U.S. Team Tied for First at World Youth Olympiad

The World Youth U16 Olympiad is underway in Konya Turkey (November 24-December 3) and Team USA is putting on an inspiring performance, even drawing the attention of top Grandmasters like Grandmaster Robert Hess, who was in the thick of daily chess.com commentary for Carlsen-Caruana.


The U.S. team is represented by IM David Brodsky, IM Hans Niemann, FM Josiah Stearman, FM Akshita Gorti, and FM Wesley Wang and captained by GM Sergey Kudrin.

After six rounds, we are tied for first with Belarus, and we will play ninth seed Ukraine in Round 6 on board 2.  Belarus plays Iran tomorrow.

IM Hans Niemann has a perfect 5/5 score so far.  Can you find the best move in his fourth round victory over a higher rated player, Nodirbek Yakubboev (Uzbekistan)?

Show Solution
Hans played Kd2!, which wins an exchange, though not without risk.
Play through the full game below.

[Event "World Youth Under-16 Chess Olympiad-2018"]
[Site "Konya - Turkey"]
[Date "2018.11.27"]
[White "Niemann, Hans"]
[Black "Yakubboev, Nodirbek"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A41"]
[WhiteElo "2439"]
[BlackElo "2549"]
[PlyCount "55"]
[EventDate "2018.11.25"]
[WhiteTeam "USA"]
[BlackTeam "UZB"]

1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 Bg4 3. g3 Bxf3 4. exf3 e6 5. c4 d5 6. Qb3 Nc6 7. Be3 Bb4+ 8.
Nc3 Nge7 9. a3 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 O-O 11. Qxb7 Rb8 12. Qa6 Rb3 13. Qa4 Rxc3 14. Kd2
e5 15. Kxc3 exd4+ 16. Kb2 dxe3 17. fxe3 Qd6 18. Ka2 Ne5 19. Be2 dxc4 20. Rhd1
Nd5 21. Rac1 Qc5 22. f4 Qxe3 23. Qc2 Nd3 24. Bxd3 cxd3 25. Qxd3 Qxd3 26. Rxd3
Rd8 27. Rxc7 g5 28. Ka1 1-0

Hans in the 2017 US Amateur Team East, Photo Vanessa Sun
This round also featured a rare blunder leading to another upset victory for Team USA.
In this position, White hallucinated and played 15. Qb6? allowing axb6, but the rook on h8 is defended. White only gets one rook for the queen and was forced to resign immediately.

[Event "World Youth Under-16 Chess Olympiad-2018"]
[Site "Konya - Turkey"]
[Date "2018.11.27"]
[White "Sindarov, Javokhir"]
[Black "Wang, Wesley"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C25"]
[WhiteElo "2513"]
[BlackElo "2248"]
[PlyCount "32"]
[EventDate "2018.11.25"]
[WhiteTeam "UZB"]
[BlackTeam "USA"]

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Nc3 Bc5 4. d3 d6 5. Be3 Bxe3 6. fxe3 Na5 7. Bb3 Nxb3 8.
axb3 Qh4+ 9. g3 Qd8 10. Nf3 Ne7 11. O-O Ng6 12. d4 Bg4 13. Qd3 Qd7 14. Qb5 c6
15. Qb6 axb6 16. Rxa8+ Ke7 0-1

Wesley Wang
Follow the team on the official website, http://wyco2018.tsf.org.tr/