Update from Batumi: World Chess Olympiad- Team USA vying for top placement!

Dear friends,

 View of Batumi from the cable car

View of Batumi from the cable car

It's been a busy few days since the last update. I’ve been reviewing games in order to help participants learn, preparing for next games by looking up opponent's likely opening choices, and considering the mindset of each player before suggesting what to focus on.

 2,500 old year fort

2,500 old year fort

I still managed to get some personal time in: touring the area, visiting a waterfall, walking on the wall of a really OLD fort (originally part of it was built about 2,500 years ago!!), and riding the cable car to get some great views of the city!

The Ugandan Olympiad women's team has had their ups and downs. Right now they are tied for 84th place. They started the event ranked 114th. Gloria Nansubuga, who as a 5 year old taught Phiona Mutesi how the pieces move (As shown in Disney’s Queen of Katwe) is here now at her first Olympiad and is leading the Ugandan team with 4.5 points!

To view the standings of the Uganda Women’s team, just click on this link.

The USA Men's team is vying for 1st place. They came into the lead after an exciting 8th round match, defeating the first place Azerbaijan team, resulting in US in first place by half a point with 3 rounds to go.

While the whole team has been performing extremely well, special mention goes to Fabiano Caruana, who has had no losses and a very strong showing on board 1 (scored 4 wins and 3 draws with a performance rating over 2900!). This is a very good warm-up for the FIDE World Chess Championship Match in London in November when he takes on Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the reigning world chess champion.

To view the standings for team USA just visit this link.   

 Team Uganda with US Grandmasters Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana

Team Uganda with US Grandmasters Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana

While here in Batumi, I was intervewed for the Perpetual Chess Podcast hosted by Ben Johnson. Ben asked about my experiences at the Olympiad, my reasons for starting Chess4Life, and the stories behind my new book, A Pawn’s Journey

Speaking of this, if you have already read my new book A Pawn's Journey: Transforming Lives One Move at a Time, please do consider writing a review on Amazon. Additional reviews and comments are VERY much appreciated, whether positive or critical! If you haven't picked up a copy yet, feel free to click here on options for ebookself-narrated audiobook, or pre-order the physical book (launching next week!).

 Giving Robert Katende a copy of A Pawn’s Journey

Giving Robert Katende a copy of A Pawn’s Journey

While at the Olympiad, I had lunch with Robert Katende, founder of the Queen of Katwe project in the slums of Katwe and surrounding areas. I gave him one of the first copies of my new book, as his work continues to inspire me. You can see some of what is happening by visiting the Robert Katende Initiative website, or following them on Facebook, as he works to serve many thousands of students in Eastern Africa as well as around the world! I hope to share more on this in a later post.

I look forward to your comments and questions.

Cheers,

Elliott

PS - if you happen to be in one of the areas I'm doing some special appearances, I would love to see you! Check out this link for a list of my upcoming events.