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Armenians repeat their success
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Defending Champs, Home Team Continue Roll

Dresden, 20/11/2008

Armenia surprised the chess world at Turin, 2006 with a golden performance. After seven of 11 rounds in Dresden, they did not sneak up on Russia, but were still too much even in an underdog role.



GM Gabriel Sargissian's long-distance king march channeled GM Nigel Short's 1991 version, and a paralyzed GM Alexander Grischuk found himself with an extra bishop but utterly helpless. The win was the only decisive result of the match and so Armenia triumphed 2.5-1.5.

Germany continues to delight the throngs of local supporters. They won again today, 2.5-1.5 over Romania, and now have five wins and two impressive draws versus number one seed Russia and number two Ukraine. "So far we have no reason to complain whatsoever," said German third board GM Jan Gustafsson. "It feels good to earn the right to be on stage. The whole team is doing great."

Ukraine and China played to a 2-2 tie, France held off India, Israel routed Spain, and the U.S. upset a Polgar-less Hungarian squad. She sat out after losing two games in a row.

Armenia's win propels them to sole first place with 13 points (6 wins and one tie).

In the women's division, China was nicked for a drawn match by nemesis America. The two teams have now met in the past four Olympiads, with the U.S. winning two and tying two.

Going into round eight, China leads with 13 points, Russia and Ukraine have 12, and a pack of four – the U.S., Hungary, India and Serbia – are all at 11.

FM Mike Klein