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2006 Olympiad Bulletin

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Speaking of the Turin Olympiad, the official website has a pretty nifty promotional bulletin up (PDF format). There's lots of fun Olympiad trivia about games and players and I'll quibble with one bit. It says that of the world champs, only Steinitz and Lasker didn't play in the Olympiads. (Steinitz with the wholly reasonable excuse of being dead long before the first Olympiad took place in Paris in 1924.) It goes on to say that Lasker retired in 1927, which is true. (Tarrasch, 65 at the time, led the German team in the 1927 London Olympiad. Second board Mieses was 62! Lasker would have fit right in.) But Lasker came back to play professionally a few years later when in need of funds. He was certainly strong enough to play on any Olympiad team, even at 66. But for which team would he have played in, say, Warsaw 1935? He was essentially stateless at the time, having left Nazi Germany for England, then the USSR, then finally the USA. But the USSR didn't send a team until 1952.

The Torinos have squeezed the Chess Olympiad into some of the sponsorship packages of the Winter Olympic Games and the other activities they're doing this year. Organizers say they've also lined up significant direct sponsorship as well, which is good to hear. ChessBase has an intro report with photos of the city and venue. I thought that all this activity was part of some anniversary of the city but I can't find any mention of such so maybe I just made that up. (300th anniversary of the Battle of Turin?! Not likely.) Don't miss Wojtek Bartelski's amazing Olimpbase, by the way. Endless enjoyment.


the chessbase website has been down for some time. Whats up with that?

That bulletin was moderately well done, but I must say I found that lacuna on women's chess on the first page a bit odd:

"A game of chess, in fact, can last 5-6 hourse, with moments of great tension, so that physical stamina proves essetial and this is the main reason why women . . . experience difficulty competing on an equal footing with men."

Reference, please? The recent TRM position paper for instance mentions many possible reasons, but lack of "pyscho-physical stamina" wasn't one of them. Surely the main factor must be acculturation pressures?

The whole passage reads like an apology for segregation in a (almost) purely mental sport, and is totally out of place on the first page of a promonitional brochure. There may be a place for anticipating objections to the practice and responding to them, but when you're giving a panoramic overview of the olympiad tradition, you don't take a two-paragraph break to offer a lame "explanation" of a practice most readers wouldn't have been that offended by anyway.

Reposting to a more appropriate spot:

The Hindu recently had a decent interview with Anand on India's prospects. Its worth a read as India had good chances of a podium finish.
Anand also gives a blow-by-blow account of the Indian championships and even reveals that he gave a consolation phonecall to an unlucky player. Impressive!


Daaim, actually India messed up because the captain and the coach managed to drop the ball with some weird decisions. First they persisted with Harikrishna, when its well known that he gets tired towards the latter half and then Anand rested himself against Cuba. (we lost 2.5- 1.5)
earlier he played top board against Canada to play some IM.

"surely this must be based on acculturation factors?"


I'm not going to weigh on on what is essentially a nature/nurture debate (and therefore silly since there's no meaningful distinction between the two), except to say that the "surely" is an expression of political preference, not knowledge or evidence.

It would be nice to think that though, wouldn't it. We could pretend men and women were just the same and it's only old evil society causing problems.

Laughs again.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 6, 2006 12:14 PM.

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