RUSSIA IS THE SOLE LEADER IN BOTH SECTIONS
Russia restored the top position in the Open section after defeating the earlier leader Croatia. Nikita Vitiugov (RUS, 2728) and Daniil Dubov (RUS, 2677) were successful with white pieces which put the Russian team in the big chance to defend the title.
Azerbaijan helped the Russia’s cause by beating Hungary 3-1, with full points from Arkadij Naiditsch (AZE, 2702) and Rauf Mamedov (AZE, 2702). After the shaky start Azerbaijan surged ahead to reach a clear second place.
The next four matches finished with narrow 2,5-1,5 scores. Pavel Eljanov (UKR, 2720) brought the match points for Ukraine against Romania, Rasmus Svane (GER, 2595) won for Germany against Armenia, while 19 years old Vahap Sanal (TUR, 2549) was the hero of Turkey in the clash against neighbors from Georgia.
Israel signed the same score versus Poland, with wins from Sutovsky Emil (ISR, 2683) and Nabaty Tamir (ISR, 2661) and Duda Jan-Krzysztof (POL, 2706). Netherlands made a comeback with a swift 3-1 victory against Belarus, while England and Spain split the points.
Top round 8 matches are Russia – Azerbaijan, Hungary – Ukraine, Israel – Germany and Netherlands – Turkey.
In the Women’s section the teams from Russia and Georgia have clearly distinguished themselves from the rest of the field. Russia had no trouble to defeat Italy by 3-1, while Georgia crashed Spain 4-0. Russia is first with 13 match points, Georgia is second with 12 points, while the chasing group is full two points behind.
Ukraine and Poland shared the points when Anna Muzychuk (UKR, 2576) beat Monika Socko (POL, 2479) and Klaudia Kulon (POL, 2358) leveled against Iulija Osmak (UKR, 2339). Same result happened in the match Romania – Armenia. Irina Bulmaga (ROU, 2423) won for Romania and Maria Gevorgyan (ARM, 2262) evened for Armenia.
Turkey made a significant progress by beating France 3-1. Czech Republic recorded the same win against Greece 1.
Serbia edged Belarus 2,5-1,5 and Netherlands demolished higher rated Hungary by 3,5-0,5.
Penultimate round of the European Team Chess Championship for 2017 will be played today at 15:00 (local time) and all the games can be followed live through the official website of the Championship, or through the ECU website, section LIVE.