Can You Calculate Like a US Olympiad Team Member?

The 2018 Women's Olympiad Team (from left to right): Tatev Abrahamyan, Irina Krush, Captain Melikset Khachiyan, Jennifer Yu, and Anna Zatonskih (not present Sabina Foisor). Photo: David Llada

This year's Olympiad featured a riveting fight by the U.S. Women's team and a tie for 1st (winning Silver by tiebreaks) by the U.S. Open team. Test out your own tactical abilities with these puzzles from key victories.

Puzzle #1

Liana Aghabekian vs. Anna Zatonskih

Black to move.
Level: Warm-Up

Show Solution

[pgn][Event "Batumi Olympiad 2018"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Aghabekian, Liana"] [Black "Zatonskih, Anna"] [Result "0-1"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6k1/1pp2p2/7p/B1b5/P3R3/4R1P1/1q5P/6K1 b - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "1"]1... Qe2 $1 {A simple, yet satisifying finish. White resigned.} 0-1[/pgn]
Fabiano Caruana, Photo: Seyran Baroyan

Puzzle #2

Fabiano Caruana vs. Boris Gelfand

White to move.
Level: Intermediate

Show Solution

[pgn][Event "Batumi Olympiad 2018"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "1-0"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "5r2/p2Q4/1p3kp1/2p1p2R/3qPn2/3P2R1/P1P2P2/6K1 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "9"]1. Rf5+ $1 gxf5 2. Qxf5+ Ke7 3. Rg7+ {and Black resigned.} Ke8 (3... Kd8 4. Qxf8#) (3... Kd6 4. Qd7#) 4. Qc8+ Qd8 5. Qc6+ 1-0[/pgn]


The U.S. Olympiad Open Team with their Captain John Donaldson.

Puzzle #3

Fabiano Caruana vs. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

White to move.
Level: Intermediate

Show Solution

[pgn][Event "Batumi Olympiad 2018"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6Q1/2r3q1/p5p1/5p2/2p2Pk1/2P3P1/1P5R/5K2 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "3"]1. Kg2 $1 {Leaving his queen hanging to go for checkmate.} g5 2. Qe8 {and Mamedyarov resigned.} 1-0[/pgn]
Tatev Abrahamyan. Photo: David Llada

Puzzle #4

Tatev Abrahamyan vs. Desiree Di Benedetto

White to move.
Level: Intermediate

Show Solution

[pgn][Event "Batumi Olympiad 2018"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Abrahamyan, Tatev"] [Black "Di Benedetto, Desiree"] [Result "1-0"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3rr1k1/2q4p/b1pb2p1/p3pp2/4BP1Q/P1B4R/1PP3PP/4R2K w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "9"]1. Bxf5 gxf5 2. Rg3+ Kf7 3. fxe5 Rxe5 4. Bxe5 Bxe5 5. Qxh7+ 1-0[/pgn]
Wesley So. Photo: David Llada

Puzzle #5

Wesley So vs. Marin Bosiocic

White to move.
Level: Advanced

Show Solution

[pgn][Event "Batumi Olympiad 2018"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Bosiocic, Marin"] [Result "1-0"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3bk1r1/2r2p1Q/3p4/ppnPp2R/2P3qP/4B1P1/PP1N2K1/5R2 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "17"] [SourceDate "2018.10.21"]1. Rg5 $1 Rxg5 2. Bxg5 {and Black resigned. If} Kd7 (2... Bxg5 3. Qg8+ Kd7 4. Rxf7+) 3. Bxd8 Kxd8 4. Qh8+ Ke7 5. Qf6+ Kd7 6. Qxf7+ Kc8 7. Qe8+ Kb7 8. Qxb5+ Ka7 9. Qxa5+ 1-0[/pgn]



Vanessa West is a regular writer and digital assistant for US Chess News. She won the 2017 Chess Journalist of the Year award. You can follow her on Twitter: @Vanessa__West  


For #2. 1.Rxg6+ works also. ...1.Kxg6. 2.Qh7+, Kf6 3.Rh6+, Kg5 4.Qg7+, Ng6 5.Qxg6+, Kf4 6.Qg3 mate.

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