So far the experiences of the NZ Open and the Women's teams have been polar opposites, with the Open team being seeded just over half way, and the Women just under.
For us, as a club, it was a chance to see Layla in action for the first time in international team chess, and she did not disappoint. Her game must have been one of the first of all the Olympiad games to finish, as she launched a crushing attack on her opponent's king and checkmated her in 23 moves.
All the women won against Cameroon, so congratulations to them all. The men in the Open team had to face Poland, and with rating differences of over 200 points, they did well only to go down 3-1. Russell and Anthony lost, and Puchen and Luke drew. Puchen was actually on top when he repeated moves for a draw. Anthony seemed to be holding his own, but somehow went astray in the rook and pawn ending.
Russell wrote just before round 2 started:
"A good start against Burundi yesterday, it gets a lot harder against Poland today. I'm playing a very talented 16 year old Grandmaster, so I'm hoping a bit of NZ know-how and experience will slow him down a bit.
The Women's team did it tough against India yesterday, they have a much more friendly pairing today.
The Norwegians are doing a great job in organising everything, with things going smoothly so far. The weather in Tromso is between 15-20 degrees and fine most days. It's daylight 24 hours a day with the sun going down around 10pm and coming up again around 2am."