Thursday, 30 August 2012

Olympiad Round 2 - Singapore slumps to a shock 2.5-1.5 defeat to South Africa by Junior Tay

The Singapore team, having gotten a favourable (on paper) pairing of meeting South Africa, was out for a strong result and thus fielded GM Zhang Zhong on top board while resting IM Ravindran Shanmugan. However, South Africa did not buckle as expected and inflicted a painful defeat on us. Zhang Zhong's attempt to win in a position where Black had comfortable equality backfired when IM Kenny Solomon destroyed his centre and collected material.

Daniel Fernandez bizzarely decided on an opening where he could at best equalise but his opponent made use of his lead in development to snare the minor exchange and put him away with good technique.
With Li Ruofan's opponent holding firm in an English Symmetrical to attain a draw, only Weiming supplied the cheer for the local team with this effort.


  1. Er...but isn't the Game: Zhang Zhong - Kenny Solomon 1-0 after ...Rxe5, Qxh7 #?

    Steven Tan

  2. Yes, I also think Zhang Zhong won by checkmate on h7.

  3. I just checked with Wei Ming and he said "Some idiot with an itchy hand" moved Rxe5 after the game, triggering the DGT board to record the move on the transmission. Anyway, thanks and I've changed the score accordingly.

  4. Singapore did not field the strongest lineup ? IM Ravi is rated 2400+ and did not play ?

    1. It's common to not always field the strongest lineup when you're playing lower-rated teams. That's why GM Zhang Zhong gave Round 1 a miss VS S.Korea, I believe.

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  6. Daniel Fernandez is trying to be funny by playing a dubious variation of the Petroff. He seriously underestimated his opponent by playing trash openings.

  7. What I know of the line personally, it's not that dubious and it can get very tricky if White attempts to hold on to the e pawn. In fact, 3...Nxe4 is in the repertoire of the current World Junior Champion GM Ipatov. In SOS 10 (New In Chess), Cohen devoted 11 pages to this variation and explained that with "3...Nxe4, Black sets many pitfalls for White, and if White plays accurately, he gets a slight advantage at most, but certainly not a decisive one". What I felt strange about his choice was that White can just return the pawn to avoid all the trouble and it will be difficult for Daniel to play for a win against a reasonably strong opponent in a symmetrical position with wide open e + d files .