24 September 2016

Taking a Break for Bermuda Party

Rounds 5-6 of the Olympiad in the analysis of Dmitry Kryakvin.

Round 5
A pearl of Baku 

The pairing of round five in Baku generated many interesting team pairs. Thus, the visually impaired players were opposed by those suffering from the musculoskeletal system problems, both teams being somewhere at the bottom of the tournament table. These teams' lineups are very decent and it comes as no surprise that they have 4 points under their belts: international masters Yuri Meshkov (Russia) and Jacek Stachanczyk (Poland), FIDE master Stanislav Babarykin (Russia) and Oliver Mueller (Germany) from the IBCA team versus international masters Igor Yarmonov (Ukraine), Andrei Obodchuk, Dmitry Scerbin (both - Russia) and Andrei Gurbanov (Israel). It should be noted that the second team (i.e. physically disabled players) is coached by Alexander Gutenev from Chelyabinsk. Although the battles were fierce and no draws made, the match still ended peacefully 2-2. Winners all around, as they say!

The Ukrainian grandmasters extended their winning streak by stopping the Tromsø-undefeated China, the Russians rushed in pursuit of the leaders to take two  team points from the Egyptians, while the Netherlands, coached by Vladimir Tukmakov, had to take an exam from the strong and uncompromising Belarus. With three games ending in draws, the last board players fished out a genuine "pearl of Baku". 

Stupak (2561) – Bok (2592)

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e3 g6 8.e4!?

This rare line was first employed eight years ago by Vladimir Kramnik to dumbfound Peter Leko, but the extravagant idea of the 14th world champion has never been taken up largely because of the white king remaining in a precariously uncastled situation. I was extremely surprised to see this line being put to use. Stupak visited the training session of my disciple Daniil Yuffa and, being familiar with Kirill, I have always believed him to be a no bluffer, a pro-safety apologist...

8…dxe4 9.Nxe4 Bb4+ 

10.Ke2!? Qg7! 

Despite being young of years, Benjamin has established himself as a strong theoretician and his move calls the entire line in doubt.  Leko stood worse after a not overly aggressive 10...Qf4 11.Qd3 Be7 12.g3 Qc7 13.Bg2 Nd7 14.Rhe1 b6 15.Kf1, whereas Baadur Jobava, despite going down to Ivan Saric recently (2015), had demonstrated that after 10...Qe7 11.c5! 0–0 12.Qa4 Na6 13.a3 b5 14.Qb3 Ba5 15.Ne5 Nb8 16.Qg3! White's position is quite promising. 

Although the queen's retreat to g7 looks mysterious, it allows Bok's strongest piece keeping an eye on d4 and b2 pawns.

11.c5 0–0 12.Qa4 

Since White is worse following a natural sequence 12.g3 Rd8 13.Bg2 b6, he is bound to get down to "elephant hunting". 

12...Na6 13.Ke3 

Kirill Stupak is a competent positional player and such a "heartfelt cry" could undoubtedly be called by force majeure circumstances only. They are such that after 13.a3 Bxc5!, 13.Rc1 b5 or 13.Rd1 b5 14.cxb6 f5! White is completely out of business.


Even stronger, perhaps, was 13...f5! 14.Bxa6 fxe4 15.Kxe4 Bxc5 16.dxc5 bxa6 17.Ke3 g5; the centralized white king feels rather uncomfortable, while the black a8-rook will join the king hunt along the b-file before long. However, the Dutchman conceived a bold rook sacrifice to carry out a public execution of Stupak's king!

14.cxb6 axb6 

Now 14...f5 15.Bxa6! fxe4 16.Bxc8 Raxc8 17.Kxe4 (worse is 17.Qxb4 exf3) 17...c5 18.Kd3! would be not so definite since the white king makes it to safety. 

15.Qxc6 f5!? 

Even though after 15...Rb8 a "toll-free" initiative of Black's would have also been very powerful, Alexey Jarovinsky's suggestion Ba5 18.b4 f5 19.Nc3 Qc7 20.Qb3 Bc4 21.Qb2! g5 22.Ne2 Qc6 23.Kd2 Qb5 24.a3 Bxe2 25.Ne5 leads to a position which is not so clear because White does not go down immediately. 

16.Qxa8 Nc7 

Extricating the queen from troubles requires sacrificing the knight. 

17.Nf6+ Qxf6 18.Qc6? 

White would have been better off stationing the queen closer to his camp as soon as possible - the king feels very lonely in the absence of his beautiful half: 18.Qa4 Nd5+ 19.Kd3. Kirill must have arrived at the conclusion that posting the queen on c6 will allow him taking the black pieces'  activity in check, but it turned out otherwise. 

18...Nd5+ 19.Ke2 Rd8 


White is not helped by 20.a3, as can be seen from the line 20…Nf4+ 21.Kd1 (21.Ke3 Bc5!) 21...Bc5 22.Kc2 Bd7 23.Qb7 Bxd4 24.Nxd4 Rc8+, which demonstrates the degree to which White's initiative could increase.

20...Bc5! 21.Qa4 

Now White needs to squander a precious tempo to have the a6-square covered by the queen. 21.Bg2 Ba6+ 22.Kd1 Nb4 not 21.Rd1 Ba6+ 22.Ke1 Bb4+ will do for White neither.


Up to this move Bok's performance was nothing short of brilliant and, should he have come up with a stunning 21...Bxd4!! 22.Nxd4 (22.Qxd4 Nf4+ 23.Qxf4 Qxb2+ 24.Nd2 Qxa1 25.Qxh6 Ba6+ 26.Kf3 Bb7+) 22...Nb4 23.Qxb4 (23.Bg2 Ba6+) 23...Rxd4 24.Qb5 Ba6 25.Qxa6 Qe5+ 26.Kf3 Qe4#, he could have placed himself in the same league with Morphy, Chigorin, Alekhine, Tal, Kasparov! This delay affords White enough time to consolidate his position. 

22.Rd1 Bb7 23.Rd2! 

This cute little twist of White's rook gives room to tuck away the astray queen behind her broad shoulders, and it turns out that the Byelorussian grandmaster is close to consolidation. 

23…Ra8 24.Qd1 


Following this error the balance might have tipped in Stupak’s favor, but fairness requires me to say that seeing such computer lines as 24...Rxa2! 25.dxc5 Rxb2 26.Qc1 Rxd2+ 27.Qxd2 Ba6+ 28.Kd1 Qa1+ 29.Qc1 Qa4+ 30.Ke1 (30.Kd2 Bxf1 31.Rxf1 Qd7+ drops a queen) 30...Nc2+ 31.Kd2 Nd4! 32.Qc3 Nxf3+ 33.Qxf3 Qa2+ with a draw is far from easy, if at all possible. 

25.a3 e5 26.axb4 exd4 27.Qb3+ Kh8 


Kirill Stupak is a major expert of the Catalan Opening and it just makes you wonder what made the Byelorussian refuse from deploying his pet to the working position in a crucial moment like that? In the case of 28.Bg2! Bxb4 29.Rc1! Bxd2 30.Kxd2 White is ahead in material with excellent winning chances. However, he was let down by a calculation blunder and underestimation of a modest pawn's potential…


Also interesting is 28...Qe7+!? 29.Kd2 Bxf3 30.Bb5 Bxh1 31.Rxh1 Rc8, although White still retains excellent drawing chances: 32.Rc1! Rxc1 33.Kxc1 Qe1+ 34.Qd1 Qxf2 35.Qe2. 

29.Kd2 Bxf3 30.Qxf3? 

This is a tragic error. Meanwhile, necessary was 30.Bb5! Qg5+ 31.Kc2 Rc8+ 32.Kb1 Bxh1 33.Rxh1, and White is still in the game. Stupak must have been of the opinion that Black's offensive was thwarted and that his king was free to make it to b1, but Bok's calculation proved deeper!  

30...d3! 31.Rb1?? 

Taking the last step into the abyss. The king could have once again shown himself to be a "berserk" by gulping down a potion of mushrooms and rushing headlong into the battle: 31.Kxd3 Qxb2 32.Qc6 Rd8+ 33.Ke3 Rxd1 34.Kf3 – and all Black's forces, despite their obvious superiority, are incapable of taking the white monarch into captivity.

31...Bxb4+ 32.Kxd3 Qe6!! 

A grand finale - the white king is in for a rude awakening after a hectic night party. 

33.Kc2 Rc8+ 34.Qc3+ Bxc3 35.bxc3 Qc6 White resigns. I wish we had more games like this!

I should add that in the match against the team of Andrey Filatov the best team of Africa, Egypt, was missing their "main Bedouin" Mohamed Ezat, who had drawn so much blood from Nikita Vitiugov and Vladimir Kramnik. As for famous Samy Shoker, he was listed with the Egyptian team neither. Together with Adly and Bassem their presence would added up to a very good team... Where have our friends disappeared? This is a mystery! 

USA defeated Serbia 3-1. At the beginning of the match a score was opened, which not only allowed the Americans taking an early lead, but also delivering a heavy psychological blow to the messengers of Belgrade. 

Nakamura (2789) – Markus (2662)

Robert Marcus has assigned his pieces to excellent locations and after 21...Bh6 the whole struggle would have still been ahead, but ...

21...Qd8? 22.Nxg6!, upon which it turned out that the offered horse is a Trojan one: 22…Nxg6 23.Qg3 Kh7 24.e5 or 23...Kf7 24.Rf1+. The Serbian grandmaster, being upset as he was, decided against playing further and resigned immediately. 

Although the Indians arrived in Baku without Vishy Anand, they produce an impression of a very strong and confident team with both experienced and young players shining in their lineup. In a match against the national team of Azerbaijan India prevailed twice with the black pieces. 

Naiditsch (2696) – Vidit (2669)

A careful 23.Qd1 would have resulted in a slightly inferior position for White, but a draw would have remained the most likely outcome nonetheless. However, negotiating from a position of weakness was not to Arkadij's liking.

23.Qa5?! Ng4! 24.Nxd4 Qxd4 25.Nxg4 Bxg4 26.Bf1? 

Decent drawing chances were afforded by 26.Qe1 Qb2 27.h3 Be6 28.Qd1 c4 29.dxc4 bxc4 30.bxc4 Bxc4 31.Bf1, whereas now Vidit gets down to stalemating White's pieces.

26...b4! 27.Qa2 Qc3 28.Qb1 Qd2! 

As there is no preventing the black bishop from landing on d1, Naiditsch could only bank on a desperate counterattack, which lacked enough resources to succeed, much to his grief. 

29.Qa1 Qxc2 30.Qxe5+ Kh7 31.Qxc7 Qxb3 32.Qxc5 Qd1 33.Qc7 Be6 34.f4 b3 35.f5 gxf5 36.exf5 Bd5 37.Qb6 Qf3 White resigns.

At last, another very beautiful game happened in the match between Vietnam and England. A chess bully, KID and Sicilian Dragon proponent, and a fan of the g7-bishop in general, Gawain Jones was opposed by two-time junior world champion Nguyen Anh Khoi. 

Nguyen (2448) – Jones (2635)

The junior player got a firm grip on Black and had it all calculated correctly: in the case of 15...Qd8 16.Bc5 b6 17.Nxc8 White fails. However, it was never Jones's intention to remove the queen from en prise.

15… fxe3!! 16.Nxe8 exf2+ 17.Ke2 Ng3+ 18.Kd3 Rxe8 

Apart from the h1-rook being en prise, Black has only two minor pieces for the queen so far. Therefore, 19.Qa4! Nc7 20.Kc2 Nxh1 21.Bb5 was supposed to leave Nguyen the superior side. However, the young man's desire to evacuate his king and to follow suit of the Stupak - Bok game is worthy of sincere respect. 

19.Kc2 Bd7 20.Bc4 

However, this is an error. Better was 20.Kb3 Nxh1 21.Bxa6 bxa6 22.Qxh1.

20...Ba4+ 21.Bb3 Bb5


22.Nc4 Nxh1 23.Qxh1 Rac8 24.d6 Rf8 (24 ... Bxc4 25.d7) 25.Qf1 was still a decent continuation. White had better not release the black bishop into the wild!

22...Be2 23.Qb1? 

Errors travel in pairs, but minor pieces' superiority over the queen is unquestionable after 23.Qc2 Rac8 24.d6+ Kh8 25.Bc4 Red8.


The Gufeld bishop makes a jab step to the right to eventually deliver a decisive blow. 

24.Nf3 Kh8 25.Ka2 Rac8 26.Qb2? 

White needed to include the intermezzo 26.d6! Nb8 27.Qb2 Bf4!, although even here White is not to be envied. Now the e4-pawn drops and the King's Indian bishop enters the game, upon which Jones's forces would literally tear the White's defensive formations apart. 

26...Nxe4 27.Raf1 Bxf1 28.Rxf1 Nc3+ 29.Ka1 e4! 

30.Qxf2 exf3 31.Qxf3 Bg7 32.d6 Re2, and Nguyen resigned without having his opponent demonstrate the line 33.d7 Ne4+ 34.Kb1 Nd2+ 35.Ka2 Nxf3+. This game is an evergreen Gioconda's Smile painted by the British grandmaster on the chess board. 

Even if this time the Azerbaijani knights' performance was not especially successful, the female home team makes up for it in plenty! Another victory, this time over the titled women's German team, landed Zeinab Mamedjarova and her friends into sharing 3-5 places with 9 team points out of 10!

Mammadova (2304) – Levushkina (2342)

This game shows us a cute trap snapping into action shortly before the time control move. Once Black took the pawn 36...Nfxe4?, the cage banged shut: 37.Rc2! Nf6 38.hxg3 hxg3 39.Nf1 Nh5 40.Qxe5, and Mammadova won. 

As Russia defeated Kazakhstan, let me share a couple of thoughts about the Kazakhstan's lineup. How come the U20 world champion Dinara Saduakassova would not arrive at the Olympiad? Besides, where is Madina Davletbaeva? The ideal lineup of the female team of Kazakhstan produced real sensations at the previous Olympiads and, if you still happen to remember, even lent substantial assistance to Rublevsky's squad when it came to competing against the Chinese. Instead, Kazakhstan listed the veteran Yelena Ankudinova, while moving into Moscow this summer under Sergei Nesterov's wing was the rising star Bibisara Assaubayeva, whose appearance on the team in Baku would have been more than opportune now... Something is amiss with the Kazakh Khanate! 

By the way, it seems to me that Sergey Anatolievich could be put in charge of some kind of a project titled "getting ourselves prepared for the 2026 Olympiad". Nesterov does have experience of training Esipenko and Maltsevskaya, there are many magnificent cities in the Moscow region, not to mention the number of talented children on the territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States who are in need of coaching support! It is necessary to act without delay, otherwise uncle Sinquefield is going to tempt every talented player over to his side! 

Anyway, the number of leading teams in the women's section after round five was reduced, while the Russians were already sharing the first place with the Ukrainians, whom they were to play after the weekend. 

Round 6
Who is going to benefit more from the rest day?

The followup of the Olympic battles took place after the famous "Bermuda-party" - a rest day and a real feast for all guests of the Tournament of Nations. A "Bermuda-party" is a dream of every chess fan. "Bermuda-parties" were legendized following the popular Russian TV program "The Evening Urgant", which was visited by Alexandra Kosteniuk, Jan Nepomniachtchi and Peter Svidler. Dozens of chess fans would enthusiastically recall the details of the program, during which Peter Veniaminovich in a relaxed manner and with a good sense of humor shared about the only player in the history of chess who failed to pass a doping test, and the episode ended with a catch phrase by the popular TV host, "You will come to know the name of the stuff that this player smoked after a commercial break! "

Each player is influenced by a "Bermuda-party" in different ways. It looks like Magnus Carlsen was not too much helped by the day off, the outcome being yet another draw against a Filipino player Sadorra. However, it is too early to take it to heart since Carlsen has dropped only 8 points from his Elo rating with five games to go yet. 

However, if you are a romantic, enthusiastic and talented grandmaster, surviving the "Bermuda-party" without sustaining some losses along the way would be akin to great happiness! It is worth noting that when comparing players in round six pairings, those who keep regular hours would more often get the better over the "creative" ones. Besides, the Indians grabbed the lead altogether. 

While the Netherlands - India match and an effective victory of the Russians over Germany was subjected to a detailed analysis in Vladimir Barsky's review, I have very little to add but to express admiration with Ian Nepomniachtchi's performance, who has won his sixth game in a row!
Has anything of the like ever happened in the history of the Russian team chess and Olympic Games in general? The subject is worth studying. There is nothing that rings any bells with me at the moment. Previously, even something like three in a row was treated as a great achievement already, while during the 1994 Moscow Olympiad Naum Nikolayevich Rashkovsky came up with a proposal that such outstanding people be offered some kind on an incentive. However, this is about winning as many as six in a row! This is simply fantastic! Bravo, Ian! Keep it up! This said, the list of the world's best players has Nepomniachtchi occupying line fifteen... I will say no more, so as not to jinx it. 

It goes without saying that the most exciting confrontation of round six was the battle between the American dream team and the Ukrainians, who shined in the first half of the tournament. This time around the Sulypa's disciples were pressurizing dangerously at both "white" boards, but their opponents put up fierce opposition: Shankland bailed out from Korobov, while Nakamura managed to get himself free from Ponomariov's vice grip. 

Ponomariov (2709) – Nakamura (2789)


Even in the case of the most precise 31.Rb1! the rejoinder 31…Rxa4 would have transposed into the queen ending with two versus one pawns.

Losing is 31...Qa2 32.Rb4 Rxa4? in view of 33.Qc8+ Kg7 34.Qc3+! f6 (34...Kh6 35.Qe3+) 35.Qc7+.

32.Rb8+ Kg7 33.Qf8+ Kf6 34.Rb6+ Kg5 35.Rb5+! f5 36.Qe7+ Kh6 (losing is 36...Kh5 37.g4+) 37.Rxf5! gxf5 38.Qf6+ Kh5 39.Qxf5+ Kh6 40.Qf8+ Kh5 41.Qe8+ Kg5 42.Qxa4 Qe1+ 43.Kh2 Qxf2 44.Qg4+ Kh6 45.Qf3, and this ending should be tenable for Black. 

In the game, however, the king opted for a brave voyage, not fearing to expose himself to dangerous aftermath. 

31...Rxa4! 32.Re8+ Kg7 33.Qf8+ 

However incredible it might seem, Nakamura escapes in all lines: 33.g4 Ra1+ 34.Kg2 Re1!

33...Kf6 34.Qe7+ Kg7 35.Qf8+ Kf6 36.Re3 

36.Qh8+ Kg5 37.g3 f5 would create dangerous threats neither. 

36...Rf4! 37.Qh8+ Kg5 38.Rg3+ Kh6 39.Qf8+ Kh5

With the king feeling very comfortable on h5, the opponents agreed to a draw after 40.Qc5+ Rf5 – White's next move is 41.Qe3.

The only "half-goal" opportunity helped Americans light the lamp behind their opponent' goal with Caruana outfoxing Eljanov for no reason at all. 

Caruana (2808) – Eljanov (2739)

It is not for nothing that heavy-piece endings are referred to as a "fourth stage of the chess game" - this difficult position on the board is not easy to evaluate. The e6 and f3-nails serve as binders, and what is the a4-pawn's value? Is it an asset or a liability? Black would have fared better by maintaining pressure via 29...Qf8, but Eljanov headed for simplifications. 

29...Rxe6?! 30.Qxf3 Rxe4 31.Qxe4 Qc7 32.c5! 

This is a very nasty ramming blow against the Black's structure, taking into account that 32...e5 33.Rb6! d5 34.Qb4 fails to help either.

32…dxc5 33.Qc4+ Kg7 34.Qc3+ Kg8 35.Qc4+ Kg7 36.Qxc5 Qd6? 

This is yet another blunder which chains the Ukrainian grandmaster to his weaknesses. While there was still an opportunity it was worth advancing the pawn from e7 to e5: 36...Ra5 37.Qe3 Qd6 38.Re4 e5 with chances to stand ground. 

37.Qc3+ Qf6 38.Qe3 Rf8 

Now 38...Ra5 39.Re4 e5 40.Qc3 Rd5 41.a5 does not look good, but the passive stance involving the rook on f7 did not pan out for Pavel either. 

39.Re4 Rf7 40.Re5! 

40…Qd6 41.a5 Qd1+ 42.Kg2 Qa1 43.Qe2 e6 

The passive stance 43... Qd4 44.f3 Qa1 45.a6 leads to nothing positive as well.

44.a6 Qd4 

In the case of 44...Ra7 45.Rxe6 Black can take the pawn with no piece since both captures result in checkmates. Therefore, all Caruana needs to do is reap bountiful harvest of his farsighted strategy.

45.Rxe6 c5 46.Re7! Qd5+ 47.f3 c4 48.Rxf7+ Qxf7 49.Qe5+ Kh6 50.Qe3+ Kg7 51.Qd4+ Kh6 52.a7 Qb7 53.h4 Black resigns. Both saving the king and stopping the white pawn from queening is impossible for Black.

The Czech Republic parted from Georgia with four draws, but the Canadians, headed by Evgeny Bareev, chagrined the Byelorussians, all this coupled with a feeling that Eugene Ilgizovich could have achieved more against Sergey Zhigalko. When was the last time that the "maple leaves" shined at the Olympiad like this? Does it go as far back as Bogatyrchuk's times?

The difficulty with which the Chinese came by their 2 points is worth mentioning. They we somewhat let down by Wang Yue, who fell under a mating attack as White from the Argentinian Sandro Mareco for no reason at all. The Azerbaijani were on the verge of defeat with Arkadij Naiditsch receiving his second knockout punch already, when Eltaj Safarli stood up to the team's interests. 

Safarli (2688) – Halkias (2565)

With equal material on the board, Eltaj still finds a way to literally stalemate Black's pieces. 

42.Rd8+ Kh7 43.h5 Qf7 

43...Qxh5 44.Rf8 g6 45.Qe7+ results in a checkmate, whereas 43...Rxh5 44.Rh8+ drops a queen. 


The position is a zugzwang despite so many pieces still on the board! In order to keep the rook in the game you need to throw in the g-pawn, but then a spectacular geometry steps in to clench the matter. 

44…g6 45.hxg6+ Qxg6 

45...Kxg6 46.Qxg4+ Kf6 47.Qh4+ Ke6 48.Qd4 is not difficult to find over the board. 

46.Qb7+! Kh6 

It turns out that after 46...Rf7 a shadow of the famous game Euwe - Alekhine hovers over the board: 47.Qh1+! Just as in the predecessor game, the queen cornering proves decisive.

47.Qh1+ Kg7 48.Qh8+ Kf7 49.Qf8+ Ke6 50.Qd6+ 

Although 50.Rd6+ Ke5 51.Qe7+ is a shortcut to the final goal, the classical players advised us: "If you have a choice between going for a checkmate and taking a queen, do the latter because a checkmate may not be there after all!" 

50...Kf7 51.Rf8+ Kg7 52.Rg8+ Black resigns. A very nice geometry!

Thus, leading the tournament after round six with a perfect score is India, and now Harikrishna and friends are to fight the American armada, lagging a point behind. Sharing a 10-point result are a lot of strong teams, which make up the following pairs Russian - Czech Republic, Latvia - Netherlands, Georgia - Romania, England - China, and Ukraine - Canada. The fight is only about to start!

While my colleague Vladimir Barsky will be the one to delve in detail into the stunning match Ukraine-Russia, will tell you about a great chess player Valentina Gunina who needs no pawns to reach her goal, as well as about the willed Olga Girya, we should not ignore the fact that other teams of the "Big Four" have lost points as well.

In the women's section especially surprising was the Chinese team's draw against the team of Romania, by far not the youngest one on the tournament. A talented Irina Bulmaga succumbed to Guo Qi, but Peptan, Foisor and Cosma showed their worth. Corina-Isabela's endgame performance against 

Ju Wenjun was simply on the Fischer's level. 

Peptan (2394) – Ju Wenjun (2583)

What are White's chances to level the match score? A simple 60...Be8 or 60...Bd7 would have resulted in an easy draw, but once the Chinese player committed a blunder, the Romanian grandmaster demonstrated the case of domination with only a few pieces on the board. 

60...Kf7?! 61.Nh6+ Kg6? 

Black should have opted for 61...Kf8 62.Nf5 Re6+ 63.Kf4 Be8 with nothing terribly wrong for her so far. 

62.Nf5 Re6+ 63.Kf4 Be8 64.Rc7 

White's pieces have become significantly more active and create potent threats at that. As Ju was clearly unwilling to have her king edged out onto the side of the board after 64...Rb6 65.Rg7+ for fear of potential checkmates, she decided to part ways with a pawn. 

65…Bf7 65.Rb7 Re5 66.Nd6 Bc4 67.Nxc4 bxc4 68.Rc7 Rh5! 

Black demonstrates a resourceful play, not letting her pawn go down just like that. 69.Ke4 Re5+ 70.Kd4 Rf5 would be a lack of endgame technique sign, whereas the engine-offered 69.Rc5! Rh4+ 70.Ke3 c3 71.b5 Kf7 does not look altogether clear from the human point of view. Peptan reacted in a simpler way... and won immediately!

69.Kg3 Rg5+ 70.Kf2 Rb5? 

Since this placement of the rook immediately makes Black's position resignable, it was necessary to deploy her pet piece otherwise: 70...Rd5! 71.Rxc4 Rd3, and White is yet to demonstrate a winning path.

71.Rxc4 f5 72.Ke3 Kg5 73.Kd3 Rb8 74.Kc3 Kf6 75.f4, and the b-pawn march finalized the match score - 2-2.

Following the misfire at the start, the Georgian athletes needed to catch up with their more advanced competitors, but in round six they ran into an impenetrable barrier, personified by the Azerbaijani girls. While Nana Dzagnidze defeated Zeinab Mamedjarova,  the world champions had a hard time on other boards with Javakhishvili barely escaping down a pawn from Mammadzada and board three of the host team equalizing the score altogether. It was yet another case of Gulnar Mammadova reeling in a decisive point! 

Batsiashvili (2474) – Mammadova (2304)

Black's position is desperate as White threatens to infiltrate with her queen into d6, but in time trouble the status quo changed.

34...Nc4! 35.Qe7? 

After 35.bxc4 Bxc7 36.cxd5 Bd6 37.Qb3 Qxa4 38.Qxa4 Rxa4 39.g3 White would have retained definite winning chances, but Batsiashvili overlooked Black's resource of protecting of his minor pieces indirectly.

35...Bxc7 36.Qxd7? 

It was not yet too late to think again: 36.bxc4 Qxa4 37.Rc1 Ra7 38.Qb4 with drawing chances.


Even though 36...Ra7 37.Qe8 Nd6 would have been an easier win, Mammadova converted her material advantage without any troubles. 

37.bxc4 Ra7 38.Qe8 Bxc3 39.cxd5 exd5 40.Rb8 Rb7 41.Rd8 Qe6, after the trade of queens the bishop entered the game decisively. 

In the women's section the Ukraine and Russia are immediately followed by China, Poland, USA, Romania, Azerbaijan, India and the Netherlands - the first two teams are paired against their closest pursuers.