Round #8

Armenia widens lead… Sargissian sizzles!

Top Boards

Armenia 3-1 Cuba
Russia  2-2 Czech Republic
Georgia 2˝-1˝ Uzbekistan
Ukraine 3-1 Sweden
France  3-1 Netherlands

Armenia has opened up a two-point bulge with five rounds remaining. Gabriel Sargissian won against previously undefeated Yuniesky Quezada Perez of Cuba… both are vying for board prizes. A second of Levon Aronian, Sargissian is carrying the Armenia team as a reserve with a +6 score and has allowed Smbat Lputian a rest that will come in handy when Armenia needs to hold a strong team.

Russia was fortunate not to lose more ground on Armenia as Evgeny Bareev saved what appeared to have been a lost position. Czech Republic's Viktor Laznicka had pawns for the exchange and they were marching toward victory. Bareev fronted the pawns and was eventually able to blockade them and then sacrifice the exchange. Only the kings were left standing.

Svidler was brutally mated by young sensation David Navara. Perhaps Svidler needs a rest after having played five games in a row. Russia's chemistry appears to be a bit off. Kramnik is in form, but how many games can he play? Bareev and Sergei Rublevsky are inconsistent. The two Alexanders (Morozevich and Grischuk) will have to put points on the board… and fast!

Armenia's Gabriel Sargissian is on a blistering +6. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

The Ukraine and France have remained in the medal chase with convincing victories over Sweden and the Netherlands, respectively. Sergey Karjakin is having another great Olympiad and stands on +5 and a 2927 performance rating (tournament's highest). He will be tested tomorrow against Armenia. The USA polished off Denmark by the same 3-1 score with Gata Kamsky and Alexander Onischuk getting wins. China powered to a 3˝-˝ victory over the neighboring Philippines. This puts China back in the thick of things and they will earn a date with Georgia. India beat a Topalov-less Bulgaria 2˝-1˝, but lost ground on Armenia. They will need to score big against Uzbekistan to have a medal chance. Anand-Kasimjanov should be of interest.

African-Caribbean scores

Aruba 1˝-2˝ British Virgin Islands; Algeria 2-2 Singapore; Angola 2-2 Lebanon; Bermuda; Italy"C"3-1 Barbados; Pakistan 3-1 Botswana; British Virgin Islands 2˝-1˝ Aruba; Armenia 3-1 Cuba; Dominican Republic 3˝-˝  Malta; Egypt 2˝-1˝ Kazakhstan; Ethiopia 2˝-1˝ South Korea; Haiti 2-2 Brunei Darussalam; Jamaica 2-2 UAE; Kenya 2-2 Papua New Guinea; Syria 4-0 Libya; Sri Lanka 3-1 Mauritius; Malawi 3-1 Fiji; Malaysia 3˝-˝ Morocco; Afghanistan 3-1 Mozambique; Namibia 3-1 Guernsey; Bahrain 3-1 Netherlands Antilles; Nicaragua 3-1 Nigeria; ISCS 2˝-1˝ Puerto Rico; Rwanda 2-2 US Virgin Islands; Chinese Taipei 2˝-1˝ Seychelles; Kryzgstan 2˝-1˝ South Africa; Sudan 4-0 Jersey; Trinidad & Tobago 2˝-1˝ Thailand; Romania 3-1 Tunisia; Uganda 2-2 Guatemala;  US Virgin Islands 2-2 Rwanda; Uruguay 2˝-1˝ Zambia

Reporting from Chicago, USA  -  Dr. Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum

Top Five African teams

Egypt (18 points)
Algeria (16˝ points)
Tunisia (16˝ points)
Morocco (15 points)
Nigeria (15 points)

Top Five Caribbean teams

Cuba  (20˝ points)
Jamaica (16 points)
Dominican Republic (16 points)
Trinidad and Tobago (16 points)
Puerto Rico (15˝ points)

African Diaspora Spotlight
Rwanda vs. Zambia (Africa)

Zambia's Kelvin Chumfwa watches Chitumbo Mwali
complete his move in 2nd round encounter.
(Photo by Daaim Shabazz)

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Posted by The Chess Drum: 30 May 2006