Vladimir Kramnik had a mixed Olympiad. He beat Levon Aronian in a crucial match and ended in style against Arkadiy Naiditsch, but elsewhere he missed wins and lost to Hikaru Nakamura in a match that ultimately allowed Armenia to claim gold. In an interview with Voice of Russia radio after the event he talked about the tournament and how he’s having to work harder to compete physically with his younger opponents.
Roughly a month after the Olympic Games ended in London, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has showered his athletes with gold. One of those he singled out was Ekaterina Lahno, who received the second grade of the Order of Princess Olga.
The preliminary line-up of the Chigorin Memorial in St. Petersburg is now available. This year it’s set to be stronger than ever… The tournament, which runs from 27th October to the 4th November, will include Alexei Shirov, Krishnan Sasikiran, Pavel Eljanov and other top grandmasters. The Memorial’s total prize fund is 1,600,000 roubles (40,000 euro).
With two weeks to go until the start of the Grand Slam Final in Sao Paulo and Bilbao the organisers have announced the final line-up. As expected Anand, Carlsen, Aronian, Karjakin and Caruana will play, while a “wild card” has also been given to the Spanish player Vallejo Pons.
“For the next three days you can forget about me”, the Armenian team captain said on parting in Istanbul. “We’re going home to celebrate our victory!” And he was right… The reception in Yerevan was exceptional even by the standards of what usually awaits the three-time Olympiad Champions.
It goes without saying that tiebreakers never suit everyone. However they’re calculated you’ll still have people left dissatisfied and thinking they’ve been treated unfairly. That happened to the Russian men’s and Chinese women’s teams, which had Olympiad gold snatched from under their noses by the Armenian men and Russian women.
In the final round of the Olympiad the reigning champions Ukraine will play on the first table, but essentially without any chance of claiming their third gold. For that we’d need to witness truly incredible events: Armenia losing to Hungary, Russia to Germany, and the Ukrainians themselves crushing China. But who could say Ivanchuk and co. haven’t given their all to win in Istanbul?
The Armenian men’s team has won the Olympiad for the third time in its history, edging out Russia on tiebreaks. The Russian women’s team also needed the help of tiebreaks to finish ahead of China and take Olympiad gold for the second time in a row.