. China-India was a battle between two rising chess powers with China showing why they are still the dominant federation in Asia. China-Russia will be a HUGE match on Monday.