MAURITIUS REBOUNDS FROM WEAK START AT TROMSO

After the catastrophic first 2 rounds due to a combination of jet-lag,strong opponents and the local players not yet used to their Grandmaster coach Spyridon Skembris teaching ,the Mauritian olympic team (seeded 123)has bounced back to the 116th place out of the 172 participating countries. Mauritius has scored wins against Chinese Taipei, Maldives,Seychelles , Macau ,drawing with Jamaica while losing to Canada, Colombia,Iraq and the ICCD ( International Deaf Chess Federation). We have 9 match points and among the indian ocean islands we are one point behind Madagascar and Sri Lanka and 3 match points above the Seychelles.

The manner of the Mauritian wins were laborious in the manner of the greek football win at the european championship (1-0 to the Hellas) ,we win economically by the tightest margin 2.5 to 1.5 pts as we have only 1 player Patrick Li Ying  performing above 50 pct , with top board Roy Phillips(3.5 pts), Devarajan Chinasamy(1 pt) and Antoin Goorsahye (0.5 pt) having bad tournaments despite some having good positions. Jeroen Koster has done quite well on 3.5 pts on 8 games and he needs a win in our last match against Botswana to become a Candidate Master.

Our coach Spyridon Skembris is doing a fantastic job and it was a dream to have a Grandmaster as helpful as him to prepare us and do the post-mortem analysis. The ideas and concepts we have learnt from him has made Chinasamy stating that we have to start chess from scratch again.

The Olympiad has allowed us to meet our foreign chess friends like Seychelles,San Marino,South Africa, Madagascar, Angola, Botswana, Aruba,Lichtenstein, Papua New Guinea, and the french arbiter Stephane Escafre from the traditional Reunion Open, he is supervising Magnus Carlsen matches. On an anecdotal side we crossed the path of the Seychelles team after the heavy defeat against the deaf players and when we did not hail them they ask what was the problem and we said that the battering from the deaf players has made us blind !!!