Round #5

India beats Armenia… inches into contending position

Top Matches

Ukraine 2-2 Israel
Spain (A) 2˝-1˝ Georgia
Russia 2˝-1˝  Slovakia
Azerbaijan 3-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina
India  2˝-1˝ Armenia
France  2˝-1˝ Cuba

In perhaps one of the most important moments for the Ukraine, they held their lead by drawing Israel after vanquishing the Russians. It is often easy to have a let down right after a thrilling victory,  but the Ivanchuk and crew held. Spain edged Georgia 2˝-1˝ and will face the surging French team. Spain's Francisco Vallejo Pons is playing well in this Olympiad and won a nice game against Giorgi Kacheishvili.

With Alexei Shirov's inspired play on board #1, Spain's success will depend on the bottom boards. They will meet stiff challenges in the following rounds.  Laurent Fressinet of
France has had to carry the load in the absence of Joel Lautier. Russia kept pace by beating Slovakia 2˝-1˝, but the good news is that Peter Svidler will join the team for the first time as they face 2nd place Israel. This should eventually help the Russians make up some ground as they trail the Ukraine by a full two points.

Azerbaijan continues to roll along after beating  Bosnia Herzegovina 3-1. The young upstart team will play front-runner Ukraine in what will prove to be an interesting match. It would appear that Ivanchuk is due for a rest and this may have been the round to do it since Russia-Israel will be closely-contested and Russia is still two full points back.

India continues its medal march as their match with Armenia featured an entertaining battle between Viswanathan Anand and Lev Aronian. Anand sacrificed a pawn in the middle game for rook pressure on the c-file, but in the ensuing complications, Aronian could not make use of his slight material advantage. Anand's active rooks held the balance.  India took the match point from Surya Shekar Ganguly's win over Gabriel Sargissian... which according to an Indian website, was revenge for Ganguly's defeat by Sargissian in the World Under-14 championships in 1996!

Aronian-Anand - Final  Position (after 39.Ra7xa4)

Final  Position
(after 39.Ra7xa4)

For the second Olympiad in a row, the USA dropped a match to Uzbekistan to slip further into the abyss of second-tier teams. Anton Filippov won brilliantly against Boris Gulko for the deciding result. Other results saw the Netherlands smashing Vietnam 3˝-˝; Canada beating the Philippines 2˝-1˝; China beating Switzerland 3-1.

African and Caribbean Regions

South Africa
added to its lead as the top African team with a 2˝-1˝ over Faroe Islands... Michelakis and Solomon resting.  Morocco blitzed Mauritius 4-0 and has snuck up behind South Africa as the second-leading nation on the continent with 10 points. Tunisia beat the IBCA (visually-challenged) is also on 10 points. It was a rough day for top teams in the Caribbean region: Bolivia beat Barbados 3-1; Libya crushed Jamaica 3˝-˝ (spoiling Ian Wilkinson's debut for the Jamaica side);  Honduras beat Trinidad  3˝-˝. Netherlands Antilles registered a 3-1 win over Seychelles of Africa while Dutch Caribbean neighbors Aruba dropped a 3-1 count to San Marino.

Report by Dr. Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum

Round #5 Information Center

Team Results

Selected Games

GM Giorgi Kacheishvili (GEO) - GM Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP-A), 0-1
GM Sergei Movsesian (ARM) - GM Alexander Morozevich (RUS), ˝-˝
GM Lev Aronian (ARM) - GM Viswanathan Anand (IND), ˝-˝
GM Boris Gulko (USA) - IM Anton Filippov (UZB), 0-1
Robert Bancod (FIJ) - NM Grace Nsubuga (UGA), 0-1
GM Xie Jun (CHN) - WGM Harriett Hunt (ENG), 1-0


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See Report from Ian Wilkinson (Jamaica)
See Report from Allan Herbert (Barbados)

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