Candidate Master (CM) Manoj Kumar led the assault against Reading University Chess Society of UK when he won 1.5 – 0.5 against Captain Mridul Manoj to open the scoreboard for Fiji on Board 1. In an event of almost 100 international teams run by the Director of 2020 Chess, Mr. Peter Hornsby of London, England, Fiji managed to register a second win.

Ganeshbabu Gnanagurusamy and Vice-Captain Lavinya Naidu retaliated by winning against Avinesh Nadan and Tanvi Prasad to add points for Reading University Chess Society of UK.

However, the match was turned around after Prashant Sarup defeated James Connors 2-0 on Board 3, CM Goru Arvind beat Thonas Hook 2-0 on Board 4, Rudr Prasad outwitted Darryl Ottey-Lewis 2-0 on Board 5 and Aarti Sewak won against Luis Alberto Azerrad 2-0 on Board 6.

Fiji won the match 9.5 – 4.5 under 10 minutes plus 5 seconds per move Rapid Time Control in Round 4.

“Our pool of National reps have been playing online chess in Rapid format a lot more this month as we prepare for the FIDE Online Olympiad,” states President Hilda Kunau. “The Olympiad is a challenging event with 163 countries participating from this weekend.”

Fiji’s National reps Candidate Master (CM) Taione Sikivou and Aarti Sewak also managed to impress in a very difficult Round 5 against Australia Chess League United A who fielded 6 FIDE Masters (FM) in their team.

CM Taione Sikivou stunned a much higher rated FM Kris Chan 0.5 – 1.5 to win on Board 2 while Aarti Sewak held off higher rated FM Patrik Gong 1 – 1 to draw on Board 5.

“Considering that FIDE Online Olympiad was announced just 3 weeks ago, we are happy with how quickly our National reps are adapting to international games,” adds Selection Panel Member Goru Arvind. “The tournament format is 15 minutes plus 5 seconds per move, so anything is possible at that speed.”

Fiji’s Olympiad Team is set to face-off with Bhutan’s National Chess Team in Round 1 of the Olympiad at 07:00 PM tonight.

Fiji’s reserve online reps will also be playing in the next round of Sharp vs Wise against Under-18 players and their chess coaches from Australia and New Zealand between 06:00 PM – 08:00 PM on Sunday 26 July, 2020.

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