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42nd Chess Olympiad – Baku – 2016 Round 7: Lebanon – Barbados: 2-2

42nd Chess Olympiad – Baku – 2016

Round 7: Lebanon – Barbados: 2-2

A leveled match

With all respects to our friends the chess players, when Fadi Eid is playing White against the Sicilian defense, I can’t move away my eyes from his board. I expect always a lot of fire work. And I wasn’t disappointed, except the result of the game.

The Najdorf variation adopted by his opponent FM Husbands (2257), with opposite side castling resulted in a crazy hair raising complications. On move 16, I was waiting Fadi to play Kb1, vacating the normal c1-square for his knight in case it was attacked by the black a-pawn. But when he was forced to put the knight on a1, I got a bad feeling. When the dark squares around his king were too weakened, Fadi sacrificed the exchange in order to blockade his opponent’s dark square bishop. A ray of hope emerged when his opponent started to get greedy toward Fadi’s king, as the later succeeded in recycling the knight and started pushing his passed queen side pawns. Instead of continuing with this winning plan (Nb5-c4, a5-a6), Fadi preferred to win back the exchange, to be surprised (may be) by a sacrifice of his opponent’s bishop, then his queen to reach a stalemate position!! I am sure that the final position will find its place in the tactical manuals of chess literature.

On board 2, Antoine Kassis adopted the Accelerated Dragon variation against FM Del Castilho (2248). The later adopted the ultra-solid Maroczy setup. The V-shape (Botvinnik’s plan) applied by White enabled him to put a great pressure on the d6-pawn, which finally dropped in White’s hands. Antoine tried a certain counter-play on the queen side, and after a mass of exchanges, he reached an endgame with a knight versus bishop and extra white pawn. The knight hops manipulated masterly by Antoine enabled him to save the half point of the game.

What I like in Elie Asmar’s game is his flexibility. A Rossolimo like was adopted by Elie with the white pieces against his opponent FM Poon (2196), enabled him to obtain a slight edge. The double pawns didn’t bother Elie at all, on the contrary they controlled a lot of squares in the center and on the queen side of the board, supported by 2 powerful bishops, and a dominating b-file with his rooks. A strategic play supported by an aggressive maneuvering of all his pieces put the Black position is a certain zugzwang. The resulting tactical exchanges netted Elie a material advantage in the endgame phase with a continuous attack. When more material loss couldn’t avoided by his opponent, the later was forced to stop the clocks. A well-controlled game by Elie. Bravo. Touch wood.

On board 4, Abdulaziz Mahmoud adopted his pet opening, the Modern Defense, against his opponent IM Farley (2203). The opening was a successful one for the Lebanese player, as he equalized comfortably, and obtained a promised Dragon position, with which he can face the middle game with an optimistic mood. Then, may be the idea seduced him, he sacrificed a knight for 3 pawns. This theme, and similar ones, are common bread for the Dragon player, but not in this position. His opponent’s counter play started get rage, supported by the dangerous attack against Abdelaziz’ king. With a loss of a lot of materials, compounded by a mating threat against his king, Abdelaziz disposed his arms.

Click here to download the games of the Lebanese team.

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