GM Zaibi Plays Brilliant Checkmate In Olympiad Division 3
Belgium leads 15 teams through to division 2 in the FIDE Online Olympiad.

GM Zaibi Plays Brilliant Checkmate In Olympiad Division 3

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
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15 | Chess.com News

As our readers are no doubt aware, Beirut, Lebanon was devastated on Tuesday, August, 4th by a massive chemical explosion aboard a container ship at port. The explosion, apparently the result of negligence, has rocked the country to it's core, killing more than 200 and injuring more than 6,000, and, as of today, causing the resignation of the government.

Despite the circumstances in their country, the Lebanese team still elected to compete in this week's scheduled matches, requesting no accommodations and performing admirably. Mention should be made of Lebanon's outstanding performance throughout the Olympiad. Lebanon started in the base division and won their way through to division 4 and then to division 3. Last week IM Eid won what may be the game of the Olympiad. Our thoughts are with Lebanon in this time, and we congratulate them on their excellent chess play in the Online Olympiad.

How to watch?
The games of the FIDE Online Olympiad can be found here as part of our live events platform. On playing days, expert commentary is provided on Chess.com/TV starting from midnight Pacific / 9:00 a.m. Central Europe.


Elsewhere in division three, the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad saw more spectacular upsets and surprising tactics as new faces and young talents from around the world showcased their skills. Thailand impressed as the only team to qualify from division four and advance through to division two while the top-scoring team this week was Belgium who managed an impressive eight match wins, conceding only one match draw.

The fast format has lead to many surprising tactics, blunders, and time scrambles, but the clear highlight of the week was GM Zaibi of Tunisia's beautiful queen sacrifice for checkmate from Pool D—a truly crowd-pleasing idea.

Live coverage of day three. Watch all of the live coverage at youtube.com/chess.

Pool A

Singapore was the star of Pool A, scoring an impressive 16/18 possible points. In fact, things did not start too well for Singapore in day one as the drew matches against Ireland and Syria, but in days two and three, they were perfect, winning all six matches! Their success was made sweeter by the fact that August 9th was the 55th anniversary of Singapore's independence!

Particularly impressive was Ireland's second place in the division as they were outrated in nearly every match and on nearly every board, but they scored upset after upset to finish on 13/18, equal with Albania.

After a strong performance last week, Hong Kong faltered against the tougher competition this week. One missed point for Hong Kong did make for a popular puzzle on Twitter.

Olympiad Pool A
Olympiad Standings, Pool A, Division Three.

Pool B

Two of the top teams in Pool B, Portugal and Scotland, will be familiar to chess fans, but many may be unfamiliar with the second-place team, the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA).

The IPCA could have scored even more points as in this sharp endgame, they left a dramatic point on the table.

Olympaid Pool B
Olympiad Standings, Pool B, Division Three.

Pool C

Despite circumstances at home, Lebanon competed fiercely and still claimed 7 points. Last week, Lebanon's IM Eid played the most brilliant game of the week, but this week, it was his opponent who missed a chance at brilliancy.

Belgium was the star of pool C, conceding only one match draw in the entire weekend. They finished a full four points ahead of Jordan.

Meanwhile, Thailand finished third, narrowly beating Zambia on tiebreak. That made Thailand the only team to qualify from division four through to division three AND through to division two. Thailand competed with only two players with a rating over 2000, but it's clear that their young players on the bottom bars are vastly underrated. Hopefully, they will soon have the opportunity to be earning norms and raising their FIDE ratings.

Olympiad Pool C
Olympiad Standings, Pool C, Division Three.

Pool D

Pool D was clearly the toughest pool in division three. Half of the teams featured a grandmaster on board one or two and Denmark was the first team to have two grandmasters on the top boards. Perhaps as notable as Chile, Bolivia, and Denmark's advancement was Venezuela's non-advancement. They defeated both Bolivia and Denmark, but they conceded match draws to Mauritania and Jamaica. Here is one critical upset from the Jamaican team who qualified from division four last week and impressed once again.

While Tunisia and Mozambique did not advance, their match did feature the tactic of the week as GM Amir Zaibi found the following beautiful combination against Lourenco Napoleao.

Olympiad Pool D
Olympiad Standings, Pool D, Division Three.

Pool E

In a pool of Central and South American and Caribbean teams, it proved to be the Central American teams that were the most successful as Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala each advanced through to division two. Mexico was the only team to field a grandmaster in this division, but the other teams made sure to bring some surprise heavy hitters as well. FM William Alfaro scored an excellent upset victory against GM Ibarra Chami in the following game.

Olympiad Pool E
Olympiad Standings, Pool E, Division Three.

Watch these 15 qualifying teams and 35 new teams next weekend in division two on August 14-16! All rounds will be live on chess.com/tv.

The FIDE Online Olympiad is a major online chess event for national teams that runs July 25-August 30 on the Chess.com server. More than 1,500 participants and 163 teams from all over the world are playing.

Each team consists of six players, including at least two women, at least one player who is 20 or younger, and at least one girl who is 20 or younger. The time control for all matches is 15 minutes for the game and five seconds increment per move, starting from move one.


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