Sunday in Baku: US Defeats Norway; Women Fall to China

csfsyjjxeaeu7fc GMs Caruana and Magnus Carlsen on board one Photo David Llada
Even with World #1 Magnus Carlsen heading the team, the Norwegian squad had absolutely no chance against Team USA. The first board game was very solid, which captain John Donaldson was very happy about. Magnus essayed the Scandinavian again against Caruana, which he successfully employed against the then-Italian player in the 2014 Tromso Olympiad. Magnus deviated on that game on move three, as he played 3...Qd6 instead of 3...Qd8. Caruana's approach was relatively unambitious, but even so the position became a bit complicated. White might have had some chances to create even more complications, but our board one chose the safe path and secured a draw.
[pgn]

[Event "42nd Olympiad 2016"]
[Site "Baku AZE"]
[Date "2016.09.11"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B01"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2857"]
[PlyCount "56"]
[EventDate "2016.09.02"]
[WhiteTeam "United States of America"]
[BlackTeam "Norway"]
[BlackTeamCountry "NOR"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd6 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 c6 6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Nc4 Qc7 8.
a4 Nd5 9. Bd3 g6 10. Qf3 N7f6 11. Nxd5 Nxd5 12. O-O Bg7 13. c3 O-O 14. Qg3 Qxg3
15. hxg3 Rd8 16. Be2 Be6 17. a5 c5 18. dxc5 Bxc3 19. a6 bxa6 20. Na5 Bxa5 21.
Rxa5 Nb4 22. Bf4 Nc6 23. Ra3 a5 24. Bb5 Nd4 25. Ba6 Bc8 26. Bc4 Be6 27. Ba6 Bc8
28. Bc4 Be6 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Things looked bad for Jon Ludvig Hammer from the opening. Nakamura's King's Indian gave him a slightly more pleasant position from the opening, in which White's knight on d3 was simply misplaced. Nakamura took that small edge, grew it step by step, and eventually toppled over his opponent's position.
[pgn]

[Event "42nd Olympiad 2016"]
[Site "Baku AZE"]
[Date "2016.09.11"]
[White "Hammer, Jon Ludvig"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2651"]
[BlackElo "2789"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2016.09.02"]
[WhiteTeam "Norway"]
[BlackTeam "United States of America"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "NOR"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O c5 7. dxc5 dxc5 8. Ne5
Qc7 9. Nd3 Be6 10. Bf4 Qc8 11. Nd2 $6 {Actually maneuvering the knight on f3
proved to be rather futile.} Bh3 12. Nf3 Bxg2 13. Kxg2 b6 14. Re1 Qb7 15. Qc1
Rd8 16. Bh6 Bh8 17. Nde5 Ne4 {Black is slightly better. His bishop is better,
his piece placement is better, and even his structure is less vulnerable.} 18.
Qf4 f6 19. Rad1 Nd6 $1 20. Ng4 Nc6 21. Kg1 Nf7 {Now White has problems with
his pieces. The bishop on h6 feels uncomfortably trapped.} 22. h3 f5 23. Ngh2
e5 24. Qc1 e4 25. Nh4 Rxd1 26. Rxd1 Nd4 {Black's moves are as natural as they
are powerful.} 27. Re1 Qa6 28. Be3 Qxa2 29. g4 Bf6 30. Ng2 Ne6 31. gxf5 gxf5
32. Nf1 0-1[/pgn]
Sam Shankland decided for a sharp Najdorf, banking on the fact that his opponent is very inexperienced with 1.e4. As Sam pointed out, Norway's fourth board was exclusively a 1.d4 player until this tournament, and Sam felt he didn't have the experience necessary to play some positions. An excellent choice! With the black pieces our fourth board today simply steam rolled through White's position, destroying him on the queenside while White created no threats on the opposite flank.
[pgn]

[Event "42nd Olympiad 2016"]
[Site "Baku AZE"]
[Date "2016.09.11"]
[White "Urkedal, Frode"]
[Black "Shankland, Samuel L"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B94"]
[WhiteElo "2537"]
[BlackElo "2679"]
[PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "2016.09.02"]
[WhiteTeam "Norway"]
[BlackTeam "United States of America"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "NOR"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Qe2 h6 8.
Bh4 g6 {Already a rare position in the Najdorf, but it is clear that Shankland
knows his way around this mess.} 9. O-O-O e5 10. Nb3 Be7 11. Kb1 b5 12. a3 Qc7
13. f3 Kf8 $1 14. Bf2 Kg7 15. h4 Nb6 16. g3 Rb8 17. Bxb6 Qxb6 18. Bh3 $6 (18.
Qe1 {is not great for White, but Shankland considered it better than the game.}
) 18... a5 19. Bxc8 Rhxc8 20. Nd5 {White has gained d5, but loses his king.}
Nxd5 21. Rxd5 a4 22. Nc1 b4 23. axb4 Qxb4 24. Nd3 Qc3 25. Kc1 Qc4 26. Rh2 a3
27. bxa3 Qa2 28. Kd1 Rb1+ 29. Nc1 Qxa3 30. Qd2 Qxf3+ 31. Re2 Qxg3 {Crushing.}
0-1[/pgn]
Wesley So was slightly better against Aryan Tari for most of the game: his structure gave him a risk-free position. In a situation where he maybe could have pressed a bit harder, with the match already clinched 2.5-0.5, Wesley opted to allow a repetition and the match was sealed 3.0-1.0. USA continues their march forward with no hiccups.
[pgn]

[Event "42nd Olympiad 2016"]
[Site "Baku AZE"]
[Date "2016.09.11"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Tari, Aryan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2782"]
[BlackElo "2570"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2016.09.02"]
[WhiteTeam "United States of America"]
[BlackTeam "Norway"]
[BlackTeamCountry "NOR"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. c3 Ba7 7. a4 d6 8. Re1
O-O 9. h3 Be6 10. Nbd2 Ne7 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Nf1 Ng6 13. Ng3 Qd7 14. d4 exd4
15. cxd4 b5 16. Be3 c5 17. axb5 axb5 18. dxc5 Bxc5 19. Qb3 Bxe3 20. Qxe3 e5 21.
Rad1 Kh8 22. Qb6 Rad8 23. Re3 d5 24. exd5 Nxd5 25. Qc5 Qb7 26. Rb3 b4 27. Qc2
Ndf4 28. Rxd8 Rxd8 29. Qc4 Rd4 30. Qf1 Rd8 31. Qc4 Rd4 32. Qf1 Rd8 33. Qc4
1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Baku Olympiad Open Standings after nine rounds  1 USA 16  2 UKR 16 3 RUS 15 4 GEO 14 5 CZE 14 6 IND 14  Our women's team was finally stopped. Playing against China is a tall order, and despite a great struggle we faltered in what was, on paper, the most difficult pairing of the four.Irina Krush was on first board with the White pieces against World Champion Hou Yifan. She chose a very solid approach in the Nimzo-Indian, giving her a slight edge. Yifan's decision to trade queens on f6 was questionable, and Irina's endgame was considerably better. She mishandled the position, and the World Champion defended well, resulting in a draw.
[pgn]

[Event "Olympiad Women 2016"]
[Site "Baku AZE"]
[Date "2016.09.11"]
[White "Krush, Irina"]
[Black "Hou, Yifan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E37"]
[WhiteElo "2444"]
[BlackElo "2658"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "2016.09.02"]
[WhiteTeam "United States of America"]
[BlackTeam "China"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CHN"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 Ne4 7. Qc2 c5 8.
dxc5 Nc6 9. Nf3 Qa5+ 10. Bd2 Qxc5 11. e3 Nxd2 12. Nxd2 dxc4 13. Bxc4 O-O 14. b4
Qe7 15. Bd3 h6 16. Qc3 Qf6 17. Qxf6 gxf6 18. O-O-O f5 19. Be2 e5 20. Nc4 Be6
21. Nd6 Rab8 22. Rd2 Rfd8 23. Kb2 Kf8 24. Rhd1 Ke7 25. Nc4 Rxd2+ 26. Rxd2 Rc8
27. Rc2 f6 28. Na5 Nxa5 29. Rxc8 Bxc8 30. bxa5 Kd6 31. Kc3 Kc5 32. f4 exf4 33.
exf4 Be6 34. g3 Bd5 35. Bd3 Be6 36. Be2 Bd5 37. Bd3 Be6 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Anna Zatonskih had nice preparation against Tan Zhongyi, resulting in a slightly better endgame. Trading both pairs of rooks instead of just one lessened her winning chances. She pressed most of the game, but was unable to create any big threats. 1.0-1.0.
[pgn]

[Event "Olympiad Women 2016"]
[Site "Baku AZE"]
[Date "2016.09.11"]
[White "Zatonskih, Anna"]
[Black "Tan, Zhongyi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E40"]
[WhiteElo "2449"]
[BlackElo "2475"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2016.09.02"]
[WhiteTeam "United States of America"]
[BlackTeam "China"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CHN"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 O-O 7. cxd5 exd5 8.
Bd3 c5 9. Ne2 b6 10. O-O Ba6 11. dxc5 bxc5 12. Bxa6 Nxa6 13. c4 dxc4 14. Qa4
Nc7 15. Rd1 Qe7 16. Qxc4 Rfd8 17. Bb2 Rxd1+ 18. Rxd1 Rd8 19. Rxd8+ Qxd8 20. h3
Qd1+ 21. Kh2 Qd6+ 22. Ng3 Ncd5 23. e4 Nb6 24. Qb5 Nfd7 25. a4 h5 26. h4 Qe6 27.
a5 Nc4 28. Bc3 a6 29. Qb7 Nde5 30. f3 g6 31. Qb8+ Kh7 32. Kg1 Qf6 33. Ne2 Qxh4
34. Bxe5 Nxe5 35. Qxe5 Qe1+ 36. Kh2 Qh4+ 37. Kg1 Qe1+ 38. Kh2 Qh4+ 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Kacka Nemcova decided to be extremely solid against Guo Qi, and her approach worked wonders. She even had some small chances in the rook endgame, but it was not much. The game ended in yet another draw.
[pgn]

[Event "Olympiad Women 2016"]
[Site "Baku AZE"]
[Date "2016.09.11"]
[White "Guo, Qi"]
[Black "Nemcova, Katerina"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E11"]
[WhiteElo "2417"]
[BlackElo "2365"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2016.09.02"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "United States of America"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Bxd2+ 5. Qxd2 d5 6. Nc3 O-O 7. e3 Qe7 8.
Rc1 c6 9. Be2 Nbd7 10. O-O Rd8 11. Rfd1 b6 12. Qc2 Bb7 13. h3 g6 14. Bd3 Rac8
15. Qe2 e5 16. dxe5 Nxe5 17. Nxe5 Qxe5 18. cxd5 Nxd5 19. Nxd5 Rxd5 20. Bc4 Rdd8
21. Qf3 Qe7 22. Qf4 c5 23. h4 a6 24. a4 h5 25. Qg5 Qxg5 26. hxg5 Kf8 27. f3 Ke7
28. Kf2 Bc6 29. Bxa6 Rxd1 30. Rxd1 Ra8 31. Bb5 Bxb5 32. axb5 Ra5 33. Kg3 Rxb5
34. Rd2 Rb3 35. Kf4 Ke6 36. e4 b5 37. Rc2 c4 38. Rd2 b4 39. g3 Ke7 40. Rd4 Rxb2
41. Rxc4 Rb3 42. Rc7+ Kf8 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Board two was our biggest problem on paper, and Ju Wenjun proved why she is the number two player in the World. Getting a slight advantage from the opening, the Chinese player grew her advantage methodically, attacking on the c-file against a weak pawn and extinguishing any hopes for counterplay. She eventually won a pawn, and Nazi started defending extremely resourcefully. However, one pawn and a strong bishop was simply too much. Ju Wenjun won a very long endgame, finishing at the five hour mark, one of the last games to finish, Nazi shook hands and China won an important game. A blow for the American team, who should still be optimistic going forward.
[pgn]

[Event "Olympiad Women 2016"]
[Site "Baku AZE"]
[Date "2016.09.11"]
[White "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Black "Paikidze, Nazi"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E01"]
[WhiteElo "2583"]
[BlackElo "2366"]
[PlyCount "169"]
[EventDate "2016.09.02"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "United States of America"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Bb4+ 5. Nd2 O-O 6. Ngf3 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. Ne5
Nbd7 9. Nd3 Bxd2 $6 {It is almost hard to believe this is a losing move, but
from this mediocre trade on, Nazi finds herself in a lot of pressure. Ju
Wenjun did her near-2600 thing: built up the advantage, and the pressure, and
never let go.} (9... Be7 {is probably fine for Black, with c5 next move.}) 10.
Bxd2 Ne4 11. cxd5 Nxd2 12. Qxd2 exd5 13. Rac1 c6 14. Rc2 Qe7 15. Rfc1 Rac8 16.
a4 Nf6 17. Qb4 Qc7 18. Qb3 Ba6 19. Bh3 Bc4 20. Qa3 Rce8 21. Ne5 c5 22. Nxc4
dxc4 23. e3 Ne4 24. Rxc4 Qe7 25. dxc5 Nxc5 26. Rd4 Rd8 27. Bg2 Qf6 28. Bd5 Ne6
29. Rdd1 g6 30. Qc3 Qxc3 31. Rxc3 Kg7 32. Kf1 Kf6 33. Ke2 Rc8 34. Rdc1 Rxc3 35.
Rxc3 Nc5 36. b3 Ke5 37. Bc4 f5 38. Rc2 Rd8 39. f3 Kf6 40. Ra2 a5 41. Rb2 g5 42.
Bb5 g4 43. b4 gxf3+ 44. Kxf3 axb4 45. Rxb4 Rd2 46. Be2 Ke5 47. Rxb6 Ne4 48.
Rb5+ Kf6 49. Kf4 Nd6 50. Rb6 Ke7 51. Bf3 Rxh2 52. Bd5 Nc8 53. Re6+ Kd7 54. Kxf5
Ne7+ 55. Ke4 Rb2 56. Ra6 Rb4+ 57. Ke5 Ng6+ 58. Kf6 Kc7 59. a5 Ra4 60. e4 Nf8
61. Kg7 Nd7 62. Kxh7 Ra3 63. g4 Rg3 64. Rc6+ Kb8 65. a6 Ne5 66. Rf6 Nxg4 67.
Rf7 Ra3 68. Rb7+ Kc8 69. a7 Nf6+ 70. Kg6 Nxd5 71. Rb8+ Kd7 72. a8=Q Rxa8 73.
Rxa8 Ne3 74. Kf6 Ng4+ 75. Kf5 Ne3+ 76. Ke5 Nc4+ 77. Kf6 Nd6 78. Ra7+ Kd8 79. e5
Ne4+ 80. Ke6 Ng5+ 81. Kd5 Ke8 82. Rg7 Nf7 83. Rxf7 Kxf7 84. Kd6 Ke8 85. Ke6 1-0[/pgn]
The pairings on the tenth and penultimate round are quite interesting. In the Open section America will play the Georgian team – and their first board is absolutely on fire. Baadur Jobava is winning 35 rating points and defeating 2700s left and right: if the tournament finished today, he would be the gold medalist on first board. However he has a tough opponent in Fabiano Caruana, who is beyond the strength of a mere 2700 player. An interesting match for sure. On the other boards, USA is again favorite. In the Women's section, we have an excellent chance to bounce back. USA will be facing Mongolia, who has two strong boards with International Masters Nomin-Endere Davaademberel and Batchimeg Tuvshintugs (who used to live in California and play for the USA), while having relatively solid third and fourth boards. Not an easy match by any means, but the USA is the higher rated team on three out of four boards. Women's Standings after nine rounds  1 CHN 16 2 POL 15 3 UKR 14 4 RUS 14 5 IND 14 6 USA 14  Follow live games, results and find more photos at the tournament site. Thanks to the Chess Club & Scholastic Center of St. Louis and to the Kasparov Chess Foundation for their continued generous support.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Plain Text Comments

Archives

Share Your Feedback

We recently completed a website update. If you notice a formatting error on this page, please click here.