England's dreams of taking the gold medals at the Chess Olympics faded away as suddenly as they had appeared when they were beaten 3-1 by the top-seeded Russia I team in the penultimate round. Two crushing wins over Yugoslavia and the Netherlands had taken England from nowhere into first place, but it all went wrong against Russia.

On top board, like a distant echo of last year's world championship match, Nigel Short was beaten by Garry Kasparov. Playing Black in a Sicilian Defence, he was always struggling. Michael Adams and Jonathan Speelman made draws against Vladimir Kramnik and Yevgeny Bareyev, but Sergei Tiviakov beat Julian Hodgson on bottom board to make it 3-1 to Russia, who now seem sure to win the event.

A good result for England in the final round, when they will probably be playing the Russian second team, will still leave a good chance of silver or bronze medals.

Leading scores: Russia I 34; Bosnia 33; England and Russia II 321/2 Germany and Bulgaria 32; Hungary, USA and Ukraine 311/2; Israel and Yugoslavia 31.

In the Women's Olympiad, Georgia are all but certain of first place, entering the last round two and a half points ahead of Hungary. China are in third place.