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Tromsø Olympiad: Round 5

Tromsø Olympiad: Round 5: 1.5 points gift from Lebanon to Moldova

Lebanese people are famous for their generosity, not only in the home land but abroad also. For a tiny proof, just take a look at their match, in the Open (Men) section against the strong team of Moldova. It is not in every tournament that we have the honor to play against a super Grand Master, without talking about the pressure and all the psychological things. On board one, Faisal Khairallah had to face with the black pieces SGM Victor Bologan (2654). Alekhine defense was on the menu, which Bologan adopted the aggressive 4-pawns variation. Faisal refuted his famous opponent’ strategy in a superb blows in the center. I think Bologan couldn’t believe his eyes, and continued to play with hope to complicate the position. Faisal was up to the task, and even sacrifice his a-pawn and the exchange in order to force Bologan to play the only move variation, which Bologan refused. Then appeared the deep concept of Faisal‘s plan, resulted in winning 2 pieces for a white rook, not to mention his passed central pawns. After playing his last card, the queenside pawn majority, Bologan could collect one of his pieces. With his centralized king, and central pawns ready to advance (already the black one on f3 was very annoying for White), a draw was declared. A nearly perfect game that will find for sure its way in the future coming opening books. The half point gift and a missed chance to break the record to beat a strong GM.

On board two, an equal middle game arose between Amr ElJawish (White) and GM Dmitry Svetushkin (2547), with equal chances. Even after exchanging the heavy pieces, the endgame was also equal. On second time control, Amr started a liquidating tactical combination, hoping to get profit from his passed a-pawn, to be faced with a refutation. Dmitry kept his extra knight, and the extra gift half point.

On board three, Ibrahim Chahrour adopted the Pirc defense against the IM Vladimir Hamitevici. Ibrahim succeeded in extinguishing his opponent’s initiative on the king side, and entered a heavy pieces middle game. A proof for Ibrahim’s talent is his highly imaginative plan of attack that he constructed against his strong opponent’ king, forcing the former to find the only move to defend. When the repetition of moves start looming, and the share of the game point would be unavoidable, the blunder (48..Ra8) hold the signature of the Lebanese generosity.

On board four, the solid draw acquired by Bassel Charaf against the GM Vasile Sandulac is a proof that Bassel deserved his place in the Olympic team.

So Moldova: 3 – Lebanon: 1 (that could be at least Moldova 1.5 – Lebanon: 2.5)

In the Women section, the Lebanese ladies lost 1.5 to 2.5 against their Portuguese opponents. Kanarik Mouradian (White) played an exciting game against WFM Margarida Coimba. A high complicated middle game arose where no one knows whom is attacking whom. The resulting endgame phase contained a dynamic balance with some chances for Kanarik. The peace was signed after moves repetition.

On board two, Elena Nekrasova adopted the Taimanov Sicilian against Maria Oliveria. The chances kept equal all along the middle game phase. The mass of exchanges where nearly every piece disappeared forced the peace signature.

On board three, Maya Jalloul, playing White against WCM Sara Monteiro, obtained a balanced middle game. In an equal position with heavy pieces on the board, instead of consolidating, Maya started pushing her pawns, creating gaps that allowed to her opponent to snatch a couple of pawns, and entering a queen endgame. Maya tried to save her position, but in vain.

On board four, Danielle Bedrossian opened her score in the Olympiad by signing the peace against Rita Jorge, missing some strong moves in the issuing endgame that could change the score.

Lebanon: 1.5 – Portugal: 2.5

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