Saturday 10 September 2016

2016 Chess Olympiad - Round 7

The strong run by the Australian team in the Open Olympiad has come to an end after losing 1-3 to the 7th seeded polish team. There were draws on boards 3&4, but Smerdon and Zhao were unable to hold disadvantageous rook endings, leading to a Polish victory. However the draw by Smirnov keeps him on track for a GM norm (worth 20 games), as he has scored 5/7 (undefeated), with a performance rating of over 2700.
New Zealand also went down 1-3, to rugby rivals South Africa. Despite the loss, they look to have another tricky pairing in round 8, against Andorra.
The chess world continues to pass Papua New Guinea by, after the team was hammered by Gambia 4-0. With 80% of the team making their Olympiad debut's at least 30 years ago, the ageing team is struggling to keep up. Guam had a narrow 1.5-2.5 loss to Somalia, while Fiji suffered at the hands of a much higher rated Syria, losing 4-0. Palau scored their second win of the tournament with a 3-1 win over back markers Congo, and have jumped ahead of a couple of other Oceania teams.
In another rugby themed clash, the Australian Women's team beat the New Zealand team 3.5-0.5. Heather Richards and Helen Milligan drew on the top board, with wins for Australia on the rest of the boards. Fiji lost to Palestine 1-3, while Guam got cleaned up by South Korea 4-0.

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