Sunday 11 September 2016

2016 Chess Olympiad - Round 8

The 2016 Olympiad is getting down to the business end, with 3 teams still tied for first on 14 points. The USA split their match with Russia 2-2, allowing India and The Ukraine to join them after both won their respective matches. Russia, Azerbaijan and Norway are in a tie for 4th on 13th, and each of these teams is hoping today's results go in their favour. And while a number of other teams are holding out faint hopes of a high placing, it looks like the defending champions China will not be one of them. The wheels seem to have come completely off the team, and they are back on 10 points, tied with a number of teams, including Australia.
Australia reached their 10 points with a good 3-1 win over ICCD. Anton Smirnov continues to be the star of the team, winning in round 7 and has now scored 6/7. New Zealand drew 2-2 with the similarly ranked Andorra, with a win by Scott Wastney over GM Oscar De La Riva Aguado keeping his IM norm chances alive.
PNG had some reason the celebrate after drawing 2-2 with perennial Olympiad opponents San Marino. Having lost on board 4, a win on board 1 left the match split at 1-1, at which both remaining PNG players were very quick to ask their captain (ie me)  if they could offer/accept draws. Having said yes to each request, the match  (and the boards) was drawn soon after.
Fiji also drew their match 2-2, with a tricky opponent in the shape of Malawi. Calvin Prasad saved the day for the team, with a board 1 win in the last game to finish. Palau lost to Guernsey 1-3, while Guam found it tough going against Hong Kong, losing all 4 games.
The Australian Women's team had a bad day out, losing 1.5-2.5 to a lower seeded Malaysia. WIM Emma Guo won her third game in a row, both losses on boards 1 and 3 resulted in a Malaysian win. New Zealand beat Botswana 3-1 to move back up the rankings, while Fiji had an emphatic 4-0 win over Swaziland. Guam picked up a point on the top board against Trinidad and Tobago but lost their other 3 games.

Rossini,Paul (1692) - Fancy,Stuart (1995)
Baku Chess Olympiad | Open (8.1), 10.09.2016

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