Playing against a team that featured a former world champion, last night the Australian men brought jubilation to their fans when they beat Qatar 2.5 - 1.5. An outstanding achievement!
On board 1, IM David Smerdon, our hero for this event, drew with GM Mohammed Al-Modiakhi. He was ably supported by fellow IMs Zhao and Wohl who also won their games. On board 3, IM Gary Lane lost to ex-Women's World Champ GM Zhu Chen.
Australia will front up against another team from the Mid-East tomorrow, Egypt.
The women's team, on the other hand, appear to be going through a black hole. Our team went down to Kyrgyzstan 3-0, the team's second straight shutout defeat. It is now getting quite desperate and it makes me wonder if there is a team email to which we can send messages of support. We'll figure that one out. In the mean time, send the team your shout outs via this post's comments section. Go Aussies!
Finally, heartache of heartaches, Team Philippines lost to mighty China 3.5 - 0.5. Only GM Antonio managed to save the day by drawing against Zhang Zhong. I must admit, when I saw Darwin Laylo bang out his pet Scandinavian against Zhang Pengxiang, I thought, "You crazy bastard!" Then I realised, well, if you're going to play a super-GM, you might as well play what you know.
The Pinays split the points evenly with a stronger Iranian side 1.5 - 1.5. Sheerie Lomibao defeated WIM Atousa Pourkashiyan (2311) on board 1, while Catherine Perena drew with WGM Shadi Paridar (2210) on board 2. Team rookie Sherily Cua went down to her opponent.
Round 9 Pairings
Egypt - Australia
Romania - Philippines
New Zealand - IBCA
Guatemala - Australia
Philippines - Turkey
NZ - Tajikistan
More details from the WZ site and the Official site. I've also added the official logo on my right-bar. Click on it and you'll see a post with essential Olympiad coverage. Robert Huntington's blog is a must-read.