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Free Day
IMG_1929_2Sunday was the free day in World u-16 Chess Olympiad. The participants joined the trip organized by the Turkish Chess Federation to refresh themselves before the second part of the tournament. The first stop of the trip was Istanbul Akvaryum, a place where fishes from different seas of the world are shown in a unique and interesting atmosphere.  After the joyful moments in the Aquarium it was time to get acquainted with the famous historical sights of Istanbul such as Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque or the Basilica Cistern so the second stop was the usual Sultanahmet Square where everybody was free to decide what to do and see.  In the end of the day, when young players got back to their dorms after sightseeing in Sultanahmet, they were all filled up with energy and enchantment of one of the most important and beautiful historic cities in the world. 
The tournament continues with seventh and eighth rounds today.
Sixth Round: When the favourites go marchin’ in
IMG_1651It was a round at which favourites began to seperate themselves from the pack however everything still remains open as the system of game points always allows chances for the teams in behind to climb up rapidly. Let’s see if anyone is up to the task of cathing the speedy Russian hare.

As already indicated above Russia strengthened his position at the top by soundly beating the third seed India 3,5-0,5. The score in the second board of the round was by no means less devastating: 4-0 when Armenia suffered a heavy defeat in the hands of Iran.  This result put Iran in second place, one point less than Russia. Azerbaijan entered free day also with 4-0 in an unfortunate match for the hosts and they are in third place with this win while Serbia and Lithuania couldn’t defeat each other.

Kazakhstan and Georgia beat their opponents, Turkey-Red and Greece in close matches 2,5-1,5. A bad day for both sides of Aegean Sea. The nice finish in the game between young Kazakh player, Serikbay and Atilla Yuksel from Turkey is a joy to watch. Especially the cunning preparatory move Kh2 is aesthetically pleasing.
Fifth Round: A nice round for Mother Russia and locals
IMG_1482The morning round today has staged a very important match between two leaders, Russia and Iran. It was a tough battle which was decided by FM Chigaev’s stunning win against FM Kowsarinia.  The loss of several tempi by White enabled Chigaev to achieve a winning position and he finished the game in a spectacular manner by sacrificing a queen forcing a winning ending.  The match between the teams which had shared third place before the round has ended in favor of India, thus leaving Lithuania a little bit behind:  3-1.  
Having a look at other matches of the round, Armenia-Serbia match saw four wins but shared by teams equally. The top two boards where Armenian players outrated their opponents were decided in favor of Armenia and the lower ones where Serbia had the ELO advantage went to Serbia. Kazakhstan beat the slighlty favourite Georgia with 2,5-1,5 thanks to the points from last two boards.
Free Day Activity
free_dayFor the free day tomorrow the activity program is given below. Please read it carefully and if interested don't forget to register by contacting Sinem ÖZCAN until September 1, 22.00.

Activity Program
Fourth Round: Russia Takes The Lead
IMG_1448Taking advantage of the heavyweight battle between second and third seeds, Iran and India, Russia moved forward with a 3,5-0,5 win against Poland. Iran managed to beat India 2,5-1,5 to take second place before the start of fifth round when FM Das Sayantan from India rightly rejected to accept three-fold repetition on second  board but misplayed the ending and lost. Summarizing, the favorites all got back where they had started.

Moving down the list, Lithuania, Serbia and Armenia all scored clear wins with 3-1 score against their opponents Turkey-Turkuaz, Turkey-Red and Azerbaijan respectively. Azerbaijan’s  point came from the only board where they had a rating disadvantage and it was the most interesting game of the round. It seemed as if Black gaining a central pawn just in the opening was more than happy with his position but the young Azerbaijani player showed how to play in such situations, he complicated the position, opened lines for his pieces against the black king in the center and attacked fiercely to score a nice win against his higher rated opponent.
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