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Dresden Olympiad r10

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More links on the scene in Dresden. Daaim of the Chess Drum is there with pics and more from the press conferences.

In progress. Live online here or on the ICC. My round 9 ICC Chess.FM podcasts video with animated diagrams and MP3 audio only.

Israel starts this penultimate round in clear first place at 16 points and so controls its own destiny. They face the mighty second seed Ukraine today. Ukraine and Armenia, playing Serbia, have 15 points. China and England, along with Serbia, have 14. Playing the percentages, one of the pack of teams with 13 could well slip into medal position at the end. Assuming they outclass Slovenia today Russia should get another relatively easy pairing in Tuesday's very early final round. The question is whether or not 17 points will be enough for a medal. Obviously it sounds good to be getting paired against fairly weak teams, but in reality you'd rather be facing the tough teams right above you so you could better control your own fate. If Russia fails to medal for the second Olympiad in a row it would take something rather remarkable to replace that as the top story in Dresden.

China-England, Bulgaria-Spain, Germany-USA, and Netherlands-Poland are the other pairings with possible medal implications. In the women's event, Serbia stunned China to knock them out of the lead. Ukraine, Serbia, and Poland start round 10 with 15 points. China, Armenia, and Georgia trail by one. USA is still in with a chance with 13 after losing to Poland 3-1 yesterday.

Update: Ukraine beat Israel despite starting things out worse on several boards, according to Kasparov. Efimenko beat Postny in Q vs R in the only decisive game of the match. So the lead changed hands again and now it's Ukraine and Armenia on top with 17 points headed into Tuesday morning's final round (10am local, 4am EST). Armenia duly disposed of Serbia 3-1 in round 10. China scraped by England with a win by Li Chao on board four over Jones. (The chess-results site says Wang Hao but the official site has Li Chao.) USA beat Germany in a tough fight. For the second round in a row Nakamura came out with a Suttles homage to good effect and beat Khenkin in nice game. (The official result and score were/are wrong. Substitute ..Ne3 for ..Nxe5 and add Qg4 at the end for the correct score, we think.)

So going for the medals in the final round we have China (16) vs Armenia (17), Ukraine (17) vs USA (15), Israel (16) vs Netherlands (15), and Russia (15) vs Spain (15). Armenia has great tiebreak points, so if they beat China they will repeat as gold medalists even if Ukraine also wins. As far as I can tell, USA has such bad tiebreaks they cannot medal no matter what happens Tuesday. [Wrong, sez Jonathan Berry here. Very, very improbable, but mathematically possible.] Russia's tiebreaks right now are almost the same as China's, so that could get tight if Russia wins, China draws, and Israel loses. In the women's event, Poland is in the driver's seat and will face Ukraine for the gold. Serbia-Georgia and USA-France and Netherlands-Russia are the other possible contenders. More later.


I think the main reason Russia won't win a medal in the end is the missing team spirit.
Take for example the match against Germany. Of course Russia was clear favorite to win the match, but Kramnik played a very quick draw with black and his Petroff against Naiditsch, who is 100 points lower rated. - no big deal?!
Svidler was playing board 2 and you could see in the live video his reaction. He was looking in complete disbelieve to the game from Kramnik and was obviously very disappointed and frustrated about it.
It looked like Kramnik played his game without having talked about his idea to make a quick draw with the other team mates.
In such team events it is very important (if you are the favorite) to keep all 4 games going as long as one game is a won (or lost) position. So you can react and draw all other boards to secure the win, or (if you have the lost position) let the other 3 games take risks to try to even the score.
In the Russian team everybody seems to play for himself instead.

You mean like the Brasilean soccer team?
They do that very often , all playing or themselfs.
And yet they won more cups than any other country in the world.
I think in one way or another russians are suffering from not having the current world champion.

Mammadov Rauf-Abdel Razik (-/+ now) is a such a cute game !
Kudos to both players for this gracious fight.

Ahh, a morning where Shirov takes out the world #1 is a good morning indeed.

Looks to me like Shirov had a forced win by 32 Rc8+, Kg7; 33 Rb8 - what can Black do against the mate/winning Rook threats? By delaying it he allowed the R to get to the e-file & interpose. Now Black might save himself (?).

Wow, nice game Shirov.

I didn't get the game Shirov-Topalov at all.
Shirov completely misplayed the opening and was just lost after 16...Nb4
but Topalov played instead 16...Bxd3? very fast and went into a worse endgame. The endgame he played also very strange - ok, Shirov played some nice moves there too... really strange game.
Good bye 2800 :)

Could anyone with a non archaic cpu setup find how long it takes the silicon beasts to actually recommend Shirov's 30.h5 which is crushing?

Fritz 11 on a 5 year old compy is still no where near it after 10 minutes think.

bad hardware and a weak program...

Rybka 3 on a 8 core system gives decisive white advantage after 26...Rh7? (and 30.h5! is of course included in its lines as well)

Fritz is just too materialistic :-)

Shirov played this endgame really strong, but Topalov played terrible after he missed 16...Nb4!

Does anyone understand why Nakamura - Khenkin should be 1-0 ? I don't see any tactical shot for white, and for the moment black is a piece up and has a strong passed pawn ..... . The live transmission first gave 32. Qg4 (??) and then indicated 1-0 .... .

Re: Nakamra-Khenkin

ICC has the position as white pawn on e5 instead of the black knight and 32. Qg4 as the last move, which is clearly winning as white. I'm not sure where they got those moves from.

Just speculation: Khenkin was short on time, maybe he overstepped (the increment may give a false sentiment of safety sometimes). Otherwise the result must be a transmission error.

Nakamura game has just one wrong move.
Black did not play 26...Nxe5?? but of course 26...Ne3+
all other moves are correct.
I you replay the game with the correct move the game makes sense again.
Nice game from Hikaru.

Any news about that 25 milion dollars law-suit againt US Chess by Susan Polgar?
Mig, you labeled this site "Daily Dirt", leave up to the occasion and learn something about it ...

Gelfand now looks good for gold on board 1 after Topalov's loss.
Gelfand performance rating is 2862 for 9 games, Topalov 2821 for 8 games.
In fact, with just 1 round to go, and the pairings out- Gelfand wins the gold for board 1 if he simply doesn't play the last round- as I calculated that the best Topalov can gat now is 2852!

If Gelfand plays the last round he needs still the same score or better than Topalov in the last round to get gold.

Gelfand might have to sacrifice personal 100% guarantee for individual gold to give Israel a good chance of a medal. He is white against Van Wely and should have decent chances- but it keeps Topalov with, say, a 1 in 3 chance.

Man, looking at the pairings tomorrow, I've got to say this system basically comes down to whether you get an easy match or a hard one for your last match. Ukraine and Israel get the easy ones tomorrow, and unless Armenia beats China, will likely finish 1-2. If you played another round, I bet that would change again.

I hope Armenia wins tomorrow, because they deserve it the most. They really need to junk this system so there is more separation and twenty teams aren't tied for third after every round. Maybe they should award three points for winning a match and one for a draw?

If I started covering USCF lawsuits I would have to change the name of the blog to the Hourly Dirt. And there are some kinds of dirt too dirty even for the Dirt. Chess politicians suing each other is terminally boring. And posting about it attracts the wrong crowd.

Kasparov on Shirov-Topalov: "What a game!" Always nice to hear the old retiree enthused by a great game.

Someone needs to explain to Susan Polgar it's time to get her a** back to Hungary. She's not welcome in the US. What a b*tch!

I love Bilbao rules , but i don't think would help here.
Maybe the board points should be added(+o - score)in order to have more separation between teams.
And then a coin :)

Concerning Shirov-Topalov: what did Kasparov think about 16. - Nb4 ? If white is indeed lost or at least much worse after that move, it is not auch a great game after all ?! To me it looks pretty much that way - but more generally, I admire Shirov's play (on his better days) exactly because I do not always understand what's going on !

The general problem with the three-point rule is that it cannot distinguish between hard-fought draws [after all, a normal result between players of about equal strength] and eventless, short, prearranged (?) ones .... .

And in team competitions it is even more absurd. Can teams be blamed for playing 2-2 with two wins for each side ??

I don't get it why Armenia "deserve it the most". Ukraine played a tougher schedule as witnessed both by their Buchholz (TB3 on chess results) and the sum of the seed numbers of their opponents (195 for Ukraine v 217 for Armenia). Then, Ukraine hasn't lost a single match so far, while Armenia did lose to Israel. Then, Ukraine has shown much more will to win, snatching the victory in several matches by playing on till the last pawn in every game.

IMO it will be a slight injustice if tomorrow both teams win and Armenia gets gold on tiebreaks.

The stage for an exciting final finish has been set up (unlike the last olympiad). As far as I can tell there are at least 4 gold medal contenders, and Armenia-China will be exceptionally exciting since China will also try to win, not just for the possibility of gold, but also to avoid the risk of returning medal-less with 17 pts.

one small note:
the final round will be played TUESDAY at 10 a.m. local time! (so far start was always 3 p.m. local time)
Tomorrow is a rest day!

Ya, whatever Mig thinks about match point system, he is wrong :). Match point system proved to be a huge success. Not only we have a stage set for the final showdown in Armenia-China and Ukraine-USA, but in addition to drama the tournament also has logic.

With half a dozen realistic contenders for gold before the start, with a game point system it would have been all about who got the sweetest schedule and who beat their cupcakes 4:0. Now everything will be decided in head to head matches of top contenders.


You're wrong about that. The same contenders end up at the top under the board system as well.

Daaim Shabazz. Aga, sure. Just look at the tb4 on chess results. Top teams so far are
Armenia, then Canada, then Vietnam, Azerbajdzhan, Bulgaria :). Of course, it's not the whole story (the parings would have been different) under game point system. Still under the game point system just watch somebody medal by beating Canada 4:0 in the last round. Isn't it fun and fair?

but hey, at least Armenia will not be brokering draws over the rest day, surely that is an improvement?

I like match points, but...

Would it make sense to have something like match points PLUS game points as the scoring method? (Match win = 4 points, match draw = 2 points)

I'm only looking at the rankings for match points and then game points. Pretty good measure of traditionally the best teams. You had to go all the way to tb4 to try to prove a point.


The reason you wrote that 'taint so was to sucker somebody
into doing the arithmetic. US Championship needed that
a couple of times, eh? It's a conceptual stretch, but
"arithmetically" USA can pass Ukraine with a 3.5 or 4
victory. With a 3.5 victory, they can get a bronze behind
Armenia (if it defeats China) and either Israel or
Netherlands. With a 4 victory, USA wins a silver if NLD
defeats Israel 2.5 to 1.5. Both scenarios also require
Spain to tie or defeat Russia. Here are the ciphers for that last

ARM wins. RUS doesn't.
NLD 2.5-1.5 ISR

USA tiebreak = 266 (after rd 10) + 4x17 = 334
UKR tiebreak = 309.5 + 0x17 = 309.5
NLD tiebreak = 292 + 2.5x16 = 332

ARM would win with 19
USA second on tiebreak with 17, ahead of NLD, UKR.
ESP might be involved in the 17-tie, but tiebreaks
too low to pass USA.

Note: there is some variance because the tiebreak due to
teams played already in rounds 1-10 will change. The
assumption is that that change will balance out. But if
IND, HKG or RSA win in round 11, that improves USA's
prospects. Game points do count (ducking).

The new system simply sucks. The tournament shall end without many of the top seeds and leaders having faced each other.

Matchups we did not see and probably would have under the previous system (non-exhaustive):
Russia v. Israel
Russia v. China
United States v. Israel
United States v. China
Israel v. China
Ukraine v. United States
Azerbajian v. China

That's just the top-10 in standings. Top-10 seeds such as Hungary, France, and Bulgaria faced the top-10 leaders less as well.

This tournament format is a disaster, IMO.

No one has mentioned that, just like the World Championship matches, the Olympiad has shortened in length.

Daaim Shabazz replied to comment from osbender | November 23, 2008 11:52 PM | Reply

"I'm only looking at the rankings for match points and then game points. Pretty good measure of traditionally the best teams. You had to go all the way to tb4 to try to prove a point."

You still didn't get it. TB4 IS game points.

Some writers are not great readers :(.
HCL wrote:
Matchups we did not see and probably would have under the previous system:
Ukraine v. United States

Hmm, what were these two matches for all the marbles on tuesday again?

Btw, I do agree that this tournament is a couple of rounds too short and accelerated pairings sucked big time. These issues are separate from the scoring system though.

To see how idiotic is the new system look at pairings of Israel. They are a top medal contender and have played only 2.5 tough teams (Armenia, Ukraine, half point for Spain). And, in the last round they get paired with Netherlands, which is probably the weakest of all in that pack. With board points and 13-14 rounds, it is impossible to be a medal contender while not facing almost all other strong teams. With this idiotic system, everything is possible.


I admit to not examining each top-10 seed and top-10 rank carefully. That's too tedious. Slip-up.

That's only two ten-10 seed opponents for Israel.

Of the three other top contenders, China will have played only three (Ukraine, Armenia, France); while Ukraine and Armenia will finish more respectably at six apiece.

Yes, and that's ridiculous. And after all that our team gets paired against China in the last round, and needs a win more or less, because Ukraine is going to demolish USA for sure.

I guess you are from Armenia playjunior ?!

If Armenia beats China they'll be the deserved Champions. Always played at the top boards and against the strongest teams.
But Ukraine is still unbeaten...
I hope both teams will take silver and gold medal Tuesday.
This 11 round swiss system is just too much of a lottery in the end.

rest day before the final round is also quite unusual to put it mildly, but switching the game start from 3pm to 10am is really weird (the idea is of course to have the closing ceremony just after the end of the final round). It is a hugh difference to play in the early morning or in the afternoon - just ask Vladimir Kramnik what he thinks about it - he usually wakes up not before noon :-)

Yes Raffael, I am from Armenia.

The system is a disaster I say-Ukraine, despite playing a very nice Olympiad, has no chance for gold if Armenia wins. If Armenia draws and Ukraine wins, Israel, who has played 2 top teams so far and has 50% against them can clinch a medal by winning against mediocre Dutch team.

One point about Jonathan Berry's improbable but mathematically possible scenario for the U.S. winning a medal. It depends on the teams that the U.S. played outperforming the teams that the Netherlands played in the last round. It is thus conceivable that the decisive games for determining a medal could be played between Bangladesh and Thailand (the Netherlands beat Bangladesh 3.5-0.5).

For the fun of it, here is the ranking based on "who played the strongest teams":

Tiebreak 2 (match points of opponents multiplied by board points in the respective match) includes how well you performed against these teams:
1 Armenia 339
2 Israel 315.5
3 Ukraine 309.5
4 Russia 309
5 Azerbaijan 305
6 Vietnam 296
7 Netherlands 292
8 China 291.5
9 Germany 1 290
10 Hungary 284.5
[Israel ends up high due to 3.5-0.5 victories against Montenegro and Denmark]
USA is #14

Tiebreak 3 (sum of match points of opponents) just indicates "whom you played, not how you played":

1 Ukraine 133
2 Germany 1 130
3 Armenia 128
4 Russia 127
5 Azerbaijan 125
6 Israel 123
7 China 122
8 France 121
9 England 120
10 Vietnam, Georgia, Cuba 119
USA is #19

And if board points were the first criterion (TB4), all of a sudden Canada (crushing victories against Bolivia, Jamaica, Macau, Trinidad + Tobago and Nicaragua) and Estonia (same against Nicaragua, Nigeria, Lebanon and Mongolia) appear in the top 10 ... .

What can we infer from this? Obviously the system 'punishes' teams (Azerbaijan, Germany) who did well early on and then ran a bit out of steam ... but it is part and parcel of such a tournament that you have to be up to the mark every single day. China and maybe Israel "do not quite deserve their high standings"!? And it does not really help in the current debate if Armenia or Ukraine would more deserve the gold medals.
By the way, the tiebreaks exclude the weakest opponent played, so the matches Armenia - Faeroe Islands, Ukraine - New Zealand and USA - Hongkong do not affect these rankings.

An early final round is quite common in many tournaments, so even Kramnik should have gotten used to it ,:).

And the rest day before makes sense in this context: Some games yesterday went on until 9:00PM or so - there would be little if any time for preparation (or even sufficient sleep) if the final round was today 10:00AM. Of course, there are some weekend tournaments where you play 5 games in 3 days, but that's another story.

I agree with most of your points Thomas.
But I think if the Olympiad can spend a whole day for the Opening Ceremony, there is no reason not to spend another day for the Closing Ceremony.
In this case the rest days should have been after 4th and 8th round. The last round could start also at 3pm.

Anyway, another strange thing is, as far as I know, there is no blitz tournament added. Few weeks ago there was a so called "blitz world championship" with only a few invited players, but they could play a real blitz championship with almost every player (except Anand) in Dresden.
They could also play a blitz team championship and a single player championship, would have been a lot of fun me thinks...

By the way talking about different systems, John Nunn has just released a new idea for the world championship cycle, which sounds quite logical and good to me (chessbase.com has it)
What do you think?

Rest day before the final round always makes sense. After all, it _is_ the most critical/decisive round of any event, well, unless it's all wrapped up already.

Did anyone notice that Armenia can walk away empty-handed if they are truly unlucky?

What an insightful comment: "After all, it _is_ the most critical/decisive round of any event, well, unless it's all wrapped up already."

I love "no" statements like these: "The ball IS blue, unless it is orange."
"It will shine tomorrow, unless it rains".
"He will win, unless he draws or loses."
etc etc....

I like the idea , but some players may never get another chance to the title.
I don´t see Kramnik or Gelfand having any chance to win a double round robin packed with the top rated players in the world.

About the closing (and prize-giving)ceremony, I still think it makes sense to have it as soon as possible after the final [decisive] round, and not wait until the next day. Among many reasons, I will name two:
1) Depending on who wins (!?), the winnning team may engage in some heavy partying and drinking in the evening. So they may be hardly awake the next morning and "still not quite presentable to media and sponsors" in the afternoon. I would not blame them, in a way this is also part of chess tradition / culture.
2) The winner deserves the applause from the other teams. However, if the ceremony is delayed, some teams may already be on their way back home. For the opening ceremony, this is not as much of an issue - many teams probably arrive early to adapt to local (weather) conditions and recover from jetlag.

Answer part 2: A blitz tournament including many top players is of course always fun. But here it aould be logistically difficult, involving one or several qualifying rounds before the final of the best 20 or so players. Of course this can be done (it happens at other occasions), but it is a considerable extra effort.

In any case, I would not call this "a world championship", again for two reasons:
1) If all Olympiad players are allowed to participate, the #1 of, for example, Mauritius, is certainly weaker than the #100 or even #1000 of Russia.
2) A world championship should be a major independent event, not something at the end of a long, tiring tournament. In the present situation, Dominguez probably would have good chances to obtain (defend) his blitz title, with respect to many players from top teams who are exhausted after numerous tough games.

the whole chess world is based on the tournament system. Only exception is the match for the world champion title.

I am a fan of the match format, but arguing a player with a very high ELO (that is +2750 atm) might win a match, but not a tournament is quite strange under these circumstances, isn't it?

And indeed Gelfand hasn't won a lot of super tournaments, but maybe the reason is simply that some others are simply (a little bit) stronger?

Kramnik won a lot of super tournaments in the past and he came in 2nd (behind Anand) in the Mexico world championship tournament.

I agree, the style of Kramnik (draw with black, try with white) is not the best to win tournaments, Topalovs and Anands style (try to win every game, no matter what color) is better suited to tournament style, but that's not a problem of any system at all.

Aronian for example still plays the Marshall all the time against e4 (if white allows it), but the theory went that far, that white can force an endgame with pawn up were black(!) has 0 winning chances (maybe white's chances are also close to 0 too...) but he still plays it, even against opponents who are way weaker than him.
I think this is a really big mistake. Any opening where he gets a playable position with winning chances, were he can outplay the opponent is much better than such forced lines where white has a forced draw.
Same with Leko and Kramnik.

"old school chess" draw with black, and play with white, is just not good anymore.

That's why I admire Topalovs play, although I don't like him as a person.

And #3: I don't see what's really new with John Nunn's idea. Isn't it roughly the same as San Luis followed by Topalov-Kramnik, and Maxico followed by Anand-Kramnik ?

And I do not think it is a good idea to determine participants solely based on rating, also given the present clustering on top of the rating list. There could be a situation where #8 rated 2760 can participate, and #9 rated 2757 is excluded.

BTW: I don't know when exactly the former system including zonal and interzonal tournaments was abandoned, but it was certainly long after Curacao 1963. I was born in 1967, started playing and becoming interested in chess at the age of 10-12, and still remember the system. I am German living in the Netherlands, and also remember that 'once upon a time' Huebner and Timman had at least a certain outsider chance of becoming world champion.

Dont get me wrong , its because of the double round robin format that i see that kind of tournament very hard for some players (the ones with less stamina ).
And besides if you have such a tournament , its hard not to call it World Championship.
I believe that the selection of a candidate must have something to do with his performance during the year.
I would make the winner of Grand Slam the challenger.

Raffael, let's keep the thread going .... . As this is an Olympiad thread, let's evaluate your post against the recent games of Kramnik and Aronian. Both drew almost all of their games, but it seems to me that Kramnik was actually trying to win with both colors in almost every game.

Not against Naiditsch ... one may wonder which kind of psychology was involved: defending the honour of the Petroff after his dramatic Dortmund loss against the same opponent ? hoping Naiditsch would enter the same line (risky for both sides) and having an improvement prepared ? simply not ready yet for a sharp Sicilian ?
And against Beliavsky, white was aiming for a draw from the start: avoiding the sharpest opening line, exchanging as many pieces as possible - difficult to play for a win with black in such a situation. And Kramnik could reasonably expect his teammates to do the job of securing a match win !?
Why didn't Kramnik actually win more games in spite of trying ? He may well still be a bit tired after the Bonn match. And while I have full understanding and respect for Anand taking a break, Kramnik deserves credit for playing in the Olympiad to start with.
In general, this time it is difficult to say what exactly went wrong with the Russian team, who is responsible. Two years ago they had a clear scapegaot (Rublevsky out of form), this time it would be dubious to blame either Kramnik or Morozevich (for losing one game, which can always happen with his 'creative' style, or for not breaching Gustaffson's defence).

About Aronian: I wonder if drawing on board 1 was part of Armenia's match strategy, knowing that the other boards (esp. Sargissian) are in top form. Incidentally, if Aronian had drawn one more game (instead of losing against Gelfand), they would still be clear and only gold favourite.

More generally, if Gelfand cannot become world champion, so what ?? He is still a strong player, a good theoretician, an excellent chess writer and (from all I know) an amicable and modest person.

What I criticized is the lack of taking risks.
If you play a razor sharp Najdorf you might end up losing the game with either color, but you play for a win.
But if you play the Petroff (or the Marshall nowadays) you play for a draw from the very first move.

And talking about Kramnik and making blunders by choosing the opening I remember this years Dortmund tournament.
Kramnik played Gustafsson with black and played the aggressive Grunfeld (so far so good). But Gustafsson choose a rare sideline which actually Kramnik himself had played with white against Svidler) Kramnik just followed that game till the very end until it was a forced draw.
That's a terrible mistake!
He should of course have played any (weaker) move to leave the known path and let Gustafsson play on his own.
Since he is more than 150 ELO points stronger, one would expect he will outplay Gustafsson.
But Kramnik tries to play always the best move, even if the second best move might complicate the position and give him much better winning chances.
And this attitude is what I think is just wrong.
Leko, to end the story, was the only one who made Gustafsson play on his own (with the shaky f6) in Dortmund and what happened? Indeed Gustafsson spend too much time, his position got worse and he lost.

And in the Olympiad I didn't see a changed Kramnik at all. He still plays "correct" chess, even against much weaker opponents, instead of playing double edged positions.

and just to add a story about Aronian.
After his (terrible) loss to Gelfand he played in a "all or nothing" mood next day.
You cannot tell me his a5 a4 pawn sac is sound.
But it doesn't matter! It complicated the position, made white go for a risky kingside attack and black crushed white just in the way the better player wins against a weaker one in a complicated position.

If Aronian would play like this in every game Armenia would have won the gold medal with one round to go...

I generally agree with your statements and criticism about Kramnik concerning the last few years or, indeed, most of his career. Yet after the world championship he promised to change his attitude to the game (including, but not limited to choice of openings). And at the Olympiad I do see some signs of things changing: against d4, regular Slav, Queens Indian, Queens Gambit declined or accepted would all be 'safer', less complicated choices. Against e4 - once again, I wonder about the psychological story behind the game against Naiditsch and would exclude it from the overall analysis.

Going back to Dortmund, I think Kramnik's opening choices and overall play have to be taken with a grain of salt, given that he was in the middle of his preparation for the match against Anand [and I am sure he DID prepare, just bad luck and/or a great job from the other team that it didn't help him during the match]. The same applies of course to Anand in Bilbao.

At the Olympiad, how many "much weaker opponents" did he actually play ? If we define much weaker as more than 100 points rating difference, we are left with 1) Kamil Miton of Poland - I do not see at which point in the game he could have played a different, more complicated move; 2) Nigel Short - Kramnik won, maybe thanks to Short's provocative play; 3) Beliavsky - I don't know how Kramnik could have avoided massive early simplifications, and here taking excessive risks was probably not in the team interest.

The future will tell more. And for the time being, I can also appreciate and enjoy "Kramnik at his positional best" (some of his Catalans and also the single WCh game he won against Anand), just as I like complicated, at times chaotic games by Anand or, more often, Topalov, Shirov, Morozevich, .... .

"If Aronian would play like this in every game Armenia would have won the gold medal with one round to go...".
This was probably a quickly made statement and maybe a joke ? With the match point system, Armenia could have done better against Ukraine (first board Ivanchuk) or Israel (Gelfand). Both opponents are not weaker than Aronian, so "all or nothing play" is not really on the agenda ... .

Concerning the game against Gelfand, I am not sure if it was terrible from Aronian, great from Gelfand, or both ... . But then I did not analyse it thoroughly, and I am only a patzer rated 1937 at the moment (maximum was around 2100).

Maybe, but i think they play as a team , and that could prevented Aronian from taking those risks.
I hope Ivanchuk´s team get the gold , IMHO they deserve it more than any other team.

Gelfand doesn't win elite tournaments but keeps decent results in them to keep his rank.

And Gelfand is hardly the only one doing that. Adams is another typical case. Never winning an elite tournament, but always good enough.

If a tournament is packed with elite players, getting +1 or +2 is often enough to maintain a very high rating.

Also, when Kasparov was around, other players winning an elite tournament was almost impossible, but getting 2nd place behind him might already be a great performance :-).

The other day I was checking the lifetime records of all players who have been in the top 5 in the last 50 years. These are the top of the top. Interestingly, many of them have only a couple (for some, not even one) wins in elite tournaments. But their scores are good enough to stay in the elite group.

although it has not entered the top 10, I still love with tiger of madras Vismanathan Anand.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 23, 2008 9:53 AM.

    Dresden Olympiad r9 was the previous entry in this blog.

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