Armenia Sole Leader In Open, India In Women’s, Gukesh 6/6 On Top Board

GMs Samvel Ter-Sahakyan and Robert Hovhannisyan scored crucial wins to enable Armenia to prevail over India 2 with a 2.5-1.5 score and capture the lead with 12 match points at the end of the sixth round of the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad. GM Fabiano Caruana scored his first victory in the tournament over GM Parham Maghsoodloo in a crucial encounter to help the U.S. beat Iran and jump to second place in the standings with 11 match points. India 2, Uzbekistan, France, India, Netherlands, Cuba, India 3, Germany, Kazakhstan, Serbia, and Peru all are tied for the third-13th with 10 match points. 

GM Dommaraju Gukesh of India 2 scored his sixth consecutive victory, this time over GM Gabriel Sargissian, to continue his dream run on the top board, while GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands defeated GM Baadur Jobava of Georgia in a spectacularly creative game 

GM Koneru Humpy and IM Vaishali R scored two crucial victories in a clash of heavyweights and helped India prevail over chess Georgia, a powerhouse in women’s chess, with a score of 3-1, and take sole lead in the FIDE Women’s Chess Olympiad. India leads the table with 12 match points.

20th-seeded Romania continued its good show holding second-seeded Ukraine to a 2-2 draw, to be joined by Azerbaijan, which defeated Kazakhstan in a tie for 2-3 places with 11 match points each. Poland, Ukraine, Armenia, Bulgaria, Israel, Georgia, Vietnam, and the Netherlands are tied for fourth-11th with 10 match points.

WIM Miruana-Daria Lehaci (2193) of Romania collected the point when her opponent, IM Iulija Osmak (2420) of Ukraine, blundered a piece in a drawish ending, to enable her team to hold Ukraine to a draw.

Open Section

Gukesh’s win over Sargissian was once again achieved in his trademark sharp style, which is our Game of the Day:

Ter-Sahakyan’s win over GM Baskaran Adhiban was achieved through concentrated play in the center, a remarkable positional victory:

GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan: a crucial win with the black pieces enabling his team to surge ahead. Photo: Madelene Belinki/FIDE.

Young GM Raunak Sadhwani came well-armed for the fight, showing deep preparation in a Ruy Lopez Berlin Defense. But Hovhannisyan gradually outplayed him a rook and opposite-colored bishops endgame:

Hovhannisyan: probing play. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The young Uzbekistan team held India to a 2-2 draw. It all began well for India with a fluent win on the top board by GM Pentala Harikrishna against GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who seemed to be in top form leading up to this game:

But young GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov equalized the scores with a drawn-out win over Indian GM Krishnan Sasikiran.

Giri conducted a beautiful tactical onslaught over Jobava:

How did Anish arrive at 21.Re6 in his thought process? He came up with a brilliant insight: “… I think it was a thematic idea in this pawn structure. In this particular position, after he takes my rook, I am left only with the pieces I need…”

And was it particularly satisfying that he did it to Jobaava?! “[Giggles] No, not really! Not satisfying—I do think that creative players, who like sacrifices, they generally play worse against such sacrifices! They don’t like to be … on the defensive side. So, in that sense, it works better against players like Jobava, Shirov, Mamedyarov … the attacking types.”

Giri-Jobaava: How to play against the attacking types! Photo: Maria Emelianova/

See full results here

Women’s Section

In the heavyweight clash on the top board, Humpy seemed to get into some difficulties in the opening against GM Nana Dzagnidze:

When I asked her in the press conference if something went wrong with her preparation and if she expected the opening, Humpy was forthright: “No, not really. Yesterday, she played the Benoni with Vantika [Agrawal]. So we thought she will not repeat it … it was quite a surprise. It was a practical decision to go for this Bf4 line… I believe instead of [14.]Qb3 I should have started… with direct [14.]Bh2.”

Koneru Humpy: forthright. Photo: Lennart Ootes/FIDE.

Young IM R.Vaishali once again came up with a remarkable concept on the board against IM Lela Javakhishvili:

Osmak lost to Lehaci when she stretched it too far when trying to win a drawish ending:

See full results 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 strongest chess nation in the world. The event consists of an 11-round Swiss tournament where each player from a national team plays against another player from the opposing national team. Teams receive “game points” for winning or drawing games and “match points” for winning or drawing a match. Teams with the most match points for each section become the champions of their section, with a third award going for the team with the most points from both sections combined.

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