Sunday, 23 November 2008

Dresden chess olympiad, Round 9

It is just like the weather here. After three stormy days, here comes a spot of sunshine. The weather would still feel a bit cold - not easy to dispel the chill that has settled in - but we've got to make the most of what we have. Same in Dresden. After three days of heavy losses, here's a little welcome respite with a huge win. It doesn't matter that the Malaysian team could only beat lowly Liechtenstein; a win is still a win. Let's have some joy around us, okay?

The lead at the top of the Chess Olympiad standings has changed hands once again and with only two rounds to go, Israel is the surprising leader. But can Israel do it? All they need are two narrow wins in the last two rounds in order to stave off all challenges and be declared the winner. It can happen. Due to the change of rules for this event, match points are more important than game points. So a 4-0, 3½-½, 3-1 or 2½-1½ result means the same 2-0 score to the winner. In the ninth round, China was the only Asian team among the top 10 tables to register a win. Both Vietnam and Kazakhstan lost.

Armenia 1½-2½ Israel
Poland 2-2 Germany One
Russia 1½-2½ Ukraine
Serbia 2½-1½ Azerbaijan
France 1-3 China
Vietnam 1-3 England
Belarus 2-2 Slovakia
Kazakhstan 1-3 Netherlands
Cuba 2-2 Hungary
Sweden 1½-2½ Bulgaria

And here are the results of the other Asian teams:

India ½-3½ USA
UAE 1-3 Spain
New Zealand 0-4 Georgia
Switzerland 2½-1½ Indonesia
Tajikistan 1½-2½ Colombia
Uzbekistan 3½-½ Kyrgyzstan
Paraguay ½-3½ Iran
Philippines 1½-2½ Czech Republic
Bangladesh 1-3 Scotland
Latvia 4-0 Pakistan
Lebanon 1-3 Finland
Australia 4-0 Turkmenistan
Qatar 2½-1½ Faroe Islands
Syria ½-3½ Portugal
Mongolia 2½-1½ Ireland
Japan 3½-½ Honduras
Hongkong ½-3½ Singapore
Palestine 1-3 Thailand
Jordan 2½-1½ Yemen
Sri Lanka 1½-2½ Botswana
Mexico 1½-2½ Afghanistan
Liechtenstein ½-3½ Malaysia
IBCA 2-2 Iraq
Nepal ½-3½ Fiji
Papua New Guinea 1-3 South Korea
Malawi 2-2 Macau
Uganda 1½-2½ Chinese Taipei

Our representatives in Dresden, Round Nine: (left to right) Mas Hafizulhelmi, Lim Yee Weng, Mok Tze Meng and Jimmy Liew
At Table 54, Liechtenstein lost to the Malaysians:

Mannhart Marcel 2154 - IM Mas Hafizulhelmi 2439 1/2
Frick Renato 2145 - FM Lim Yee-Weng 2396 0-1
Guller Andras 2117 - FM Mok Tze-Meng 2308 0-1
Muendle Kurt 1928 - IM Liew Chee-Meng-Jimmy 2306 0-1

It will now be Table 48 for the Malaysians in the 10th round. Their opponents will be Ecuador, a south American team. Seeded 65th, they are not that much higher ranked than Malaysia. But they've a GM on first board and an IM on second board. The other two players are untitled but with 2330+ ratings. It'll be a good match and I hope our players can redeem themselves further. Go, boys, go!

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