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8th round of the Istanbul Olympiad 2012

Finally, they did it!!

A clean 4-0 against Mozambique came as a strong medicine, which was an urge need to keep the Lebanese team head above the water. I am sure that this gave the players a great push to look for the remaining rounds of the Olympiad with great optimism.

Never underestimate your opponent, even if he was low-rated than you. And that was the motto of the Men team. On board one, Fadi, playing with the White pieces, played an ending in dynamic way, even sacrificing the exchange, obtaining 2 raging bishops with the black king in the middle of the board. The resignation of his opponent was reasonable, though the engine recommended a certain line to resist.

Though Tony and Nassim, on board 3 and 4 correspondingly, played in a steady way, not allowing their opponents any chances to untangle their pieces, Amr, playing the King’s Indian Defense, reached a normal middle game position. Then after some thought, suddenly, put some fire on the board by sacrificing a piece for couple of pawns. Only a computer can refute this type of sacrifice, but it was a promising one, obtaining as a result 2 passed pawns on the king side. A couple of minutes is too short to find the correct defense.

A deserved victory for the Men team

On the other hand, the Women team was performing very badly. On board 1 against the Canadian team, Maya, playing with the black pieces, opened too early the center, forgetting to put first her king in safe place, a situation where her opponent profited from it to the maximum.

On the second board, Youma, after obtaining a certain advantage in the middle game, blundered, by dropping a knight, which was enough to resign immediately.

On the third board, Danielle reached a very acceptable middle game. Then, after opening the center, her pieces looked lacking coordination. After losing the exchange, she tried to resist by searching for a certain fortress, but in vain.

The only well-played game was on the 4th board, during which Sara played in a steady way, reaching a drawn endgame.

Though Tony and Nassim, on board 3 and 4 correspondingly, played in a steady way, not allowing their opponents any chances to untangle their pieces, Amr, playing the King’s Indian Defense, reached a normal middle game position. Then after some thought, suddenly, put some fire on the board by sacrificing a piece for couple of pawns. Only a computer can refute this type of sacrifice, but it was a promising one, obtaining as a result 2 passed pawns on the king side. A couple of minutes is too short to find the correct defense.

A deserved victory for the Men team.

On the other hand, the Women team was performing very badly. On board 1 against the Canadian team, Maya, playing with the black pieces, opened too early the center, forgetting to put first her king in safe place, a situation where her opponent profited from it to the maximum.

On the second board, Youma, after obtaining a certain advantage in the middle game, blundered, by dropping a knight, which was enough to resign immediately.

On the third board, Danielle reached a very acceptable middle game. Then, after opening the center, her pieces looked lacking coordination. After losing the exchange, she tried to resist by searching for a certain fortress, but in vain.

The only well-played game was on the 4th board, during which Sara played in a steady way, reaching a drawn endgame.

In the U16 Olympiad, the Lebanese young players lost in the 9th round, by a small margin against their Irish opponents 1.5 – 2.5.

But, in the final round, they beat their Sweden opponent 3-1, achieving a nice finish for their first Olympic experience. Seeded as 38, they finished at the 35th place, a very acceptable one. The gold went to the Russia, the silver to Iran and the bronze to India.

I am sure the Lebanese federation VIPs will look at this in a big optimistic future.

Click the following link to downlaod: Men’s games, Women’s games

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