Scotland in Tromso – Rounds 1 to 4

Greetings from the Olympiad in Tromso. As I write, Round 5 is underway, but since I am resting today, I can give a quick update on Rounds 1 to 4 for Scotland.

Tromso is beautiful, the weather is sunny and hot, the food and drink is great, and we are also winning a few games of chess. We have played Tanzania, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe – three match wins and one defeat. You can probably guess which team got us.

Our team (in board order) is GM Colin McNab, IM Andrew Greet, GM me, FM Alan Tate and IM Roddy McKay. Highlights so far include Colin drawing with 2743-rated Mamedyarov and Roddy being on 3/3. I am on a middling 2½/4 – a loss to the Azerbaijani GM Safarli and 2½/3 against less fearsome opposition. My chess highlight so far is my game against Perera of Sri Lanka – see it on ChessBomb . Notable because I spotted a tactic – this great event is on move 37.

The photo below is taken from the house the Scottish Open team is staying in.

If you peer closely at the middle of the photo, you might see a white triangular shape just across the bridge – that is the Arctic Cathedral.

Tromso view

Many of the teams are in hotels near the playing hall whereas we are a 15-minute walk away. As we dragged our suitcases up the hill on the first night, it seemed we had a raw deal, but in reality we are the lucky ones. Many teams seem to be crammed two to a tiny room, while we have a room each, plus a kitchen and a lounge with huge flatscreen TV.

So all is well with Scotland and we are hopeful of getting some big wins in the coming rounds.

If you want a puzzle – try to figure out how many Quality Chess authors are in Tromso. I am not sure of the correct answer, but somewhere in the mid teens might be close.

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