Onischuk and Rohonyan Score Big Wins
By Jennifer Shahade   
November 20, 2008
Rusudan Goletiani and Katerina Rohonyan in the big match against China. Photo FM Mike Klein

After a morale-boosting 4-0 win over Romania at the Dresden Olympiad , the U.S. women's team scored 2-2 against the top-seeded Chinese team. Meanwhile, the men scored their  most impressive match victory so far by defeating the #5 ranked Hungarian team. Early on, a match victory also looked likely for the women. Rusudan Goletiani was the first to finish. She achieved a perfect Benko style endgame, but it did not turn out to be enough to press for the win.

Anna Zatonskih won a pawn against Zhao Xue, but strangely enough, her subsequent queen invasion worked against her as Zhao was able to force a queen swap and trade into a drawish endgame.


Katerina Rohonyan was the heroine of the round- it looked like her game was heading toward equality, but on move 41, her opponent, Zhongyi Tan, blundered:
Position after 41.Rxc5

Most likely, Black wasn't totally sure if she made enough moves to get her extra half hour and chose the quick but fatal recapture, Rxc5?? allowing Ne8+ forking the king and pawn. (dxc5+ would have been OK for Black because Ke5 is bad in view of Nc4+ picking up a3.) Rohonyan went on to convert smoothly.


On the other hand, in Hou-Krush, things started to go very awry just after Irina reached time control--Kh8 would have been a better try than Kh7- the problem with h7 is that Irina can't play Qb6 after Rg3 in view of Ne7! when Qf5+ will hit c8 and h7. After Qf6, Hou forced herself in with Bg5 and Bh6 and Irina had no more chances.


Alexander Onischuk in round seven.
Photo FM Mike Klein

The U.S. men scored 2.5-1.5 over #5 seeded Hungary. Early on, our positions on boards 1 and 2 did not look so great, with Nakamura down a pawn and Leko mounting an attack. Nakamura held the endgame while Kamsky-Leko quickly petered out into a perpetual.



Shulman's game also ended in a variation of perpetual, a desirable result since his opponent had a better structure. Meanwhile, Onischuk came through to win a long endgame, finally reaching the following position after 73 moves:
Position after 72...Rg3

Onischuk played 73.Rh5! and Black resigned in view of Rc3+ Rc5.


In round 8, both the women and men will face formidable Russian squads. Watch the games live on  the official website starting at 9 AM EST.