GM Zaibi plays a brilliant checkmate and chess in Olympiad Division 3
As our readers undoubtedly know, Beirut, Lebanon was devastated on Tuesday August 4 by a massive chemical explosion aboard a container ship at the port. The explosion, apparently the result of negligence, rocked the country deep, killing more than 200 people and injuring more than 6,000, and, to date, causing the resignation of the government.
Despite the circumstances in their country, the Lebanese team still chose to participate in the matches scheduled for this week, asking for no accommodation and performing admirably. It is worth mentioning the outstanding performances of Lebanon throughout the Olympiad. Lebanon started in the basic division and made their way to Division 4 and then to Division 3. Last week IM Eid won what could be the Olympiad game. Our hearts go out to Lebanon at this time and we congratulate them for their excellent game of chess in the Online Olympiad.
The FIDE Online Olympiad games can be found here as part of our live events platform. On play days, expert commentary is provided on Chess.com/TV starting at Midnight Pacific / 9:00 am Central Europe.
Elsewhere in Division Three, the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad saw more dramatic upheavals and surprising tactics as new faces and young talents from all over the world showcased their skills. Thailand impressed as the only team to qualify from Division Four and move on to Division Two while the team that scored the best this week was Belgium who scored eight impressive wins, conceding only only one draw.
The fast-paced format led to a lot of surprising tactics, blunders and time issues, but the highlight of the week was the sacrifice of beautiful Tunisian queen GM Zaibi for a checkmate of Pool D, a idea that really appeals to the crowd.
Live coverage of the third day. Watch all the coverage live on youtube.com/chess.
Singapore was the star of Pool A, scoring an impressive 16/18 possible points. In fact, things didn’t start very well for Singapore on Matchday 1, in the draws against Ireland and Syria, but in Matchday 2 and 3 they were perfect, winning all six matches! Their success was made sweeter by the fact that August 9 was the 55th anniversary of Singapore’s independence!
Today is the 55th anniversary of #Singapore independence. To celebrate the National Day, I will be doing a live commentary from the #chess Olympiad online. Team Singapore is fighting for 1st place and promotion to the next division. Meet me at 4 p.m. SGT at https://t.co/1kLelosMV7! pic.twitter.com/qUeMEwwyiz
– Andrey Terekhov (@ddtru) Aug 9, 2020
Ireland’s second place in the division was particularly impressive as they were beaten in almost every game and on almost every board, but they scored upheaval after upheaval to finish 13/18, tied with Albania .
After a strong performance last week, Hong Kong has faltered in the face of stiffer competition this week. A Missing Point for Hong Kong has made a popular puzzle on Twitter.
Morning tactics! Black looks set to win, but one hit seals the deal. Hong Kong’s Kwong Wing Ki missed this opportunity and even lost the match in Round 4 of #Chess Olympiad. Can you do better? What is your movement? pic.twitter.com/bAYZ0CfQnM
– International Federation of Chess (@FIDE_chess) August 8, 2020
Two of Pool B’s top teams, Portugal and Scotland, will be familiar to chess fans, but many may not be familiar with the second-ranked team, the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA).
The IPCA could have scored even more points because in this tight end of the game, they left a dramatic point on the table.
Huge lack for the IPCA team. Ilia Lipilin beat FM Murad Abdulla (SCO) in Table 5 in the round final just to let a victory slip away at the end. At move 121, he opted for 121.h7? missing 121 … d1Q +! 122.Txd1 Rxg7 with a draw. 121. Ke2 would have won a match and a match for his team. pic.twitter.com/tQFdvqczlP
– International Federation of Chess (@FIDE_chess) August 7, 2020
Despite the circumstances at home, Lebanon fought hard and still scored 7 points. Last week Lebanese IM Eid played the most brilliant game of the week, but this week it was his opponent who missed a chance for brilliance.
Belgium were the star of Pool C, conceding just one draw over the entire weekend. They finished four points ahead of Jordan.
Meanwhile, Thailand was third, narrowly beating Zambia in the tiebreaker. This made Thailand the only team to qualify from Division Four to Division Three AND to Division Two. Thailand have only faced two players with a rating above 2000, but it is clear that their young players on the bottom bars are grossly underrated. Hopefully they will soon have the opportunity to earn standards and increase their FIDE ratings.
Pool D was clearly the toughest pool in Division Three. Half of the teams had a Grandmaster on board one or two and Denmark were the first team to have two Grand Masters on the top boards. Perhaps as remarkable as the advancement of Chile, Bolivia and Denmark was the non-advancement of Venezuela. They beat Bolivia and Denmark, but conceded draws against Mauritania and Jamaica. Here’s a critical shake-up from the Jamaican squad as they advanced to Division Four last week and impressed again.
While Tunisia and Mozambique did not progress, their match presented the tactic of the week as general manager Amir Zaibi found the next nice combination against Lourenco Napoleao.
In a group of teams from Central America, South America and the Caribbean, it was the Central American teams that had the most success with Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala each reaching the top. division two. Mexico were the only team to field a grandmaster in this division, but the other teams also made sure to bring in some surprise heavy hitters. FM William Alfaro scored an excellent surprise victory over GM Ibarra Chami in the following match.
Look at these 15 qualified teams and 35 new teams next weekend in Division 2 from August 14th to 16th! All tours will be live chess.com/tv.
The FIDE Online Olympiad is a major online chess event for national teams that takes place from July 25 to August 30 on the Chess.com server. Over 1,500 participants and 163 teams from all over the world are playing.
Each team is made up of six players, including at least two women, at least one player 20 years or younger and at least one girl 20 years or younger. The time control for all matches is 15 minutes for the game and an increment of five seconds per move, from the first move.