News & Reports Aug 8, 2014 | 8:55 AMby Tromso Olympiad 2014

Round 6 board pairings: Carlsen's challenge

Magnus Carlsen is playing a super-tournament on top board for Norway | photo: David Llada

In terms of team clashes Round 6 of the Chess Olympiad is perhaps not quite the blockbuster we’ve been used to – Armenia-England looks the most finely-balanced top encounter – but we’ve got nothing to complain about when it comes to individual games. Magnus Carlsen takes on his great rival Fabiano Caruana, while other big games include Mamedyarov-Jobava, Kasimdzhanov-Kramnik, Le Quang Liem-Leko and Adams-Aronian.

Players of the stature of Magnus Carlsen have often been reluctant to play in Olympiads when their team is not among the favourites. They tend to end up playing weaker players and risk heavy ratings losses if something goes wrong. Carlsen himself suffered in the 2010 Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, but so far in Tromsø that hasn’t been an issue. After meeting Radek Wojtaszek (2735) in his third game he came up against Armenian world no. 2 Levon Aronian (2805), and now he faces Italian world no. 3  Fabiano Caruana.

Or if you take live ratings into account (updated each day, not each month) it gets even stranger!

Among matches the top table pairing of Azerbaijan-Georgia sees a meeting of regional rivals and friends (Azerbaijan oil money funds the Georgian Chess Federation), while England-Armenia (Adams-Aronian on top board) is clearly a match to watch! Can the strong England side further damage the chances of Armenia defending their Olympiad title?

Rustam Kasimdzhanov has enjoyed a fine tournament so far | photo: Georgios Souleidis, chess24

Intrigue elsewhere includes the top pairing of Uzbekistan-Russia, with Rustam Kasimdzhanov taking on Vladimir Kramnik. Both players are in fine form, with former FIDE World Champion Kasimdzhanov having defeated Arkadij Naiditsch and Vassily Ivanchuk in consecutive rounds. A win against Kramnik would take Rustam to his highest ever rating. After pointing this out to him yesterday at dinner... and quickly apologising for possibly jinxing him, Rustam replied, “There’s no such thing as jinxes”!

The top pairings are as follows:

Round 6 on 2014/08/08 at 14:00
Bo.8Azerbaijan (AZE)Rtg-21Georgia (GEO)Rtg0 : 0
1.1GMMamedyarov, Shakhriyar2743-GMJobava, Baadur2713
1.2GMRadjabov, Teimour2724-GMMchedlishvili, Mikheil2618
1.3GMMamedov, Rauf2659-GMNigalidze, Gaioz2542
1.4GMSafarli, Eltaj2649-GMShanava, Konstantine2563
Bo.29Serbia (SRB)Rtg-18Bulgaria (BUL)Rtg0 : 0
2.1GMIvanisevic, Ivan2613-GMTopalov, Veselin2772
2.2GMPerunovic, Milos2602-GMCheparinov, Ivan2681
2.3GMMarkus, Robert2602-GMIotov, Valentin2553
2.4GMIndjic, Aleksandar2539-IMDimitrov, Radoslav2461
Bo.20Italy (ITA)Rtg-14Norway (NOR)Rtg0 : 0
3.1GMCaruana, Fabiano2801-GMCarlsen, Magnus2877
3.2GMDavid, Alberto2565-GMHammer, Jon Ludvig2628
3.3GMVocaturo, Daniele2587-GMJohannessen, Leif Erlend2528
3.4GMBrunello, Sabino2560-GMLie, Kjetil A.2528
Bo.13Cuba (CUB)Rtg-49Kazakhstan (KAZ)Rtg0 : 0
4.1GMDominguez Perez, Leinier2760-GMIsmagambetov, Anuar2531
4.2GMBruzon Batista, Lazaro2664-GMKotsur, Pavel2559
4.3GMQuesada Perez, Yuniesky2649-GMKostenko, Petr2461
4.4GMOrtiz Suarez, Isan Reynaldo2603-IMAitbayev, Aslan2425
Bo.33Uzbekistan (UZB)Rtg-1Russia (RUS)Rtg0 : 0
5.1GMKasimdzhanov, Rustam2700-GMKramnik, Vladimir2760
5.2GMFilippov, Anton2615-GMGrischuk, Alexander2795
5.3GMDzhumaev, Marat2510-GMSvidler, Peter2751
5.4IMVakhidov, Jahongir2471-GMNepomniachtchi, Ian2714
Bo.42Bosnia & Herzegovina (BIH)Rtg-3France (FRA)Rtg0 : 0
6.1GMPredojevic, Borki2604-GMVachier-Lagrave, Maxime2768
6.2GMDizdarevic, Emir2522-GMBacrot, Etienne2720
6.3GMStojanovic, Dalibor2503-GMFressinet, Laurent2708
6.4IMKadric, Denis2473-GMTkachiev, Vladislav2624
Bo.24Croatia (CRO)Rtg-72Indonesia (INA)Rtg0 : 0
7.1GMSaric, Ivan2671-GMMegaranto, Susanto2527
7.2GMStevic, Hrvoje2606-IMFarid, Firman Syah2400
7.3GMKozul, Zdenko2608-Ali Lutfi, Muhammad2339
7.4GMZelcic, Robert2548-CMSetyaki, Azarya Jodi2186
Bo.7China (CHN)Rtg-38Egypt (EGY)Rtg0 : 0
8.1GMWang, Yue2718-GMAmin, Bassem2627
8.2GMDing, Liren2742-IMEzat, Mohamed2466
8.3GMYu, Yangyi2668-GMAdly, Ahmed2589
8.4GMNi, Hua2666-GMEl Gindy, Essam2486
Bo.31Vietnam (VIE)Rtg-5Hungary (HUN)Rtg0 : 0
9.1GMLe, Quang Liem2710-GMLeko, Peter2740
9.2GMNguyen, Ngoc Truong Son2634-GMBalogh, Csaba2637
9.3IMNguyen, Duc Hoa2501-GMAlmasi, Zoltan2690
9.4IMNguyen, Huynh Minh Huy2507-GMPolgar, Judit2676
Bo.11Netherlands (NED)Rtg-39Iran (IRI)Rtg0 : 0
10.1GMGiri, Anish2745-GMMoradiabadi, Elshan2598
10.2GML'Ami, Erwin2631-IMIdani, Pouya2499
10.3GMTiviakov, Sergei2664-GMToufighi, Homayoon2424
10.4GMVan Kampen, Robin2638-GMGolizadeh, Asghar2490
Bo.58Norway 2 (NOR2)Rtg-16Czech Republic (CZE)Rtg0 : 0
11.1IMUrkedal, Frode2500-GMNavara, David2716
11.2IMHansen, Torbjorn Ringdal2450-GMLaznicka, Viktor2676
11.3IMTari, Aryan2440-GMHracek, Zbynek2634
11.4Salomon, Johan2353-GMBabula, Vlastimil2549
Bo.10England (ENG)Rtg-4Armenia (ARM)Rtg0 : 0
12.1GMAdams, Michael2740-GMAronian, Levon2805
12.2GMJones, Gawain C B2665-GMSargissian, Gabriel2686
12.3GMShort, Nigel D2665-GMMovsesian, Sergei2672
12.4GMSadler, Matthew D2653-GMAkopian, Vladimir2655

Full pairings for both men and women, with handy clickable flags to jump straight to a particular team, can be found here.

The women’s pairings

The same that was said about the open event applies to the women’s event, but even more so. Most matches have clear favourites, and you perhaps have to scroll down to a match like India-Spain to find a contest that’s close on paper (India are higher rated on two boards, but lower rated on the other two). One big game to look out for is Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine) vs. Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria).

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