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2020 US Olympic Trials - Mens Stage 1: Rounds 5 and 6

By Larry Hodges | Feb. 29, 2020, 9:22 p.m. (ET)



There were no seven-game matches in these sixteen matches, and only one even went six. But there were several of consequence.

But first, here are the Results! The current standings after six of seven rounds - and remember that the top four from both groups advance to a final RR of eight, with carry-over matches.

Group One
Zhou Xin, 6-0
Zhang Kai, 5-1
Dan Liu 4-2
Jishan Liang, 3-3
Gal Alguetti, 3-3
Aditya Godhwani, 2-4
Mishel Levinski, 1-5
Ted Li, 0-6

Group Two
Nikhil Kumar, 6-0
Nicholas Tio, 5-1
Yijun "Tom" Feng, 5-1
Sharon Alguetti, 4-3
Adar Alguetti, 2-4
Hao Donglong, 2-5
Michael Landers, 1-5
Kunal Chodri, 0-6

In Group One, Zhou Xin (2730) continued his unbeaten streak, not only going 6-0, but 24-0 in games. But he faced his first two games points, where after winning the first three against Gal Alguetti, Gal took a 10-8 lead. "He's so steady," said Gal afterwards, as Zhou won at 2,7,7,10. Zhou also won against Jishan Liang, 7,8,8,9. His incredible ball control and placement controlled the rallies.

Kai Zhang (2642) went to 5-1 with wins over Ted Li (0,7,3,4) and a tougher one with Jishan Liang, 12,6,-5,9,-5,7. Along with Zhou, he clinches advancing. In his last match he plays Zhou.

Dan Liu (2574) went to 4-2 with wins over Mishel Levinski (6,13,9,-8,10) and Aditya Godhwani (7,7,-10,11,8). If he wins his last match (against Ted Li, 2548), he would be 5-2 and clinch advancing. If he loses, he'd fall to 4-3, but will still advance. Jishan Liang and Gal Alguetti are both 3-3 and play in the last round. Whoever wins would also be 4-3, and so would advance along with Dan. (Dan hopes Jishan wins and advances, since he has the head-to-head win against him, while he lost to Gal.)

In Group Two, Nikhil Kumar (2692) won both his matches, against Tom Feng (2640), 6,6,9,5, and against Sharon Alguetti (2658), 10,8,9,5, and has clinched advancing with a 6-0 record, 24-3 in games.

Nicholas Tio and Tom Feng are both now 5-1, and they have also clinched advancing. Sharon Alguetti is 3-3, and if he wins his final match against chopper Hao Donglong, he will advance - and lo and behold, just minutes ago I was informed Hao Donglong is defaulting. (I don't yet know the reason.) And so that puts Sharon at 4-3, and so he will also advance. His brother, Adar, and Hao himself are both 2-4. Assuming Adar loses his last match against Tom Feng (sorry, Adar), if Hao did play and beat Sharon, he and Sharon would both have been 3-4, and so Hao would have advanced. But since he defaulted, he's out, and so Sharon advances.

But Sharon had to earn it! While he lost to Nikhil (see above), he won against Michael Landers (2561), at 8,-9,10,9,8 - coming back from down 10-8 in the third game.

The final round of Stage One is tonight at 5:30 PM.