Round 8 was played yesterday and proved to be a good test for the team.
The ladies team beat Jamaica 3-1. Yeah mon that was a good victory. Lauren won a pawn early on and nursed the position. Michelle recovering well after a bout of illness scored a good victory. Jesse is playing strongly and brought the point home. Anzel lost in a tough battle on board one. It seems that having a Van Niekerk is a good omen against Jamaica.
In the open section the going was tough against Kyrgystan. The first game to finish was the lion of Africa Watu Kobese. Before the game his opponent was on 5/5. Watu then promptly told me the previous night that the streak will end with him. And in emphatic style Watu essayed an early pawn to g4 and pushed. A good game to play through.
On board two Daniel played enterprising chess and ended an exchange up. He could not convert the advantage and is probably kicking himself this morning for drawing.
On board one we thought Kenny had an advantage but the complications favoured the opponent. In our analysis later the evening Watu showed Kenny different possibilities that may have secured the point or a draw. Of course playing two pawns down may not be in everyone’s taste. On board four Donovan had an advantage. He sacrificed the exchange but his opponent found counterplay with a passed pawn. Donovan had enough resources though to draw the game.
We are now lying first of the African countries. Zimbabwe is up there with us but behind on game points. They are playing Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are playing Venezuela. Egypt is playing South Sudan and will probably win 4-0. The ladies team is playing Slovenia which will be a good test for them.
Gunther was the arbiter at the Norway match yesterday. Gunther informed me afterwards that he predicted the last three moves of Magnus Carlsen ! So I guess our arbiter is getting ready to play some serious chess! Watch out!
I’m off to breakfast!
Reporting live from Baku
Dr lyndon Bouah