There was some drama on the last day of the Tromso Olympiad, but it didn't have to do with the race for first. In the Open Section the Chinese team crushed Poland and coasted to a 3-1 victory, clinching clear first place. Congratulations to them, and to Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi, their second and third boards, respectively. Ding took the bronze medal on board two, while Yu not only took the gold medal for board three but did so with the highest TPR of the entire Olympiad - a fantastic 2912. That pushed his rating from 2668 to 2700 (when rounded up).
The battle for second was extremely close, however. The Hungarian team started the day in clear second, but when they drew their match with Ukraine a bunch of teams had the chance to catch them, and catch them they did. In addition to Hungary, India (thanks to a crushing 3.5-.5 win over Uzbekistan), Russia (2.5-1.5 winners over France), and Azerbaijan (2.5-1.5 winners over the USA - more about this below). Four teams competing for two medals meant two teams would be left out, and they were Russia and Azerbaijan. Hungary beat India for the silver by the narrowest of margins on the first tiebreak, and had they been tied there India would have taken second based on the next tiebreaker.
For Russia it was yet another disappointment, though they at least managed to finish strongly. As for Azerbaijan, it was probably also somewhat of a disappointment, but they can also console themselves with having been a bit lucky today. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov had outplayed Hikaru Nakamura and had been winning for a long time, but first made it difficult and then definitely threw the win away with 40.g5 (if it was still there). Now Nakamura needed to nothing but wait, e.g. with 40...Rf5, but instead played 40...hxg5?? after which the game was gone. The point was that this allows White to win by returning the piece to achieve an elementary and winning pawn ending. From the final position, play might continue 42...Rd2+ 43.Kc5 Rc2+ 44.Kd6 Rf2 45.Rxf7+! Rxf7 46.Bxf7 Kxf7 47.Kd7 and so on. White's king wins the pawn, and because it is on the 6th rank it won't matter if Black has the opposition or not. White will regain it when it counts and safely promote his pawn.
So why doesn't the same trick work even if Black sits and waits? It would work if Black played 40...h5: 41.Rxf7+ Rxf7 42.Bxf7 Kxf7 43.Kd5! (not 43.Ke5?? Ke7, with a draw - we'll see this exact position again shortly) and White's king will zigzag to the g-pawn. Instead of 40...h5 though, when Black plays something like 40...Rf5 he's fine: 41.Rxf7+ Rxf7 42.Bxf7 Kxf7 43.Kd5 Ke7 (the king is close enough to cope with 44.gxh6) 44.Ke5 and now 44...h5! allows Black to gain the opposition, with a draw.
In addition to this bit of good fortune, Azerbaijan was also bailed out when super-sub Sam Shankland, winner of the gold medal for board 5 (9/10 and a 2831 TPR) didn't manage to convert his big advantage against Eltaj Safarli. So a drawn match was far from impossible, and with a little good luck the United States might have even won the match, though whether "our" tiebreak would have sufficed to win a medal is unclear.
In the women's section Kateryna Lagno lost again, this time to Antoaneta Stefanova, and on board two Valentina Gunina was in trouble against Iva Videnova. Fortunately for the Russians, Videnova blundered on three consecutive moves (or at least made a big error on the first and blundered twice) and lost, allowing the Russians to defeat Bulgaria 2.5-1.5 and clinch clear first.
China and Ukraine started the day tied for second, and had the chance to settle it head-to-head. It didn't happen, however, as all four games (and thus the match) were drawn it would come down to tiebreaks. There was a possibility coming into the round that Germany, which was alone in fourth place one match behind them, could sneak into the medals if they defeated Georgia. Only one thing went wrong, though - the part after the "if". Georgia smashed the Germans 4-0, leaving China and Ukraine alone in their score group. China took the silver on tiebreak; Ukraine the bronze.
(More reportage here, complete with all the board prizes.)
Finally, one tragic story, about which I haven't seen much by way of detail. An unnamed player on the Seychelles in his 60s collapsed and died during the round. We offer our condolences to and prayers on behalf of his family.