Friday, September 21, 2012


Third round match between Palau and Maldives is the most closest match that Palau had a chance to score its first point with Roberto Hernandez, right, lost a winning game vs. Mohamed Hassan, left, due to over-confidence. Elizabeth Manuel, 2nd from right, lost first in less than 20 moves again, while Bernardo Garcia mishandled the French Defence and lost next. Menandro Manuel fights to the endgame and came short being a pawn down. (Photo by Roberto Hernandez)


THREEmembers of Palau Chess Team to the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey left Palau on August 24 and joined by the 4th member Elizabeth Manuel in boarding the Singapore Airlines from Manila to Singapore for a 7-hour stopover and 11-hour trip to Istanbul.

After 10 hours stay at Adela Hotel, they attended the opening ceremony of the event and were treated with traditional dances, parade of flags, speeches by FIDE President, Mayor of Istanbul, Prime Minister of Turkey and president of Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat YAZICI.

The first 3 rounds showed the lack of experience for the Palau’s chess team especially at Board 2, where Elizabeth (a neophyte in chess) where fitted against a Grandmaster (GM) from Qatar Mohammed Al-Sayed (2517) and was beaten badly in just 13 moves. She also committed an illegal move in her first ever chess tournament participated in.

Board 1 Roberto Hernandez (FIDE rating 1875) held his ground against GM Mohamad Al-Modiahki, who had a FIDE rating of 2542, in 30 moves of Pirc Defence. Bernard Garcia (1663) and Menandro Manuel (1922) suffered the same fate to an International Master (IM) Nezad Husein Aziz and a FIDE Master (FM) Ghanem Al-Sulaiti respectively.

Against Iraq in the 2nd round, Roberto held his ground again against FM Abdulsattar Abdul Ahmed (2314) and should have given up the exchange to salvage at least a draw because of very good position and his opponent’s queen and rook are out of place. As usual, Elizabeth lost again in less than 20 moves against FM Ali Layth Ahmed (2360) while Bernard played his best yet but missed some winning lines against IM Hussein Al-Ali (2329) when analyzed by Joselito Marcos. Menandro couldn’t sustain his attack against CM Ismael Namir (2189).

Palau suffered its 3rd sweep in the lowly-rated Maldives team with Hernandez winning the exchange early but some inaccurate moves that exposed his king cost him a winning game to a bitter lost. He didn’t sleep well after that lost which could have been Palau’s first point against Mohamed Hassan (1790).

Elizabeth was mated early by Ahmed Fuad (1830) while Bernard mishandled the French Defence by Ibrahim Abdulla (1851) and the longest game of the day by Menandro against the highest rated Maldives player Ali Abdul Rahman (1912).

Today at 3:00 pm, Palau team will face Hong Kong, which is stronger than Maldives but Palau team members are hopeful that they will score their first point against this team.

The board that shows the players' surname and their countries, the results, etc.

Bernard's solo at the board.

It's Roberto's turn wearing the Palau Chess Team jacket and Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia t-shirt.

Beth's turn wearing the team's jacket.

Menandro's turn without the jacket.

Roberto's solo. Palau's flag is visible on the left.
Bernard and Beth showing half of the tournament hall.

Bernard, Beth and Menandro with the Turkish Arbiter who don't speak English.
ROUND 3 of the World Chess Olympiad began the clash of intellectual titans when the higher rated teams were pitted against each other. Many matches could have swayed in either direction and the close contests made it a delightful joy for chess fans.
The defending champions Ukraine, squeezed put a victory against Israel from a very suspicious situation. GM Ruslan Ponomariov was clearly worse against his Israeli counterpart GM Maxim Rodstein but the former World Champion somehow turned the tables after the first time control and managed to win the game.
GM Boris Avrukh ground down GM Pavel Eljanov, but GM Andrei Volokitin showed no mercy against GM Evgeny Postny. With Ivanchuk and Gelfand drawing on the top board, Ukraine won the match by 2.5 - 1.5.
Russia again played safely, scoring 3 draws and a win by Jakovenko in their match against Latvia.
After yesterday's exhausting game with Lithuania, USA top board Hikaru Nakamura played the necessary 30 moves to take a draw with GM Eduardo Iturrizaga of Venezuela. Nakamura's teammates cleared the rest of the opposing team for the convincing 3.5 - 0.5 victory.
Azerbaijan readily dispatched the Faroe Island team with a 3.5-0.5. England won the derby match against Cuba 3-1 with 2 full points from the most experienced players Adams and Short.
Levon Aronian lead the Armenian team to a narrow victory against Spain. Aronian defeated Paco Vallejo with white, while the remaining 3 boards were drawn. This is the first Chess Olympiad for Spain without Shirov, but there is the newcomer Oleg Korncev on their 4th board.
France scored the same minimal victory against Bulgaria thanks to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave's handling of the rook endgame against Veselin Topalov as the remaining Frenchmen drew their games.
In the Women's Section, the World Champion Hou Yifan took the helm of team China for one of the greatest challenges in the whole Olympiad -- the match against 4th seed Ukraine.
IM Mariya Muzychuk won another nice game as she brought down the higher rated GM Zhao Xue, but Yifan struck back and defeated Kateryna Lahno on the top board. With the other 2 games drawn the match ended with a 2-2 score. Ukraine, a medal contender, neutralized one their main competitors.
Georgia and Germany traded punches but neither could deliver a knockout, ending their contest in a drawn match. Poland and France pushed ahead by defeating their respective opponents Hungary and Austria by a score of 3-1.
Serbia demolished the higher rated Spain with a 3.5-0.5, with Russia and Greece doing the same to Mongolia and Peru respectively.
India narrowly defeated Armenia, thanks to Tania Sachdev, and the Czech Republic edged the higher-seeded Romania.
In a match that was not supposed to be exciting had people on the edge of their seat. The underrated Uzbekistan held the USA to a draw delivering losses to Foisor and Goletiani. When all looked lost or suspect at best, Zatonskih and Abrahamyan brough home the full points to tie the match and avert a devastating loss to a low seeded team.
Team USA will have to regroup after this knowing the China, Russia and Ukraine will show no mercy and give no opportunity to come back from behind.
Source: World Chess Olympiad
Bulletin 3
August 30, 2012
Istanbul, Turkey

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