Sunday, October 3, 2010

39th Chess Olympiad Khanty-Mansiysk 2010 (11) This Week In Chess

Ukraine win the Olympiad for the 2nd time

2nd seeds Ukraine won the 39th Chess Olympiad by drawing with 3rd place Israel. Hosts and top seeds the Russia I team finished in second place. The event was a personal triumph for Vassily Ivanchuk completing the prestigious double of team gold and individual board 1 gold.
Israel and Ukraine drew to secure Bronze and Gold. Photo ©
Israel and Ukraine drew to secure Bronze and Gold. Photo © |
Ukraine got the draw they needed for Gold. This wasn't entirely against Israel's interest as it guaranteed Bronze for them too. Photo © 2010 Europe-Echecs.
The Ukraine regained the Olympiad title for the second time (their first title was in Calvia 2004) and on top board Vassily Ivanchuk won the gold medal for best performance with 8/10 to obtain a very desirable double. After the first four rounds where they played their 5th Board Alexander Moiseenko they didn't rest anybody and played the team of Ivanchuk (8/10), Ponomariov (5/9), Eljanov (7/10) and Efimenko (8.5/11). The key moments for the side were their 2-2 draw with Croatia in Round 3, Round 6 where they beat Hungary 3-1 to head the standings again a position they didn't relinquish, and their Round 8 2-2 draw with Russia after which they became strong favourites. They could afford the 2-2 draw in the final round with Israel and even if Russia had won they would have claimed the title. This victory is especially impressive as it is against the background of financial problems surrounding the team which led to the loss of Sergey Karjakin to the Russian Team. It will be interesting to see how their finances are in the aftermath of their victory, as their team deserves proper reward apart of the EUR 20,000 for team and EUR 5,000 for Gold Board 1 by Vassily Ivanchuk. and the Women falls from Bronze to Rank 9.

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