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John Paul Gomez and Chardine Cheradee Camacho are both having a blast in their fourth board assignments in the 38th Chess Olympiad. Having played in all of the seven rounds thus far, the 20-game norm offered in this 11-round event is well within reach of the youthful duo.

JP needs a full just half a point in his next two games to become the country’s newest Grandmaster. Chardine is almost certain to achieve a WIM norm, and could even get a WGM norm depending on the outcome of her remaining matches.

Meanwhile, GM Wesley So after his seventh round win against a Belgian IM has unofficially surpassed his best ever achieved rating thus far in his young chess career. Maybe three or four more wins and he will crack the FIDE top 100 for the first time, but that may likely happen in his next tournament after Dresden.

Round 8 Update:

After building up promising positions as white, both Gomez and Camacho somehow absorbed their first setback from their respective eighth game matches. A glance at their scorecards after 8 rounds indicate that they may only need a draw on their ninth games to gain the necessary norms they’re aiming for. Gomez can get his GM norm with a ninth game draw against a player rated not below 2509, while Camacho can secure her WIM norm with a draw against a player with at least a 2066 elo.

The two may opt to get their much needed rest in round 9, as Camacho may not obtain the necessary conditions (she has to win instead of just draw her match) against Brazil (seeded 62nd) considering her likely opponent could only be rated as high as 2065, while Gomez on the other hand will have the prospect of drawing his match against at least a 2578 rated Czech (seeded 18th) opponent.

Round 9 Update:

Gomez secured his GM result as he easily drew his game against GM Laznicka.  He has played in all of the team’s matches so far. Camacho took the day off with hopes of meeting a better ranked opponent in the tenth or perhaps the eleventh round.

Round 10 Update:

Cheradee Camacho earned her 20-game WIM norm in convincing fashion with a victory over WGM Michna (2399). Needing only a draw against her higher rated opponent to clinch the norm, she shrugged of Michna’s indirect truce offer hinting at repetition on move 24. Camacho firmly deviated as she showed confidence on bringing home the full point. The German proceeded towards simplification but a dubious queen exchange in the center cost her an important pawn and got saddled with an immobile knight at the end.

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