Olympiad, Saturday

Another brilliant day for the Irish men’s team, currently at 3-0 (this is 1.30pm) with David Fitzsimon’s game still ongoing and looking, to me, at least a draw.

Here’s an interesting photo of the Russia 1 vs Ireland game taken by a Papuan New Guinea team member. They actually played Ireland in round 2 coincidentally.

Today’s result, 3-0 with one to play.
41. Ireland (MP:4, Pts:10) Hongkong (MP:4, Pts:8)
1. Astaneh Lopez, Alex 1-0 Tsang, Hon Ki
2. Heidenfeld, Mark 1-0 Borigas, Edgardo
3. Daly, Colm 1-0 Kuan, Julian
4. Fitzsimons, David ??? Chan, Kwai Keong

Ireland’s women are now finding their way, playing opponents at their own level (or slightly above) and beginning to put some results together. Nothing is more disheartening, I believe, than playing against other teams, day after day, that out-rank you by several hundred points. But they now have a mini tournament of their own against roughly equivalent opponents, which will allow them to get some results.

Today, they got three fine draws and could well have won the match if Una O’Boyle had followed through on a promising sacrifice. I don’t know how much of it she calculated, but her Nxe4 combination, although objectively incorrect, created great complications. Within a few moves, the combination looked fully justified! It requires bravery to dive into these kinds of combinations and Una certainly deserves our praise for trying inventive chess. And for entertainly yours truely for a couple of hours!!

The position after her sacrifice:

After 20. Qe4? her opponent was looking extremely nervous. Indeed, Una’s attack is beginning to bear fruit. Fritz (who else?) thinks 20…Bf5! gives Una rough equality, after some dangerous tactics with her queen spearing down on the king on f2. Una’s Kf7 is more natural and is not bad either, but perhaps a little slow. And white’s 23. Nd5? was probably a mistake too, but Una misplayed the position with Qa5. It is a hugely complicated game and well worth a longer examination. And a pity it ended in Una losing, because it deserved more.

54. Aruba (1/3) Ireland (1/3)
1. Caton, Stacey ½-½ Shaughnessy, Elizabeth
2. Dania, Manuelle S ½-½ Hearne, Sarah-Jane
3. Arbona, Avila Zaily 1-0 O’Boyle, Una
4. Oduber, Tiffanie A. ½-½ Benson, Nicola

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