India 2, Armenia Lead Open; India, Georgia, Romania Lead Women’s

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11th-seeded India 2 achieved a surprise win over fourth-seeded Spain, while 12th-seeded Armenia defeated 10th-seeded England, both by an identical score of 2.5-1.5 to defeat the open group at the end together with 10 match points to lead the fifth round of the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad. Young GM Dommaraju Gukesh defeated legendary GM Alexei Shirov on the top board for India 2, treated as the most notable game of the day.

In other upsets of the day, Cuba at No. 32 shocked Azerbaijan at No. sixth, while the Philippines edged out Sweden, both again by an identical 2.5-1.5 score. Uzbekistan, Cuba, India, Iran and the USA follow the leaders with nine match points.

India beat France 2.5-1.5, Georgia defeated India 2 3-1, and 20th-seeded Romania upset fourth-seeded Poland 2.5-1.5 to leave as the leaders of the 44th FIDE Women’s Chess Olympiad. Azerbaijan respectfully beat Ukraine to a 2-2 draw, followed by second-place Kazakhstan, who defeated Cuba 3-1, all by nine match points.

IM Carissa Yip (2416) of the USA was defeated by WFM Paula Elizab Paredes Bustamante (2162) with the black stones in Peru’s upset victory over the USA 2.5-1.5 in 31st place while Colombia beat Spain with a 2 :2 draw. The USA are now tied with six match points in places 29-74.

Olympiad personalities

The gaming arena is not only full of professional chess players and grandmasters. It also consists of a large number of chess enthusiasts, aspiring young players and visitors for whom the biennial event is an extravaganza. Not to mention the judges, officials and other contributors. It’s an event where you visit a new place in a different part of the world than your own, enjoy the hospitality and the cuisine, rekindle old friendships and make new ones. Dress, speak, and express yourself as is customary in your own culture. But when the hour comes, the chessboard is still a serious place where you give your maximum at your own humble level.

In uniform, IM Paula Andrea Rodriguez Rueda of Colombia is also an Army officer. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Davaakhuu Munkhzul from Mongolia. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

People from different cultures express happiness in different ways. Just for being here at the Olympics. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Indonesian women team in colorful outfits. Photo: Lennart Ootes/FIDE.

Joseph Dalliah from Gambia with friendly hat. Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

The women’s team of Oman. Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

Stev Bonhage the photographer, hard at work. Photo: Lennart Ootes/FIDE.

Klean Shuqja from Albania. Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

open section

As mentioned yesterday, India 2 remains the crowd favorite and they lived up to expectations today as well. Speaking about the young team in Chess.com Live Commentary, GM Arturs Neiksans boldly declared: “[I am] I’m not sure if India 1 is really stronger than India 2 because [India 2] are such an impressive lineup. I wish the youngsters succeed!” GM Yasser Seirawan proudly declared: “The future is theirs!”

The future is here: Team India 2 for Round 5 (LR) Praggnanandhaa, Adhiban, Gukesh and Nihal. Photo: Stev Bonhage/FIDE.

The future belongs to you!
– GM Yasser Seirawan

While three of the main India team players (GMs Pentala Harikrishna, Vidit Gujrathi and Erigasi Arjun) are currently rated higher than all other members of the India 2 team, Gukesh, GM Nihal Sarin and GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa have all made respectable rating gains since the announcement of teams selected based on players’ average ratings between March and May 2022 rating lists – the criteria by which Indian teams are usually selected to represent the country. The average age of the main Indian team is around 29 while that of the India 2 team is 19 years old.

India 2 was helped by Gukesh’s fluid win over Shirov in what is dubbed Game of the Day:

game of the day

Later, speaking to the press, Gukesh admitted that 19…b5 was the crucial provocative moment of the game, when he was sure that Shirov would probably take the bait and later try d3-d4, which he saw as good Black . That win also allowed Gukesh to maintain a clean 5/5 in the tournament so far, a feat he shares with another young prodigy: GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan.

GM Baskaran Adhiban capitalized on a mistake made by GM Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli late on move 38.

Armenia shared the lead with India 2, largely thanks to the only crucial game of their encounter against England, when GM Hrant Melkumyan capitalized on a tactical error by GM Luke McShane:

LR: Melkumyan, Sargissian, McShane and Adams. Photo: Maria Emelianova.

Cuba’s victory over Azerbaijan was marked by a beautifully directed game by GM Carlos Daniel Albornoz Cabrera:

American GM Leinier Dominguez scored a decisive win over Israeli GM Maxim Rodshtein with a nice exchange sacrifice. This win allowed the US to defeat Israel 2.5-1.5, with all other boards tying:

The encounter had a dramatic moment when Dominguez’s clock ticked down just a few seconds to move 40. Seirawan and Neiksans got visibly nervous at Chess.com’s comment and started a countdown of the seconds remaining with 6-5-4-3-2 – just then, Dominguez thought calmly and played 40. Qxa4 with only two seconds left on the clock! Seirawan later exclaimed, “Those two seconds were killer!”

Dominguez (along with Wesley So on his left) – Two seconds down with the killer. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The full results can be found here.

Women’s section

After the top two boards ended their games in a tie, India edged out France thanks to IM Tania Sachdev, who, like in the preliminary round, proved to be the team’s key points-scorer:

Tania Sachdev – a determined performer for her team. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

India’s lead to victory could have been greater if IM Vaishali R had turned a clear advantage into victory:

The architect of Romania’s victory was WGM Mihaela Sandu, who played a beautiful attacking play to earn an angry win over the much higher-rated GM Monica Socko of Poland, a crucial victory for her team:

WGM Mihaela Sandu scores a crucial win for Romania. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Georgia scored a 3-1 win against India 3 in a seemingly one-sided game in which IM Lela Javakhishvili and IM Meri Arabidze defeated IM Soumya Swaminathan and WGM Divya Deshmukh respectively.

The full results can be found here.

The 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad and Women’s Chess Olympiad are over-the-board team events where national chess federations compete in classical games for gold medals, trophies and the title of the world’s strongest chess nation. The event consists of an 11-round Swiss tournament in which each player from one national team plays against another player from the opposing national team. Teams receive “game points” for winning or drawing and “match points” for winning or drawing a game. Teams with the most match points for each section become the champions of their section, with a third prize being awarded to the team with the most points from both sections combined.


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