It is puzzling to me why Russia sat Kramnik, who clearly is still the best Russian player, in such a critical match. Many teams do this and I guess I will never understand this concept. Malakhov no doubt is a very strong player, but he is not in the same league as Kramnik. I played in 4 Olympiad in my career and I played all 56 games on board 1 (14 in each Olympiad) without ever sitting out even for one game. I played when I was sick. I played when I was not at my optimal condition. I played with any color without questions. When you represent your country, you have to give everything you have, and then some. I simply do not understand the idea of sitting out the best players.
In this round, Leko is the hero for the Hungarian team. But the other three members of the Hungarian team did their job holding against higher rated competition. This is what team play is all about.
Hungary 2.5 – 1.5 Russia A
1. Leko, Peter 1-0 Grischuk, Alexander
2. Almasi, Zoltan ½-½ Svidler, Peter
3. Polgar, Judit ½-½ Karjakin, Sergey
4. Berkes, Ferenc ½-½ Malakhov, Vladimir