The European Team Championship 2015 witnessed fantastic performance by the Russians as they bagged gold in both the sections of the tournament.
The Hungary – Russia match-up in the last round saw all the four games ending in draws, thus helping the Russians clinch gold without any fuss. The Russian team remained unbeaten throughout the event to finish with a total of 15 points, 2 points clear of their nearest competitors.
Meanwhile, Armenia’s convincing 3-1 victory over the in-form Georgians helped them secure silver whilst Hungary bagged bronze.
Just as in the open section, the women’s section was dominated by the Russians. In the 9th and final round of the tournament, Russia overcame Germany 3-1 to finish first with a total of 17 points, 2 points ahead of silver-medallists Ukraine. The top seeded Georgians, however, could only finish third.
Top seeded Russia scored a crucial 3-1 victory over second seeded Ukraine in the 4th round of the European Team Chess Championship 2015. GMs Svidler and Nepomniachtchi scored full points for Russia against GMs Ivanchuk and Areshchenko respectively while the remaining games ended in draws. With this result, the Russians have moved into sole lead at the end of Round 4.
Meanwhile, 15th seeded Serbia continued its fantastic string of results in the tournament with a 2-2 draw against 4th-seeded France. In other top battles, Spain defeated Switzerland while Azerbaijan showed no mercy in overcoming Turkey.
Round 4 not only saw the Russian men take up the sole lead but also the Russian women. Facing top-seeded Georgia, 2nd-seeded Russia recorded a resounding 3.5-0.5 victory. Only GM Dzagnidze could salvage a draw for the Georgians.
Close on Russia’s heels are France and Romania, thanks to their wins over Hungary and Germany respectively.
Top seeded Russia and second seeded Ukraine pipped Azerbaijan and Spain respectively to emerge as the joint leaders after round 3 of the European Team Chess Championship 2015. Both the match-ups followed a similar course as sole wins by GM Nepomniachtchi (Russia) and GM Eljanov (Ukraine) helped their respective teams clinch the match.
Meanwhile, 15th seeded Serbia created a minor upset as they overcame 9th seeded Netherlands with a convincing 3-1 scoreline.
Just as in the open section, women’s section has been dominated so far by the top two teams – Georgia and Russia. In the 3rd round, Russia comfortably defeated Italy while the Georgians were successful in overcoming the strong Ukrainian team. As such, Russia and Georgia are leading the table with perfect scores.
The second round of the European Team Chess Championship 2015 saw two heavyweights – Armenia and France – clash against each other on the top board. In this exciting match-up, France came out on top courtesy of GM Vachier-Lagrave’s crucial victory over GM Aronian with the black pieces.
Meanwhile, strong teams like England, Netherlands and Czech Republic were held to draws by Georgia, Croatia and Sweden respectively.
After two rounds, five teams – Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, Spain and France – are leading the field with perfect scores.
The first round of the European Team Chess Championship 2015 turned out to be anything but easy for the stronger teams. Higher ranked teams like Norway (who rested Carlsen for Round 1), Czech Republic and Latvia were shocked by Montenegro, Denmark and Finland respectively.
Plenty of good teams were held to draws as well. Of note were draws by Moldova and Austria against Hungary and Poland respectively. Although most teams shed a few board points, Armenia and Georgia managed to record 4-0 victories over their respective opponents.