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]
For more information on the 2018 Olympiad, check out: https://new.uschess.org/news/u-s-team-silver-open-caruana-yu-krush-earn-board-medals/ https://new.uschess.org/top-american-players/maurice-ashley-alejandro-ramirez-batumi-post-mortem/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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  

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