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Armenia wins Olympiad again

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  • Armenia wins Olympiad again

    Los Angeles Times, CA
    Nov 30 2008

    Armenia wins Olympiad again

    The U.S. finishes third in the Dresden, Germany, event.

    By Jack Peters, International Master
    November 30, 2008

    Position No. 6031: White to play and win. From the game Jovanka
    Houska-Antoaneta Stefanova, Women's Olympiad, Dresden 2008.

    Solution to Position No. 6030: White wins with 1 Bh6! gxh6 2 Rf8+ Bxf8
    3 Qg8 mate. If 1 . . . Bxa3+ 2 Kc2 g6, then 3 Rdd7 leads to mate. Also
    1 Bf6 and 1 Rdd7 will win.

    The 38th Olympiad in Dresden set new standards for attendance (146
    teams) and excitement. The shorter schedule (11 rounds instead of 14)
    and the glut of powerful teams helped to continually shuffle the

    The critical matches began with the seventh-round encounter between
    the heavily favored Russian team and defending champion Armenia,
    seeded only ninth. Armenia won, 2 1/2 -1 1/2 , but dropped back two
    rounds later by losing to Israel, a team composed entirely of former
    Soviets. Then second-seeded Ukraine, the steadiest superpower, knocked
    out Russia and defeated Israel.

    In the dramatic final round, Armenia beat China to take a clear first
    place with nine wins, a tie and a loss. Israel defeated Netherlands
    and finished second (+8, =2, -1). The U.S. team, seemingly out of
    contention after an eighth-round loss to Russia, routed previously
    unbeaten Ukraine, 3 1/2 - 1/2 , and finished third (+8, =1, -2) on

    Ukraine fell to fourth place. Tied for fifth were Russia, Azerbaijan,
    China, Hungary, Vietnam, Spain and Georgia.

    Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia achieved the best individual result,
    scoring 9-2 on third board. Teammate Vladimir Akopian also excelled,
    scoring 8-3 on second board.

    Every American player performed slightly above his rating level. Gata
    Kamsky, Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Onischuk scored 6 1/2 -3 1/2
    each on the top three boards. Yury Shulman (5 1/2 -2 1/2 ) and
    Varuzhan Akobian (4-2) shared duties on fourth board.

    Georgia won its final five matches to edge Ukraine on tiebreak to win
    the gold medal in the 111-team Women's Olympiad. Maia Chiburdanidze,
    world champion from 1978 to 1991, scored 7 1/2 -5 1/2 on first board
    for Georgia. China started 6-0 but finished with three ties and two
    losses. The U.S. team of Irina Krush, Anna Zatonskih, Rusudan
    Goletiani, Katerina Rohonyan and Tatev Abrahamyan upset Russia (the
    top seed) and took third place on tiebreak over Russia and Poland.

    Local news

    The American Open concludes today at the Renaissance hotel at 9620
    Airport Blvd. in Los Angeles. Spectators may watch the games and chess
    videos for free.

    The 2008 Bakersfield Open, a four-round tournament of 60-minute games,
    will be held Saturday at the Clarion Hotel, 3540 Rosedale Highway in
    Bakersfield. State champion Enrico Sevillano will compete. The
    sponsoring Bakersfield Chess Club will also run a five-round
    scholastic event. For all of the details, call Kenneth Poole at (661)

    Chess for Success International will conduct a scholastic tournament
    next Sunday at John Thomas Dye School, 11414 Chalon Road in Los
    Angeles. There will be sections for students in grades K-5, K-8 and
    K-12, with the first two finishing by noon. Registration at the site
    closes at 8:45 a.m. For more information, call Ivona Jezierska at
    (310) 740-0063.

    Chess master Ron Hermansen will lead a tactical chess workshop
    Saturday afternoon in West Hills. Call (818) 887-6227 for details.

    The Exposition Park Chess Club plans its free monthly tournament at 1
    p.m. Sunday. The club meets every Sunday afternoon in the public
    library at 3900 S. Western Ave. in Los Angeles. See for photos and advance registration. For more
    news and a second game, see