CHENNAI, India — On Sunday, August 7, the two, so far, undefeated teams of the Olympiad taking place in India — Armenia, and Uzbekistan, played against one another. The latter is performing surprisingly well, which was confirmed again by its defeat of Armenia, traditionally one of the strongest chess squads in the world. Suffering its first defeat, the Yerevan-squad lost the leadership and slid down to the third horizontal following Uzbekistan and India’s second team (three teams represent the host country.)
On Monday, August 8, however, the Armenian grandmasters (GMs) played quite well against Azerbaijan. Robert Hovhannisyan, by quickly defeating his opponent on the fourth board, pushed Armenia ahead. Soon after Hrant Melkumyan and Manuel Petrosyan drew. The leader of the Armenian squad won his tough match against the best GM of Azerbaijan, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. With a 3:1 impressive win, the Armenian team now shares first place with Uzbekistan, which drew against India.
Armenia and Uzbekistan collected equal 17 scores; however, the Armenian GMs are behind because of tie-breakers. The final round, which is tomorrow, will determine the winner. Armenia will play against Spain, while Uzbekistan will compete against the Netherlands. Armenian GMs need to win the round match to win the gold. The Armenian female team lost to Azerbaijan today and occupies the 18th horizontal. They will play against Croatia tomorrow.
The video segment represents GMs Judith Polgar (Hungary), and Mihail Marin (Romania) comments on Armenia’s game against Azerbaijan and the final standings before the final round.