After a dramatic final round we have a new winner of the ECC.
At the beginning of the round, rating favorites SOCAR Azerbaijan were trailing St. Petersburg Chess Federation significantly in the Sonnenborn-Berger tiebreaks.
Therefore SOCAR made every effort not only to beat Tomsk-400, but to achieve the highest possible margin. They got wins from Radjabov, Mamedyarov, Topalov and Sutovsky for a final scoreline of 5:1.
It turned out that they needed every one of those wins, as St. Petersburg managed to defeat the surprising Israeli team of Ashdod. In the top three boards Ashdod's Ukrainian trio achieved good positions, but Svidler, Dominguez and Vitiugov defended well, and then Efimenko and Matlakov scored the decisive points on boards 5-6. However, it was not enough.
Both SOCAR and St. Petersburg scored 12/14 match point, but the Azeri team's tiebreak was just a little better: 673.8 to 665.5, and they won the direct meeting with St. Petersburg so their victory seems justified.
SHSM-64 took advantage of the losses of Tomsk and Ashdod to capture the bronze medals after a 4.5:1.5 against the Spanish team Gros Xake Taldea. Economist, Ugra, Ashdod and Tomsk took places 4 to 7 with 10 match points each.
In the last game to finish, Hikaru Nakamura drew after 127 moves with Israeli junior Danny Raznikov, rated 321 points lower than him. Another promising Israeli junior who also drew with the American earlier, Gil Popilski, won his final game, thus crossing the 2500 barrier and ensuring the GM title after having already all the norms.
Another great personal achievement was the individual gold medal at the top board which went to French GM Romain Eduard, who played for the lowly team of Geneve.
The gold medal of the women event was decided already at the end of Round 6, but the winners Monte-Carlo played the final round with their top lineup, beating the Russian team Ugra 3:1.
As a result, Ugra dropped from 2nd to 3rd place, and the silver medals went to the Armenian team Mika.
The official tournament web page is http://www.ecc2012-chesseilat.com/