Friday 28 September 2018

2018 Olympiad - Day 4

Day 4 of the 2018 Chess Olympiad saw something that rarely happens, a 4-0 to Papua New Guinea. Up against Olympiad newcomers Timor Leste we outrated them on all boards, and managed to convert all our good positions. Helmut Marko played a nice attacking game on board 3, while Tom McCoy scored his first win at a chess Olympiad in only his second game. My opponent mixed up some QGA theory (1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc 3.Qa4+ Nc6 4.Qxc4) but the Olympiad sometimes messes with your head, so briefly I wondered what was theory here (4 .. Nf6?) before realising I could just play 4. ... Qxd4
Up until now I haven't been following the top boards too closely, but the sensation of round 4 was Poland's win over Russia. This once again leaves Russia with a lot of work to do, especially if they want to win the Olympiad for the first time in 16 years. There are still a number of teams at the top, but the most interesting pairing of the day could well be Azerbaijan against Armenia.
The Australian Open team is battling out in he upper half of the standings, drawing 2-2 against one of the Gerogian teams yesterday. The Australian Women's team is doing even better, currently in 7th place after 4 rounds. They have won 3 of their 4 matches, and have drawn the other one. They play the Czech Republic today, and given the closeness in seedings for both team, they could go into the rest day among the leading group.

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