In Round 3 of the 2018 Chess Olympiad, the United States played their toughest opponents of the tournament so far, the undefeated Netherlands team (rated 2676) who came into this round winning all eight games in the first two rounds. Team USA made a statement, defeating the Dutch with a score of 3-1, winning two games and drawing the other two, remaining perfect at this year’s Olympiad, with three wins and 6 points.
America’s first board was again Fabiano Caruana, but for the second consecutive day, Caruana could only manage a draw. His opponent was fellow Grandmaster Anish Giri and with neither side able to make any progress, a quick draw was reached after 32 moves. Wesley So has been Team USA’s best player in this Olympiad, winning his first three matches, including his 3rd round win over Erwin L’Ami in 52 moves. Board 3 Hikaru Nakamura drew Loek Van Wely in 62 moves with the black pieces. The fourth board Sam Shankland was able to swindle his opponent Jorden Van Foreest in a drawn endgame, as Shankland trapped Foreest’s knight, and converted the advantage to a victory. Ray Robson was the American who was rested after playing in the first two rounds.
After three rounds at the 43rd Chess Olympiad, there are 18 teams with a perfect score of 3 wins. The other top teams in the competition all faired well today: India defeated Canada (2539) 3.5-0.5, Russia defeated Georgia 2 (2522) 2.5-1.5, China defeated Peru (2601) 3-1, Ukraine defeated Romania (2609) 2.5-1.5, Azerbaijan defeated Slovenia (2594) 3.5-0.5.
The fourth round of the Olympiad tomorrow should bring exciting matches, as the undefeated teams will be paired with each other, which will lead to more closely contested games, with leaders set to emerge after this upcoming round.