SIMPLECHESS

Ukraine Champions!

The medal contenders drew in a series of tight matches, and the Ukraine thus managed to keep their lead over Russia 1 with Israel finishing third.
In the Women's event China stayed in second and Georgia took the bronze. Russia 1 completed their clean sweep with an eleventh victory in the final round.

Although the Ukraine had led all along, an extra half-point for Russia 1 would have been enough to snatch the title, as this would have boosted their tie-break beyond that of Ivanchuk and his compatriots. Ukraine only drew with Israel 2-2, but surprisingly Russia 1 failed to beat Spain (2-2). Hungary gained ground by beating Poland 2.5-1.5, but Israel earned the last place on the podium due to their superior tie-break over Hungary.

Ukraine confronting Israel © chessanytime.com

China headed the group of six teams on 16 match points, which included the defending champions Armenia who were fortunate to scrape a draw against France in the last round.

RankCountryMatch pts.Tie-BreakGame pts.Board 1
1Ukraine19380.531Ivanchuk
2Russia 118379.528Kramnik
3Israel17367.529Gelfand
4Hungary17355.526.5Leko
5China1636229Wang Yue
6Russia 21635529.5Nepomniachtchi
7Armenia1634527Aronian
8Spain1633228.5Shirov
9USA16315.527Nakamura
10France16311.525Vachier-Lagrave
11Poland15346.529Wojtaszek
12Azerbaijan1533328Mamedyarov
13Russia 315320.526Jakovenko
14Belarus15307.527.5S.Zhigalko
15Netherlands1530524.5Van Wely
16Slovakia15302.526.5Movsesian
17Brazil15290.527Leitao
18India1528726.5Sasikiran
19Denmark15257.526.5SB. Hansen

This is Ukraine's second Olympiad gold as they had previously won in 2004. This makes four in a row that Russia haven't won!

Prizes are also awarded for those achieving the best performances on each board.

To get into consideration for a board prize eight games must have been played and the performance naturally has to be relatively high, as there are 150 players competing in each category.

Board prizes:

Board 1:

RankNameTeamRatingScorePerformance
1Vassily IvanchukUkraine27548/102890!
2Levon AronianArmenia27837.5/102888
3Ian NepomniachtchiRussia 227066.5/92821
4Ivan SokolovBosnia26056/82798
5Vladimir KramnikRussia 127805.5/92794
6Shakhriyar MamedyarovAzerbaijan27566.5/102778

The leading performances on board two were similar to those on board one, noting that Sutovsky obtained a higher one than Ivanchuk, but only over eight games.

Vassily led his country to victory © chessanytime.com
Emil Sutovsky took the board two prize © chessanytime.com

Board 2:

RankNameTeamRatingScorePerformance
1Emil SutovskyIsrael26656.5/82895!
2Zoltan AlmasiHungary27077/102801
3Wang HaoChina27247.5/102783
4Alexander GrischukRussia 127606/92776
5Gata KamskyUSA27057/102756
6Teimour RadjabovAzerbaijan27486/92755

The unknown Vitaly Teterev won the board three prize ahead of some much higher rated players.

Board 3:

RankNameTeamRatingScorePerformance
1Vitaly TeterevBelarus25117/82853
2Pavel EljanovUkraine27617/102737
3Sergei RublevskyRussia 326838/112727
4Judit PolgarHungary26826/102703
5Nikita VitiugovRussia 227096/92700
6Mikheil MchedlishviliGeorgia26286/92673

Karjakin obtained the fourth highest performance of the whole championships on board four.

Board 4:

RankNameTeamRatingScorePerformance
1Sergei KarjakinRussia 127478/102859
2Zahar EfimenkoUkraine26838.5/112783
3Anish GiriNetherlands26778/112730
4Kamil MitonPoland26297.5/102714
5Ferenc BerkesHungary26786.5/102686
6Levan PantsulaiaGeorgia25996/92685

The board four and five winners are both still quite young and may find themselves on higher boards next time.

Sergei Karjakin: A successful switch to Russia © chessanytime.com
The rapidly improving Sebastian Feller (France) © chessanytime.com

Feller's result could have been even better as in one game he played an immediately losing move instead of a clearly winning one (against Mikhalevski).

RankNameTeamRatingScorePerformance
1Sebastien FellerFrance26496/92708
2Mateusz BartelPoland25997/92706
3Vlastimil BabulaCzech rep.25157/92668
4IM Kirill StupakBelarus25027/102660
5Gawain JonesEngland25766/82647
6Andre DiamantBrazil24986.5/82644

Here are a selection of Olympiad-centred videos to watch, courtesy of Europe Echecs. Enjoy them!

In the final round Gunina's win enabled Russia 1 to down Russia 2 by 2.5-1.5.

Russia 1 edged out Russia 2 © chessanytime.com
RankCountryMatch pts.Tie-breakGame points.Board 1
1Russia 122439.534Tatiana Kosintseva
2China18386.531.5Hou Yifan
3Georgia1738429Dzagnidze
4Cuba16348.530Ordaz Valdes
5USA16336.528.5Krush
6Poland1633629.5Socko
7Azerbaijan1632028Z.Mamedyarova
8Bulgaria16296.524.5Stefanova
9Ukraine15366.528.5Lahno
10Russia 215335.526.5Pogonina
11Armenia15327.528Danielian
12Greece1531628Dembo
13Romania15312.528Foisor
14Russia 31528727Kovanova

Here are the leading performances in the Women's event.

Board 1:

RankNameTeamRatingScorePerformance
1GM Tatiana KosintsevaRussia 125737/102628
2WGM Zeinab MamedjarovaAzerbaijan22349/112623
3GM Hou Yifan China25788/112573
4GM Nana DzagnidzeGeorgia25347/102563
5IM Anna MuzychukSlovenia25357/102547
6IM Elisabeth PaehtzGermany24676.5/92524

The Kosintseva sisters taking the top two board golds, with Nadezhda easily achieving a GM norm.

Tatiana © chessanytime.com
Nadezhda © chessanytime.com

Ju Wenjun also passed the 2600 performance mark and obtained a GM-norm.

Board 2:

RankNameTeamRatingScorePerformance
1IM Nadezhda KosintsevaRussia 125658.5/102662
2WGM Ju Wenjun China25169.5/112636
3WIM Pham Le Thao Nguyen Vietnam23048.5/102481
4IM Anna ZatonskihUSA24806.5/102454
5IM Lela JavakhishviliGeorgia24515/92447
6IM Olga ZiminaItaly23347.5/102446

On board three the Cuban player was part of a team that took a surprising fourth place.

Board 3:

RankNameCountryRatingScorePerformance
1WGM Yaniet Marrero LopezCuba23247/82511
2IM Salome MeliaGeorgia24397/102458
3WGM Ilze BerzinaLatvia22839/112450
4GM Zhao XueChina24697/102437
5WGM Joanna Majdan-GajewskaPoland23338/102434
6GM Alexandra KosteniukRussia 125246.5/102433

The Latvian's third place was also a worthy medal winning performance especially as she played all eleven games.

Gold medal for the Cuban Yaniet Marrero Lopez © chessanytime.com
Inna Gaponenko (Ukraine) © chessanytime.com

Bodnaruk's 2569 performance wasn't enough to win the gold on board four.

Board 4:

RankNameCountryRatingScorePerformance
1IM Inna GaponenkoUkraine24697.5/82691!
2IM Anastasia BodnarukRussia 223997/82569
3WIM Olga VasilievIsrael22937/92379
4IM Joanna DworakowskaPoland23157.5/102367
5WGM Kamile BaginskaiteUSA23286/82354
6WIM Lisa SchutNetherlands22888/102349

Ukraine took the golds on four and five with Gaponenko obtaining an impressive percentage. On the other hand, Mariya Muzychuk took the board five gold without doing anything exceptional.

Board 5:

RankNameCountryRatingScorePerformance
1IM Mariya MuzychukUkraine24646.5/92431
2WGM Alina KashlinskayaRussia 223585.5/92327
3IM Bela KhotenashviliGeorgia24645/82289
4WFM Ghazal HakimifardIran21735/82258
5WIM Judith FuchsGermany22376.5/92254
6WGM Nino MaisuradzeFrance22737/92236

Nobody had a really exceptional result on board five, the three medal winners all performing below their rating!

Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine) © chessanytime.com
Vitaly Teterev (Belarus)

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