Monday, November 23

Miracle at the Chess Board

The magician himself! Please meet Griffin McConnell.
Credit: Turkish Chess Federation

Nobody knows exactly what happened. It was a miracle! After an opening crush by Pranav and a solid draw by Michael, the match was knotted at 1.5. Griffin McConnell carefully nursed an advantage on board 2 when everything went amiss. At first, a peaceful conclusion seemed likely, until black dropped his knight. Alas, white struggled to convert the win, and each spite check brought Griffin closer to a draw. Inexplicably, white returned the favor, abruptly blundering his knight - and the match point. The Americans stole the match! Indeed, a popular chess proverb says nobody ever won by resigning. 

Round 3: #39 USA vs #30 Romania-2 == 2.5-1.5

  1. Michael vs Constantin Stroe (1917) == 1/2-1/2
  2. Mihai Dima (1997) vs Griffin == 0-1
  3. Pranav vs Eugen-Cezar Vieru (1798) == 1-0
  4. Maria Lupascu (1480) vs Jessica == 1-0

It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win.
Mihai Dima vs Griffin McConnell (0-1)

The tournament field continues to thin out. After three rounds, only six teams remain perfect at 6 match points, all among the top dozen seeds. Poland-1 and Russia-1 annihilated their opponents, scoring an impressive 11.5 and 11.0 game points out of 12. Three additional countries have 5 match points. Other notable results include Philippines-1 beating Russia-2 by 3-1 and the upset by Kyrgyzstan over its northern neighbor Kazakhstan by 3.5-0.5.

  • 6 MP = Poland-1, Russia-1, Germany, Ukraine-1, Croatia, India-1
  • 5 MP = Israel, Philippines-1, Poland-2
  • 4 MP = 15 teams
  • 3 MP = Canada, Russia-2, North Macedonia, USA and seven others
  • Total of 58 teams remaining

The new pairing pits Team USA against #10 seed North Macedonia, previously known as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The challenging matchups continue as the Americans face a third team rated in the top 10. Games begin on Tuesday at 6 AM PST. Find the games at Chess24 or FollowChess.

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