The scene is now set for what will be a temporary war between the once great Asian chess powerhouse of the Philippines and the Oceania giant Australia.
At the World Youth Under-16 Olympiad this morning, the Aussie 1 team failed to do what the RP boys did in round 7: beat India. But while the Aussies went down 2.5 - 1.5, with Mouthun Ly losing on board 1, the Philippines split the points evenly with their Singaporean rivals 2 - 2. Wesley So maintains his 100% record but will now face Moulthun Ly who will be under extra pressure to recover from that disappointing loss.
Ranked third in the field, way ahead of the 22nd ranked RP, Australia will be firm favourites to whack the Filipinos. Who knows what diabolical plans the Australian coach GM Ian Rogers has in store for my beloved compatriots? All eyes will be on the So vs Ly contest.
Down in the lower boards, Derek Yu seems to have recovered well enough from yesterday's mishap as he managed to draw his 7th round game this morning. Mrs Oliver informed us that Derek received a strike to the head with a golf club from team-mate Zhigen Wilson Lin during yesterday's R&R. Boys will be boys but these kinds of accidents are potentially damaging to the cause. They ought to be more careful!