Asian Nations Cup 2018 - A window to the Batumi Olympiad
The Asian Nations Cup proved to be a mixed bag for team India. In the open section we finished second in the classical format winning the silver medal, while in the women's section we had to settle for the bronze. However, in the blitz that followed, the women's team were simply altogether at a different level and won the gold medal with a huge margin. The men's team could manage only a fourth place finish. The biggest find of the tournament were the Iran (Green) team which won the gold in rapid, classical and blitz section beating strong teams like India and China. Iran has the same team for the Olympiad as well. In this article we look at our performance and also analyze what it means for the Olympiad in Batumi 2018.
Let's first begin with the good news!
After the blitz section ended Harika posted the news about her victory on Twitter:
The below reaction was not expected:
But Harika didn't let it pass! She answered with the following tweet:
Looking ahead for Batumi Olympiad 2018, we see that three of the women players in the Asian Nations Cup team are the same as the Olympiad 2018: Harika, Eesha and Padmini.
All of them performed solidly. Harika on board one was unshakeable. Eesha lost a game, but 4.0/6 isn't bad at all. And Padmini was not in her best form but she is already showing some good results in Abu Dhabi Open that is currently in progress. The two youngsters Vaishali and Aakanksha got a great experience of playing at this level. They will be replaced by Humpy and Tania for the Olympiad 2018. Also the coach of the team would be Jacob Aagaard and it seems that we are ideally posted for a podium finish.
In the open section we were held to two draws by Kazakhstan and China and we lost to the young Iran team. It wasn't the best of performances by the team, but we showed our mettle by winning the last two rounds in the classical section with a big margin over Vietnam and Iran White and ended with the silver medal.
Surya Sekhar Ganguly also played two scintillating games in rounds six and seven. You can check them out below. There are mind boggling complications and instead of not doing appropriate justice to the game, we decided to leave it unannotated:
Iran has planned its strategy well. This team of youngsters at the Asian Nations Cup 2018 is the same one that will represent Iran at the Olympiad in Batumi 2018. Although they are the 22nd seeds, I have a feeling that they will be giving the top teams a run for their money.
What do you think are the chances of Indian team (men and women) at the Batumi Olympiad that will take place in Georgia from the 24th of September to 5th October 2018. Do you think we can finish on the podium with a medal? Let us know in the comments section below.