After the fifth round of the Chess Olympiad, our teams will have to catch up

The fourth round of the World Chess Olympiad taking place in India seemed to bring complete disappointment to the Ukrainian teams. However, everything ended half well for our teams.

Yulia Osmak turned out to be an unexpectedly weak chain in the women’s team. In the match with the Bulgarians on the fourth board, the Kiev player, who played with White, got a rather promising position. But she mistakenly beat the opponent’s knight with the wrong pawn and lost most of the advantage. The position soon equalized. But Osmak’s mood was already spoiled. She made several mistakes and lost.

True, Anna Muzychuk quickly took revenge. She seized the initiative with White in the French Defence. Then she drove the opponent’s king into an open field. To protect herself from mating threats, the Bulgarian chess player gave up material, but this did not save her from defeat.

Our girls, who played as black, didn’t get any advantage in the opening. Gradually, however, Maria Muzychuk and Anna Ushenina equalized the game. Maria managed to capture the second rank with two rooks. But that was enough to win a pawn, but not the game. White’s cold-blooded defense brought the meeting to a draw.

It seemed that Ushenina would also not be able to overcome the resistance of her opponent. Despite the extra pawn in the rook ending, the computer showed sad zeros for us, that is, it predicted a draw in the end of the game. However, Anna fought hard to the end. And the opponent made a decisive mistake. The Ukrainian won, and the score of the match became 2.5:1.5 in favor of ours.

But the Ukrainian men suffered an unexpected fiasco. They lost to the Slovakian team. Moreover, both of our leaders lost – Anton Korobov and Andrey Volokitin. Anton played the Nimzowitsch Defence, where his opponent used the now fashionable variation with the development of the bishop on d2. Unfortunately, Korobov did not play well. White’s advantage became threatening, and Black resigned already on the 34th move.

Volokitin’s opponent chose the classic dragon variation in the Sicilian Defence. Andrei, who is considered one of the world’s best theory experts, this time could not get a big advantage in the opening. And then he began to play very badly, got a worse position and lost.

Also, the Slovak Kirill Shevchenko could not beat the Slovak with White. He managed to play only a draw. And only Yury Kuzubov was able to win with Black. Although at certain moments his position was also losing. Thus, the Ukrainians lost – 1.5:2.5.

In the fifth round, the women’s team was under strong pressure from the Azerbaijanis. Already after the 14th move, the position of Natalia Buksa (black) became hopeless. Anna Muzychuk leveled the game with the same color, but she had no opportunity to fight for the victory. The party ended in a draw.

True, Ushenina owned the initiative, but she felt a lack of time. It seemed that Maria Muzychuk also had little chance of winning. However, her uncompromising nature and her opponent’s time pressure did their job. On the 33rd move, the Azerbaijani chess player made a fatal mistake and immediately laid down her arms. Buxe failed to escape. And Ushenina did not bring the game to victory – also a draw.

Thus, the score of the match is 2:2. The first point lost by the Ukrainian team. After the fifth round, the teams of India, Georgia and Romania are ahead – 10 points each. Ukrainian women share places from fourth to sixth – 1 point less. The next opponents are Romanian.

Read also: The prologue of the Chess Olympiad was successful for Ukrainians

Our men had no problems in the match against Estonia. Korobov, Onischuk and Kuzubov won, while Volokitin drew. 3.5:0.5 – in favor of our grandmasters.

The teams of Armenia and India-2 are in the lead – they have the maximum result. The Ukrainians with 7 points share the places from 27th to 43rd and will now play with the Argentines.

Peter Marusenkointernational master.


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