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Dresden Olympiad Wrapup

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Links and individual winners, etc. in the r11 item. My final 40-min ICC Chess.FM podcast will be is up at chessclub.com shortly now. Video, MP3 only. Biggest surprises? Biggest disappointments? Best games? Does leadership and/or team spirit really matter? Khalifman and Karpov, visiting Dresden, were critical of this aspect of the Russian super-team a few days ago. No medal for top seed Russia two Olympiads in a row.

Audio by Macauley of Susan Polgar press conference with winning Armenian team on the ICC Blog. They talk about the team concept, atmosphere, and the president of Armenia coming for the final round. Akopian: "The most important thing is team chemistry." Why is that? Is camaraderie really worth a few points or is it just a matter of everyone being on form? Captain Arshok Petrosian is coy about the four-player strategy they use. Aronian takes the question from Rob Huntington on playing for the memory of Karen Asrian, their 3rd board who died suddenly a few months ago. Would have been funny to have Minasian take all the questions... Aronian: hardest match, except the one we lost [Israel] was perhaps Serbia, which wasn't going well... At some point we thought Tigran was going to have problems in the openings, but we had a joke on the team, that we were going to pray! Aronian talks about popularity of chess in Armenia, being recognized on the street there, how it's like the national sport and he expects it to only get better. Polgar points out that the only Armenian losses were the two in the loss to Israel. Players don't sound too happy with this year's rule changes. Love the island accent on the questions at 16" for Akopian about Botvinnik and Tigran Petrosian on having "such a big name." (He's not related to the 9th WCh at all.) Is there going to be a three-peat? Aronian: It all depends on our captain. It's a secret.

Hah, just noticed Aleksandrov-Polgar 0-1 from Belarus-Hungary. This brought back old memories of a game with the same opponents that Aleksandrov annotated for KasparovChess.com back in 1999, his fine win over her from the 99 Euro Team Ch. I dug it out of my archives. He endeared himself with gems like: "I did not prepare for this game. Generally, when playing against women, I never do.", "Now this is typical of Polgar: Judith starts an attack without any reason." "I never thought that girls could play this strong, and it was a real discovery for me, when Polgar demonstrated an outstanding score in the Europe championship." But he calls it his best game of the year, so whatever. The database sez this is the first time they have played since then. Again a Nimzo and a rather one-sided crush by Polgar with some cute tactics at the finish. I rather doubt she was aware of his comments at the time and/or now. This was only Polgar's second win against three losses in the Olympiad.


Ah, remember the good old days when the Soviets, er, uh, Russians dominated world chess and we all rooted for Fischer or enjoyed Karpov-Kasparov battles? My how the times have changed...

... or maybe times didn't completely change...yet .

Look at the first 6 nations of the standings after round 11 .. almost all players of these teams are the product of Soviet chess school ... except Nakamura and maybe a few rare others ...

The system of pairing in this Desden tournament was not the fairest in my opinion , some nations had lucky draw and never played the top seeds more than once or twice ... whereas other teams had tough draws all throughout the event .

Biggest surprise for me is Russia not winning the Olympiad and Armenia being so brilliant (i knew they were strong , but this time , i thought they were amazing ) and had to beat very strong teams in this Olympiad , they had tough draws all along so they really deserve .Israel played very well i thought , always appreciated Gelfland , Rodshtein did very well also

biggest disappointment is probably Ukraine because they looked in a very good position for a medal but collapsed in the last round , but fair play to USA's team who did very well in round 11( board 1 and 2 of USA was great in the last rounds , but Ukraine was also one of those teams that had tough pairings throughout the tournament , so IMO they deserve more . I also expected Mamedyarov and Radjabov 's Azerbaidjan to be in the top 5 . Germany was also impressive at the start and i thought they would finish in the top tier but probably got tired , like France who also had tough draws and ran out of steam after round 7 when they were 3rd . I think India could have done better also

Just a note on Polgár Judit: according to Hungarian press reports, she was ill during the tournament, which can explain the disappointing score.

Going back to the USA-Ukraine match, and how it was approached beforehand by the Americans and their team captain (once again, assuming that the 'official' information on the federation homepage is accurate). It probably would have been pointless if the captain Donaldson had said "OK, miracles CAN happen, let's go for a huge victory !" His players might have been laughing at him, and/or an all-or-nothing approach could have easily backfired: if you go for 4-0 by all means, you may end up getting 4-0 .... for the other team.

In the match, the huge victory 'just happened'. Nakamura had offered an early repetition, and Shulman's Rubinstein French is not the type of opening to choose if you play for a win with black from the very start.

The team captain's speech and instructions before the match against Norway two years ago may well have been different, something like

"We need a big victory, we can do it, let's go for it! No early simplifications, don't accept any draw offers if there is still life in the position (and you are not clearly worse). DON'T PLAY THE PETROFF! If the best move leads to a forced draw, play another move to keep the game going. YES WE CAN !"

(Yes, part of this is based on Raffael [commments on Kramnik's play] and someone else ...)

Are kidding Mig?

I remember that Aleksandrov article from KC like it was yesterday and I am only an insignificant patzer.

Since Judit was in and out of the playing room at KC almost every day (talking a blue streak... as if guys were not salivating over her already... I was reminded of Billy Wilder's stories of pre-war Berlin, when he got paid to whirl lonely ladies around the dance floor...), for sure she knew about it.

"Revenge is a dish best eaten cold"... with a cherry on top!

Video from press conference with Armenia and Susan Polgar is up on chessvibes.
Unfortunatly nobody asked Aronian if he thinks Susan Polgar can play chess... ;-)

"Just a note on Polgár Judit: according to Hungarian press reports, she was ill during the tournament, which can explain the disappointing score."

"I never defeated a healthy opponent" Tartakower

That sort of misogynism is incredibly common in Eastern Europe, jarring though it is to our American sensibilities.

Macuga, believe me I live in America and this sort of misogynism is just as common in the US as is elsewhere. To confine the phenomenon to the Eastern Europe is disingenuous at least, and is indicative of a misplaced sense of cultural superiority of the sort that made us go to war in places we do not belong. In the United States we are just masterful at hiding our true colors until the next shot of tequila. Playboy by the way was an American product the last time I checked, a magazine as much guilty at spreading misogyny as anything and yet you decry the proverbial Eastern Europeans? Good God, look in the mirror yeah!!! What part of America do you live man? And yeah there is no racism in America either right, since Barack became president. What a sociological patzer!

Two myths about the pairing system were dispelled. Those myths were: 1. game points don't count; and 2. there is scant mobility in the standings.

Congratulations to FIDE for not using game points as the first tiebreak. That has been shown not to work in the Euro Club Cup, but the EU people continue with it.

On the other hand, the system could do with some tweaking. Is Sonnenborn-Berger exactly the first tiebreak you want? Beating a team that ends with 18 matchpoints is more than 20% better than beating a team with 15 matchpoints. The sudden decompression in the third round produces mismatches. They could borrow from S.A.D., used every year at Cappelle-la-Grande, for a more gradual decompression. Finally, there never was an explanation for the pairing of so many floater ("odd man") teams against the *bottom* team from the next matchpoint group below. There were only more people who regarded it as a mystery worthy of explanation!

FIDE once passed a motion encouraging innovation in pairing systems, but I couldn't find a trace of it in the current FIDE website. Just the opposite. If FIDE discourages innovation, how will we ever arrive at a good pairing system for, for example, the Chess Olympics?

The zero-minute forfeit rule was a mess. Nobody tried it, but (thanks to Shaun Press for blogging the idea) it does provide a handy way to agree to a 2-2 match draw. Just "buddy system" the players you have chosen to forfeit, leave them outside the room at the time the round starts. Nobody need play a single move, much less 30.

FIDE is trying to make the zero (or maybe 15-) forfeit universal (unless it is overturned in the General Assembly), where it will open new vistas to game throwers. Let's say the cheater's opponent is a norm hopeful. In the old days, the cheater might approach the norm hopeful to prearrange a particular game result in exchange for cash. Under the zero (or 15) forfeit rule, there is an extra cash opportunity: simply to show up for the game on time. Games in which a move is not made (forfeits) are not rated; the non-status of such games could kill a norm hope. With the old one-hour rule, there was the likelihood that arbiters or friends would find the potential cheater, and drag him to the board to play the game. Refusal would be prima facie evidence of, yes, cheating.

Cool down, artyom. There is misogynism everywhere, but it is more widespread and socially sanctioned in some regions of the world. If you don't believe that, fly your girlfriend over to Saudi Arabia and have her parade about in the streets in a mini-skirt. It is less severe than that in Eastern Europe, but still moreso than in the US.

> I live in America and this sort of misogynism is just as common in the US as is elsewhere>

I would rather agree with Macuga, at least when it comes to speaking up in public. If you watch only CNN you are tempted to conclude that US today believes in Political Correctness even more than in Christianity

>there is no racism in America either right, since Barack became president.What a sociological patzer!

You missed his point, he was talking about Black's racism.

For instance, according to the Department of Justice document Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2005


in 2005 in the 111,590 cases in which the victim of rape or sexual assault was white, 44.5 percent of the offenders were white, and 33.6 percent of the offenders were black. In the 36,620 cases in which the victim of rape or sexual assault was black, 100 percent of the offenders were black, and 0.0 percent of the offenders were white.
The bottom line on interracial white/black and black/white rape is clear:
In the United States in 2005, 37,460 white females were sexually assaulted or raped by a black man, while between zero and ten black females were sexually assaulted or raped by a white man.

> fly your girlfriend over to Saudi Arabia and have her parade about in the streets in a mini-skirt. It is less severe than that in Eastern Europe, but still moreso than in the US.

'it is less severe than that in Eastern Europe??

you must be smoking something Macuga, in Saudi Arabia women are forbidden by the (islamic) law to drive a car or to walk on streets without accompanied by a male relative, let alone wear mini-skirts instead of the nose-to-toe burqa.
Of course none is is true about Eastern-Europe, bimbos in mini-skirts are rather a common sight on the streets of Sofia or Bucharest.(during the summer of course)

What part of "less severe" do you disagree with?

Why is everyone talking of US or Eurpoean misogynism? There is no pervasive hatred of women.

There is just the fact that liberal idiots have come down with the mass delusion that women are somehow equal to men. Someday, the madness will pass and reason will prevail.

Women are just women and no more. There is certainly nothing demeaning about being a woman or behaving as a woman should or treating a woman like a lady (if she behaves like one). Women are a vital part of society. Too bad they've all been brainwashed by US Government educations to behave like men.

See how wonderful the US has become since the 1950's? What a terrible mistake.

>Why is everyone talking of US or European misogynism? There is no pervasive hatred of women.>

Of course there isn't but, you see, there always must be.
Hysterical accustions of "racism", "sexism", and "ethnocentrism" are for the liberal/progressivists precisely what the "class struggle" and "working class exploitation" was for Marxism/socialism : the always present themes, their battle-cry.
Without them they are left with no reason for their political existence, and no means and justification for undoing, destroying in fact, society and civilization.

> Someday, the madness will pass and reason will prevail.

yeah, someday, but before that day they will first carry on their nutty ideas to their ultimate and tragic conclusions, just as communists did

So anything wrong with bimbos in mini-skirts, Ovidiu?

An arbiter reports that Ivanchuk may have refused to submit his urine to the FIDE after the final round:


Strict application of the "Anti-Doping regulations"


would mean that this must be handled like a positive test.

Consequences: Two years ineligibility, and disqualification from the tournament.

Would the individual default be counted also for the team points, this would mean .... that Hungary wins bronze! Simply because they gain 2 team points (by flipping Leko's loss) while USA gains nothing from forfeiting an already lost game (ironically, even if this was the game where Ivanchuk was formally drugged).

Definitely some noise potential in this, if only for the illustration of absurdity of some rules.

(Re 'racism-sexism-ethnocentrism')

Do not worry, please: progress can be reached in other areas as well. :-)

chess blog rank zero:

Potentially a very important news item; I defer to your understanding of the German language!

Here is what I wrote about the subject in December 2004, it's just a backgrounder:

*    FIDE, the World Chess Federation, has implemented controversial
anti-doping regulations. The basic reason for the controversy is that
no drug or substance has been identified or even proposed as enhancing
of performance. The reason for drug testing is simply that one senior
IOC official thought it was suitable, and FIDE, frightened of losing
its IOC membership, has followed suit. Grandmaster Jan Timman of the
Netherlands has boycotted FIDE competitions because of testing, but at
the Chess Olympics in Calvia, Spain, players for the first time
refused to be tested, and then were punished for their refusal.
Amateur players Bobby Miller of Bermuda, and Shaun Press of Papua New
Guinea refused and had all points scored in the event taken away.
They might have been banned from competition for two years, but
the Doping Panel decided not to take that step.

*    Were performance enhancement an issue, drug testing might become
a necessity in chess. Absent that issue, it is just a dehumanizing
and degrading procedure.

--- end of snip

In 2004, a player on a medal-winning team was *very* reluctant to take this test, but was finally convinced by her team captain....

Thanks for pointing out this "Schiri-Blog" ! There is something interesting in the second entry:

"In case of an 'obvious move repetition' (sic, "offensichtliche Zugwiederholung" in the original German version) to reach a draw before move 30, both players receive a warning and are urged to play on. Then [meaning "if they do not comply"?] the result will be 0-0."

Two questions:
1) Was this rule applied to the game Karjakin - Nakamura in the final round?
2) What happens in certain opening variations where one player sacrifices material to reach an early perpetual check? There is one such variation in the Pirc defence, Austrian attack (4.f4) where the games ends with Bf2+/Be3+ and a 'mirror image' in the Queen's Gambit. Could the arbiter urge the black/white player to continue playing a queen down?

I once attended a rapid tournament where a potential prize winner lost the first round, putting him out of competition. Thereafter, he tried to draw all his games (with both colors)in the same variation of the Pirc defense, and spent the remaining time until the next round at the bar. As I do not play the Pirc, in our game he had to tell me which moves to play (I agreed to this somewhat stupid scenario because he was both a friend and, on paper, a much stronger player).

The game Noritsyn - Sandipan (Canada vs. India) in round 1 was drawn in 16 moves by a book repetition. In comments that emerged later, both players were not pleased that the opponent had gone for the draw. Offering to go into that line was a kind of gambit, on both sides.

Somehow I think that an "offensichtliche Zugwiederholung" would be more something like this:

In Canada we used to play as many as three games in a day, no sudden death. I was about 15 years old. One evening, my opponent was an insomniac who didn't care how long the game went. I went through four time scrambles but finally lost (bad bishop!) after 108 moves at 3:00 a.m. I did manage to get home (though my father greeted me at the door brandishing a sword because he thought it might be a thief). Bright and early that morning, the next round started. I was contemplating "giving up chess" forever. When I made it to the board, I was in no frame of mind to play. My opponent was 100++ points lower rated and the game went like this: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 There was a pause and I said "Move Bishop b5" "Huh?" "Move Bishop b5" 3.Bb5 Nd4 "..." "Move Bf1" "Huh???" "Move Bf1, trust me" 4.Bf1 Nc6 5.Bb5 Nd4 ... Draw. I'm guessing that such a continuation at the Olympiad would have been "offensichtliche" (crass?) enough to trigger the indicated response.

(1) According to today's report on chessbase.com ,


FIDE decided to ignore the case:

``After some passionate canvassing by former World Champion Boris Spassky FIDE went for the second option." [i.e., "to make an exception and risk chess not becoming an Olympic discipline for ignoring the doping rules."]

Perhaps one should submit this to the WADA just to stop the Olympic halluzinations.

(2) A more precise translation of ``Bei offensichtlicher Zugwiederholung um ein Remis vor dem 30. Zug herbeizuführen" is "a repetition which is obviously intended just to create an early draw."

One may wonder whether this is applied differently for grandmaster and patzers.

Jonathan, your story is somewhat similar to mine ... actually in my case the opponent was not at the board when the round started. After about 10 minutes with his clock ticking, I looked for him at the bar (I knew he would be there) and offered a draw without playing. "No, let's make some moves before - you know that line of the Pirc don't you ?!"

And your obvious repetition is quite similar to Karjakin - Nakamura starting at move 12 (12.Bg5 Ng4 13. Bc1 Nf6 14. Bg5 Ng4 15. Bc1 Nf6 .... 16. a4 and the game continued). Another rather obvious move repetition commonly occurs in the Zaitsev variation of the Ruy Lopez (Ng5 Rf8 Nf3 Re8 Ng5 Rf8 and so on). In case of an abite intervening, the emaining question is which of the two players will be forced to deviate from a non-forced repetition .... .


Yes, they are all obvious repetitions, but I submit that the only one that is *crass* is mine. It contains two moves (Nd4-c6 and Bb5-f1) that, although excusable by logic ("I had to defend my e5 pawn" and "My bishop was attacked") would not be tried by players in possession of their mental marbles, except as the preamble to a draw. So I'm suggesting that a draw such as the one I showed would not be accepted, while all the others shown were, or would be, accepted.

Incidentally, Karjakin avoided the three-fold repetition by playing 16.a2-a4. There was not a moment in the actual game when anybody could have claimed a draw, 30-move rule or no. A normal interpretation of the rep would be that Karjakin was "gaining time on the clock". He also wanted to judge the combativeness of Nakamura, who could (and did) acquiesce to a draw, but not claim one.

Yep... team spirit does matter. I had a short interview with Aronian and I asked him about the impact Karen Asrian's death had on the motivation factor. Of course that added to the chemistry, but these guys are inseparable. Their President showing up to support them certainly didn't hurt.

That island accent was probably Ian Wilkinson, President of Jamaican Chess Federation... a class individual and elite attorney. I haven't heard the press conference, but he told me he attended and he asks questions at every press event.

Jonathan, I concede that you can claim copyright for the crassest, earliest and most mentally insane draw - I understand it in the context you gave .... .
Yet if the applicability of the rule I mentioned is THAT limited, it is not worth the effort to even write it down on paper. In any case, chess players do not need to be that creative to obtain an early (pre-arranged?) draw, as there are plenty of book draws available. It is plausible that Noritsyn-Sandipan "was an accident", but any other two players could use the same or one of several other lines. And of course it takes no effort and at most a few minutes at the board, if you memorized the theory in advance.
In Noritsyn-Sandipan the arbiter could have intervened saying "gentlemen, Mr. Noritsyn is not allowed to take the b7 pawn, continue playing from the position before that move"(!?).


I'm not proud of it, but I thought you were looking for an example of a repetition that they'd reject under the instructions they were given.

Arbiters aren't required to know the hundreds of standard book draws. I'm also a player, and I'd hate to devote any of my limited memory for openings to that purpose. I play for pleasure, not for the ability to get a draw with White against a formidable opponent. Computer databases know the book draws, and the games in Dresden were recorded by DGT boards. Make a certain move, a "buzzer" sounds in the server, and--off with their heads. Oops, wrong country.

In general, you can't do much about pre-arranged draws. But most "grandmaster" draws are not pre-arranged. They are the result of the psychological draw offer, as eloquently described by then ACP-President Joël Lautier when he addressed the 2004 ACP General Meeting on the subject. Prohibiting draws in under 30 (or 40) moves pretty much eliminates that type of disappointing chess game.

In the context of the Olympiad, there aren't many pre-arranged individual games. But there can be non-event drawn matches, mostly pre-arranged. They play for 10 minutes, and in four book positions, agree to four draws. I think that the 30 move rule was effective in sidestepping the non-event match draw. I noticed that a match or two was maybe very peaceful, but I didn't see any package deals, in the small selection of matches I happened to watch.


Just for the record: I did not mean to imply or accuse you of being proud about something 'mentally insane' (+- your words); that's why I added "I understand it in the context you gave".

The reason I asked my question was .... indeed I wondered how this particular rule works/ can be applied in practice. I still consider it rather vague whereas, like it or not, the forfeit rule is, on paper, crystal-clear. Somewhat strange that it seemed to be strictly applied on lower boards, but not when a medal candidate (Ukraine in the women's match against Mongolia) is involved. In other cases (don't remember the Internet source), arbiters insisted that the person being late lost by forfeit, even if their opponent was willing to play .... . And funny that (taking women and men together) Ukraine 'came out even' in the end. The doping rules may also be considered stupid, but strictly spoken, there was no room for interpretation or flexibility in "the Ivanchuk case".

BTW, there may well be a few pre-arranged individual draws - if the two players are close friends (which can of course happpen "despite the fact" that they are on different teams). And - again 'somewhere on the Internet' (sorry, followed quite a few sites, cannot remember and do not feel like double-checking everything) it was suggested that Cuba-Hungary (Round 9) looked like a prearranged draw. After playing through the four draws (three around move 30), I would plead neither innocent nor guilty, which of course gives the two teams the benefit of doubt.

The german chessbase site has an item up about Vassily Ivanchuk having failed to show up at the required Doping-Test after his last game against Kamsky. The item points out, that two things will happen if this is correct:
1) Ivanchuk will not be allowed to play for 2 years and
2) the ukaranian team will loose all points

The second point would mean that the us-team will loose its bronze medal!

Is this real?

The article links to two other items concerned about doping in chess...seems rather silly! Has there ever been a positive proof for Doping in chess?

Aronian is right, women should stay away from chess, and play with their children instead.
After all chess is a logical game!!

I am glad I havn't lost a single game to a dame yet, thanks God, crossing my fingers and biting my tounge!


Logically speaking, maybe you ought to put away your keyboard and find something more entertaining to play with.

But after having fun on jokes, I think by the nature of things(I love this phrase because of David Suzuki), female players are more solid and resourceful in short tactical variations than men and make quicker and more correct decisions to solve any risen problems during the game, but in the field of strategy and positional play or the art of combining these tactics to get to the desired final result, they are not consistant enough and lag way behind the men.

I think the official results and ratings show clearly my point, including under 12 or 14 years old range, where enviourmental effects and motivations are about the same for both sexes.

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