An open team – of McNab, Arakhamia-Grant, Shaw, Tate and Morrison – and a women’s team of Lang, Roy, Giulian, Durno and Lampard. For three of the squad the Olympiad will be the second half of a chess tour, as they are currently taking part in the Euro Youth Championships in Prague. Alice Lampard is in the under-16 girls section, Ali Roy in the under-18 girls, while Alan Tate is the team coach. When the event finishes they will fly from the Czech Republic to Turkey.
Some of the drama in Istanbul will be off the board at a meeting of FIDE, the World Chess Federation. The Turkish federation has made a controversial proposal to throw several federations out of FIDE in retaliation for these federations unsuccessfully suing FIDE over an issue too tedious to explain.
Scotland is not directly involved, but England, the USA, France, Ukraine and Germany are among those under threat. Together these federations represent roughly a third of the world’s competitive chess players. Chess may be heading for a major split.
Back on the board, one of Keti Arakhamia-Grant’s warm-up events was the British League, where she won the following fine game.
White: K Arakhamia-Grant. Black: L Cernousek. Opening: Sicilian Defence.
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bb5+ Bd7 4 Bxd7+ Qxd7 5 0–0 Nf6 6 Re1 Nc6 7 c3 e6 8 d4 cxd4 9 cxd4 d5 10 e5 Ne4 11 Nbd2 Nxd2 12 Bxd2 Be7 13 Rc1 0–0 14 Rc3 The start of the key plan – White will shift all her pieces to a kingside attack. 14...Rfc8 15 a3 b5 16 Rd3 Qd8 17 h4 h6 Now White gains the attack at no material cost. Black had to try the greedy 17...Bxh4 18 Nxh4 Qxh4 when the piece exchange slightly weakens White’s attack. 18 Nh2 b4 19 Qh5 Qf8 20 Ng4 Kh7 21 Rf3 Nd8 22 Bxh6! The idea is to create a hole on f6. 22...gxh6 23 Nf6+ Instead 23 Rf6! was an even faster win as after 23...Bxf6 24 Nxf6+ Kh8 White has just enough time for 25 Re3 heading for g3. 23...Bxf6 24 exf6! A clever decision. It may look more natural to play 24 Rxf6 but after 24...bxa3 25 bxa3 Rab8 White’s second rook cannot join the attack with 26 Re3 because of 26...Rb1+ 27 Kh2 Rcc1 and Black is faster. 24...bxa3 25 bxa3 e5 26 Rxe5 Ne6 27 Rxd5 Rc1+ 28 Kh2 Qb8+ 29 Re5 Qc7 30 Qf5+ Kh8 31 Qh5 Kh7 32 Rg3! Rb8 33 Rxe6! Rbb1 Or 33...fxe6 34 Qg6+ Kh8 35 f7 with mate to follow. After the game move Black is winning in every variation except one: 34 Qf5+! Black resigned as 34...Kh8 35 Re8 is mate.