News 2020

Base Division: Day 2 Round-up

On July 26 the teams in all three pools of Base Division continued to fight for the spots in Division 4. Although there were no big surprises on Sunday, some results might be crucial in deciding what teams advance to Division 4.

Pool A

The matches in this pool have followed a predictable script – after the first-round clash of favorites, Myanmar and Brunei, both teams have been dominating all their matches. However, it was not just an easy ride for the two strongest teams in this pool. For example, Myanmar suffered two defeats on junior boards vs. Pakistan, whereas Brunei unexpectedly conceded two points to Laos and Macau. On the other hand, in the most important match for Brunei with team Oman, the former scored a confident victory 4.5:1.5 thanks to total domination on women’s boards.

The key match in terms of 3d and 4th positions in tournament leaderboard was played in the fourth round: Oman beat Fiji with a minimal margin and now has a fair chance to qualify for Division 4. The seven-round match Fiji – Pakistan will be of paramount importance for both teams. Most likely Pakistan will be OK with a draw.

Two matches in this group were postponed to Monday due to connection issues in Somalia, but they will hardly affect the final standings.

Standings After Day 2 (Rounds 1-6):

1. Myanmar - 12 (30.5)
2. Brunei - 10 (26.5)
3. Oman - 9 (23)
4. Fiji - 8 (21,5)+1 extra match
5. Pakistan - 7 (20) + 1 extra match
6. Guam - 4 (17)
7. Laos - 4 (10)
8. Macau - 1 (8,5)
9. Somalia - 1 (5) + 2 extra matches
10. Bhutan - 0 (4)

Pool B

Will Lebanon, one of the two strongest teams in Base Division, lose a single point? That was probably the most interesting question of the second day in this pool. On the first day, Lebanon players won all their games but on the second day, they conceded to their opponents five half-points (Bahrain scored 1.5 points, Qatar – 1). One way or another, Lebanon remains the only team in Base Division not to lose a single game. It will be interesting to watch this squad in action in a stronger Division 4.

Despite losing to the leader Bahrain and Qatar are bound to advance to the next stage. Even unexpected draw with Mali (notable because only four players played in the African team) should not prevent Qatar from qualifying for the Division 4. It was not the best day for Qatar’s leader IM Husein Aziz Nezad.

Burundi found itself in a bind – formally speaking this team from East Africa occupies the third position, but it is playing three difficult matches today with Lebanon, Qatar, and Bahrain. It means that Liberia which won a very important match against Gabon has a good chance to catch up with Burundi.

Standings After Day 2 (Rounds 1-6):

1. Lebanon - 12 (33,5)
2. Bahrain - 10 (27,5)
3. Burundi - 10 (24)
4. Qatar - 9 (24,5)
5. Liberia - 6 (18,5)
6. Gabon -5 (15)
7. Mali - 5 (12)
8. Gambia - 2 (6,5)
9. San Marino - 1 (10,5)
10. DR Congo - 0 (2)

Pool C

Unlike Pools A and B where things shaped up quickly enough, in Pool C we can expect a surprise in any match. After a disastrous first day, team Haiti, the rating-favorite of this group, rolled up the sleeves. Three confident victories over Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Cape Verde catapulted Haiti to third place but since in Round 7 it is facing the leader, team Cyprus, Haiti has not secured its spot in the top-4 yet.

Cyprus is in a much more comfortable situation – after the victories over Aruba and Libia the Mediterranean team punched its ticket to the next stage.

Team Aruba already can prepare for tough matches in Division 4 as well, as it prevailed in a key encounter vs. Mauritania. With 2:3 on the scoreboard Ahmed Taleb Mohamed was desperately trying to win a drawing ending vs. Octavio Croes, but eventually had to take a draw. Aruba owes its triumph to Thamara Sagastegui playing on the Women U20 board – she won all her six games which is the absolute best result in Base Division.

Team Libya complicated its task of advancing to Division 4 after giving up points in two matches with weaker teams including the Round 6 encounter with the Cayman Islands. Now Libya has everything at stake in the decisive match with Mauritania in Round 7.

Saint Lucia and Cape Verde are still in the contest. Under certain circumstances, one of these teams also might progress to the next stage.

Standings After Day 2 (Rounds 1-6):

1. Cyprus - 12 (30,5)
2. Aruba - 9 (21)
3. Haiti - 8(25)
4. Libya - 8 (19)
5. Mauritania - 6 (24)
6. Saint Lucia - 6 (18,5)
7. Cape Verde - 5 (18,5)
8. Cayman Islands - 3(10,5)
9. Antigua & Barbuda- 3 (10)
10. Grenada - 0 (3)