LAHORE - The sixth day of the World Chess Olympiad in Norway saw both Pakistan men and women teams won their matches convincingly against Nicaragua and Ghana respectively.
The men team got the upper hand of Nicaragua’s superior rated team by a margin of 2.5-1.5. Mahmood Lodhi won on table No 1 while Syed Ahmad Ali drew his game on table No 2. M Younus was beaten by his opponent on table No 3 thus giving Nicaragua equality. The result of the match depended on the fourth table game where Mudasir Iqbal squeezed the win in an open tactical game where his opponent blundered due to the time pressure.
The win against the stronger team of Nicaragua saw Pakistan men team standing jumping to 47th out of 177 countries. In their own group, Pakistan men are now enjoying the first place and if they keep giving solid performances like they did in their six matches played so far, Pakistan will surely improve its World rankings of 103rd since 2012.
In the women group, Pakistan routed the equally placed team of Ghana by a margin of 4-0. All the members of Pakistan women team consisting of Zenobia Wasif, Ghazal Begum, Maryam and Nameeqa showed excellent form and took no time in defeating the women from Ghana by winning all the four games. This is a rare phenomenon in history of Pakistan’s participation in World Chess Olympiads that both men and women teams won their matches on a single day.
While Bugaria, Russia, Azerbijan, Serbia and China are in competition for the top position in men category, Iran has clearly outpaced its European and Asian rivals in women category and Iranian women have mesmerised the audience by their brilliant performance and emerging as the clear leaders after 6 days.
On the sidelines of Chess Olympiad, Chess Federation of Pakistan (CFP) entered into the MoU of cooperation with Schools Commission and Women Commission while the secretary of the Federation Dr Naeem Hamid Mirza also held important talks with World Chess Federation (FIDE) president Kirsan Ilymzhinov for mutual cooperation and support for the game in Pakistan. Ilymzhinov promised to start various projects on behalf of the FIDE in Pakistan to promote the game of chess in women and children.