Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Oceania Rivalry

At the chess Olympiads I have been involved with, there has always been a little bit of rivalry between the 'small' Oceania federations. Initially this was mainly a Fiji v PNG contest, but with the addition of newer federations, this now includes Guam, Palau, Nauru and the Solomon Islands. (NB 'Small' refers to the chess playing population, as PNG has more people than NZ)
This year the team that did best out of this set of countries was Guam, who scored 8 match points (Fiji and Solomon Islands did not send a team). This was extra impressive as they were seeded 181st, with just one FIDE rated player on the team. Apart from a 4-0 loss to Iraq in the first round, they scored something in each of their matches, and they defeated Central African Republic and Mauritius along the way. Four other drawn matches moved them ahead of their Pacific rivals, with a last round 2-2 against Ghana being the most important.
They scored 18.5 game points, with Elmer Prudente on Board 1 finishing with an impressive 6/11. He was ably supported by Roger Orio on board 3, with 5/10. 

As a follow up to their good performance in Batumi, the federation is hosting the 2019 Oceania Zonal. This will take place between 18th and 24th February 2019 and is open to all players registered with Oceania federations.
Orio,Rogelio L (1793) - Capella,Rurik (1979) [A45]
43rd Olympiad 2018 Batumi GEO (5.3), 28.09.2018

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