UAE get off the mark at Chess Olympiad

Teenage prodigies Abdulrahman Mohammad Al Taher and Mohammed Saeed Laily teamed up with veteran Othman Moussa to secure a 3-1 victory for the UAE



The UAE Team during the Chess Olympiad in Chennai.
The UAE Team during the Chess Olympiad in Chennai.

By Leslie Wilson Jr

Published: Sun 31 Jul 2022, 12:04 AM

Following an opening round defeat to India B on Friday, the UAE wasted no time to turn their fortunes around at the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India by outplaying Senegal on an action-packed second day.

Teenage prodigies Abdulrahman Mohammad Al Taher and Mohammed Saeed Laily teamed up with veteran Othman Moussa to secure a 3-1 victory for the UAE after International Master Sultan Ibrahim fell victim to the guile of Senegal’s Wane Al Hassane (CM).

Boys stand on an arch of Napier bridge painted as chessboard on the occasion of the Chess Olympiad 2022. — AFP
Boys stand on an arch of Napier bridge painted as chessboard on the occasion of the Chess Olympiad 2022. — AFP

Fide Master Moussa, 47, rolled back the years to control the board against Cisse Amadou Lamine, while sixteen-year-old Al Taher and Laily, a year older, dominated their Senagalese rivals Diop Wara and Badjl Seou Aransbene respectively.

Children dressed as chess pieces perform during an event organised ahead of the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022. — AFP
Children dressed as chess pieces perform during an event organised ahead of the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022. — AFP

The UAE return to action on Sunday when their face Portugal in the third match in the 188-team Open competition.

An autorickshaw rides past a mural during 44th Chess Olympiad. — AFP
An autorickshaw rides past a mural during 44th Chess Olympiad. — AFP

This year's Chess Olympiad is the biggest ever in the history of the game with a record 161 team’s also taking part in the FIDE Women’s Chess Olympiad being held simultaneously in the seaside resort of Mahabalipuram.

India's Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa competes during his Round 2 game against the Estonia's team. — AFP
India's Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa competes during his Round 2 game against the Estonia's team. — AFP

Meanwhile, strong contenders Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Georgia, Argentina, Cuba, Montenegro, and Canada swept through their second-round matches with ease.

A participant at the Chess Olympiad. — FIDE
A participant at the Chess Olympiad. — FIDE

Ukraine, who defeated Thailand on an opening day kept the momentum going with a resolute 4-0 victory over Albania. Their opponents in the third round are Cuba, who have looked impressive in their wins over Myanmar and Nigeria.

A participant at the Chess Olympiad. — FIDE
A participant at the Chess Olympiad. — FIDE

The Olympiad spotlight was on Grandmaster and five-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen who made his first appearance in the tournament when he anchored Norway to a 4-0 sweep against Uruguay.

A participant at the Chess Olympiad. — FIDE
A participant at the Chess Olympiad. — FIDE

The newly retired world champion is using the Olympiad to aim for a high score to boost his chances of reaching the 2900 target which has twice narrowly escaped him.

Norway are the No 3 seeds behind the US and India.

England, who are seeded 10th and are hoping for a top-six finish, following up their 4-0 rout against Cyprus with a 3-1 victory over Singapore on Saturday.

Hosts India maintained their winning ways in the Women’s tournament with a 3 ½-1/2 victory over Argentina in Round 2. This following their 4-0 whitewash of Tajikistan in Friday’s opening round.


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