Check, mate!: Gabi secures Armenia chess win over Azerbaijan in Europe

The Armenian men’s chess team participating in the European team championships in Novi Sad, Serbia, scored an important victory in Round 7 of the tournament beating major rival Azerbaijan 2.5 to 1.5. Grandmaster Gabriel Sargsyan made the difference playing on the third board with black pieces against Gadir Huseynov. Leaders Levon Aronyan and Vladimir Hakobyan as well as Tigran L. Petrosyan on the fourth board ended their games in a draw. Armenia thus contained Azerbaijan and managed to get into the lead together with Russia.

Armenia and Russia now play in Round 8 later on Thursday and are likely to decide the winner.

Armenia started off in Novi Sad with a win over Denmark, but then unexpectedly lost to the host team Serbia and drew with France. The twice World Olympiad winning team, however, then showed their spirit (like during the Olympiads in Turin in 2006 and Dresden in 2008) to score a number of important victories and climb to the top. The ninth and final round of the tournament is scheduled for Friday.

Meanwhile, the Armenian women’s national team (WGMs Elina Danielyan, Lilit Mkrtchyan, Lilit Galoyan, Nelli Aghinyan and WIM Siranush Andriasyan) have also shown some brilliant performance in Serbia. In Round 7 the Armenian women beat Romania 3.5-0.5 and currently are in the third position.

In an earlier round of the tournament the Armenian women drew with their counterparts from Azerbaijan 2-2.

Armenia play Ukraine in Round 8 on Thursday.

For more results and standings go to the official website of the Championships at www.eurons2009.com