Monday, 10 September 2012

Olympiad Round 11 - Singapore eked out a 2.5-1.5 win over Uganda...finished ahead of Malaysia on Junior Tay

Malaysia, galvanised by the concerted (and ultimately successful) effort to help Lim Zhuo Ren get highly rated opposition to make his IM norm, pulled level with us on match points by the end of the penultimate round. Only a win over Uganda would suffice for us and we just barely made it.

 Daniel Fernandez ended his campaign on a high note when he took advantage of White's chronically slow development to net a piece and to finish with a flourish.
Ravindran just could not find his mojo in this event. He went into a double edged continuation just before time control and paid dearly.
The ultra reliable Zhang Zhong is just world class. After his shock loss to IM Kenny Solomon (who made a GM norm) in his first game, when he had not gotten his "car-engine revved up yet", he blasted the opposition away with 7 wins and 2 draws. He put Singapore 2-1 up after his opponent played an erroneous 'combination' which left his back rank exposed.
Li Ruofan was gradually taking over the game positionally when she missed a simple tactic and lost the h pawn. Conventional theory dictates that when one is materially down, he/she should trade pawns and not pieces (or try to avoid exchanges). Instead Li went on a piece trading expedition and hacked off as many bits as she could. The policy worked as she played into a drawn Rook + 3 pawns vs Rook + 2 pawns ending (on the same side).
Thus, with the all important 1/2 point, Singapore edged out Uganda 2.5-1.5. Seeded 55th, we finished in 59th position with 6 wins and 5 losses, just barely ahead of Malaysia who had the same match points but were placed 5 spots below on tiebreak. In terms of ASEAN placings, we were 3rd behind Vietnam (7th(!)) and Philippines (21st).

I would like to thank the many readers for following this series for the past two weeks. It was my pleasure sharing the local game commentary with you.


  1. With this win, Harold Wanyama (Ravindran's opponent) gained 93(!) points from the Olympiad, according to the tournament results page.

  2. tks - I enjoyed Daniel's game - sustained violence throughout! Chong Ghee