“Upsets are part and parcel of any sport.” – Anonymous
The 44th Chess Olympiad is off to a riveting start, as the 1st round ended today. Hosts India sit comfortably on the top of the table after the end of Round 1. Team 1 of India defeated 94th ranked Zimbabwe 4-0 in their first encounter of the Olympiad. Team 2 handed out an equally brutal defeat to the 103rd ranked UAE. The 3rd Team from India held up the pattern with a 4-0 victory over 109th ranked South Sudan.
The top-seeded US team got off to a rocky start in the tournament, with a 0.5-3.5 victory over Angola. Angola’s top player IM David Silva shocked the world as well as World number 5 Levon Aronian with a draw in the board 1 encounter. US is currently placed 77th in the points table at the conclusion of Round 1. How dearly would this draw against Silva cost the US in the tournament? Only time will tell.
Brazil opens the tournament with a bang
The Brazil Team, headed by the founder of Chess Gaja GM Priyadharshan Kannapan served Namibia with a crushing 4-0 defeat. In a talk with me about the team’s performance, Captain Priyadharshan expressed satisfaction at the team’s performance in the 1st round. The team will be heading into round 2 with charged spirits and reinforced motivation.
The top-ranked Indian team is tailed by Spain, Poland, Azerbaijan, and 70+ other nations in the points table, with US ranked 77th. 3rd seeded Norway also won 0.5-3.5 against Lebanon. Thus, Norway is currently 77th, joint with the US and others.
All the three Women’s Teams fielded by India did a clean sweep of 4-0 each. Thus, Indian contingent is 24/24 on the first day of the tournament. While Team 1 of India sits on the top of the table, Ukraine, Georgia, Poland and France accompany the Indian teams.
The first day is officially over, and it has already served some shocking content. What does Round 2 hold in store for the world?