Hungary knocked out Germany in Armageddon, faces Russia next
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Hungary beats Germany to face Russia in Quarterfinals
Hungary knocks out Germany and will play Russia in Quarter Finals. The Hungarian team defeated Germany in a double-round match, in what was probably the narrowest win ever in the history of the Chess Olympiads. In the decisive game between Dennis Wagner (GER) and Tamas Banusz (HUN), the German Grandmaster lost on time, while his opponent, forced to win, had only 0,3 seconds left on the clock himself.
This do-or-die situation was caused by the result of the regular games. Hungary defeated Germany by the minimum score in the first round: 3½ - 2½, with 2 victories, three draws, and one defeat. However, in the second round, Germany managed to return the blow and won by exactly the same result, thanks to the victories their first board, Dennis Wagner, and the best German female player, Elisabeth Paehtz (see details on the table below).
With one victory for each team, the match had to be decided in an "Armageddon" game between the first boards of both teams. An Armageddon is a single game guaranteed to produce a result because Black has draw odds: that is, for Black, a draw is equal to a victory. To compensate, White starts the game with 5 minutes on the clock, against 4 minutes for Black.
Tamas Banusz got the white pieces achieved an almost decisive advantage, but both players were really short of time -especially, Banusz, and it wasn't clear at all if he could materialize his advantage. But in the end, the player in an inferior position had to solve more problems, he played a bit slower, and he was the one to lost on time, giving Hungary a very important victory and a place in Quarter-Finals.
With 12 medals in total, Hungary is historically one of the most successful teams at the Chess Olympiads, only behind Russia/Soviet Union and the United States. They have achieved a total of 3 gold, 7 silver, and 2 bronze medals. Their last great success was in 2014, when the team led by Peter Leko and Judit Polgar got bronze at the Tromsø Chess Olympiad (Norway).
Hungary has also been one of the first countries to host a Chess Olympiad, in 1926, and recently the Hungarian Chess Federation has expressed their interest in bidding to host this competition again in 2024.
The Quarter-Finals clash with Russia will take place tomorrow, Saturday (August 28).
Magyar Sakk Szövetség