Last Friday, the Chess Olympiad 2018 ended with a stunning final which could hardly have promised more excitement.
Unlike with several other Chess Olympiads, the winner wasn’t already known before the last round and the leading team not only had to win against much weaker opposition to secure the title.
In contrast, it was one of the closest Chess Olympiads we’ve ever seen and a rollercoaster experience for the teams at the top. In the final standings, the three teams tied for first all lost 4 points during the event.
After the first half of the event, it looked like Azerbaijan had great chances to win the Chess Olympiad for the first time in history. A few rounds later, suddenly, Poland was about to steal the show from all the predicted favorites.
And finally, we saw a China vs USA match in the last round – the two strongest teams paired against each other to decide who would win the gold medal.
Yet, the excitement didn’t end with the after the match ended in a draw. With Russia winning their last round match against France, there was a 3-way tie for the first places and the Chess Olympiad 2018 was decided on tie-breaks.
In the end, the tiebreaks favored China who won gold ahead of USA (silver) and Russia (bronze). Congratulations! China could also win the event in the women’s section ahead of Ukraine (silver) and Georgia (bronze).
We covered all the highlights from the Chess Olympiad 2018 in a final recap, featuring many of the most interesting games played at the event.
The Global Chess Festival On October 13
This year, the 13th of October will be a special day for the game of chess as the fourth annual Global Chess Festival will take place all-day next Saturday on October 13.
The festival will take place at the breathtaking location of the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest.
All day entertaining programs and chess-related activities await visitors at the Global Chess Festival every year, including professional chess tournaments, simultaneous chess games against the Polgar sisters, art shows, educational conferences and various entertaining programs for all ages. On top of that, you can also join the Global Chess Festival in other cities and online. We tell you all you need to know about the wonderful festival which is organized by none other than Judit Polgar in the following article.
Blog Article of The Week
Our blog article of the week deals with an attractive chess opening for Black against 1.d4 – the Benko Gambit (also known as the Volga Gambit).
It’s a special kind of gambit which most club players rated below 2100 are unable to deal with. In the Benko Gambit, Black does not sacrifice a pawn for tactical counter-chances and a lead in development but for positional reasons. Black sacrifices a pawn very early in the opening to obtain active piece play and long-lasting positional compensation in the form of the half-open a- and b-files.
From a practical point of view, White’s position is extremely difficult to play. For the White player, it requires a huge amount of deep opening preparation and positional understanding to prove anything against the Benko Gambit.
This opening has been played by Super-Grandmasters such as Carlsen, Kasparov, Anand, Topalov, Ivanchuk, Bologan, Adams and Shirov, and is very dangerous to play against.
Our opening guide on the Benko Gambit provides you with all you need to know about this fascinating opening. What kind of compensation does Black have for a positional gambit? Can White slow down Black’s counterplay? Or will White be run over on the queenside? And what are the main lines and the latest theoretical developments for both sides? All these questions will be addressed in this article.
This Week’s Exclusive FREE Video
This week’s exclusive free video is dedicated to one of the weakest points for most players – endgame play.
Most club players spend far too little time studying endgames. They are not familiar with essential theoretical endgames, nor do they focus on developing good endgame understanding and technique.
However, decent endgame skills are vital for any aspiring chess player. They can enable you to win apparently equal positions with only small imbalances or save half a point from clearly worse positions.
This video is a free preview of GM Rashad Babaev’s new course, where Rashad teaches strategies which you can use to navigate more confidently through any endgame you get. It’s like a toolbox of endgame techniques you can use to find creative moves in your games.
As José Raúl Capablanca said, “To improve at chess you should in the first instance study the endgame.” In this video, GM Babaev focuses on the most important piece – the king!
Last Week’s Puzzle:
Here’s the solution to last week’s puzzle:
This Week’s Puzzle:
It is White to move. What should he play?
Answer next week.
Other interesting articles for you: