United States Defeats 3rd Georgian Team 2.5-1.5 in Second Round of 2018 Chess Olympiad

Top-ranked Team USA has defeated Team Georgia 3 (rated 2398) by a score of 2.5 to 1.5 to improve to 2 wins in 2 rounds at the 2018 Chess Olympiad. After defeating Team Panama 4-0 in the first round, this was expected to be another easy match for the Americans against the seemingly overmatched 3rd Georgian Team, but this match had some shaky moments, and one win turned out to be the difference.

World Title Challenger Fabiano Caruana saw his first action at the 2018 Chess Olympiad, drawing an opposite-colored bishop endgame on the first board against Noe Tutisani. Wesley So returned to the second board upon Caruana’s arrival and picked up a crucial win against Luka Oboladze. Board 3 Sam Shankland salvaged a draw in a pawn-down endgame with the black pieces against Nikoloz Petriashvili. Reserve Ray Robson played the fourth board and was the last American to finish his match, hanging on to draw in 83 moves to clinch the win for Team USA. Hikaru Nakamura was the American who was rested in this round.

The other top teams in this competition all ended up with wins today and they were: Russia defeats Ireland (2388) 3-1, France defeats Uruguay (2392) 4-0, India defeats Austria (2552) 3.5-0.5, Ukraine defeats Uzbekistan (2542) 2.5-1.5, and Azerbaijan defeats Italy (2555) 3-1. In total, there are 41 teams that have a perfect score after two rounds.

Despite the 2/2 score for Team USA so far, this American team does not seem to be in top form yet, and with harder matchups on the horizon, they need to correct this problem as soon as possible, or there might be an upset in the making.

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