Game Spotlight: 2018 Olympiad 1

As a disclaimer, this will not be quite the series I intended it to be.  I wanted to use some columns to highlight the Olympiad and what happened in East African chess at the biggest event our players get to see every two years.  In particular, the Olympiad is the best chance for our players to win titles — and we’ve had a few players do exactly that in the recent past.  Unfortunately, this year FIDE and the event organizers seem not to have publicly reported who won Candidate Master or FIDE Master titles.  So at the moment, it’s not possible to highlight the East African players who won titles, because it’s not possible to know who they are.  (There is finally a list of new International Master and Grandmaster recipients up on FIDE’s website, weeks after the Olympiad occurred.  No East African players appear on those lists.)  If anyone reading has information about who won CM and FM titles, please let me know.

Regardless, I’ll highlight the games that struck me the most.  And to start, it’s impossible to write about Kenyan chess without mentioning CM Ben Magana.  CM Magana was our first board during the Olympiad, and acquitted himself very well in the first half of the tournament before losing steam.  His first win in round 3 was an impressive display against Ethiopia:

This Saturday is game 2 of the World Championship in London, England.  We’ll warm up at the club by looking at a game or two from the Lasker-Capablanca World Championship match in 1921, and if it begins early enough we’ll watch the start of Carlsen-Caruana afterwards.  Come join us!

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