The two top pairings of the open section today kept all their promises. The encounter between France and Armenia was particularly exciting and only concluded at 8.30 in the evening, with the first board clash between Aronian and Vachier-Lagrave being the last to finish and deciding the outcome. After the match had first looked promising for the Armenian team, it was finally France who came out on top after a last-minute blunder by Aronian. This must have somewhat lifted the spirits of the French team after the terrible events in Paris last night.
The board 2 and 3 matches between England in Georgia as well as between Netherlands and Croatia both ended in hard-fought 2-2 draws. The top 3 seed of the tournament, Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan, all won today. Spain scored a small upset as they overcame Germany 2.5-1.5. This means that after 2 rounds, there are only 5 teams left on 2/2: Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, France and Spain.
Tomorrow the 2nd and 3rd seeds face off on the top board, as defending champions Azerbaijan take on Ukraine. On board 2 Russia play against Spain, while France are paired against Hungary.
In the women’s section we had two draws amongst the early leaders, on top board between Spain and Serbia and on board 6 between France and Romania. On board 2, Italy somewhat surprisingly beat Azerbaijan, while on board 3 Turkey put up stiff resistance against top seed Georgia, but eventually lost 1.5-2.5. Ukraine however didn’t give any chances to their Polish opponents as they cruised to a 3.5-0.5 victory. Russia scored a similarly high victory as they beat Armenia 3-1. So after 2 rounds, the four leaders are the top 3 seed Georgia, Russia and Ukraine, as well as Italy.
Tomorrow Russia face Italy and Ukraine takes on Georgia.