ISTANBUL, Turkey (A.W.)—With two rounds to go, Armenia shares the lead with China, Russia, and the U.S. at the Chess Olympiad currently underway in Istanbul.
Armenia defeated Germany 2.5-1.5 in the 9th round to climb to the top of the standings with 15 points. The U.S. in turn defeated number one seeds Russia 2.5-1.5, while China demolished the Philippines 3.5-0.5.
In Round 10, which will take place on Sept. 6, Armenia will play the Netherlands, Russia will take on Argentina, while China and the U.S. will face off in the toughest match of the day.
Armenia has emerged victorious from seven out of nine matches so far. It has only lost to China and drew its match against Russia.
Organized by the International Chess Federation (FIDE), the Olympiad is the most prestigious team competition in the chess world.
The top-seeds are Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Hungary, Azerbaijan, China, and the U.S., respectively.
The Armenian national team is represented by Levon Aronian, Sergei Movsesian, Vladimir Akopian, Gabriel Sargissian, and Tigran Petrosian.
Armenia won the 2006 and 2008 Olympiads, and came in seventh in 2010.
A number of Armenian chess players are representing other countries. Most notable among them are Varuzhan Akobian on the U.S. team and Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian on the Brazilian team.
The Armenian women’s team is sixth after nine rounds. China leads with 16 points, and Russia is second with 15. Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Poland, and Armenia are 3-6 respectively, all with 14 points.
The women’s team representing Armenia is comprised of Elina Danielian, Lilit Mkrtchian, Lilit Galoian, Maria Kursova, and Anna Hairapetian.
Several other Armenians in the women’s section are representing other countries. Natalia Khoudgarian, for example, heads the Canadian women’s team.
The Olympiad consists of 11 rounds, and will conclude on Sept. 10.
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