FIDE ONLINE OLYMPIAD – UPDATE
Division Two – Pool E – 14th to 16th August 2020 – Chess.com
It was always going to be a hard mission for Scotland to qualify for the next stage, and so it has proved so far.
Three matches a day over three days: Time-control: 15 minutes + 5 seconds increments.
Round 1: Argentina 3½ – 2½ Scotland
Round 2: Scotland 1 – 5 Columbia
Round 3: Montenegro 2 – 4 Scotland
The Montenegro match was the first appearance of Declan Shafi who got a win against a player graded (2109). A great start by Castlehill`s young master, and enough to guarantee him a place against Ecuador and a possible chance of playing against England if he gets some kind of result! As in a previous report, the star performer against Montenegro was Monica Espinosa Cancino (1563) for an outstanding win against an 1868 to ensure a much needed win for Scotland.
Round 4: Ecuador 5 – 1 Scotland
South America’s Ecuador proved way to strong for Scotland, but Declan did get a draw against a CM (2058) and almost certainly guarantee his place against England, a match everyone wants to play in!
Round 5: Scotland 1½ – 4½ England
What a night for Scotland playing against some big England chess legends and giving a great account of themselves despite the difference in class! Not only that, but the score could have been a little closer, but for some brilliant play under time pressure by the English players. There was GM, Luke McShane (2698), IM, Jovanka Houska (2312) & the great IM, Harriet Hunt (2391).
Declan on the other hand faced none other than, the “three times British Champion (2009, 2013 & 14)”, and the youngest British player to achieve the Grandmaster title at aged 16 (by a few months from other players aged 16), Grandmaster David Howell (2624)!
What an honour and pleasure it must have been for Declan. He lost, but gave a good account of himself and did not let the occasion get to him!
Round 6: Hungary 6 – 0 Scotland
Scotland were well out graded and in the end, outgunned by a super team of players which included 4 GM, 1 IM and a WFM!
Declan faced another Grandmaster, in Benjamin Gledura (2619). Declan had the white side, but the difference in class and playing players of this class back to back is in one way soul destroying, but in another way awesome and a fantastic experience for any Scottish player! Declan may have lost, but two super Grandmasters in a row? Wow!
10.Costa Rica 1pt
Today (16/08/20), Scotland face their last three teams and you can watch the action unfold on chess.com (you need to join, but it`s free), or alternatively from the Fide website which will have a link to the matches (I think?). Will try and post any links on Facebook as the matches take place?
Round 7: Scotland v Bolivia
Round 8: Costa Rica v Scotland
Round 9: Scotland v Mexico
Good luck Scotland and “Come on Declan!