The favourites start to float to the top in the Open section with Azerbaijan and Cuba at 11 match points ahead of Russia, China, Armenia ++ at 10.
After nice summer weather early in the Olympiad, had a few days of tropic rain hopefully making travellers from afar feel at home. Unfortunately, a heavy rainfall on the rest day yesterday coincided with our daily football session. Fortunately, I avoided catching a cold, and the football session might even have helped me stay focused during the game today.
In my second black in a row against a 2800 player, Caruana this time, I was slightly worse out of the opening, without any real compensation for his bishop pair. The flip side was that the unusual Scandinavian variation brought us out of known territory and he spent much time in the early middle game.
At one point I had to calculate precisely to avoid real problems, but when he played e4 I was starting to get ambitious. I did not like his Nd6 plan. (Well I guess I liked facing it, but it wasn.t the best plan available for white.) Later he could have entered a drawish position by returning to e4 with his knight in time, but after c5 his position quickly deteriorated, and I followed in the footsteps of my compatriots Lie (18-move victory) and Hammer to secure a solid and strong Norwegian 3-1 victory against Italy to reach 9 match points.
This was just what we needed after the 2.5-1.5 loss to Armenia in round 5 (where Agdestein lost a difficult ending, and the rest of us drew.)
The Norwegian top female team outclassed the strong Venezuelan team 4-0, and things look quite promising for the home teams with 5 rounds to go.
Tomorrow we face Germany.
Just now hurtigruten (MS Trollfjord) docked 50 meters from my balcony at Rica Ishavshotel. Got to go!
Magnus Carlsen, Tromsoe, August 8th, 2014