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Round 6 of the 43rd Olympiad – Batumi 2018

Round 6 of the 43rd Olympiad – Batumi 2018

A missed victory

Watching the games live, one can easily predict the results of the match between Lebanon and Luxembourg. Fadi has an excellent end game position against his IM opponent, Amr already winning with his excellent tactical maneuver in his favorable King’s Indian against his IM opponent, Tony has an inferior position in a bad Spanish opening but, with a wishful thinking, he may hold, while Mahdi was applying his technique in the queen’s ending with an extra healthy pawn and unprotected white king. So I expected the 3-1 result.

Mahdi’s opponent resigned. Good. The first point is in the bag. Tony lost a pawn and still have a passive position. So let’s skip it, as a tiny hope can arise in time trouble. Looking at Amr’s position and clock, I started hitting myself, as from a clearly winning position, to fight in order to save the game! Unbelievable. The white’s king was in a mating net, and a certain Bxh3 was looming, Due to time  trouble, Amr missed a lot of opportunities to convert his winning position into full point. And in order to reach a first time control, he was somewhat obliged to play inferior moves leading to technical drawing position. A half point is thrown away.

After Tony’s hope to complicate the position in time trouble evaporated, the last game that was running was Fadi’s one. A very nice position: a passed pawn, active king, rook and knight against a passive king, paralyzed knight and a lonely desperate rook. A small triangulation to reach a zugzwang position. But, one imprecise move enabled the black knight to escape from his prison and sacrifice itself for the white passed pawn. Black succeeded in reaching a drawn endgame with a rook versus rook+knight without any pawn on the board, taking away a half point from the Lebanese team that was 99% guaranted.

So the final score is a tie (2-2) with Luxembourg.

I nearly always think positive. May be this tie will give Lebanon a better pairing for the rest of the Olympiad. Let’s wait and see.

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