Sunday 25 October 2020

The mouse slip

 The Australian team are the surprise qualifiers for the final of the 2020 Asian Nations Cup. They overcame the higher rated Iranian team, in part due to two things that only happen in online events. After a narrow 2.5-1.5 loss in the first match, got of two a surprise 1-0 lead after the Iranian Bd 2 Parham Maghsoodloo let go of a piece on the wrong square, and resigned after it was captured by Temur Kuybokarov. With the match in the balance Max Illingworth found himself desperately trying to find a draw in a Q+P ending. With both players very short of time, his opponent suddenly had internet issues and Max won on time. Just to make the win secure GM Anton Smirnov outplayed his opponent, and the 3.5-0.5 second round win was enough to see Australia win the match 5-3. 

In tomorrows final they will play top seeds India, who overcame Kazakhstan 5.5-2.5 to go through the final match. While India are favourites on paper, Australia did draw 2-2 against them in the qualifying section, so the match may be closer than many think. The final begins at 5pm (Canberra time) tomorrow, and will played over 4 boards, and 2 matches. Game points will determine the winner, but if the match is tied at 4-4, then the Berlin countback system will be used.

Maghsoodloo,Parham (2532) - Kuybokarov,Temur (2134) [A00]
Asian Nations (Regions) Men Online Cup 2 (4.2), 24.10.2020

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