THE national men's and women's chess teams recorded victories in round eight matches of the World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday.
Fiji Chess Federation president and head of the Fiji delegation Dr Virgilio de Asa said the men's team beat Namibia by 2.5 point to 1.5 while the women's team thrashed their Afghanistan opponents 4-0.
Fiji was ranked 134 at the start of the tournament while Namibia and Afghanistan were ranked 138 and 155 respectively.
However, before round eight, Fiji was ranked 147, Namibia 145 and Afghanistan 124.
"Rookie, Goru Arvind, playing the white pieces on board three caught his higher-rated opponent Candidate Master (CM) Otto Nakapunda by surprise when he forked black's rook and bishop in the 11th move and easily won the game," Dr de Asa said.
"Dr Jasvindar Singh played superbly with strong counter offensive followed by a queen sacrifice to force an inevitable mating attack to post the second point.
"Top board player CM Calvin Prasad, who registered Fiji's lone point in their seventh round loss to Mauritania, sealed the men's victory and the match point for the team with a well-fought draw against fellow CM Eichab Charles with the game lasting five hours."
All four members of the women's team defeated their opponents after some coaching from Philippine grandmasters Eugene Torre and Jayson Gonzales.
"Cydel Kabrina Terubea won her second match when she blitz her opponent on board four, followed by Gloria Sukhu who overpowered her opponent on board two to notch her first point in the Olympiad," Dr de Asa said.
"Hilda Vukikomoala did not give her opposite number any opportunity with kingside attack on board three, while Kieran Prasad Lyons added the icing with a convincing win on board one.
"The team members were learning from their earlier mistakes and now taking their games with more positive attitudes."
The win has elevated Fiji to 139 in the latest world ranking and chances are their ranking may improve further as the tournament continues.