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Pakistan experience mixed fortunes at chess Olympiad

September 10, 2012


-Photo by AFP

ISTANBUL: Pakistan finished the 40th edition of World Chess Olympiad on a mixed note with their women’s team thrashing Namibia 4-0 but the open team suffering a 3.5-0.5 loss to Puerto Rico at the Expo Centre Hall on Sunday evening.

Pakistan women’s quartet of Zenobia Wasif, Nida Mishraz Siddiqui, Ghazala Shabbir and Fatima Shabbir produced their best in the event by ending in a blaze of glory with a resounding 4-0 win against Namibia in the 11th and last round.

After drawing the 9th round and losing the 10th, Pakistan women bounced back to register the win. Playing at the top board, Zenobia scored a commanding victory over Nicola Tjaronda.

Reigning national women champion Zenobia played superbly and forced her opponent to resign after 35 moves.

Pakistan’s highest rated women player Nida Mishraz defeated Jolly Nepando to earn her 7th point in a row.

She made smart tactical moves which forced Jolly to make a couple of blunders and eventually forced her to resign after over two and half hours contest lasting 42 moves.

It was also a good day for mother/daughter duo of Ghazala Shabbir and Fatima as they both won their matches playing to together. The 16-year-old Fatima notched-up her first win on the last day after losing her six matches in succession.

She defeated Aluteni Shaadai while Ghazala beat Rauha Shipindo. With two wins, two draws and six defeats, Pakistan women’s team secured 112th spot in the competition.

In the open event Pakistan ended on a disappointing note against a talented Puerto Rico team which had three FIDE Masters in their line-up.

At the top board, International Mahmood Lodhi was surprised by Rivera Machin, who was placed 35 points behind him in international rating.

Anwar Qureshi, who was awarded a Candidate Master title the previous day, held FIDE Master Reyes Vazques to a draw.

Anwar played with a defensive tactics and never allowed his opponent to make any advancement.

Due to a cautious approach of both the players, they mutually agreed to share a point after over four hours contest. Waqar Ahmed Madni went down to FIDE Master Edgardo Ortiz Almedina and Haseeb Ahmed lost to Roberto Nazario Montanez.

After four wins, two draws and five defeats, Pakistan finished 103rd in the 160-nation contest.—APP