Trans-Tasman rivalry took on an unexpected turn yesterday when New Zealand grabbed the baton for Olympiad bragging rights away from Australia. In what is perhaps their most significant round victory in Olympiad history, the Murray Chandler led Kiwis defeated the Bosnia Herzegovina team 2.5-1.5. Adding a little extra sweetener to their fine win, New Zealand’s rivals, Australia, were trounced by the powerhouse Bulgarians 0-4.
For New Zealand fans, here is a shot of that historic scoreboard.
The mood among the Aussie men last night was downbeat. It’s never nice to be beaten, even by a red hot opposition, but to be one-upped by the Kiwis is unsettling. After dinner, there wasn’t much to do but to strategise for the next round, which team they’ll play, who they’ll drop and so on. I turned up to the Maritim hoping to commiserate over a couple, but nope, up they went to their hotel rooms.
To make the day even worse for the Australian camp, the girls were also defeated 0-4 by the less fancied Venezuelans. Frankly, this was a surprising result. On paper our team outrated the Latinas on all four boards. Indeed, at least 2 Australian boards were winning!
Failing to have beers with the boys, I thought I’d try the girls. They’re always keen. But once again, I failed there, too. They’re all grounded, Moylan said. For Shannon Oliver, it’s a double whammy; she’s grounded until she wins a game!