|Michael Aigner (left) playing blitz against the late GM Walter Browne.|
The two match winning streak by Team USA abruptly ended this morning as Chile dominated the lower boards. An admittedly lucky win against Romania-2 followed by a convincing result versus highly ranked North Macedonia left the Americans feeling optimistic, but Chile iced those aspirations with a 3-1 victory. This reporter, playing on top board, earned his first win of the Olympiad in full Capablanca style, confidently trading into an endgame up a pawn.
|Michael Aigner vs Cristian Gonzalez Astete (1-0)|
The defeat dropped the USA to an even record and a tie for 25th place, 32nd on tiebreaks.
Round 5: #39 USA vs #18 Chile == 1-3
- Michael vs Cristian Gonzalez Astete (2130) == 1-0
- Tomas Figueroa Morales (2093) vs Griffin == 1-0
- Pranav vs Andres Saul Tapia Loncon (1890) == 0-1
- Valeska Rozas Lazcano (1435) vs Jessica == 1-0
Russia-1 emerged from the showdown against Germany to move into sole first place with 10 match points. However, the results on tables 2 and 3 surprised many. Poland seized clear second place, but it was Poland-2 which upset India-1 with the lopsided margin of 3.5-0.5. The top rated Poland-1 team, led by 2018 World Champion for the Disabled GM Marcin Tazbir, lost to #3 seed Philippines-1. The Filipinos currently share third place with a quintet of squads, including Germany and two from Ukraine. After round 7, the top four teams (if necessary by tiebreaks) advance to the knockout phase of the championship.
- 10 MP = Russia-1
- 9 MP = Poland-2
- 8 MP = Germany, Philippines-1, Israel, Ukraine-1, Ukraine-3, Croatia
- 7 MP = Poland-1, Russia-2, Ecuador, Romania-1, Chile, India-1
- 6 MP = Vietnam, Russia-3, Poland-2, Ukraine-2 and six others
- 5 MP = Canada, Argentina, USA, North Macedonia and six others
- Total of 58 teams remaining
The Americans seek to bounce back against Argentina, yet another higher rated opponent. Each of the first six opposing teams have been ranked in the top half of the field, while Team USA came in seeded 39th out of 60. Games begin on Thursday at 6:00 AM PST and will be broadcast on both Chess24 and FollowChess.
Happy Thanksgiving to all readers!