Round 4 at the Olympiad: A Narrow Escape

In Monday's fourth round of the 2022 FIDE Olympiad, the USA’s Open team narrowly avoided losing to Uzbekistan, with the match ending in a 2-2 tie. Meanwhile, our Women’s team recovered from yesterday’s loss by beating Australia 3-1.



2022 Open Oly rd4 results


The Americans faced 14th seed Uzbekistan, led by 17-year-old prodigy GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov, the reigning and youngest ever World Rapid Champion. Team USA took an early lead with a commanding win by third board GM Wesley So over Uzbekistan’s other prodigy, 16-year-old GM Javokhir Sindarov.




Meanwhile our second board GM Levon Aronian held a solid draw against GM Nodirbek Yakubboev. But on first board, GM Fabiano Caruana struggled to generate anything against Abdusattorov, and ended up pushing too hard shortly after the time control:



This evened the score of the match and left the outcome to be determined on the fourth board, where GM Sam Shankland was facing a completely lost rook endgame of his own against GM Jakhongir Vakhidov.


GM Sam Shankland
Image Caption
GM Sam Shankland (courtesy FIDE / Stev Bonhage)


However, Vakhidov’s time pressure reared its head, and Shankland miraculously escaped with a draw:



This tied the match 2-2, knocking both USA and Uzbekistan out of the leaders’ circle. However, they at least had company — other tied matches between leaders included France – India, Poland – Romania, Turkey – Azerbaijan, and Canada – Iran.

The teams which won their matches and now remain with a perfect four match points are India 2 (finally “underperforming” with a mere 3-1 victory over Italy), Armenia, Israel, England, and Spain. The Americans have 3½ match points, along with 11 other teams, and tomorrow we will “play up” a score group against Israel, giving us an opportunity to leapfrog at least one of the leaders if we win the match.



2022 Womens Oly Rd4 results


After Sunday's upset loss to Mongolia, today the American women bounced back with a 3-1 win against Australia.



On first and third boards, WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova and IM Anna Zatonskih both held draws with Black despite being in somewhat dubious positions over the board. That left the heavy lifting to second board IM Carissa Yip and fourth board WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, both of whom delivered:




Meanwhile co-leader Sweden lost to Cuba, 10th seed Kazakhstan drew down to 28th seed Mongolia, and 8th seed Germany was upset by 20th seed Romania. The other favorites won their matches, leaving eight teams with a perfect four match points, including both the India and India 2 teams.

Tomorrow the American women will face 31st seed Peru and look to continue their winning ways, hoping eventually to rejoin the leaders’ pack.

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and lo ,,,,,,the second coming of Shanklandland.....Told you ...No one knows how he does this .....Only the shadow knows! Jude Acers/ New Orleans

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