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Tromsø Olympiad: Round 7

Tromsø Olympiad: Round 7

Nerves. Nerves

As the Olympiad enters now its second part, the players’ nerves and composure play a very important role in their match preparation. In the Open section of this round, it seems that the Jordanian players were better prepared than their Lebanese opponents.

On board one, Faisal Khairallah, playing Black against FM Bilal Samhouri, adopted the ambitious Leningrad variation, to reach a very complicated position. Little by little Bilal improve his slightly inferior position, meanwhile Faisal was trying to make the breakthrough on the queenside and kept an eye on the center and his king side. Some imprecise moves from his part enabled the Jordanian player to construct an attack against the black monarch. As time trouble was looming, blitzing the moves in inferior position before the first time control forced Faisal to sacrifice the exchange. The resulting endgame with exchange down, not to mention white passed pawns, convinced him to stop the clock.

On board two, Antoine Kassis faced FM Samir Mansour, who adopted the Dragon variation of the Sicilian defense. The Maroҫy bind setup that Antoine implemented gave the issuing middle game a stable character where the pieces maneuvering dominated the course of the game. After several exchanges, the balance was somewhat kept, and the resulting rook endgame forced the game to be concluded peacefully.

On board three, Amr El-Jawich, playing Black, adopted the king’s Indian defense against FM Mohannad Farhan. An early deviation of the classical variation gave the game a wild approach. Mohannad kept his king in the center, profited from the initial disposition of his rook on h1 to initiate an attack on Amr’s king. Amr tried to counter on the center and on the queen side, but the stable central pawns played in White’s favor. The too-exposed black king accentuated with some deadly threats forced Amr to stop the clocks.

I am sorry to repeat myself, but watching Ibrahim Chahrour’s games is not recommended for the weak heart spectators, nor to those affected by blood pressure decease.  On board four, the Jordanian number one IM Sami Khader, on his birth day, adopted the Kalashnikov variation against Ibrahim. A crazy middle game arose, where the advantage was moving after each move from one side to another. The offer of exchange initiated by Ibrahim was so creative, so that white gaps were created in the center. The connected passed pawns for each side elevated the blood pressure to its highest degree. What was needed from Ibrahim was getting profit from the weakness of the Italian diagonal. But nerves. Nerves. Instead of this, he played too defensively, enabling Sami’s pawns to role faster, and collecting materials, and the game point. I am pretty sure that with some fine tunings in the young Ibrahim’s play and calculations of variations, a new approach will be created in the Lebanese chess.

Jordan: 3.5 – Lebanon 0.5.

In the Women section, the Lebanese Ladies were paired against Nicaragua team. Knarik Mouradian, playing White against WFM Ana Madrigal, after transposition of moves, reached a promising position of the Italian game, especially after her opponent sacrificed the exchange for a central pawn. Knarik kept the pressure on, and after some tactical exchanges, she reached an endgame with exchange and a pawn up, which were enough to convince her opponent to stop the clocks.

On the second board, Elena Nekeasova, playing Black, was to face the Grand Prix Attack of WFM Kathya Mendieta against her Sicilian. She played very well and refuted her opponent strategy, obtaining a dangerous passed pawn as extra bonus. Suddenly, she dropped her b8 rook for nothing. She fought back very hard and reduced her disadvantage from a rook down to a knight down. The second time control enabled her opponent to play some imprecise moves forcing Elena to stop the clocks.

On board three, Maya Jalloul faced with the white pieces WIM Maria Granodos. The well-played King’s Indian Attack adopted by Maya resulted the advantage of the two bishops and a strong initiative in the center and on the king side. The tactical stroke (23. Nf6!) forced her opponent to stop the clock immediately.

A well-played game by Maya.

On board four, Youmna Makhlouf who replaced Danielle, played with the black pieces against Pamela Alarcon. The Bogo-Indian was on the plate, resulting an interesting middle game with White having space and some attacking prospects due to the hanging pawns. The exchange (16..Nxe5) initiated by Youmna improved greatly her opponent’s pawns structure and increased her initiative, reducing her to passive defense as well. White’ strong center supported by the two bishops could hardly be restricted. With a bad knight and exchange down, accentuated by the threat of winning the black queen forced Youmna to call it a day.

Lebanon: 2 – Nicaragua: 2

Click here to down the games.



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