ISTANBUL, Turkey (A.W.)—Armenia defeated Ukraine 2.5-1.5 in the 5th round of the Chess Olympiad currently underway in Istanbul to climb to the top of the standings with 10 points. Russia is second, also with 10 points, but an inferior tie-break.
Armenia had emerged victorious from each of the previous four rounds, but it was the victory against the number two seed Ukraine that put the Armenian team on top of the standings, with six more rounds to go.
The crucial victory was secured by Levon Aronian, who was playing against Vassily Ivanchuk. The three other players from the Armenian team drew their games.
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 7th in 2010.
A number of Armenian chess players are representing other countries. Most notable among them is Varuzhan Akobian, who is part of the U.S. team, and Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian, on the Brazilian team.
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 has 11 rounds, and will conclude on Sept. 10.
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