Levon Aronian won't face the team for which he played 8 Olympiads | photo: David Llada, FIDE
Levon Aronian sits out the key Armenia-USA match in Friday's Round 7 of the Chess Olympiad in Chennai, so he won't face the team he led to three gold medals.
The big question going into Round 7 of the Chess Olympiad in Chennai was whether Levon Aronian, who switched to the USA last year, would play against Armenia, who he represented 8 times at the Olympiad and led to gold medals in 2006, 2008 and 2012 — an astonishing result for a country of 3 million people.
The answer, it turns out, is no, with the USA posting a team of Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Leinier Dominguez and Sam Shankland. That's absolutely understandable, since the USA are still overwhelming favourites on paper, though Armenia have won all six matches so far by defying expectations.
Elsewhere two Indian teams clash in India (led by Harikrishna) vs. India 3 (Ganguly) and France-Netherlands should be an entertaining match-up, including Carlsen seconds Jorden van Foreest vs. Laurent Fressinet on Board 2.
Gukesh needs to beat Cuba's Carlos Albornoz with the black pieces to "do a Caruana" and score 7/7, while Magnus Carlsen once again plays, against 58-year-old 2412-rated world no. 1707 Zvonko Stanojoski of North Macedonia.
The Bermuda Party is behind us and we're now into the 5-round finishing straight of the Olympiad.
In the Women's section in Round 7 India will attempt to maintain their 100% score when they take on 6th seeds Azerbaijan.
On bottom board Tania Sachdev faces Ulviyya Fataliyeva, who has so far scored 5/5 for Azerbaijan.
Tania is on 5/6 after scoring a number of crucial wins for her team | photo: Lennart Ootes, FIDE
Don't miss the live commentary from Peter Leko and Peter Svidler from 15:00 IST (11:30 CEST).
More information on the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai
Aronian escapes as favourites cruise on Olympiad Day 1
Magnus wins as Zambia and Bulgaria score upsets
Norway and Germany crash in Olympiad Round 3
Abdusattorov beats Caruana as USA stumble
Gukesh and Abdusattorov continue rampage in Round 5
Gukesh hits 6/6 but Armenia beat India 2
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