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42nd Chess Olympiad – Baku – 2016 Round 10: Lebanon won over Malaysia 2.5-1.5

42nd Chess Olympiad – Baku – 2016

Round 10: Lebanon won over Malaysia 2.5-1.5

An important win

As I mentioned in my round 9 report, the last 2 rounds of the Olympiad are the most important and the most critical ones for the team, as they defined the standing before its issue. Every half point must be fought till the end, as that half point has a great effect on the tie-break of each team, and consequently on the final standing of the team in the same group of equal of total matches points.

(Last update:they will face Scotland in the last round)

Lebanon‘s win over Malaysia is going to push the former several rank ahead, making the last match the toughest one. I am sure that the players, with their coach, are now occupied and motivated to the maximum to profit from the situation, not only technically, but also psychologically.

Back to today’s match. On board 1, Fadi faced IM Mok (2373) who adopted the solid Gurgenidze setup. The 9.e6 move by Fadi put a lot of hot spices on the board, forcing Mok to sacrifice the exchange, but got 2 pawns in return as a compensation. May be Fadi had to avoid the exchange of queens, as after the exchange of queens his opponent didn’t let the white rooks find any open file. Mok defended well, as, with his pawn mass and bishop, he locked every attempt by Fadi to activate his rook, resulting in splitting the point.

On board 2, Antoine Kassis faced Subramaniam (2137) who adopted the fianchetto variation against Antoine’s King Indian Defense. It was enough for white to make one imprecise move, to activate all Antoine’s tactical skills in one go. After winning the exchange, Antoine consolidated his king side, then penetrate with his heavy pieces his opponent’s queen side, where the lack of harmony between the white pieces, passivity of the white bishop and her white Majesty in journey were more than enough for Antoine to collect his first win (and not the last, please) in Baku Olympiad.

On board 3 Elie Asmar adopted the Closed variation against his opponent Abdullah (2100)’ Sicilian defense. Elie played too modestly, not making any plan that could worry his opponent, who profited from the situation to gain a lot of space on the queen side. Abdullah, with the approaching of the time control of the first part of the game, snatched the a-pawn on move 34. Elie didn’t react with the best way, as he could profit from the pin on the a-file of the black queen to implement a knight on h6 (Ne2 – to protect c3 – then Ne3-g4-h6 where the black h4-bishop will be in big trouble), allowed the exchange of queens and a penetration of the black rook to the queen side using the b-file. Stopping the clocks by Elie is very understandable.

On board 4, AbdelAziz adopted the modern Defense against IM Liew (2202). Liew showed his aggressive intentions by adopting the Austrian attack, but Abdelaziz played well the opening and equalized too quickly. May be this annoyed his opponent, who sacrificed a piece for 2 pawns in order to get profit from the presence of the black king in the center. Abdelaziz reacted by a boomerang that enabled him to put his king into safety and regain one of his pawn. Liew tried to do something with his 2 passed pawns on the queen side, which were blocked by Abdulaziz ‘excellent maneuver of his pieces on the queen side, who also succeeded in regaining the second pawn. A passed black pawn on d3, an open g-file for the black rook, 2 bishops and queen eying to the White king, with all this, returning the extra piece to checkmate the White king was played brilliantly by Abdulaziz.

Click here to download the games of the Lebanese team.

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