Armenians repeat their success
Little Knight meets big rook
The technical Olympiad spirit


Six Teams Lead the Way on Rest Day

Dresden, 18/11/2008

As Olympiad approaches the half-way mark, teams look to distance themselves from the peloton

Russia, Armenia, Germany, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and England all stand on 9/10 as teams take the day off Tuesday. They are closely followed by ten nations with 8/10 and 15 more that are a point farther back.

Players will have a full day to prepare for titanic clashes like number one Russia against the usually-underperforming England. Number two Ukraine faces the local heroes of Germany's first team, while defending champion Armenia will play the three 2700s of Azerbaijan.

This follows a dramatic round five in which Germany held off Russia with four draws, the last of which comprising a difficult pawn-down rook ending that GM Jan Gustafsson ably defended against GM Alexander Morozevich (though he dismissed praise following the game). Armenia got by the Netherlands 2.5-1.5 and Ukraine beat Hungary by the same score, though by the narrowest margin - they needed top board GM Vassily Ivanchuk to grind out a 127-move victory over GM Peter Leko in a rook-and-bishop versus rook endgame.

China did not impress with its narrow win over Scotland (2.5-1.5), but 16-year-old Italian-American GM Fabiano Caruana followed up on his round four crush of legendary GM Viktor Korchnoi with a win as Black against GM Michael Adams (though England still triumphed over Italy 2.5-1.5).

GM Valentin Iotov of Bulgaria is the only player in the open division with a perfect 5-0.
China remains all alone in the women's division. Their thrashing of Poland gives five straight wins and a perfect 10/10. Hungary is the only team on 9/10 and the two nations will meet in round six. Following the round five press conference, several top players said they expected Chinese women to win the event.
English IM Dagne Ciuksyte is the lone player who is five for five.

FM Mike Klein