AP World Politics
Russia extends lead, Georgian and U.S. women fall in Chess Olympiad
Wed Nov 6, 4:57 PM ET
By ROBERT HUNTINGTON, Associated Press Writer
BLED, Slovenia - Russia extended its lead to two points by hammering Germany 3.5-0.5 in the eleventh round of the Chess Olympiad here on Wednesday, while second-place Hungary defeated England 2.5-1.5.
The real surprises of the round, however, occurred in the women's section, where Poland crushed front-runner Georgia 2.5-0.5 and the U.S. team surprisingly lost to Armenia by the same score.
Wednesday's results trim Georgia's once formidable lead to a half point over second-place China and virtually knock the American women — who had been the talk of the tournament — out of medal contention.
As usual, the Russian men were led by Garry Kasparov, who outplayed Christopher Lutz with Black on board one and has given up only two draws in eight games. Alexander Grischuk and Peter Svidler added wins on boards two and four.
Hungary and England featured games between two top-10 players on board one and between two top-20 boards on board two. Both games were drawn.
On board one, Michael Adams of England played a short but complex game against Peter Leko. On board two, Judit Polgar of Hungary could not demonstrate any advantage against Nigel Short's Alekhine Defense. The match was decided on board four, where Peter Acs defeated Stuart Conquest.
Georgia moved into third place by downing Sweden 3-1. Croatia moved into a tie for fourth place with England, with 2.5-1.5 over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Armenia and Canada got back into contention by thrashing Cuba and Moldova respectively 3.5-0.5.
The United States had a chance to do the same against Turkmenistan, but despite having much higher rated players on every board, went down 2.5-1.5, and is now out of the running.
Yasser Seirawan of Seattle is a bright spot on the team — with 6.5 points in 8 games and is the tournament's individual leader on the second board.
In the women's section, Georgia's loss was especially surprising since Georgia had White on two boards. Former world champion Maia Chiburdanidze got the only half point on board one.
China took advantage of Georgia's loss by defeating Romania 2.5-0.5.
Russia took sole possession of third place by beating Germany 2-1.
The American women have been the talk of the tournament. Seeded 11th, they defeated both Georgia and China. Wednesday's loss, however, makes them once again a long shot.
On board one, Irina Krush of New York got the team's only half point from a position where she was always slightly worse and had to defend carefully.
On board two, Camilla Baginskaite of San Francisco overlooked a back-rank mating possibility that cost her a pawn. Jennifer Shahade of New York allowed her pawn center to become overextended on the bottom board.
The twelfth round takes place here on Thursday.
Top standings in the men's section after 11 rounds (44 games): Russia 32; Hungary 30; Georgia 28; Croatia, England 27.5; Armenia, Canada, China, Poland, Ukraine 27; Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany, Greece, Israel, Slovakia, Yugoslavia 26.5; France, India, Macedonia, Netherlands, Spain 26; Bangladesh, Lithuania, Sweden 25.5; Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Kazakhstan, Slovenia-A, Turkmenistan 25; Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Iceland, Italy, Romania, Philippines, Switzerland, United States 24.5.
Top standings in the women's section after 11 rounds (33 games): Georgia 24.5; China 24; Russia 22.5; Poland 21.5; Armenia, United States, Vietnam 21; Hungary 20.5; Bulgaria 20; Azerbaijan, France, Germany, India, Romania, Yugoslavia 19.5.
On the Net:
(E) Croatia - China Live on the web - Chess
Date:11/8/2002 9:07:35 AM Eastern Standard Time
13.328 Croatia - 7 China watch
1 GM Kozul Zdenko 2565 - GM Ye Jiangchuan 2667
2 GM Cvitan Ognjen 2562 - GM Xu Jun 2643
3 GM Zelcic Robert 2554 - GM Zhang Zhong 2620
4 GM Stevic Hrvoje 2512 - GM Bu Xiangzhi 2601