ArmInfo.The battle for the medal was all the rage in the ninth round of the Olympiad, played this afternoon at the Sheraton Four Points Convention Center in Mahabalipuram. No team is budging an inch, and the matches are fast and furious, FIDE reports.
Uzbekistan's young squad, led by teenager Abdusattorov and coached by seasoned Dutch Grand Master Ivan Sokolov, compellingly defeated leaders Armenia by a 3-1 score, with wins by Sindarov and Vakhidov on the last two boards.
Vakhidov's feat is even more praiseworthy - he beat Robert Hovhannisyan (undefeated to date) with the black pieces. With this win, the Uzbekistan team is now the sole leader of the Olympiad sitting on 16 points with two rounds to go. In addition, they are the only undefeated team in the tournament - a huge surprise.
As if that were not enough, the Uzbeks were greatly favoured by the other results of the round. Azerbaijan couldn't get past a 2-2 tie against the India B juniors - Praggnanandhaa defeated Durarbayli on board three but young gun Sadhwani fell to experienced grandmaster Abasov on the fourth board.
India B and Armenia are now sharing second-third places with 15 points, trailing the leaders by just one point.
In the other key match of the day, the Netherlands and Iran also shared the points in a match that ended with four draws, leaving both teams with 14 points. The other teams didn't miss the opportunity to keep their options open for the podium.
Despite Levon Aronian's unexpected defeat against Theodorou with White, the United States beat Greece by the minimal 2.5-1.5 score, in good measure due to Wesley So's key win - he is still undefeated. Nonetheless, the hero of the day in the USA camp was Fabiano Caruana.
Alongside the Chess Olympiad, the International Chess Federation General Assembly - and general elections - have taken place in Chennai.
Arkady Dvorkovich was re-elected today for a second term as FIDE President with 157 votes, against 16 for his electoral opponent, the Ukrainian chess Grandmaster Andrii Baryshpolets. The third candidate, Bachar Kouatly from France, withdrew his candidacy before the voting started. Five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand, who was part of Dvorkovich's ticket, is the new FIDE Deputy President.
Round 10 will be played on August 8 at 3 pm sharp and can be followed live on the tournament website.
For a complete list of results, please visit the official website at https://chessolympiad.fide.com/open- results/.