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Turin Olympiad 2006 r4

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We're getting to the all-GM matches at last. Live games and results. Russia-China could be interesting despite the massive Russian rating advantage. The Chinese have a grudge to settle from the World Team Championship. Kramnik is in action again, against Bu Xiangzhi on board one. He didn't get much of a warm up yesterday against Naiditsch, who was rolled like a five-cent cigar out of the opening. Accurate finish and all, but hardly testing. Svidler plays his first game today on board two. Wang Yue is 3/3 for China and faces Bareev, who is also 3/3. Quite a few teams have yet to lose a single game.

Kasimdzhanov-Ivanchuk and Almasi-Anand are the the highest-rated match-ups of the day. Azerbaijan will try to recover from their embarrassing start. The out-performing Greek team has a stern pairing with the Netherlands. There appears to have been a meltdown with the Kazakhstan team. Most of their top players from Calvia aren't here, including their #1, former world junior champ Sadvakasov. Anyone know why Norway has played the same four players in the first four rounds? Their top two, Carlsen and Agdestein (also Carlsen's trainer), haven't played. Are they delayed elsewhere?

Rob blogs about an old-fashioned Olympiad tradition, the wrong flag. A particularly poor choice this time, the Japanese Imperial Flag. I wonder if it was the emperor's chyrsanthemum flag or something else. Maybe the military one with the rays of sun? Photos, anyone? Daaim Shabazz at The Chess Drum is on-site and posting reports with a few photos.


looks like anand will lose to a much lower rated player. he must have been drained by mtel

Nakamura scores his first win. Kaidanov down a pawn on board four. Kramnik under pressure in endgame against Bu Xiangzhi but it looks defensible. Svidler also under pressure, but Grischuk looking good. Kadimdzhanov beats Ivanchuk, Volokitin equalizes for Ukraine.

Mig, which Svidler are you following?! Ours, the one that just returned from M-tel, is winning!!

Ah, had the colors reversed, sorry.

Carlsen is busy with school . Adgestein is involved in teaching . Both of them as well as Norway's lady player were expected after the 3rd round.

Nakamura won. Anand and Shirov drew.

Gurevich commited a howler and Michael Adams just finished the game with an unexpected stroke. Nice...

I was under the impression that Carlsen and Agdestein aren't arriving until round 6.

Grischuk won, Svidler seems to be winning; thus China have improved on the Beer-Sheva score and will lose to the Russians "only" 3-1.

Very nice photos at Chess Drum, and one very interesting fact that I didn't know--Zhu Chen is playing for the men's team...of Qatar!

Just confirming that Magnus Carlsen and Simen Agdestein will indeed be ready for round 6 on Saturday, according to the Olympiad-reports from Norway's team captain Torstein Bae. More here (in Norwegian, but with a few photos): http://home.online.no/~eirikgu/ol2006_reisebrev.htm

Armenia thrashed Norway 4-0.

India beat Hungary 2.5 - 1.5, thus recovering from the dreadful start.
Neat game from Ganguly.

Viktor the terrible is amazing. He won with his beloved french. Looks like he outcalculated poor Pascal in the final complications.

Some interesting results you might not have noticed otherwise:

Axis-of-Evil member Iran defeats Axis-of-Evil nominee Syria 4-0.

In a clash between the largest Muslim state and the largest (well, the only) Jewish state, Israel beats Indonesia 3-1

The battle for Central-African domination is decided in favor of Zambia - 4-0 vs. Rwanda.

In a meeting of small Mediterranean countries, wartorn Lebanon sweeps peaceful Monaco off the board 4-0. Heavy celebratory gunfire was reported near Beirut.

There's also Wales vs. Ireland today - if only they could play soccer instead ...

What a wild wild battle it was!
Uzbekistan - Ukraine: 2-2, no single draw!

Does anybody know the rules for rankings/standings adfter each round? I mean to ask, are they considering match-points or board-points? The official site does not provide any information (except that they are is a Chess Olympiad going on!)


1st Tie Break : Board points
2nd Tie Break : Sum of Opponents' Board points
3rd Tie Break : Match points

Zambia-Rwanda is worth a look for humor value. Rwanda's first board dropped a pawn on move 7 with White, and their second board hung a Queen. I decided looking at the -lower- boards might hurt my brain, so I stopped.

Following Alex Shternshain:

The battle for supremacy of the Caribbean Sea was decided in Mexico´s favor: 3 to 1 vs Jamaica.

sorry, make that 4-0

Round 5 pairings

Russia vs. Armenia
Uzbekistan vs. Netherlands
Spain vs. Sweden
Ukraine vs. Bulgaria
India vs. China
Georgia vs. USA

sorry, make that 4-0

Hi all...

Photo galleries coming! I'm going to stay up until around 3:00-4:00am working on them. It's about 9:30pm here (six hours ahead of EST). I've got some nice shots, but the problem is... what do you do with all these pictures???

The other drawback... I'll only be here for one week because I have to be in South Africa the second week... :-( South Africa is certainly a place I'd like to be, but the FIDE General Assemblies should be interesting and I won't be able to take any pics the second week.

I'll try to line something up with another journalist here. Exciting stuff! Armenia and Russia pawn off tomorrow. I told Lev Aronian I picked Armenia to win the gold and he looked surprised. Why? I'll admit... Russia already looked formidable and then Svidler came today. Russia had Bareev on board #4. Rublevsky is on board #6 and is the Russian champion (a paltry 2670+ FIDE rating)!! Sheesh.

I like Armenia's chemistry as I liked Ukraine's last year.

I hope to have some audio interviews coming.

Take care.

Why is Kramnik playing first board if he is rated lower than Svlider and Moro ?

Because some people say he is the world champion.

Alex could add that people have been saying that about Kramnik ever since he won the world championship.


Sadly, it will probably come down to who plays who, not to who is playing better.

Clubfoot: You say To-may-toe, I say To-ma-toh. Agree to disagree and all that?

The match in '00 never happened? If not, that's a lot of wasted tomatoes.

Ah, I see I have inadverently tossed a leftover sandwich to a small troll. Shoo, troll! Shoo! The match in '00 happened, and Kramnik defended his title convincingly later, and he is the undisputed World champion. Shoo, troll!

I would have said "defended his title later", Alex. I agree, of course, that it was a completely valid defence.

Of course. And whenever someone even peeps that Kramnik is, well, anything less than a 100% bona-FIDE (get it, pun!!) World Champion, you MUST correct him. I suggest you take turns.


Nobody said anything about FIDE, Alex. Kramnik is a World Champion. Claiming otherwise is foolishness.



Kramnik held a 2640 player to a draw today like a true world champion. The way he headed as Black for that slightly superior endgame - man, he does that better than anybody else ... ever!

"Claiming otherwise is foolishness." Except when people who aren't foolish claim otherwise.

There seems to be some measure of corellation between accepting Kramnik as the undisputed World Champion and having no sense of humor.

Probably it's because the entire situation of having the #9 player in the world ranking claim he has nothing to prove and that he defended the title by drawing the #6 player in the world ranking is so blatantly hilarious, that it takes a special type of person not to realize it.

I shall now leave the issue alone. Kramnik is of course the undisputed BrainGames/Dannerman champion.... oops, I did it again. WHEN WILL I EVER LEARN?!

Today Kramnik had Black against a 2640 player. Someone ranked 100 pts less. How did he play? ... he steered the position to a slightly superior endgame. This is Kramnik's style - it was no aberration.

The game ended in a draw, giving another another example of how 'Drawnik' is better nickname for Kramnik than 'World Champion', at this point.

Anyway, the bottom line is, to answer John's original question, Kramnik is board 1 for Russia ahead of higher rated players because he won a match against Kasparov 6 years ago and tied a match against Leko 2 years ago. Hopefully this provides a comprehensive answer.

As mentioned by many people elsewhere, it's a matter of what standard you use to define "World Champion". If for example, you use the not so foolish standard of who has played the best chess on the planet recently, then claiming Kramnik is a World Champion is foolishness and the title should go to Topalov. On the other hand, if you use the classic standard of who was the person to defeat the previous world champion in a long (or at least not too short) match then in fact, Kramnik is the champion.

Nope, Alekhine is.

Is he? Who crowned Steinitz champion?

Nobody, of course. Your move.

Please, let me preempt any further discussions on the issue. I am not necessarily denying Kramnik _is_ the world champion (although of course not the _undisputed_ world champion, because, see, I just disputed it a while ago, the proof is in the pudding).

It's just that I find the entire situation of Kramnik being the Champion of the World - starting from the commercial way he gained the access to the title match to begin with, continuing with his fervent defense of the horse-and-buggy Steinitizian 'tradition' and his "I have nothing to prove" sentiment, and ending with his _seventh_ place in the Russian championship - to be absolutely hilarious. Tragicomic, I'd even say.

So, whatever, he's the world champion. I shall now go and ROTFLMAO a bit.

"Anyway, the bottom line is, to answer John's original question, Kramnik is board 1 for Russia ahead of higher rated players because he won a match against Kasparov 6 years ago and tied a match against Leko 2 years ago. Hopefully this provides a comprehensive answer. "

No, the bottomline is that the Russian team think tank made the decision that Kramnik should play board 1.

Kramnik may be at board one because 6 years ago he was one of the five strongest players in history, which is a claim his team-mates can not make. If healthy and in good form, he is better than the other players. People forget how powerful of a player he was and there is no reason he can't get back most of his strength.

Wow, one of the few times I've been amused enough to read all the posts. Hilarious stuff Alex :-)

Kramnik drew someone 100 points lower rated than him, Anand drew someone 150 points lower rated than him. The black pieces must be worth 100 rating points!


Assuming that Kramnik's results in 2005 are in fact due to illness, he has the most impressive head-to-head record against top players out of the GMs on the Russian team as well as the most experience and seniority. In a situation like that, I see a few FIDE points as no reason to put him anywhere but board 1.

Almasi missed a win against Anand. After many hours of analysis i'm quite certain 43.b4 leads to a win. For example 43.b4 re2 44.b5 Re3+ 45.Kb4 Re6 46.Rh1 Rh6 47.Ra1 g3 48.Kc5 Rc8+ 49.Kd4 Ra8 50.Rb1 g2 51.Ke3 Rf6 52.Rg1 Rg6 53.Kf3 Kf8 54.Rxg2 and now white wins by simply protecting the a pawn with the king while winning the f pawn by doubling rooks on the f file.

Guys, is it so hard to learn how to avoid double posts???

Well unlike Kramnik, Anand played a rather wild line. Offered to sac his rook for three pawns in the end game, but Almasi wasnt having any of it! I thought Anand was completely lost, but on Planet Anand I guess the draw was obvious 15 moves earlier.

As for Kramnik being stronger than Moro and Svidler, am not so sure. On current form I think Moro would prevail.

Maybe the logic behind the Russian team construction is reversed: Moro is more useful beating the ~2600 GMs he is facing on third or fourth board (recall his prformance at the WTC in Be'er Sheva a few months ago)then Svidler or Kramnik. So it is not much a question of who is the stongest among those three (and Grisch is no fish either...) at the moment but rather the optimal board order in terms of scoring points.


Russian team is fantastic. It's not too bad to have your 5th player rated above 2701, with a 2874 performance !!! If they play during all the olympiads at this level, it won't be very funny for their opponents.

Avoiding double posts.

when the stupid web site tells you there is an error and your posting did not go through.


the posting did go through the first time. do not post a 2nd time.

Some cracking matchups today

1) The battle for gold (full strength Russia - Armenia)
2)The battle for Asia (India - China)

and last but not least

3) The battle for the wooden spoon (Rwanda -Pakistan)

Where do I find the daily pairings at the official site? Is there an unofficial site where I can find the pairings?

Pairings, results, and live game links:


Other site with more stats and standings:


Rob blogs about an old-fashioned Olympiad tradition, the wrong flag. A particularly poor choice this time, the Japanese Imperial Flag. I wonder if it was the emperor's chyrsanthemum flag or something else. Maybe the military one with the rays of sun? Photos, anyone?
Well, Turin is in Northern Italy, which is the heart of Berlusconi country. Northern Italy was also the home ground of the Italian fascists, where Benito Mussolini had his ardent power base.

So, perhaps there is no great surprise that the italians up there still harbor some proclivities for their erstwhile Axis partners.

If the above post by Doug was a joke, he should have made it much clearer. Probably I just lack sense of humour, but when touching on sensitive subjects you should make it very clear if you are speaking seriously or ironically. In that case, anyway, you can skip all the following lines which are obviously out of place.
If not, the writer displays such lack of political and historical knowledge that he doesn't even succeed in his aim, i.e. insulting northern Italians as a whole (I come from the central part of the country, but these kind of remarks still manage to offend me).
Just to mention a few facts, Torino - as headquarters of FIAT - has always had a strong working class, which explains why, for instance the current mayor was elected by the centre-left coalition; the origins of the fascist movement came from Emilia-Romagna (as well as Lombardia and Toscana) much more than from Piemonte; the Italian population as a whole, although quite happy with the Mussolini government at least until 1936, had serious misgivings from the very start about the Axis with Germany and Japan; and I could go on.
Obviously the flag errors, together with many other hitches mentioned by the commentators (things seem to be improving anyway), are due to a much simpler reason: the organizers' inexperience in handling a complex event such as an Olympiad.

Sorry, of course this is a (wonderful) chess blog and as long as people stick to that subject I enjoy just lurking rather than writing, but this time I wanted to set the record straight, because thousands of people might be reading this.

can somebody throw some light on anand gelfand game. I thought anand was winning and then i saw the peace treaty.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 24, 2006 11:02 AM.

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