Azerbaijan made a huge step towards defending the title of European Champion after walking over Bulgaria in the 7th round of the tournament. Bulgaria’s top performer of the event, Ivan Cheparinov, was the first to go down against the better-prepared Vugar Gashimov. Veselin Topalov drew Teimour Radjabov, but Azerbaijan won in the remaining two games for the overall 3.5-0.5 victory.
Armenia is back in the contention for gold medal after defeating France. Sergei Movsesian outplayed Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and the other three games were drawn.
Germany defeated the leader Romania thanks to the effort of GM Daniel Fridman on the 3rd board. Romania was actually close to equalizing, but Arkadij Naiditsch escaped from the poor position being three pawns behind.
Azerbaijan is leading the race with 11 points. Armenia and Germany are sharing the second with 10 points each.
In the other matches, Hungary switched the gear and defeated the solid Slovenia 3-1, Netherlands signed minimal victory against Greece, while Russia beat Spain 3-1.
Italy once again surpassed the expectations and won against the higher rated Moldova. Switzerland stunned Ukraine 3-1 and pushed them down to 26th place.
Video by Vijay Kumar