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No Surprises(but a near one)
rrr7Coming to the end of the championship, things are heating up. Today there were no surprises, but one match came very close to being a huge one and some very one-sided scores in others were a little bit unexpected. Especially Ukraine's coach must have sweated a lot today! But all is well for Ukraine, at least for now.

The match Ukraine-Egypt in which the tournament leader was to play against the lowest seed seemed like the match where a surprise was the least expected compared to the other pairings. So did probably Ukraine's coach think since Ivanchuk rested today, obviously allowing him to prepare for Kramnik in tomorrow's crucial match. But the match didn't go well. Korobov had to play a complicated and very unclear King's Indian position in zeitnot against Ezat, on second board Moiseenko missed a move and his winning position turned into a lost one, on fourth board Bassem Amin won a nice game in Fischer Attack variation of Najdorf against Areshchenko. Only on the third board Ukraine had an advantage and Kryvoruchko managed to win against Shoker. Korobov outplayed Ezat in zeitnot and Moiseenko finally saved to secure a very close win for Ukraine: 2,5-1,5. The way the match went is very unfortunate of course for Egypt but all of them gave lots of effort in this match and that they continue battling without demoralization is quite exemplary.

IMG 0526
 Vladimir Kramnik
IMG 0540
 Varuzhan Akobian
IMG 0551
 Levon Aronian
IMG 0556
 Tigran Petrosian

The second team,Russia destroyed the third, Netherlands completely. Kramnik outplayed Giri in a very nice game which he analyzed thoroughly in the commentary room. Karjakin and Vitiugov won surprisingly easily against Van Wely and Sokolov respectively. In the only draw, Grischuk had an advantage against Tiviakov but couldn't convert it and the Dutch player barely saved the game to make to score at least a little bit better than a complete whitewash.

IMG 0561
 Emre Can
IMG 0574
 Alexander Moiseenko
IMG 0603
 Sergey Karjakin

Armenia made draws on boards where they were black and won with white on first and third boards with Aronian and Sargissian. Aronian's win against Ipatov was quite instructive in proving the rule that two pieces are better than a rook and pawn in the middlegame. Sargissian's win against Yilmaz was more or less decided by the match score as Yilmaz self destructed finding himself in a position to play for a win.

IMG 0604
 Dragan Solak
IMG 0613
 Nakamura - Meier

USA-Germany ended with the same score as Armenia-Turkey: 3-1. Kamsky couldn't convert his advantage against Fridman and Robson made a draw with Naiditsch. Baramidze-Akobian was for sure the game of the round, in which Akobian sacrificed a queen for two pieces or as it happened, practically for rook and piece. Not quite enough for a queen under normal circumstances but Black got an excellent initiative against white king and when Baramidze finally missed a tactic in a difficult position it was curtains. The longest game of the round was from Nakamura again, well who else? In an 87 move long struggle he converted the slightest of edges in a rook+knight endgame. Congratulations Hikaru!

IMG 0615
 Li - Mamedov
IMG 0672
 Amin Bassem

Except the two well-played draws China-Azerbaijan match saw two strange losses by Azeri players. Rauf Mamedov played the opening in a very strange fashion and then he sacrificed a piece for very little compensation. Li Chao of course decided the game in his favor after not so much of a trouble. Also on the fourth board Durarbayli played very strangely and perhaps a little bit optimistically and lost without any resistance to Yu Yangyi. An important victory for China who are now on third place, they are still quite in contention for a medal at least.

Tomorrow there's a decisive match: Ukraine vs. Russia in which two legens, Ivanchuk and Kramnik will be playing against each other! Let's see what will happen tomorrow and see you all in the live commentary!
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