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Tromsø Olympiad: Round 3

Tromsø Olympiad: Round 3: A day of King’s Indian Attack

This opening is serving well the Lebanese players, men and ladies alike. The ladies beat their Fiji opponents 3 – 1. I expected a 4 -0 results, but Danielle started playing a series of weak moves throwing away her winning position to her unrated opponent. Knarik used the KIA to construct an attacking position with a domination on dark squares. The unavoidable mat in one move forced her opponent to resign. The same threat on board two forced Elena’s opponent also to resign. But I am sure that Maya’s mating her opponent’s king on the board, with live broadcasting of the games, produced that joyful feeling.

A hard battle was taking rage on the 4 boards of the Lebanese Men team against their Luxembourgian opponents. On board two, Antoine adopted his beloved Dragon variation against his WGM (yes, no mistake in the title) Elvira Berend (Elo 2370). The difference of Elo of more than 170 points forced the Antoine’s opponent to sacrifice a pawn in order to shack Black position. Antoine snatched the pawn, defended well, and even succeeded in exchanging some pieces, resulting in a slight advantage for him. As converting that extra pawn would take too much risk, the players signed the peace.

The KIA adopted by Amr against his opponent, the IM Fred Berend (2380), produced a position of do-or-die type. Amr was accumulating his forces toward Fred’s king, while the later was taking all what he wants on the queen side. It was just one mistake from Fred’s part that enabled Amr to play the fantastic Rxh7!! , putting the Black’s king under the fierce of his attacking pieces. Fred tried to save his majesty, but the resulting endgame with 2 pawns down was clearly winning for Amr, whose technique was impeccable in converting the position into a win on the score board.

As I mentioned earlier in my previous articles, watching Ibrahim’s games is very exciting due to the thrilling action that he produced on the board. Although he mishandled the opening (he had the black pieces and chose the Pirc defense), and his opponent Pierre Gengler (2170 Elo) snatched not only one pawn, but two, it wasn’t clear how to White was going to break Black’s position. Ibrahim started a counter play on the queen side, and was able to shack his opponent’s defense. A series of strokes and counter-strokes from both sides resulted an endgame position, where White has 2 knights for a rook and pawn. As neither of the players could improve their position, the peace was a fair result.

The last game to finish was the board one encounter between Faisal (White) and IM Michael Wiedenkeller (2471). The English opening aopted by Faisal gave him a stable advantage. Then suddenly, he sacrificed a pawn in order to create a double isolated ones in his opponent’s queen side. His opponent defended well his extra material, and although the game was on the verge to end in tie, Michael avoided it, and succeeded in prolonging it for more than 80 moves.  As time pressure and fatigue are part of our noble game, Faisal couldn’t find a gap in his opponent’s plan. The resulting rook endgame was winning for the Black, which forced Faisal to stop the clock.

So, Lebanon: 2 – Luxembourg: 2. Not a bad result against a team having 2343 as rating average.

the games in pgn format.





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