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On Day 1, in a reflection of how the Indian women’s team is probably the strongest among the more than 180 teams competing in the Chess Olympiad, Koneru Humpy pulled back from a tough position by surprising the opponent, Nadezhda Antonova, from Tajikistan.

Koneru Humpy, who is one of the strongest players in the match, also happens to be a Grandmaster herself, a title that not a lot of women chess players hold. She is also on the list of the top 10 women chess players in the world. Antonova has a rating of 1836 in Chess, and Humpy has a 2500+ rating. These ratings are a measure of the strength of a player in the game.

Humpy, who was on the verge of losing the match, was able to confuse Antonova with a few moves, thus going on to win the match.

Koneru Humpy played black pieces while Antonova played white. As the game progressed, Antonova’s pawn was about to attack Humpy’s horse, which was guarding Humpy’s pawn that was also being protected by the Queen. Any move to change the horse’s position would leave the pawn exposed.

Humpy, instead of moving the horse to save it, did a counterattack on Antonova’s horse with her pawn. Antonova moved her 2nd horse to threaten Humpy’s queen, which Humpy was forced to move, leaving Antonova to take Humpy’s horse.

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Humpy counterattacked by taking Antonova’s 1st horse. To avoid providing Antonova with the chance of promoting her white pawn to a higher piece, Humpy chose to move her rook

Now, in order to prevent the black bishop from moving and (potentially) threatening the white pawn and queen at the same time, Antonova moved another pawn, leaving Humpy’s black queen free to take the white horse

Koneru Humpy was now successful in taking out both the white horses but both the Queens were facing each other. But the white Queen had to move from the position to guard a white rook, which was guarding the white King against checkmate. The game ended with Koneru Humpy’s rook taking out the white rook and placing a checkmate on the white King.

Strong presence
India has a strong presence in the  Olympiad since both Russia and China are not a part of the tournament. India played well on the first day. All our six teams have won each of their matches. India A played Zimbabwe, India B played UAE, India C played South Sudan, while the three women’s teams played Tajikistan, Wales and Hong Kong. Grandmaster Raunak Sadhwani secured the first win for the country on the opening day and registered a brilliant win against Abdulrahman M.

Not too long back, Grandmasters were rare if not non-existent in India. Viswanathan Anand broke barriers and inspired more Indians to take to chess especially in Tamil Nadu. Today India has 65 Grandmasters to its credit because of his inspiration. With India being called a rising superpower in chess, it only seems fit that the Olympiad should be held in our country this time around.

Some 185 countries are participating in the Olympiad this time around. The open category has 187 teams with India pitching three teams. In the women’s section, there are 162 teams and India is pitching three teams in this section too.

The Olympiad is taking place from July 28th 2022 to August 10th, 2022. The game will consist of a total of 11 rounds played in the Swiss Tournament Format. In the Swiss Tournament Format, the next opponent is chosen according to the performance of a player. Because there are a lot of countries, the whole concept of Semi-Finals and Quarter-Finals would not be feasible in the Olympiad and this is why a lot of the chess tournaments us this format.

With India being called a rising superpower in chess, it only seems fit that the Olympiad should be held in our country this time around

Each team in this Olympiad has five players out of which four will play the main game and the fifth would be a substitute. The winner of the 4 vs 4 match between the two teams would be decided according to who has won the majority of games from either of the teams.

At the end of the Olympiad, teams would be ranked according to the number of points they have won throughout the matches and will be awarded the gold, silver or bronze medal.

The matches, according to IST, will begin at 3pm each day. Each player has 90 minutes. The matches also have something called the 40-move-rule, which means that after making 40 moves, the player will get an additional 30 minutes. After each of their moves, the players will tap on the clock, which will start the timing of their opponent and vice versa.

An additional 30 seconds post the tapping of the clock is provided as well and this is known as the “move increment”.

 


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