The 42nd Olympiad in Baku finished with USA winning gold in the Open, with Ukraine getting silver by the narrowest of margins. In the Women’s, China defeated Russia to take out gold. The Australian teams finished brilliantly, with the Open team defeating the Philippines 2.5-1.5 and the Women’s team winning 3-1 against Japan.
The Final Round of the Australian Campaign
The Aussies were in good spirits on their way to the final round, despite the tension and the early start
Round 11 was a difficult match-up for Open team, who thus far have had a successful event: the Philippines, lead by the veteran Eugenio Torre.
Anton Smirnov, who won the GM norm already, incredibly won again – this time in a rook endgame. Anton finished the Olympiad with a score of 8.5/10, and a performance rating of 2740. Anton’s score of the two Olympiad’s he played in is now an astounding 16/19, with no losses.
Torre won against our GM-elect Moulthun Ly, which also won the former an individual bronze medal on Board 3 (with 10/11). Zong-Yuan Zhao won his game in great style, and David Smerdon held an important draw. So our boys only just won: 2.5-1.5. You can replay Zong-Yuan’s game below.
The Open team finished 30th (starting seed 46), and improvement on the previous Olympiad in Tromso, where we finished 31st!
Our Women’s team (below) won 3-1 against Japan. Heather Richards crushed her opponent quickly in an unusual line of the French Winawer. Giang Nguyen blundered in a complicated position and lost. Emma Guo and Alexandra Jule (below, right) both managed to win tough games.
The girls were very relieved to win the last round. They won’t be happy about the overall result (starting seed 54, finished 64th) – but hey, we did beat the Kiwis in the Head-to-Head. (By the way, Scott Wastney, Board 2 for New Zealand, achieved a double IM Norm.)
Photo Finish for Gold
In the Women’s section, all eyes in Round 11 were on the showdown between the top two seeds, China and Russia. Despite a strong challenge, China won the match 2.5-1.5 and the gold medal. Russia missed out on the medal altogether, with Poland winning silver and Ukraine bronze.One of the big individual clashes was between Anna Muzychuk, winner of individual gold on Board 1, and the former World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova:
Poland (silver), China** (gold) and Ukraine (Bronze) for the Women’s.
|2||GM||Dominguez Perez Leinier||2720||Cuba||2839||7,5||75,0||10|
|3||GM||Caruana Fabiano||2808||United States of America||2838||7,0||70,0||10|
|1||GM||So, Wesley||2782||United States of America||2896||10||8,5||85,0||2600|
Aleksandar Indjic of Serbia scored Bronze on board 4, whilst Vladimir Kramnik of Russia scored Gold on board 2.
|1||WGM||Mammadova, Gulnar||2304||Azerbaijan 1||2559||9||7,0||77,8||2331|
|3||WGM||Nguyen, Thi Mai Hung||2316||Vietnam||2442||11||8,0||72,7||2256|
Ukraine won the Nona Gaprindashvili Cup, for the best combined performance in Open and Women’s.
Saying Goodbye to Baku
** Notice China’s flag was held the wrong way, but they did turn it around in time for more photos.