2022 Chess Olympiad: Round #7

2022 Chess Olympiad: Round #7

Friday, 5 August 2022

After round #7, things are heating up at the 2022 Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India. The Indian women are still holding on to a perfect team score with 7/7 while Dommaraju Gukesh is on a blistering 7/7 for the Open Section. The tournament hall is buzzing and Chennai is whipped up in euphoria as the 16-year-old notches one win after another. Watch this reaction from the overwhelmed youngster…

Armenia is still in the lead with 6.5/7, and benefited from an embarrassing error to save the match. With the match score 2-1 in U.S. favor, Sam Shankland anticipated that Robert Hovhannisyan had played 90…Qh1+ and tried to play 91.Kb1-c2. Instead, the Armenian had played 90…Qg2 so Shankland’s move would be illegal. Here is a look at the moment.

It was a devastating blow since the position was drawn and it would’ve given U.S. the narrow win. Shankland released a tweet thanking those who consoled him after the critical mistake.

Shankland’s error could affect the color of medal the U.S. is contending for, but things have not gone smoothly for the Americans despite being in the hunt. Fabiano Caruana is not in top form and lost to Gabriel Sargissian whose middle name should be “Olympus” given his great performances at the Olympiad. It is still amazing that Armenia is in the lead without Levon Aronian, who sat out today. Some believe it was a polite gesture not to have Aronian playing his beloved countrymen. Nevertheless, the U.S. continues to stumble and now is #5 behind India 2 and India 1.

Wesley So is in great form.
Photo by Lennart Ootes

In Armenia-U.S., Wesley So won a great attacking game after spotting a devastating variation involving a queen sacrifice followed by mate in six!

in So-Melkumyan played 18…e4. This move loses immediately. Can you see why?

India 2 clobbered Cuba 3.5-.5 to rebound from yesterday’s loss. On 6/7, they are just behind a surprising Uzbekistan team which has scored the most board points of any team with 182. That will help them in the event of a tiebreak. The Uzbeks beat an overmatched Peruvian team 4-0.

There was an India derby with India 1 winning 3-1 over India 3. It is the first time in recent memory that teams from the same federation faced off this late in the tournament. Usually the supplementary teams are much weaker. In this Olympiad, India 1 and India 2 are playing on the same high level while India 3 is playing well, but outside of medal contention. What a revelation India has been!

Round #8 Pairings

Armenia-India 1
USA-India 2

Hail to the African Queen

Historic event out of Africa. Tshepiso Lopang of Botswana won the Presidency of the African Chess Confederation making it the first time a woman has led the continent. The continent also elected its zonal presidents and will be gearing up for the presidential election on August 7th. There was also a chess awards event dubbed “The Year of the Woman in Chess” honoring the service of women in chess.

Women’s Section… Humpy loses, but India still leading

This is shaping up to be a picturebook ending in the women’s section. While Humpy Koneru lost R. Vaishali and Tania Sachdev where able to win against Azerbaijan and both stand on 6/7. Georgia, Ukraine and Poland are in the mix. Matching Gukesh, Polish player Oliwia Kiolbasa is now on 7/7!

The Year of the Woman in Chess

Martha Kapalamula (Malawi)
Photo by Lennart Ootes

Kritisara Adhikari (Nepal)
Photo by Madalene Belinki

Randa Seder (Palestine)
Photo by Madalene Belinki

Seems like this player loves orange including her drink!
Photo by Lennart Ootes

Even the the man’s coat in the background matches!
Photo by Lennart Ootes

Sharmin Sultana (Bangladesh)
Photo by Mark Livshitz

Nepalese player with a queen pin in her hair!
Photo by Mark Livshitz

Tania Sachdev (India)
Photo by Stev Bonhage

Photo by David Llada

Round #8 Pairings

India 1-Ukraine
India 3-Poland

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