Team USA Wins Pool D at FIDE Online Olympiad

Having had to wait nearly a month to join the action, eight of America’s top players took to their computers over the weekend in the 2020 FIDE Online Olympiad. Team USA survived a rocky Sunday to win Pool D and advance to the Quarterfinals of the event beginning August 28th. They will meet either China or Ukraine, who face off in the playoff preliminary round on August 27th.

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Pool D Crosstable after Day 3
Image Caption
courtesy FIDE

Organized in part due to the cancellation of the 2020 over-the-board Olympiad, the Online Olympiad features teams of six players – two Open boards, two Women’s boards, and two Junior boards (one of which must go to a woman) – battling it out in rapid (G/15+5) time controls. The American team was seeded directly into the Top Division, which began play on Friday, August 21st, due to its top five finish in the Gaprindashvili Cup standings at the 2018 Olympiad.

The Team USA roster includes:

Open: GMs Wesley So, Sam Shankland, and Ray Robson
Women: IMs Carissa Yip and Anna Zatonskih, WGM Tatev Abrahamyan
U20: GM Jeffery Xiong, IM Annie Wang

Here’s a recap of how the Americans fared.

Day 1

 

Round 1

 

USA

5 : 1

Greece

Italy

4½ : 1½

Cuba

Brazil

4½ : 1½

Paraguay

Argentina

2 : 4

Canada

Poland

3½ : 2½

Peru

 

 

 

 

Round 2

 

Cuba

0 : 6

Peru

Canada

1 : 5

Poland

Greece

3 : 3

Argentina

Paraguay

2 : 4

USA

Italy

5 : 1

Brazil

 

 

 

 

Round 3

 

Brazil

1 : 5

Cuba

USA

5 : 1

Italy

Argentina

3 : 3

Paraguay

Poland

2½ : 3½

Greece

Peru

4 : 2

Canada

Day 1 couldn’t have been better for Team USA. A 5-1 win over Greece – who turned out to be the surprise of the pool – followed by a 4-2 victory over Paraguay and a 5-1 drubbing of Italy left the Americans in first place after three rounds.

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Wesley So
GM Wesley So

The win over Greece featured both technical chess and tactical demolition. Wesley So destroyed GM Dimitrios Mastrovasilis in 23 moves, while Jeffery Xiong showed good technique in downing GM Nikolas Theodorou.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.21"] [Round "1.5"] [White "Xiong, Jeffery"] [Black "Theodorou, Nikolas"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D00"] [WhiteElo "2730"] [BlackElo "2559"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2r3k1/1b3pbp/4p1p1/4N3/3P4/4P1BP/5PP1/2R3K1 w - - 0 30"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "United States of America"] [BlackTeam "Greece"] [BlackTeamCountry "GRE"] {[#]} 30. Ra1 Ra8 31. Rb1 Bd5 32. Rc1 f6 33. Nd7 Ra7 34. Nb6 Kf7 35. e4 (35. Nxd5 exd5 36. Bd6 $18) 35... Bb3 36. d5 exd5 (36... Bf8 $1) 37. exd5 Bf8 38. d6 Be6 39. Rc7+ Rxc7 40. dxc7 Bc5 41. c8=Q Bxc8 42. Nxc8 Ke6 43. Bc7 Kd7 44. Bb6 Bxf2+ 45. Kxf2 Kxc8 46. Bd4 f5 47. Ke3 Kd7 48. Kf4 Ke6 49. h4 Kd5 50. Bg7 Kc4 51. Kg5 Kd3 52. Kh6 Ke3 53. Kxh7 Kf2 54. Kxg6 f4 55. Be5 Kg3 56. h5 Kh4 57. h6 f3 58. gxf3 1-0 [/pgn]

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Carissa Yip (photo Ootes)

Carissa Yip was the beneficiary of a late-game blunder to take the full point against IM Tsolakidou.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.21"] [Round "1.3"] [White "Yip, Carissa"] [Black "Tsolakidou, Stavroula"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B53"] [WhiteElo "2421"] [BlackElo "2302"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/4r2p/6pk/8/RP1b1N2/P4K1P/8/8 b - - 0 64"] [PlyCount "4"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "United States of America"] [BlackTeam "Greece"] [BlackTeamCountry "GRE"] {[#]} 64... g5 $2 65. Ra6+ Kg7 66. Ne6+ 1-0 [/pgn]

Yip had a better time in Round 2, when she essayed a trendy line in the Italian game – see the October issue of Chess Life for GM Joel Benjamin on the “new Italian” – to defeat Paraguay’s WIM Perez Rodriquez.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.21"] [Round "2.3"] [White "Perez Rodriguez, Jennifer"] [Black "Yip, Carissa"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "2150"] [BlackElo "2421"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "50"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "Paraguay"] [BlackTeam "United States of America"] [WhiteTeamCountry "PAR"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 h6 5. c3 d6 6. O-O g5 $5 7. Re1 g4 8. Nfd2 h5 9. Nf1 Bh6 10. Bxh6 Rxh6 11. d4 h4 12. Bb5 Bd7 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Bxd7+ Qxd7 15. Nbd2 O-O-O 16. Qe2 Nh5 17. Qe3 Rdh8 18. Nb3 Kb8 (18... Nf3+ $1 19. gxf3 gxf3 20. Qxf3 Rf6 21. Qe2 Nf4) 19. Nd4 Rf6 20. Red1 g3 21. f3 {[#]} h3 $1 22. hxg3 (22. gxh3 Qxh3 $19) 22... hxg2 23. Kxg2 Nxg3 24. Kxg3 Qh3+ 25. Kf2 Ng4+ 0-1 [/pgn]

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Tatev Abrahamyan
Tatev Abrahamyan (photo courtesy STLCC)

Tatev Abrahamyan showed her tactical chops in Round 2 as well, taking out WIM Vargas in a flashy win.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.21"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Abrahamyan, Tatev"] [Black "Vargas, Gabriela"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C01"] [WhiteElo "2358"] [BlackElo "2105"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r1bqrnk1/pp3pp1/2p2n1p/3pN3/1b1P1B2/2NB1Q2/PPP2PPP/R3R1K1 w - - 0 12"] [PlyCount "23"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "United States of America"] [BlackTeam "Paraguay"] [BlackTeamCountry "PAR"] {[#]} 12. Bxh6 gxh6 13. Qg3+ Ng4 (13... Kh8 $4 14. Nxf7#) 14. Nxg4 Rxe1+ 15. Rxe1 Bxg4 16. Qxg4+ Qg5 17. Qh3 Ne6 (17... Kh8 18. Re3 Ne6 19. Ne2 $1 Bd6 20. Rf3 {[%cal Gf3f5]}) 18. Re3 Nf4 19. Qf3 Bxc3 20. bxc3 Kf8 21. Re5 Qh4 22. g3 Nh3+ 23. Kg2 1-0 [/pgn]

So had perhaps the game of the round in the Round 3 matchup against Italy, winning a messy slog against GM Vocaturo.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.21"] [Round "3.1"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Vocaturo, Daniele"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B04"] [WhiteElo "2741"] [BlackElo "2584"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "United States of America"] [BlackTeam "Italy"] [BlackTeamCountry "ITA"] 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 g6 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 Bg7 7. Ng5 e6 8. Qf3 Qe7 9. Ne4 dxe5 10. Bg5 Qb4+ 11. c3 Qa5 12. Bf6 O-O 13. Bxg7 Kxg7 14. Qf6+ Kg8 15. Qxe5 Qxe5 16. dxe5 N8d7 17. f4 a5 18. Nbd2 a4 19. Bc2 Nd5 20. g3 b5 21. Kf2 Bb7 22. Rhe1 Ra6 23. Rad1 f6 24. exf6 e5 25. fxe5 Nxe5 26. Nc5 Ng4+ 27. Kg1 Nde3 28. Nxa6 Nxc2 29. Re6 Bc8 30. Rc6 Bb7 31. Rxc7 Bxa6 32. Ne4 Bc8 33. h3 Nge3 34. Rd2 Bxh3 35. Ng5 Rxf6 36. Rd8+ Rf8 37. Rxf8+ Kxf8 38. Nxh3 Nc4 39. Rxh7 Nxb2 40. Nf4 b4 41. cxb4 Nxb4 42. Rb7 N2d3 43. a3 Nxf4 44. Rxb4 Ne2+ 45. Kg2 Nc3 46. Rc4 1-0 [/pgn]

Day 2

 

Round 4

 

Brazil

1 : 5

USA

Italy

2 : 4

Argentina

Paraguay

2 : 4

Poland

Greece

3½ : 2½

Peru

Cuba

2 : 4

Canada

 

 

 

 

Round 5

 

USA

4½ : 1½

Cuba

Argentina

1½ : 4½

Brazil

Poland

2½ : 3½

Italy

Peru

4 : 2

Paraguay

Canada

1½ : 4½

Greece

 

 

 

 

Round 6

 

USA

5 : 1

Argentina

Cuba

2½ : 3½

Greece

Brazil

3 : 3

Poland

Italy

2½ : 3½

Peru

Paraguay

3 : 3

Canada

Day 2 was another success for the Americans, with three convincing match victories over Brazil (5-1), Cuba (4½-1½), and Argentina (5-1).

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Sam Shankland (photo Kellar)

Sam Shankland showed good technique in his Round 4 win over Brazilian GM Andre Diamant.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.22"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Shankland, Sam"] [Black "Diamant, Andre"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B33"] [WhiteElo "2609"] [BlackElo "2446"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "United States of America"] [BlackTeam "Brazil"] [BlackTeamCountry "BRA"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5 Bg7 11. Bd3 Ne7 12. c4 Nxd5 13. cxd5 f5 14. Qc2 Qa5+ 15. Kf1 fxe4 16. Bxe4 Bd7 17. Bf5 Bxf5 18. Qxf5 O-O 19. h4 b4 20. Nc4 Qxd5 21. Ne3 Qb5+ 22. Kg1 e4 23. Qxe4 f5 24. Qf3 Rae8 25. Rd1 f4 26. Nd5 Qe2 27. Rh3 Qxb2 28. Nc7 Re5 29. Nxa6 Kh8 30. Qb3 Qe2 31. Nxb4 Re4 32. a3 f3 33. Rxf3 Rxf3 34. Qxf3 Qxf3 35. gxf3 Rxh4 36. Rxd6 Bb2 37. Nc2 Rc4 38. Ne3 Rc1+ 39. Kg2 Bxa3 40. Rd7 Rc5 41. f4 Kg8 42. Kf3 Bb2 43. Ke4 Bc1 44. Nd5 Bb2 45. f5 Rc4+ 46. Kf3 Rc5 47. f6 Kf8 48. Ke4 Rc2 49. f4 h5 50. Kf5 h4 51. Rh7 Rc5 52. Kg6 Bxf6 53. Nxf6 1-0 [/pgn]

Brazil’s young Lucas Do Valle Cardozo will rue his near miss against Xiong. The draw was in his grasp, but as is often the case, fortune favors the higher rated player.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.22"] [Round "4.5"] [White "Do Valle Cardoso, Lucas"] [Black "Xiong, Jeffery"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "1852"] [BlackElo "2730"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/8/3p4/p1kP2pp/4P3/1P2K3/6P1/8 w - - 0 42"] [PlyCount "10"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "Brazil"] [BlackTeam "United States of America"] [WhiteTeamCountry "BRA"] {[#]} 42. Kd3 $4 (42. Kf2 Kd4 43. Kf3 $11 {with the main idea being} h4 44. Kg4 Kxe4 45. Kxg5 Kxd5 46. Kxh4) 42... h4 43. Ke3 g4 44. Kf4 h3 45. gxh3 gxh3 46. Kg3 Kd4 0-1 [/pgn]

So showed his attacking skills in this Round 5 victory over Cuba’s GM Yasser Quesada Perez.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.22"] [Round "5.1"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Quesada Perez, Yasser"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C43"] [WhiteElo "2741"] [BlackElo "2438"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "United States of America"] [BlackTeam "Cuba"] [BlackTeamCountry "CUB"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Bd6 6. O-O O-O 7. c4 c5 $5 { Mouseslip or deep prep? While not unknown to theory - Yu Yangyi has played it, among others - this is fairly rare.} (7... c6 {is standard}) (7... Bxe5 { is also known:} 8. dxe5 Nc6 9. cxd5 Qxd5 10. Qc2 Nb4 11. Bxe4 Nxc2 12. Bxd5 Bf5 13. g4 $1 Bxg4 14. Be4 Nxa1 15. Bf4 {1/2-1/2 (74) Kasparov,G (2770)-Timman,J (2630) Paris 1991}) 8. cxd5 Nf6 9. Bg5 cxd4 10. Re1 Be7 11. Nd2 Nxd5 12. Qh5 g6 {[#]} 13. Nxg6 (13. Bxe7 gxh5 14. Bxd8 Rxd8 15. Ndf3) 13... fxg6 14. Bxg6 hxg6 15. Qxg6+ Kh8 16. Qh5+ Kg8 17. Qg6+ Kh8 18. Qh5+ Kg8 19. Bh6 Rf6 $6 (19... Nf4) (19... Qe8 20. Qxd5+ Qf7 $11) 20. Re5 Rd6 $2 (20... Rxh6 $1 21. Qxh6 Nc6 22. Qg6+ Kf8 23. Qh6+ Kg8 24. Rh5 Kf7 {and Black survives by the skin of his teeth} ) 21. Rxd5 Bf8 (21... Rxd5 $2 22. Qg6+ $18) 22. Rg5+ Qxg5 23. Qxg5+ Kf7 24. Qh5+ Kg8 25. Bxf8 Kxf8 26. Qh8+ Kf7 27. Qxc8 1-0 [/pgn]

Yip found an ingenious way to drum up kingside activity in her win over Cuban IM Ordaz Valdes.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.22"] [Round "5.3"] [White "Yip, Carissa"] [Black "Ordaz Valdes, Lisandra Teresa"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2421"] [BlackElo "2290"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "5r2/p1b3pk/2pq2np/1p6/3Pp3/2P1B1PP/P2Q1P2/1R1B2K1 w - - 0 26"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "United States of America"] [BlackTeam "Cuba"] [BlackTeamCountry "CUB"] {[#]} 26. Bc2 Qe6 {[%csl Ge4,Gh3]} 27. Kg2 Rf3 28. Rh1 $1 Rf8 29. Qd1 $1 Kh8 30. Qg4 Qxg4 31. hxg4 Ne7 32. Bxe4 Kg8 33. Rb1 a6 34. g5 Nd5 35. Bxd5+ cxd5 36. gxh6 gxh6 37. Bxh6 Rc8 38. Bd2 Ba5 39. Re1 Rc6 40. g4 Bc7 41. g5 Kf7 42. Rh1 Kg7 43. Rh6 Rg6 44. Kf3 Bd8 45. Rxg6+ Kxg6 46. Kg4 a5 47. f4 Be7 48. f5+ Kf7 49. f6 Bf8 50. Kf5 1-0 [/pgn]

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Ray Robson
GM Ray Robson

Ray Robson took his turn in the spotlight with this Round 6 donnybrook against Argentinian FM Munoz.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.22"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Munoz, Francisco Javier"] [Black "Robson, Ray"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C48"] [WhiteElo "2389"] [BlackElo "2605"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "Argentina"] [BlackTeam "United States of America"] [WhiteTeamCountry "ARG"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Nd4 5. Bc4 Bc5 6. Nxe5 Qe7 7. Nd3 d5 8. Bxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 Qxe4+ 10. Ne3 Bd6 11. O-O Be6 12. f3 Qh4 13. f4 O-O-O 14. b4 g5 15. g3 Qh6 16. f5 Bd7 17. Bb2 {[#]} Bxg3 18. hxg3 Bc6 19. Bxd4 (19. Ng2 Qh3 20. Rf2 Nxf5 21. Bxh8 $2 Nxg3) 19... Qh1+ 20. Kf2 Qh2+ 21. Ke1 Qxg3+ 22. Rf2 ( 22. Ke2 Qh2+ 23. Rf2 Qh5+ $11) 22... Rxd4 23. Qe2 (23. Qh5 $5) (23. b5 Bxb5 24. Rb1 Bxd3 25. cxd3 Rf4 26. Qe2) (23. Ke2 g4 $1 {[%cal Gc6f3]}) 23... Rhd8 24. Kd1 Be4 25. Kc1 Bxd3 26. cxd3 Rxd3 27. Rf3 (27. Rg2 Qd6 28. Rb1 Qc6+ 29. Nc2) 27... Qe5 28. Rb1 Qe4 (28... g4 29. Rf2 h5) 29. Rb3 $4 (29. Rb2 $8) 29... Rxd2 30. Qxd2 Rxd2 31. Kxd2 Qxf3 32. Rd3 b6 33. Nd5 Qf2+ 34. Kc3 Qe1+ 35. Kb3 g4 36. b5 g3 37. Re3 Qd1+ 0-1 [/pgn]

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Annie Wang looking up before chess game starts, Photo Lennart Ootes
Annie Wang, Photo Lennart Ootes

Chess improvers will want to try their hand at this position from the game between Argentina’s Valeria Bank and IM Annie Wang.

Wang got a tremendous advantage after 28. … d4!. The idea is that after 29. Bd2 Bc6! White can’t save both hanging pieces. In the game White shed material with 29. Bxd4 cxd4 30. Rxf7 and Wang went on to win without much difficulty.

Day 3

 

Round 7

 

Poland

3½ : 2½

USA

Argentina

1½ : 4½

Cuba

Peru

4 : 2

Brazil

Canada

2 : 4

Italy

Greece

4 : 2

Paraguay

 

 

 

 

Round 8

 

USA

3 : 3

Peru

Argentina

2½ : 3½

Poland

Italy

1 : 5

Greece

Brazil

2½ : 3½

Canada

Cuba

3 : 3

Paraguay

 

 

 

 

Round 9

 

Poland

5½ : ½

Cuba

Peru

3 : 3

Argentina

Canada

½ : 5½

USA

Greece

4 : 2

Brazil

Paraguay

0 : 6

Italy

The US led Pool D by three full match points heading into Day 3. And it’s a good thing too, because as it turned out, they needed every bit of their cushion.

The first surprise came in the Round 7 loss to Poland by a score of 3½-2½. Two key losses by Wesley So (to GM Jan-Krysztof Duda) and Carissa Yip (to GM Monika Socko) sealed the American team’s fate.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.23"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Duda, Jan-Krzysztof"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A12"] [WhiteElo "2774"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "Poland"] [BlackTeam "United States of America"] [WhiteTeamCountry "POL"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg2 Bd6 6. b3 O-O 7. Bb2 Re8 8. O-O c6 9. d3 Bg4 10. Nbd2 Nbd7 11. Re1 Bxf3 12. Nxf3 Bb4 13. Rf1 Bd6 14. Qc2 Qe7 15. Nd4 Ba3 16. Nf5 Qf8 17. Bxa3 Qxa3 18. e4 Qc5 19. Qb2 dxe4 20. dxe4 g6 21. Nh6+ Kf8 22. Rad1 Qh5 {[#]} 23. Rxd7 Nxd7 24. Qh8+ Ke7 25. Qg7 Rf8 (25... Kd8 26. Nxf7+ Kc7 $17) 26. f4 Rae8 27. e5 Qe2 28. Rf2 Qe1+ 29. Bf1 Kd8 (29... Qe3 $5 {[%cal Ge3g1]}) 30. Nxf7+ Kc7 31. Re2 Qd1 32. Nd6 Rxe5 33. Rxe5 Qxd6 34. Qxh7 Qd4+ 35. Kg2 Qd2+ (35... Kb6 $1) 36. Be2 g5 $2 (36... Qxa2 37. Re7 Rd8 38. Qxg6 (38. Qf7 Qc2) 38... Qxb3 39. h4 $36) 37. fxg5 Kb6 38. Re7 Nc5 (38... Rd8 39. Qd3) 39. Qg7 Rf5 40. g6 Qd5+ 41. Kh3 Rf2 42. Qe5 Qg2+ 43. Kg4 Nd7 44. Rxd7 Rxe2 45. Qc7+ Kc5 46. Qa5+ b5 47. Qa3+ 1-0 [/pgn]

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.23"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Socko, Monika"] [Black "Yip, Carissa"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D76"] [WhiteElo "2321"] [BlackElo "2421"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "137"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "Poland"] [BlackTeam "United States of America"] [WhiteTeamCountry "POL"] 1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d5 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. Nc3 Nb6 8. O-O Nc6 9. d5 Nb4 (9... Na5 10. e4 c6 11. Bf4 cxd5 12. Nxd5 Nxd5 13. exd5 Nc4 14. b3 Nb6 15. d6 exd6 16. Bxd6 Re8 {0-1 (54) Pigusov,E (2555)-Nepomniachtchi, I (2767) Moscow 2019}) 10. e4 c6 11. Qb3 Nd3 12. Rd1 Nxc1 13. Raxc1 cxd5 14. exd5 Bd7 15. Nd4 Rc8 {[#]} 16. Ne6 Bxe6 $2 (16... fxe6 17. dxe6 Ba4 $1 18. Rxd8 Bxb3 19. Rxc8 Rxc8 20. axb3 $11) 17. dxe6 Qe8 18. Bxb7 Rb8 19. Bg2 f5 (19... fxe6 20. Qxe6+ Qf7 21. Bh3 $16) 20. f4 a5 21. Qc2 Nc4 22. Nd5 Nxb2 23. Rd2 Kh8 24. Nc7 Qc8 25. Rd7 Rb4 26. Qc5 $6 Bf6 27. Qxa5 Rd4 (27... Ra4 28. Qd2 Nc4 29. Qe1 Qb8 {desperately trying for counterplay, but White still has a large advantage}) 28. Qb5 Nd3 29. Rd1 Rxd7 30. exd7 Qxc7 31. Qxd3 Rd8 32. Kh1 Kg7 33. h4 Qa7 (33... e5 $5) (33... e6) 34. Qd5 Qe3 35. Kh2 e5 36. fxe5 Bxe5 37. Qf3 Qb6 38. Rd5 Qf6 39. Qe3 $11 Bc7 $6 (39... Qxh4+ $1 40. Bh3 Bb8) (39... Bd6 40. Qg5 Qxg5 41. hxg5 Rxd7) 40. Qd4 Qxd4 (40... f4 $5) 41. Rxd4 Kf6 42. a4 Ke5 43. Rd3 Ke6 44. Bc6 Bb6 45. Kg2 Bc7 46. Kf3 Ke7 47. h5 gxh5 48. Bb5 Rg8 49. Kf2 f4 50. gxf4 Rf8 51. Re3+ Kf7 52. Re8 Kg7 53. Ke2 h4 54. f5 h3 55. f6+ Rxf6 56. d8=Q Bxd8 57. Rxd8 h2 58. Rd1 Rh6 59. Rh1 Kf6 60. Kf3 Ke5 61. Kg3 Kd4 62. Rxh2 Rg6+ 63. Kf4 Rg7 64. Kf5 Kc5 65. Kf6 Ra7 66. Rh4 Kb6 67. Kg5 Ka5 68. Kh6 Rc7 69. Rg4 1-0 [/pgn]

A 3-3 draw with Peru only continued the misery. Team USA had to rely on the Junior boards to stay level, as both Xiong and Wang won to hold the line and share the match points. Xiong in particular showed nice technique in the process.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.23"] [Round "8.5"] [White "Xiong, Jeffery"] [Black "Soriano Quispe, Ivan Excender"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C47"] [WhiteElo "2730"] [BlackElo "2028"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "United States of America"] [BlackTeam "Peru"] [BlackTeamCountry "PER"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 d5 8. exd5 cxd5 9. O-O O-O 10. Qf3 c6 11. h3 Rb8 12. Bf4 Bd6 13. b3 Be6 14. Ne2 c5 15. Rad1 Re8 16. Rfe1 Rb4 17. Bd2 (17. c4 d4 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. Nf4 {1-0 (67) Belenkaya,D (2346)-Bezgodova,S (2060) Sochi 2017}) 17... Rb8 18. Nf4 Qd7 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. c4 Rf8 {[#]} 21. cxd5 $1 exd5 22. Bf5 Qc7 23. Be6+ Kh8 24. Bxd5 Nxd5 25. Qxd5 Bh2+ 26. Kh1 Rxf2 27. Be3 Rxa2 28. Bxc5 Rc2 29. b4 h6 30. Re7 Qf4 31. Bd4 Rg8 32. Bxg7+ Rxg7 33. Re8+ Kh7 34. Qd3+ 1-0 [/pgn]

Faced with the prospect of finishing second in the pool (or worse), the Americans stepped up their game in Round 9 with a decisive 5½-½ victory over Canada. Here again So dominated a lower rated opponent with incisive tactics.

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.23"] [Round "9.1"] [White "Noritsyn, Nikolay"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A01"] [WhiteElo "2504"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "Canada"] [BlackTeam "United States of America"] [WhiteTeamCountry "CAN"] 1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e3 d5 4. Bb5 Bd6 5. Nf3 f6 6. c4 a6 7. Bxc6+ bxc6 8. d4 e4 9. Ng1 a5 10. Nc3 Bb4 11. Nge2 Ne7 12. O-O O-O 13. Na4 Ng6 14. c5 Nh4 15. Ng3 f5 16. a3 f4 17. exf4 {[#]} Bd2 $5 18. Qxd2 Bh3 19. f3 (19. gxh3 $2 Nf3+ $19) 19... Bxg2 20. fxe4 dxe4 21. Rf2 (21. Qe2 Bxf1 22. Rxf1 Nf3+ 23. Kh1 Rxf4 24. Nc3 $13) 21... Nf3+ 22. Rxf3 Bxf3 23. Nc3 Rxf4 24. Re1 $2 (24. Qxf4 $1 Qxd4+ 25. Kf1 Rf8 26. Nf5 $1 $11) 24... Qh4 25. d5 Rg4 26. Nce2 Qh3 27. Nf4 Rxf4 28. d6 cxd6 29. cxd6 Rf7 30. Be5 h5 0-1 [/pgn]

Abrahamyan proved her skill in the Italian Game with this terrific win over WGM and famous Twitch streamer Qiyu Zhou (Nemo/Nemsko).

[pgn][Event "2020 FIDE Online Olympiad"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.08.23"] [Round "9.4"] [White "Abrahamyan, Tatev"] [Black "Zhou, Qiyu"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2358"] [BlackElo "2229"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2020.08.21"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [WhiteTeam "United States of America"] [BlackTeam "Canada"] [BlackTeamCountry "CAN"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. c3 Ba7 7. Re1 O-O 8. h3 h6 9. Nbd2 d6 10. Bb3 Be6 11. Bc2 Ne7 12. Nf1 Ng6 13. Ng3 Qd7 14. d4 c6 15. Be3 Bb8 16. Qd2 Bc7 17. Rad1 Rad8 {[#]} 18. Bxh6 $1 gxh6 19. Qxh6 Qe7 (19... Rfe8 20. Nf5 Bxf5 21. exf5 Nf4 (21... e4 22. fxg6 fxg6 23. Bxe4) 22. dxe5 Nh7 23. f6 $1) 20. Nf5 Bxf5 21. exf5 Nf4 22. Qxf4 $1 exf4 23. Rxe7 Rd7 24. Rde1 Rfd8 25. Ng5 Rxe7 26. Rxe7 $18 Rd7 27. Rxd7 Nxd7 28. Kf1 Kg7 29. Ke2 d5 30. Kf3 Nb6 31. Bb3 Kf6 32. h4 Kxf5 33. Bc2+ Kf6 34. b3 Nd7 35. Nh3 Ba5 36. b4 Bc7 37. Nxf4 Nf8 38. g4 Ng6 39. g5+ Kg7 40. Bxg6 Bxf4 41. Kxf4 Kxg6 42. Kg4 1-0 [/pgn]

Player Performances

Tatev Abrahamyan – 4½/6

Ray Robson – 2½/4

Sam Shankland – 3½/5

Wesley So – 6/9

Jeffery Xiong – 7½/9

Annie Wang – 7/9

Carissa Yip – 4/6

Anna Zatonskih – 4½/6

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