Russia's women defended their Chess Olympiad title in Istanbul over the weekend© REUTERS/ Ina Fassbender
MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti)
Russia's women defended their Chess Olympiad title in Istanbul over the weekend with a 4-0 thrashing of Kazakhstan edging them past China.
Russia had trailed China going into the 11th and final round of matches, but the win over Kazakhstan coupled with a surprise 3-1 Chinese defeat to Ukraine brought the defending champion level on 19 points.
Russia took gold courtesy of a higher so-called Neustadtl score; opponents scored fewer points against them in tied games.
The Russian team comprised Tatiana Kosintseva, Valentina Gunina, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Alexandra Kostenyuk, and Natalia Pogonina.
All but Pogonina were members of the 2010 team that won gold at the last Olympiad in the Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk.
China, the No. 2 seed, had to settle for silver, with Ukraine taking bronze on 18 points.
Earlier, Russia's men could only manage silver, pipped to the gold also on the Neustadtl score by Armenia, which took its third gold since 2006.
Ukraine won the bronze.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.