Monday 26 October 2020

Australia wins 2020 Asian Nations Cup

 Australia has won the 2020 Asian Nations Cup, upsetting top seeded India in the Final 4.5-3.5. The win was built on winning the first match 2-5.1.5. Due to the tie-break method used (Berlin), India needed to win the 2nd match by at least 3-1, but a 2-2 draw left Australia a full point in front.

At the start of the match it looked as though Australia might start at least one game down, as a severe storm in Queensland left Australian board 4 GM Moulthun Ly with power. There were also issues with GM Max Illingworth, who was playing from Vietnam, and there was doubt that a full team could be assembled. In the end, IM James Morris played in place of Ly, while Illingworth was able to solve his connection problems, and indeed won his game.

The crucial result in the first match was the win by GM Anton Smirnov on the top board. Under the tie break system, wins on the top boards count for more than ones on the lower ones, even if India reversed the result (and won 2.5-1.5), a draw on the top board in the 2nd match would still leave Australia in front. This put the India team under significant pressure in the 2nd match, and in the end could not quite pull it out of the fire, with the 2-2 result leaving Australia ahead on game points.

As some consolation India picked up the Gold in the Women's section, beating Indonesia 6-2 in the final. 

Smirnov,Anton (2367) - Adhiban,B. (2624) [A00]
Asian Nations (Regions) Men Online Cup 2 (5.1), 25.10.2020

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