2016 Chess Olympiad: Round #2

2016 Chess Olympiad: Round #2
Saturday, 3 September 2016

Open Section

Russia 4-0 Turkmenistan
Scotland ½-3½ USA
China 3½-½ Belgium
Macedonia 0-4 Azerbaijan
Albania ½-3½ Ukraine

Full Results

Favorites hold, but many top teams shedding half-points

In the second round of the Olympiad, there are more competitive battles and the beginning of the regional rivalries. However, gone are the high number of whitewashed games with 4-0 scores. While Russia won 4-nil against Turkmenistan, the USA had some difficulties against Argentina and it appeared that Sam Shankland was in danger of dropping the full point. However the 2014 gold medalist held the position together and got the draw.

England was a victim of a relay error which had them losing to the ICBA (blind team) when in reality they won 4-0. However, against Indonesia they squeaked by on the slimmest of margins with GM Luke McShane dropping his game to IM Irwanto Sadikin The. In fact he totally outplayed and at one point had to resort to fianchettoing his rook! In the ensuing queen ending, the Indonesia played well and won a textbook queen ending (2 vs. 1 pawns).

Some of the stories of the round has to be the debut of some of the top players including World Champion Magnus Carlsen. The Norwegian had white against Bangladesh player GM Enamul Hossain and essayed the powerful 1.e3.

No… not a mouseslip this time! Carlsen proved that almost any opening is playable and unleashed a powerful attack ending in the 33.Bxg6! Yikes!

Some of the other news around the hall had to do with security. All players have to notify an arbiter before going to the bathroom. It is a rule that has receive as much scorn as the “zero tolerance” rule in 2008. Ironically, GM Ian Rogers has pointed out that the cell phone rule has been applied unevenly with a few phones going off during the match and even a case of someone taking the call! Here is the saga…

Jamaica’s Ian Wilkinson told The Chess Drum that on the first day journalists were ran out of the hall after 10 minutes and restricted access. Other official photographers like David Llada, Paul Truong and Anastasia Karlovich were exempt. In fact, Wilkinson reports that journalists were locked out of the playing hall for more than 30 minutes and there was a photo to this effect. What would an Olympiad be without the usual controversies!

Journalists were initially banned, but the issue was ultimately resolved.
Photo by chess.com (Mike Klein)

Women’s Section

Montenegro 0-4 China
Ukraine ½-3½ Moldova
Ecuador 3½-½ Russia
Azerbaijan 0-4 Mexico
Georgia 1½-2½ Philippines

Full Results

Philippines shocks Georgia!

The story of the day was the upset of the traditional powerhouse of Georgia by the Philippines. Janelle Frayna toppled Nana Dzagnidze while the victory of margin came in a thrilling finish in Christy Bernales win over Salome Melia. The Filipino women had a min celebration with their captain GM Jayson Gonzales.

Filipinos celebrate victory over Georgia!

Filipinos celebrate victory over Georgia!
Photo by chess.com (Mike Klein)

While India won their bout over Brazil 3-1, Dronavali Harika took a loss against Juliana Teroa. Irina Krush of the USA was forced to split the point against a resourceful Sheila Sahl of Norway. The Bulgarian men have already given up a shocking draw with Sudan and in this round it was the Bulgarian women! They outrated Denmark by 200+ points on every board, but could only manage a 2-2 draw. This is exactly why you play the board and not the person’s rating.

Angela Naa Amerley Ayiku.jpg

Ghana’s Angela Naa Amerley Ayiku
Ghana Ghana Ghana

Video by GM Daniel King.

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