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K-M Olympiad, r3: Gashimov's Revenge

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I'm not sayin' Vugar Gashimov was rooting for Vietnam in their match with Azerbaijan today, but there must have been some feelings of whatever the Azerbaijani expression for schadenfreude is. (Probably "schadenfraude." It would seem right somehow if only the Germans had a word for feeling good when something bad happens to someone else.) After various political kerfuffles with his federation, Gashimov, who cracked the top ten recently, was left off the Azerbaijani squad for Khanty-Mansiysk. Gashimov scored +4 and won silver on board two when the team won the Euro Team Ch last year in Novi Sad.

I'm sure they would have liked to have had him today against Vietnam, which beat Azerbaijan 2.5-1.5. I smelled upset chances but I didn't imagine it would come away from the top boards, where Vietnam's two young stars Le Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son have had great years. Instead it was Mamedov on board three stepping into a pile of trouble against Anh Dung Nguyen. It was done in style as well, with a great piece sac in the center.

I'm not going to pretend I had time to do more than take a cursory glance at the other results and games, just too busy and with too little sleep these days. Please post your best coverage links below so others may find them, too. Official site. Board pairings and results for round three also here.


A couple of things. Vietnam is stronger than they appear. However, Gashimov has not only affected the lineup, it has affected the players psychologically. In fact Guseinov spoke about this after the match. I'm sure Gashimov want Azerbaijan to do well and does not seem to be a bitter person wanting his childhood friends to tank. However, the point has been proven. They will not medal in this tournament.

I'm covering the tournament, but I won't be there this year unfortunately. You can click on my name for the main site, or go to the blog at http://www.thechessdrum.net/blog

Adams is in a bad mood today. His opponent Solomon could have resigned several moves before he did.

Murder on the Rossolimo Express.

In round two I saw a page with all the games live. I can't find it anymore for round 3. Any links ?

Heh. Topalov seems to have gone the other way, and seems determined to squeeze out a positional win. He could have played any number of crazy tactical lines against the Alekhine, but perhaps after yesterday he wanted to go out of theory early and avoid any long theoretical lines.

It would seem right somehow if only the Germans had a word for feeling good when something bad happens to someone else.

The English word for "Schadenfreude" is "epicaricacy".

All games here: http://ugra-chess.com/results.php

Top games with quality Rybka evaluation here: http://games.ugra-chess.com/broadcast.php?key=round3.pgn&game=0


Tomorrow: It's the US versus USSR ...

Gashimov's own take on the situation (from http://www.chessintranslation.com/2010/09/gashimov-left-out-of-azerbaijan-team-for-olympiad/ ):

Q "Would you want to play for the Azerbaijan team or do you no longer have such a desire?"
Gashimov: "The answer’s unambiguous – of course I would. There’s nothing closer to me than Azerbaijan, and whatever they say behind my back, whatever they ascribe to me, it won’t change my relationship to my homeland. I promised the President that I’d do everything possible to glorify our country and achieve success in its name. How can I break a promise given to a man to whom I owe so much?"

This doesn't exclude "Schadenfreude", but makes it unlikely - in any case, he doesn't consider a federation change. BTW, there is a common equivalent term in Dutch (leedvermaak), but that might be hard to pronounce in English ... .

Regarding Olympiad coverage elsewhere, Chessvibes has a sizeable (and growing) number of links.

Hi Mig,
my english is not that great, but why, as far as I understand, can "Schadenfreude" only be thought as a german expression??
By the way: "Schadenfreude" means "feeling good when something bad happens to someone else WHO DID SOMETHING WRONG AGAINST YOU BEFORE OR FELT SUPERIOR TO YOU".

A german citizen


Really sad. However, I can´t understand one thing: Spassky suffered the stroke on Saturday and we find out it on Thursday. Does the russian press need five days to notice it? Or maybe they don't consider it a scoop?! For God´s sake, it isn't John Doe, it's Boris Vasilievich Spassky...

Spassky is one of the greatest chessplayers ever. I learned this only through Kasparovs book. He was such a tremendeous force in the sixties!
One week ago I happenend to talk to a former Bundesliga player, who had played against Spasski a few times. He said, that Spasski is a really kind fellow. He noticed that several times and he was impressed by that. Spasski once was lost in a single game in the Bundesliga. He stood up and said calmly and with some humor: "Well, now I have to inform my captain, that I have to give up this game." No agression, no frustration, nothing of that.
That impressed me too and rounded up the picture.


That's sad about Spassky...hopefully he will be able to recover. He is in my prayers.

Just to add about Gashimov - on Rauf Mamedov's Facebook page (where Mamedov had written "Azerbaijan team without Gashimov, Azerbaijan team without heart!") Gashimov wrote (in Russian): "Don't worry Rauf, it'll all be fine! Even without me I truly believe that AZERBAIJAN will put up a good performance at this Olympiad". He seems to have conducted himself well despite all the ugly things that have been said about him.

The Yemen/Israel story is pathetic. An old-fashioned story (medieval) of racist hatred...

The Yemeni gov't apparently fired the whole team--players and managers--because they were ready to play against Israel. They will never be allowed to represent the country again (and I do hope they are not jailed or tortured).



Mig(or anyone who can find this information)

What are the tiebreak rules for the Olympiad? You said that it was boardscore as first tiebreak, which is what I thought, but chess-results is scoring it by a modified Sonneborn-Berger as the first tiebreak.

Normally I wouldn't put any stock in this, but seeing as the official site has NO information, either with full standings that would demonstrate the tiebreak method nor a page explaining what they are using, I have to ask. I would hate for boardscore to be lowered even further.

A sad and strange story indeed, but this part of it - originally based on the Yemen News Agency - seems to be wrong. After "withdrawing from the event", Yemen played Brazil yesterday and submitted its lineup against Aruba today. Board 5 gets to play - if no information is received (as for the match against Israel?) it's automatically the top 4 boards.

The National Post has its own agenda, and the Independent apparently didn't do own research, referring to a chess event in Belarus ... .

Is it rather the USSR (plus Nakamura) against Russia? ,:) According to Dennis Monokroussos ("so I've been told"), Nakamura wrote on his Facebook page "Time to crush Kramnik like a bug". How come he copies Carlsen? It didn't work last time ... .

Other interesting games today are van Wely - Shirov (Fire on the Board?) and arguably Leko - Wang Yue.

Bareev, head trainer of the Russian teams, continues to give entertaining assessments of each round: http://www.chessintranslation.com/2010/09/its-genuine-class-bareev-on-grischuks-houdini-act/

Crazy game between Kramnik and Nakamura.

Kramnik just sac'd a piece, but Naka's position looks full of holes..

Are the clock times correct? 17 moves till time control, 56 minutes for Kramnik vs. 17 minutes for Nakamura ... .

Kudos to Naka for taking a swing at the Heffalump, anyway.

Kudos to Kramnik for taking up the tactical challenge and entering into chaos..

Naka must be lost? Too many pawns about.

Just before the site crashed (for me), Naka bailed into a very interesting Q+N vs 2R+N endgame, where he must surely have drawing chances, at least based on a perp.

Able to follow on TWIC. Naka has Q for 2R and N for 4 P. Certainly doesn't look a cakewalk for anybody..

I don't understand Kramnik's 34th and 35th moves. A fingerslip? A deep plan I don't understand? An electronic glitch?

Also Russian commentary at: http://www.chesspro.ru/chessonline/onlines/index_3282.html Looks as though Kramnik went wrong somewhere.

Naka draws, looked a high class game to me without the benefit of an engine. However Karjakin has won, and Kamsky looks gone against Grischuk. Not sure about Shulman vs Malakhov. Maybe 3-1 to Russia.

Well done Naka. Must've been a win for K somehwere though? But it's the result that counts. Ivanchuck gave Belyavsky a bad smashing. Kamsky also down in flames.

Mikhail Golubev, the Chesspro commentator, said we'd witnessed a great encounter (Kramnik-Nakamura). I must admit I only got to it late, but it did look pretty impressive :) Maybe Kramnik could have tried f4 instead of 34. Rfe1? But then the king's always going to be vulnerable to different perpetual checks, or worse...

"Maybe Kramnik could have tried f4 instead of 34. Rfe1? But then the king's always going to be vulnerable to different perpetual checks, or worse..."

This is exactly what I thought, but I must say I never thought of 34. Rfe1 which I still don't quite understand. Maybe Kramnik preferred not to take a risk given the match situation and secured a safe draw?

34.Rfe1 took care of (34.-Qf3+ 35.Kg1) 35.-Ne2+ when Kramnik would have given an exchange and then pushed his d-pawn [which doesn't look completely winning to me without a board to move the pieces around]. After 34.-Qa8: white can move on with 35.Red1 to drive away the knight and support his most dangerous passer. It probably wasn't best, but there seems to be an idea behind it.

Anyway, the Russian team had "the better Ukrainian" (Karjakin-Onischuk 1-0) and "the better Russian" (Kamsky-Grischuk 0-1), match over.

Carlsen looks toast against Jobava in Norway vs. Georgia.

Wouldn't 34.f4 run into 34.-Nc2 (also threatening Ne3+, and the knight on a8 is also still hanging)? But then I don't know what would have happened after 34.Rfe1 Nc2, neither does Golubev.

You may be right about the match situation, Kramnik may have thought "at the end of the day we won [and I drew], that's all that matters"!?

Yes, 34. f4 looked very dangerous and may have always allowed a perp at least. What is the prognosis on this line (I know far less theory than you do, and haven't bothered to keep up since about 20 years ago! :-) )? Kramnik looked to be playing very direct, dare I say it, obvious sort of moves that I would have played instinctively, usually overeaching myself and getting thrashed. (I'm talking of the pawn advances). It was either that piece sac or nothing for him in that variation wasn't it? Where was the novelty?

Jobava-Carlsen 1-0. Carlsen's first loss with Black in more than a year; Georgia beats Norway.

Vietnam, Armenia, Hungary, Russia 1, Russia 2 are 4-0; Netherlands about to be 4-0 as well.

Very exciting round.
Kramnik - Nakamura: fantastic game
Carlsen lost
Polgar brought China to its knees
Both Russia 1 and Russia 2 keep winning

All games in Ukraine - Slovenia finished before move 30. Did everybody else agree to a draw as soon as Ivanchuk won?

Indonesians made news again. Their women crushed France.

Hard to get a 4-0 with two draws already. What a crazy game van Wely-Shirov

pioneer referred to match points over the whole tournament, another notation would be 8/8 - BTW, Georgia also still has a perfect match score. This also means that
- Vietnam and the Netherlands will probably face a(nother) top team tomorrow, or each other?
- We might see Russia 1 - Russia 2 (including Kramnik - Ctrl V Nepomniachtchi)

I may be slightly biased, but I predicted the Netherlands as another dark horse team, maybe a medal candidate - as van Wely said in a Dutch newspaper interview "if things go well" ("als het meezit"). Somehow I don't think Georgia will stay at the top tables.

Hey Uff Da,

From which country are you to be legitimate to give moral lessons ?

Yemen/Israel has nothing to do with racism but with politics : USA boycotted the 1980 Olympiads in Moscow, was it racism ? No, political reason.

Think twice...

I don't know too much about the KID, which I don't play with either color. And generally I do not consider myself a "theory buff", I may rather have a good visual memory: When watching a game live, I remember if I saw the position before, then looking up the predecessor game.

For today's game I rely on Golubev's Google-translated comments: White playing a4 and Ba3 without f2-f3 seems to be quite rare - Golubev mentions a game Taimanov-Klovskii, Riga 1968, adding "your columnist has not had time yet in that year to be born". Technically, Nakamura's 17.-Qc7 may have been the novelty found over the board, and Kramnik's piece sacrifice was also played after a long thought.

BTW, I think basic plans in the KID mainline haven't changed much during the last 20 years ,:) and include pawn storms by both players. The art is how to do it and when/how to insert defensive or prophylactic moves (no obvious candidates in today's game).

Vachier-Lagrave crushed Gelfand like a lemon, it looked like there were 400 elo points difference !
(Sorry for you Doug)

Hey Le Metis:

Maybe Yemen's actions against the Israeli Chess team have to do with BOTH Racism AND Politics? By no means are such motivations mutually exclusive. You are right that the USA Boycott of the 1980 Olympics was not motivated by Racism or ethnic Bigotry, but that example is more the exception than the rule.

After so many decades of lurid propaganda, the element of (cynical) politics has been subsumed by visceral hatred of the Jews.

Once can't say for sure whether the Yemeni Chess team harbors such sentiments. (They might have even been willing to play chess against the Israeli players, in a different mileau).

But that is inconsequential, since the policy of shunning Israel is a manifestation of sheer animosity on the part of Yemen's citizens. There's many an opinion poll taken in the Arab world that can confirm this.

"Hey Uff Da,

From which country are you to be legitimate to give moral lessons ?

Yemen/Israel has nothing to do with racism but with politics : USA boycotted the 1980 Olympiads in Moscow, was it racism ? No, political reason.

Think twice..."

Hey DOug,

Is your other name Uff Da ?
Are you from the US ?

Don't bring those naive dreamed stories in a chess forum.

I had nice drinks in Paris with Russian/Israeli GM Yacov Murey and GM from Iran (actually playing in the Olympiads) MI from Marocco and Egypt. Nobody cared about Politics but just about the quality of the beers.
Lurid propaganda, you said ? Oh ! But, BTW, Who invades Vietnam, Irak, Afghanistan in the name of so-called Democracy (in fact Oilo-Cracy)?

Think Thrice...

Good Morning Vietnammmm !

Ah!Ah!Ah! another victory !

Interesting! A hybrid narrative, where some of the Yemeni players were willing to play Israel, but at least 1 was not. It's probably fortunate for the Yemeni players that they apparently did not end up playing (or commencing) the games, given the furious reaction from the Yemeni authorities that was reported in the media.

It is additionally fortunate that the Yemeni team is in Siberia right now. Even if the Yemeni authoriites recalled them immediately, the Chess team cannot readily take the next flight home. They'll have to wait until the end of the Olympiad, for their chartered flight.

Alas, it is increasingly likely that we will never hear a coherent and authoritative narrative about what actually transpired, including details about the circumstances.

The Israeli players themselves may have been some of the best witnesses to what transpired.

"Anyone have the Yemen-Israel story? From what I heard, 1 Yemen player refused to play and they disqualified team. Can play with 3 I thought."

"You may be right about the match situation, Kramnik may have thought "at the end of the day we won [and I drew], that's all that matters"!?"

The good thing about Bareev's overly blunt updates each round is that we'll probably find out exactly what happened (sometime tomorrow morning)! It's funny to see players in such an individual sport as chess having to suddenly take orders from someone else about their games/strategy (e.g. Svidler having to ask if he can offer a draw etc. - I wonder if Kramnik consulted Bareev about the game... it certainly guaranteed an easy team victory).

At least Kramnik didn't have to ask for permission to draw - the way he played a draw became unavoidable. From Bareev's report, it isn't clear either whether Svidler _had to_ ask permission - he did and Bareev saw no reason for forcing him to play on. Actually for me personally it isn't strange or "funny" at all to play with the team result in mind, because I play mostly in team events.

BTW, I wonder whether Bareev isn't also sort of a psychologist ... . You wrote (on your webpage): "you do wonder if the public identification of the “weak link” in the Russian women’s first team isn’t taking glasnost a step too far!" The mentioned 'weak link' is Galliamova, who was the match winner in today's key match against Georgia? Galliamova!

Altogether - despite problems mentioned by Bareev - so far it looks like the Russian Men's team is in better shape than at the last Olympiad: Two years ago in Dresden, they also had a perfect score after four rounds, but already three close matches (2.5-1.5 against Switzerland, Poland and India).

And, given that it's Paris, about the prize of the beers? ,:) Anyway, what's your point? The very fact that players from Israel, Iran, Morocco and Egypt can get along well with each other on a personal level suggests (to me) that Arabs shouldn't refuse to play against Israel for whichever reason!

BTW, the fact that they were drinking beer implies that they aren't practicing Muslims, let alone fanatics. Maybe you even brought your Iranian GM friend into some trouble (if Ahmadinejad reads English-language chess blogs)? At least you didn't mention his name, and there are several GMs on the Iranian team.

Funnily enough I just wrote a comment on my site saying almost exactly the same thing! (about Bareev perhaps being a good psychologist)

One thing about consulting the trainer over draws - doesn't it leave the door open to all kinds of cheating!? e.g. if the player's allowed to talk to the trainer then can't the trainer hint at whether the player has a tactical win etc. Seems like a can of worms...

"Is your other name Uff Da ?"


"Are you from the US ?"


"I had nice drinks in Paris with Russian/Israeli GM Yacov Murey and GM from Iran (actually playing in the Olympiads) MI from Marocco and Egypt. Nobody cared about Politics but just about the quality of the beers."

What's your point? I never claimed that the Islamic or Arab or Persian world is monolithic in its sentiments.

Paris has a laudable histroy of attracting Iranian expatriots, and/or Persian intellectual.

Is it surprising to you that a beer drinking Iranian GM is not very likely to toe the Islamist party line? No doubt your Iranian GM friend would, if asked, condemn the Holocaust denying, "wipe Israel from the map" rhetoric of Ahmedinejad. But it wouldn't make the Iranian regimes rhetoric or actions any less racist/antisemitic, would it?

"Lurid propaganda, you said ? Oh ! But, BTW, Who invades Vietnam, Irak, Afghanistan in the name of so-called Democracy (in fact Oilo-Cracy)?"

I would not have supported getting involved in Vietnam.

By the way, didn't France invade and occupy as a Colonial possesion ALL of Indo-China? France was there for about 100 years. Let's just say, Beau Geste aside, that France has a long history in foreign adventurism.

I did not support going into Iraq in 2003 (it would have been more defensible to intervene in 1988, merely to have US troops drive Saddam's military out of the Kurdistan region, after he resorted to the use of Chemical weapons).

Yes, the US "invaded Afghanistan, in the same way that it "invaded" France in 1944. Ousting the Taliban and scattering al-Qaeda was a veritable sacrament. The US/NATO freed the majority of Afghans from the yoke of the Pashtun/Taliban.

If the US is to be faulted, it is for putting up with the Taliban for so long. The destruction of the Buddhas at Bamiyan, and the execrable treatment of women all over, was justification enough. The shame in US policy, with respect to Afghanistan, took place earlier: when the USA supported, financed, and supplied the Mujahaddin against the USSR. Typical short sighted, vindictive Republican party policy.

Finally, don't delude yourself: The policies of your Parisian cafe set are not the policies of the French government, or the French nation.

france is just as capitalist, and just as corporatist as the US. It turns a blind eye to Francophine Dictators in former French West Africa. You think that your Total petrol is some altruistic corporation? Are you not aware that French companies sold chemicals to Saddam's Iraq before the gassing of the Kurds in Halabja?

And you might want to read up on French complicity in the massacre of the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994.

Just sayin'....

@ Thomas,
You hit the point I didn't want to mention any name...
It's forbidden to dink a drop of alcohol yes, but two drops no :).
But if their government orders not to go, they have to obey. Please, refresh my memory : In 1980, did the US sportsmen went to Moscow Olympiads or not?

@ Doug
I am eurasian, the French army destroyed at 100% the town in Vietnam where my father was born, he never found back his relatives..., after came the Yankees who poured over Vietnam 2,5 times the amount of bombs that have been poured over Europe during WWII. and also a bunch of chemicals like "Orange Agent"...
I don't need lessons on that ground.Thank You.

Ahmadinejad said he wants to wipe out "the sionist regime" never he said Israel, you can check, big difference.
45 years ago I was living in a kibbutz, I know a little bit about all these problems which favor a minority of Billionaires as long as these problems are around.
There are a lot of twisted realities going around the world.
Meanwhile, the Peoples suffer.
The discussion could be endless if Politic is concerned, sorry no interest.

Let's keep on Chess.

Did anyone watch Leko versus Wang Yue? I did. Guess what happened? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....................

In other news, Illyum does math Kasp-style. It must be the Soviet system, as I've suggested before, the judgments of persons indoctrinated in an Orwellian brainwashing system cannot be trusted.

Both Kasp and Illyum have good FIDE elos (2800 and 2300) but can't do independent thought for a penny's worth.


Kirsan seems to believe that if more humans don't start playing chess, the aliens above will grow tired of us and blow us up... With such a leader of FIDE, the face of professional chess throughout the world for potential corporate sponsors, how can you blame them from getting a good laugh at a sport that allows such a personage to run the organization? It is imperative that Karpov is elected next week as the new President of FIDE. To continue with Kirsan, professional chess will become more and more marginalized as a sport comprised of true wierdos with no corporate sponsorship wanting to associate itself with the pure madness and corruption of its leadership.

"Did anyone watch Leko versus Wang Yue?"
I just had an occasional glance at the game, many others to watch ... . Maybe that's the type of game rather to be replayed once it's over - if it has a decisive result and if you can appreciate positional maneouvring chess. Check Aronian-Jakovenko from yesterday's round.
Quite to my surprise, van Wely-Shirov had started in a similar way: Shirov avoiding the sharpest lines (anti-Moscow? Botvinnik?) and going for an early queen exchange - but the game also became exciting and didn't finish with a draw.

BTW, today you will be spared or deprived of the opportunity to watch Leko-Kramnik. Kramnik takes, or Bareev is giving him a break - Grischuk on board 1, and "weak link"(?) Malakhov on board 4. We also won't see Carlsen-Shirov because Shirov is taking a break.

This ceaseless denigration of players like Peter Leko, Wang Yue and Vladimir Kramnik is extremely unhelpful to us lowly players. These players, like Ulf Andersson and Tigran Petrosin before them, play beautiful games that have both tactical and positional themes that we can learn from. It is amusing that engine-powered patzers can presume to pass judgements on these great players when they do not understand the subtleties of those games.

Therein lies the reason why some people substitute anonymous internet bravery for real chess improvement. And lest we forget, the so-called tactical wizards like Kasparov, Shirov and Tal are also akcnowledged masters of positional chess.

Perhaps not you, but this is the match-up I’ve quietly anticipated for over a year: Leko v. Wang Yue …in order to confirm the result: 1/2-1/2.

But jk aside, they’re three distinct characters:

Kramnik, resembles a crusher python in game and intent...

Wang Yue? - to Mig he's "the sleepy panda", but he’s more of a High-Horsepower Lawnmower to me… maybe not exciting, but the instinct is intact.

In no way should either be compared to Leko, whose lack of killer-instinct shows in his moves. That’s what makes his games unviewable for me… it’s as if a boxer could punch but doesn’t.

Leko is playing a very nice game against Grishuck. Positional but dynamic.

Indeed. Gets an edge, however small, and keeps it, and builds on it.

Well said, HardyBerger. Positional play in itself doesn't deserve denigration, just like in tennis a baseliner shouldn't be called a "pusher" just because they don't serve-and-volley.

However, I think that when positional players like Leko, Yue, etc. show a pattern of taking 20 move draws against other super-GMs (which they have done FREQUENTLY), this in combination with their less obviously flashy style leads to denigration.

In contrast, Karpov in his prime never seemed to take such wussy short draws, and that is why even though he is the mecca of positional play, he isn't denigrated as much, b/c he fought in many games where modern positional players would take a quick draw.

BTW, Leko beat Grischuk and Hungary beats Russia 1 by 2.5-1.5.

Vietnam gets crushed by Georgia 3.5-0.5 -- how about Jobava following up his win over Carlsen with a nice game as Black against Le Quang Liem. 39...Rd8! was very nice.

Russia just went down against Hungary.
I wonder what head strategist Bareev with his big mouth will have to tell now.
They seriously underestimated Hungary.
Why on earth was it necessary to give Kramnik a second day off in 5 days time in such an important match.
Kramnik on board 1 would almost have guaranteed at the minimum a draw both in the game and the match.
It seems Mr.Kramnik is given (on his demand ?) extra time to rest and prepare for Bilbao, Grischuk has a very risky way of playing with systematic and horrendous time trouble (as a gambler he probably likes the kick), Svidler and Malakhov are just in "draw" shape, nothing more than that.
So there's a lousy strategy, no serious or 100% commitment, poor shape and team spirit and the gold medal is already gone.

Gold medal for Russia was gone when they put Jakovenko on team 3 and Nepo on team 2 and had Svidler in team 1 who in his life has not won anything except the Russian champ.

If you take players with rating +/-20 of Svidler's (over past 5 years to avoid variance) I am sure every single of those players will be with more tournament success than Svidler. Never in his life has he been able to play for a result, win last two games to catch up the leader, or push the weak guy with black. Look at him-they give him white and he makes a 15-move draw against a random guy. If you don't care, why do you play?

In the meantime, Arman Pashikian goes 2/2 playing the black side of the Berlin defense.

Indeed that's a valid point, and Svidler already took a short draw with white against Italy earlier. In my opinion you just cannot play like that in a team competition. Unless the opponent is a stronger player, you don't make quick draws with white. Today after the Svidler and Karjakin's ended in relatively quick draws, the games left were Leko-Grischuk and Malakhov-Berkes. Since Leko is a very solid player and very hard to beat with black, Russia's hopes were on Malakhov. Don't get me wrong, Malakhov is a very good player but surely a chess superpower should give herself more chances to win. I don't know, maybe Nepo should be playing in the first team, I don't think he is a better player than Svidler but he seems more "hungry" to me.


I can't disagree with your basic analysis. Russia 1 has had problems with chemistry in the past two Olympiad. I did not pick them to win the gold then, but I picked them this time because of Karjakin and the greater stability with Malakhov. I am also puzzled by the resting of Kramnik.

Bareev's comments are very troubling. He can certainly damage team chemistry without even realizing it.

It's easy to make such statements "in hindsight" - scare quotes because the tournament isn't over yet for Russia: if they recover from today's loss, they will end up playing the other medal candidates in some of the coming rounds. And Armenia, Ukraine and Hungary (at least two of them) will also lose match points against each other.

With so many strong players to choose from, it can always be argued that Russia selected the wrong lineup(s) - no such luxury problem for their competitors! Maybe Nepomniachtchi was put on the second team to increase _their_ medal chances, and it seems that Jakovenko wanted to play for Russia 3, the local Siberian team. BTW, what did Jakovenko actually win in his career? And doesn't it make sense if results from the Russian championship possibly affect the team compositions?

That being said, remarks about Svidler being a poor team player make sense - the issue is whether this was predictable before the Olympiad. He actually said himself that anti-draw rules (applied in Dresden, dropped for this Olympiad) help his play ... .

Svidler's results in the Olympiads: http://www.olimpbase.org/players/ltx55jxe.html

He went from 72.2% in 2004 to 55.6% in 2006 and only 50.0% in 2008.

> I am also puzzled by the resting of Kramnik

Leko-Kramnik would have had a high probability of a draw. With Grischuk the Russians made a gamble to get more against Leko who wasn't very dangerous in his latest tournaments. They still had a big rating advantage on the other boards, so the risk was limited. That would be my guess, but then the quick draws don't make sense.

Makes sense. Their similar styles often lead to draws. That or they thought Leko would draw v Grischuk anyway without trying too hard. And then Kramnik, who is also that bit older, would be in better form for future games with more rest.

Since tomorrow is a rest day I think it would have been enough to rest Kramnik.

My theory on the Russian strategy: They want to give all players a roughly equal number of rest days - with the exception of Grischuk who may be particularly eager to play and (subjectively) have lots of energy. As Kramnik skipped the first round, it simply was his turn again today.

Conceivably, this has two advantages:
- They capitalize on having a rather homogenous team with five 2700+ players, as all of them will still be reasonably fresh in the decisive final rounds. Kramnik is board 1 for a reason, but still he is sort of primus inter pares. By comparison, Armenia and Israel become much weaker without Aronian and Gelfand, Ukraine has just three 2700ers, Hungary has a much weaker board 5.
- They may bypass the specific opening preparation of the other team. Leko certainly expected to play and prepared for Kramnik, and then (two hours before the round started) learned that he will play Grischuk.

(Today) it didn't work out, but it's not necessarily a wrong or lousy strategy!?

Rest rest rest go asleep rest why all rest. All pooped and tired must rest and sleep. I do nto unerstand.

Did you watch Leko Grischuk? :-)

Tomorrow a rest day ? That makes it even more incredible. So in the first 6 days Kramnik has three rest days. Is he there as a tourist , to visit the siberian taiga or the river Irtysh ?
Re. Svidler : to his credit, it needs to be said that in the european team championship (a competition only slightly less difficult than the Olympiad) 2007 he played brilliantly, won gold with Russia and on the first board.
But in this tournament he is of little value.
Kramnik once said that Olympiads are won on board 4, well if so Nepomniachtchi would have been a hell of a nutcracker on that board.
He's the reigning european champion and he played very consistently and even brilliantly the last year (he recently won the russian higher league) while Malakhov since his strong Worldcup has shown shaky form. Nevertheless, i don't want to throw a stone at Malakhov, at least he tries and didn't lose a game until now.
Chessfun : regarding your comparison between Svidler and Nepo : i'm convinced Nepo (vintage 1990) has much more potential than Svidler, his style is more aggressive and he has more willpower and a bigger desire to win.
But ultimately it's Bareev who is responsible for the line-up of today and he gave permission to Svidler and Karjakin to make quick draws.
His comments are sometimes rude, unhelpful and counterproductive, his strategy is failing and his psychological abilities seem to be non-existent.

Dunno why people are surprised about all these rest days, when you consider how few games many top players play a year!! That must be a big factor, too, for ratings. If you are making a comfortable living and can pick and choose events, with lots of time for prep and relaxation, that gives you an advantage over someone who must play much more to make ends meet. Surely?

Thomas : come on, what kind of strategy would that be ?
Kramnik is their strongest player, he never lost a game in an olympiad and now they give him two bye's in the first 5 rounds (with a rest day tomorrow!).
This clearly has everything to do with his busy schedule after the olympiad; there's no 100% commitment and you don't win an olympiad with such a mentality.
I read on Susan Polgar's site that she played 4 olympiads, always on board 1 and she never skipped one game.
I don't particularly like her, but these statistics speak for themselves.

Peoples want chess to be sport ha that a big funny joke to almost all peoples who see chess player have to fall down asleep for many says from moving little wood peices . All pooed out from little wood peces must rest my self I so very tired. Big joke go to olimpics where real sports are peoples run and jump and kick but chess players oh so very pooped out from moving little wood peices and need rest rest sleep do nto disturb go way I need rest. Ha ha every one else on world say. What baby sissys they are. Always making angry face at each other and look tough for camera and then must crawl into bed from lifting little wood pices. Ha ha.

Maybe some years back the Russians had adopted the nightlife tendencies of the English team... a party-first, chess-whatever attitude would explain the string of bad results, the short draws and the obvious casualness of the Russian team.

In past scholastic teams I have been on we (almost always) had an implicit "it's time to party" attitude which lasted for the entire tournament... and which always resulted in massive rating under-performance.

Anyone on site who can inspect the team for signs of hangover? - e.g. glassiness of eyes; dark circles underneath; a certain grogginess and sloppiness of hair... bad breath, maybe, because hungover ppl hardly ever brush...

There's a lot more here on the Russian team's win against the USA in round 4: http://www.chessintranslation.com/2010/09/russia-usa-in-the-russian-press/

I was considering giving it the title: "On cleaning ladies and Jedi Knights..." :) By the way, don't know if this is common knowledge, but Topalov got married.

Another explanation being, that the Russian players hate each other (if the report of "chemistry issues" are true.) They just want a quick exit...

And that might explain why Jakovenko choose the third team, which would otherwise seem a mystery....

Or the absence of Morozevich (why isn't he playing? why would he refuse the invitation?)...

Yes that aslo cuold be true that they drunk like skunks and must crawl in to bed for rest. There faces look bummy and grubbly so the mouthes must stink to like you say.

Or just that they didn't play well today. After all, those hungarians weren't exactly patzers... I think Svidler has shown enough strenght as to be placed before Nepomniachtchi. Even if you consider the Russian Champion title to be devaluated, he has won it several times, so it should count even with all those magical "hangover signs".

The hungaries play good that is aslo true and aslo tru that russia play like bums mabey. let us hope for Boris Spassly all better soon.

oop. Sorry for mistake. I mean Boris Spassky. I now need some tea.

A recent marriage could explain the mediocrity of Topalov's play so far in this Olympiad. For almost a full year, Anand's results were very non-plus after he got married. Perhaps due to the fact that their chess studies became less of a priority for them.

Having several Russian teams in the field may damage their chances. They will inevitably have to meet and if each of the top three Russian teams meet each other that will certainly hurt the chances of all three.


In my view Morozevich shows too much instability in Olympiad tournaments. He nearly lost to Alejandro Ramirez of Costa Rica (now a GM) a few years back. He was also unstable in Dresden, if I recall.

"...that will certainly hurt the chances of all three."

Not if they cheat.


hi is me. my annuncment is i no use capital letters any more. is easier now and nto so many mistakes like before. i wish i thuoght like this before.

So interesting to read the Russian take on Kramnik-Nakamura contrasted with H-Bomb's own perception.

ha ha rublevevsky says chines players stink. gas attack he say.

As much as Russia wants to win the Olympiad at home I doubt that Russia 2 and Russia 3 will destroy the chances of that happening. I look forward to the next bunch of heartwarming comments from Bareev, I suppose it is now Grischuk that is the blundering weak link of the team etc.

It is of course legitimate to analyze the situation of the (first) Russian team, as I wrote before I agree regarding Svidler. What I don't understand is
- suggesting or pretending that it's already all over for them. At the limit, it is better to have a setback at an early stage when you can still "correct" it later on, rather than in the decisive final round
- the "Schadenfreude" I sense in some posts.

Morozevich may simply be tired of chess at the moment. He declined invitations earlier this year, including Amber, and his "comeback" in Pamplona didn't work out as planned or hoped. He was board 1 of the second Russian team and dropped out shortly before the Olympiad. About Jakovenko: Besides feeling "more Siberian than Russian", he might enjoy playing first board and playing without very big pressure - IMO no need to propose other explanations.

Why would the presence of three strong Russian teams hurt the chances of all of them? Similarly the presence of five additional "Soviet" medal candidates hurts the chances of _each_ team, but increases the chances that _one (to three)_ of them will get a medal in the end. I am of course talking about Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine, plus (arguably and half-kidding) Israel and USA.

Conversely, the other teams could also derail the opponents!?

For those talking about Russia1's loss to Hungary, you need to put into consideration that this is not the first time Hungary has beaten Russia in the recent past.

I agree that the other teams can derail, but what I am saying is if Team Russia is trying to win a medal, then it is possible that a Russia1-Russia2, Russia2-Russia3 and Russia1-Russia3 matches could create a situation where they are beating each other up. What if that result of these three matches are 1 win and 1 loss for each? That would be devastating. Even draws would not help.

You can conceivably win a medal with two match losses. However, to win a gold, one is the limit.

Le Metis:

"Ahmadinejad said he wants to wipe out "the sionist regime" never he said Israel, you can check, big difference."

A-jad "said" many things about the topic of what he'd like to see happen to Israel. His first, probably extemporanenous, remarks were about erasing the State of Israel from the Map.
Apparently, some Iranian minister decided that it would be a good idea to have Ahmadinejad's remarks (no doubt spoken in the heat of oratorial passion) be, to use a term, "revised and extended". Thus, the offical record, as dutifully reported by the official state media, was emended to reflect a certain softening of the language.

It turns out that the A-jad statement still sounded a bit too harsh. So, a careless translation error was blamed, for inaccurately rendering A-jad's words from the Farsi.

I happen to think that Ahmadinejed's statement as originally recorded is more accurate that the officially sanctioned government approved glosses that were revealed on after a fair bit of "fine-tuning".

Why go to all of the bother?: Because even the "useful idiots" and fervent apologists in Europe could not countenance A-jad's original (actual) remarks.

In any case, to the Isrealis who are the target of Iranian threats, such a softening in the rhetoric is a "distintion without a difference". All the versions of what was said represent an existential threat to the Israeli people.

Let's try to keep politics off the blog eh? Yes, been guilty there myself.

Who should tell us what to do?

The Answer: Certainly not this chesshire cat guy.

Any discussion of international politics will only arouse back-and-forth statements of already established positions -- those problems will definitely not get resolved by anything we say in this blog.
It is a chess blog, after all, and, given some of the chess expertise we have among us here, there's a far better chance of us being influential by what we say about **chess**.

Who is our guest lecturer?

The Answer: You just heard from him.

Clever handle choices:

Our favorite juvenile, snarky, hyper-active, cat-hating poster solved the problem of nobody bothering to respond to his posts. Asking questions and answering them himself contributes to the illusion that he's talking to someone, or that someone cares what he says.

You can never call International Master Stoopid stupid because he's already done that. But isn't it time for another vacation?

Nice game by Leko against Grischuk showing the power of the B against N. One forgets sometimes what a class player he was. I suspect he still has it, just seems to struggle to find his mojo nowadays

What a cheeky opening by Magnus (Black v Adams)- e4 g6 d4 Nf6 e5 Nh5. Anyone know anything about it? A classical player like Adams could be expected to punish him for this, but Carlsen makes his own rules! Obviously he is out for a win and thinks Adams is less comfortable on unknown territory. Creative stuff.

Indeed, if you watch the Rybka commentary site it says 1 ... g6 Novelty (!?) Also Navara got a bit creative against Kramnik and interesting also should be how "I-like-white" Jobava will fare against Aronian. I think Aronian's style suits him way less to do his great performances as does that of more positional players (not meaning in any way i don't think Aronian can't play posi)

Some kibitzers said that Black is somehow OK after 4. Be2 d6 5. Bxh5. Anyone have a line showing Black's counterplay? How does he gain tempi or create counterthreats? Carlsen's position looks reasonable now, if he can sort out where to put the knights. Bxc3, wrecking White's pawn structure, also looks risky but playable.

Also remarkable that Nakamura played the KID against Kramnik, but the safer Queen's Indian against Le Quang Liem. The game is still interesting, it transposed to some sort of pseudo-Benoni!?

many poor moves from carlsen today but from adams aslo. vetnam doing good from usa. i go back now to watch. will tell later what i see.

If Carlsen gets a win from that opening and that position against Adams he'll have to be burned as a witch.
Maybe we can explain Morozevich's strange absences lately...

here what i see. carlsen losing becuase of so many bad moves like kh7 instead of kh8. nto smart to go to white square if oppont has white bishop. must now be easy for adams. i think i play 27.qd1 ng6 28.nxf6+ qxf6 29.be4+ see what i mean. veitename has draw almost games but i only saw 3. i go back now to watch adams mop up.

Like Miles beating Karpov with 1.e4 a6!!?

Just posting this now in case Russia lose and have to abandon all hopes for the Olympiad... http://www.chessintranslation.com/2010/09/bareev-takes-the-blame-for-defeat/

I'm still not quite clear on why Kramnik was left out against Hungary, but it seems to have been about it being awkward for two friends/people who've worked on openings together to play each other.

On another note - after Bareev said that Malakhov was surprised by a "novelty" that even the cleaning lady would know... today the computer analysis at the official site was clearly having a laugh - as after his opponent's 1. e4 it added "novelty" :) It changed later, but not before I took a screenshot...

all is rotten for carsen all over every where to look. nothing has good and now he pushed away into hole and being stepped all over. it all his fault so nobody cry tears. good for him to be smushed up so he can learn. time for a walk and i bet he is upside down when i come back from walk. oh i found other vetnam usa game.

Yup, stank all the way. Easy day for Adams. Guess Carlsen's not a witch. He must have thought he was invincible after that long string of successes. Kudos for having a sense of fun, though!

back from walk. 4 kilometer. carlsen upside down. very very ugly. oh i have qustion is vietnam name front or back. so if it say nguyen duc hoa witch is first name and witch is seconf name. also how to pronunce is it gwin doook ho or mabey ho a duck n goo n. who can say.

Oh!!! Adams crushed Carlsen !

Nguyen is family name, duc hoa are given name at birth.

McShane is currently doing another McShane (as in the first round of London last year): 100 moves and counting, including his king going from g1 to b2, back all the way to h4, then back to b2.

why is Anand not playing for India?

thank you much so.

Russia managed to beat the Czech Republic (it wasn't easy) and stays in contention - for once, they won't blame Svidler for taking a draw, though he probably could and would have played on under different circumstances.

Tomorrow we'll see the following matches:
Ukraine - Georgia (will Georgia continue to surprise?)
Armenia - Azerbaijan
Russia 2 - Russia 1 (it had to happen at some stage ...)
table 12: Germany - Vietnam [interesting primarily because it took place as a friendly match earlier this year, back then with the German A-team]

Thanks for the article Mishanp.
At least Bareev takes the blame, but his explanation doesn't make sense in my view.
Kramnik is just a better chess player than Leko, and Bonn is already quite some time ago.
But he didn't tell that he was counting too much on time trouble Houdini Grischuk, who was extensively praised by Bareev before the 5th round.
It has been said before, but the biggest mistake was not to include Nepomniachtchi in the first team, who beat Van Wely today with one hour and a half left on the clock today.
It may be easy in hindsight, but nevertheless they should have known better since he's playing brilliantly since he became european champion.
As i wrote on your site, it's not unlikely the bad personal relationship between Bareev and Nepo contributed to this decision.
Now Russia 1 is behind in match points and low on board points, so they'll have to beat Armenia and Ukraine (not to mention Russia 2) in order to become champion.

Hikaru handles Le Quang Liem with black...at this rate, Hikaru should break into the top 10 soon.

Anand never plays for India; he only plays for rating and money.

India does better without Anand in the team than with Anand on the team.

How come a USA federation player is allowed to play for KEN? So much for time-consuming and expensive changes of federation.

Hikaru and Kamsky need to play every game from now on. I don't know why Kamsky was rested today after a rest day.

Completely agreed. USA got fortunate, b/c for some reason Vietnam put up a 2300 ELO against Hess (2500) and Hess only drew with the white pieces. Thankfully, Hikaru bailed the team out.

No reason why Hikaru and Kamsky shouldn't play the last five rounds. None.

Right now, few players are having a better Olympiad than Naka. Only one I can think of at the moment is Ivanchuk.

Anand has probably visited more primary schools in India than most top sportpersons put together. If he so chooses to focus on regaining #1 rating by year end, esp coz India are not going to be top-3 in Olympaid, its his choice and right.

It is his right, but IMO it is both bad for chess and bad for the Indian team that he is not playing. Most of the best players in world play for their countries.

Anand has played as many if not more Olympiads as the Ks have individually (i don't know the exact figures). That's not an excuse, but just reflects a hard reality. Especially when you've crossed 40, as he has, he has to pick and choose his fights. Category 22 is one week after the Olympiad.

Category 22 ?! Wow, that is one big hurricane.

Strange, Le Quang Liem was not recognizable today.Giving up the center so soon, not developping pieces, knight on the rim, is not his style of play according to Aeroflot Tournament,...Nimzowitsch must have turn over in his grave...
Naka was lucky.
Same for Wang Yue game.

Yes, aside from the issue of financial terms, it is also the case that there has been a lot of discord and poor administration in Indian Chess federation circles. There were rival claimants to be the official India Chess Federation, based on a poilitical scism. Not sure that the side which prevailed (i.e. received FIDE recognition) was the most meritorious. Not surprising news about the faction that wins FIDE's seal of approval... There have been persistant claims that India Chess officials have been overbearing--even bullying--towards some of its top players.

So, it's not much of a surpise that Anand would opt to eschew participation. Especially given that even with Anand's participation, and assuming a great personal result from him, the prospects of the team were not bright. World Champions get a bit touchy about things like that.

His big contribution to chess in India are the school visits (noted above), and his mere refusal to shift his federation allegiance to the country where he now lives, Spain.

this must be incorect becuase nakamura play good and le quang play bad but now is said naka was lucky. i do nto think so. mabey you made mistake.

Gilruth is an American, but has lived in Kenya for many years.

I totally agree

May be, May be not...but 7.Re1 is very strange...at this level (7.Cc3 better :Nimzowitsch!)

Methinks the gentleman knoweth not of what he speaketh.

7. Re1 …

An idea of the fourth world champion, Alexander Alekhine. White temporarily refrains from playing Nc3, in order to avoid the exchanges after the reply … Nf6-e4! But White’s plan remains the same: to seize the center with his pawns. Everything depends on the opponent’s answer… (GM Shipov)

ha ha funneth talketh methinks althuogeth noteth all correcteth mesayeth. whateth thou sayeth noweth perchance.

Anand has played in 7 Olympiads : 1984 as an untitled player, 1986 and 88 as an IM , 1990 and 92 as a GM and 2004 and 2006 as an elite player.
So, in effect, he has only played 2 Olympiads as an elite player. There is nothing wrong with that decision. It is his prerogative to protect his rating by not playing against lower rated players. Visiting primary schools in India doesn't absolve him of the responsibility of not playing in the Olympiad for his country as an elite player.

Not that I'm trying to divert this blog from its diversions, but for a nice take on Adams-Carlsen those who don't know Spraggett's blog can take a look here:

And Good Night

Agreed about Nepo - the Russian first team could really use him around about now!

I added another interview with Bareev to the end of my article: http://www.chessintranslation.com/2010/09/bareev-takes-the-blame-for-defeat/

He probably talks too much, and this time slightly turns on Svidler, but in a way you can sympathise with his situation. It's true that only Karjakin and Grischuk (or arguably only Karjakin) have really impressed so far - though e.g. as he mentions, Malakhov has been playing with the black pieces.

Game on, Playa'!

OK, now that the foreplay is all complete, we can look forward to the Election taking place on Wednesday, Kirsan winning, and Karpov and Company filing Lawsuits on Thursday.


"A lawsuit challenging the qualifications of one slate of candidates for the top posts in the World Chess Federation has been unsuccessful. So the election will be held as originally planned on Wednesday at the Chess Olympiad that is currently going on in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

The court’s decision has not been released, but representatives of parties on both sides of the case have confirmed the result."

I was actually hoping (and certainly expecting)that Kirsan with prevail in the Court case. I mean, to have a candidate thrown out because of some sheer technicalities in the nomination procedures. Granted, it is richly ironic that it is from FIDE's own silly regulations that Kirsan would have been disqualified. But unopposed elections are generally a bad thing.

What next? I suppose there will be some election somewhere where the leading candidate will face disqualification attempts because he can own produce a "Certification of Birth", rather than a "Birth Certificate".

It is also supremely ironic that Chesspride and I both were rooting for Kirsan to win the court case. And we both hope that Kirsan will win on Wednesday. But for entirely opposing reasons:
Chesspride hopes that a Kirsan Victory will save FIDE; while I hope that Kirsan's re-re-re-re-election will prove its utter ruination.

Consider a historical analogy: The recently ended Sri Lankan Civil War. It would have been utterly foolish for the Sri Lankan government to strike a deal with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) once it was clear that the government had the upper hand. The psychopathic leader of LTTE, Prabakharan, even tried to negotiate to allow the top echelons to flee to India. But the Sri Lankan government saw the situation with clarity, and new that it was the LTTE organization itself that was irredeemably rotten, and that a mere change in leadership would not suffice to make LTTE open to a reasonable deal. So, against increasing International condemnation, the Srti Lanka Army pressed on until the battle cuminated in a complete victory, first confining Prabakharan and his cronies to a mere Hectare of territory, then over-running the bunker compound.

Likewise, the notion that FIDE could could be reformed by a mere change in Top hierarchy leadership is simply risible. Better just to see FIDE annihilated, and start from "Year Zero" with a new World Chess Federation. (Preferably one without a French Acronym).

Hopefully, Karpov, Kasparov and Mig knew that the Election process would be utterly rigged, and that they would have no chance of winning the vote. That standing for office was merely a sacrificial Gambit that would make glaring obvious to the entire Western Chess community the need for starting from Square One with an entirely new, untainted chess organization.

Otherwise, they are just a bunch of Naifs.

Yeah, b/c when Naka beats super-GM phenoms with Black he's "lucky", but when (insert other 2720+ rated player's name here) does it, it "proves they belong with the super-elite". Please.

Yes, an excellent game by Adams. I'm sure Carlsen is more than a little upset at being outplayed in two games thus far in the Olympiad. Another well-played game on the top boards was Ivanchuk's win vs. Leko where Ivanchuk over-burdened poor Leko with his probing play on both sides of the board.

Well, check the truth whith Rybka 4!...
Shipov, Alekhine are just human beings, they can sometimes go wrong...

Dzidzindahsvili recognized, with humility, that some of his recommended lines for long times were just losing thanks to Rybka 4 help...
"With the computers, Chess is Dead!" (Bobby Fischer)

Here Rybka wasn't analyzing the position but looking at his/her opening book to find that 7.Nc3 is more common than 7.Re1 (but simplifying and somewhat drawish after 7.-Ne4). In any case, Le Quang Liem didn't go wrong in the opening - strangely he went wrong right after the time control on move 42. I won't claim that I would have drawn that position against Nakamura ,:) but I would have logically eliminated black's dangerous passed c-pawn and engines agree with me. If the game had reached its logical conclusion, Naka fans could have rightly claimed that their hero got an easy draw with black against the Vietnamese rising star, but nothing more than that.

If we add Nakamura's escapes against Gundavaa (win from a lost position) and, arguably, Kramnik and compare things with Ivanchuk's _convincing_ games against strong opposition ... at the very least I conclude that Chucky is so far clearly the most impressive player at this Olympiad. Nakamura may be second by result - because Jobava had one loss against Leon Hoyos before his 2.5/3 against 2700ers (Carlsen, Le Quang Liem, Aronian). And Karjakin also played some nice games, albeit on board 4.

Chessbase on Carlsen's opening choice yesterday: "the only games of grandmasters on record, of which there are four, were played by notorious opening mavericks: Morozevich, Miles, Hodgson, and Hillarp Persson."

It seems that Morozevich in disguise is playing the Olympiad after all: yesterday Norway had Magnus Morozevich, today Ukraine's board 1 is Morovanchuk!?

Bareev with nice words to say about Nepo:

It's a shame Kramnik's just agreed to an early draw against him...

I found strange that Le, as a pupil of Khalifman, choose this move 7.Te1( regarding Khalifman litterature on openings!), it's provocative and "violating rules" as Dzindzi says. Finally he got no tactical compensation from this -may be - Home Prep-, but all this looks to me more like gambling, at this level you get punishment sooner or later.
Finally on move 24.e5, he has an inferior position, please check. Le Q.L. has been more cautious on Moscow Open & Aeroflot Open.
May be, it's the "dizzyness of success" after his game againt Mamedyarov.
Funny enough, his knight went on the rim (Kh4), like Carlsen (Kh5) and they both lost.
Chucky is always impressive and can beat ANYBODY when he can control his emotivity, that's why he didn't become World Champion.

if nakamura do nto resign but keep playing and find way to win mabey becuase opponet blunder then peoples yell about him so lucky and he must always escape and not so really good just luck that is all he is and escape from lost game and so on all the time. how can it be true that nakamura is lucky all the time. who can say. not some peoples here i think who do nto like nakamura but maybe some one who is smart. nakamura plays very good and very bad and always find way to scramble up oppnent insides. it look like some peoples here can no understand that so they must nto be real players just angry talker peoples who nto play real games. oh well.

I've never seen a Caro-Kann so wild before. Was it Jobava or Ivanchuk who decided to entertain the fans today? Chucky is definitely on fire!

If you could pass a note to Kramnik telling him you've found a big hole in his repertoire with your laptop Rybka and Dzindzi video, I'm sure he'd be very grateful.

Not talking about Kramnik, but Le Q.L.
No laptop (outdate, obsolete) but parallel processing, "a must".

Kramnik played the same move v Ponomariov, as you would know if you either knew the variation or had clicked on the link. Also played by Fressinet, Rodshtein, Gustaffson. Thank you, parallel processing, for granting patzers the "knowledge" they now think they have.

oh some peoples are always angry mouths. to bad for them.

hooray nakamura finaly resign. it was all sickning to see.

The specific points are: 7.Re1 (actually called "Kramnik Variation" on chessgames.com) or 7.Nc3 is just a matter of taste. 7.-c5 8.d5 ed5: 9.Nh4 "with a strong initiative for White on the white squares" was actually Shipov's suggestion - and he must know something about chess, else he wouldn't have a GM title. Note that, different from Carlsen's game, the knight either gets exchanged soon (game continuation) or might move on to f5. There are many cases where white plays Nh4 or black plays Nh5 and proceeds to win the game, maybe because the move isn't that bad _in the given situation_. ,:)

The general point: No need to search for excuses as a fan of Le Quang Liem (guess you are one), at least not regarding the opening which didn't decide the game. Also no reason to become overly enthusiastic as a Nakamura fan. He lost today, and one could see it coming: he had a 2964 TPR but clearly didn't play at that level. Easy to say so in hindsight, and yes I waited with this comment until Wojtaszek had actually cashed in the full point ,:) .

The tournament isn't over but in full swing: Russia 1 and Azerbaijan are fully back in contention, only Ukraine (particularly Ivanchuk) separate them from gold at this moment in time.

BTW if there is some "Schadenfreude" regarding Nakamura, it's in response to him and his fans: He managed to complain about not beating Kramnik, when he could and should have been happy with the draw he got - given both the opponent AND the position he had during most of the game.

Thank you for your wise remarks.

Regarding Naka, this tournament just shows how good he is...he is clearly not playing to his potential, and yet still has gained rating points, despite his loss today. Haters gonna hate.

Speaking of the Olympiad, did anyone see Topalov's loss today to a 2580 ELO? Looks like Anand will be solidly #2 in the world now -- at least until Bilbao.

you so wrong so very wrong becusae these are not so wise remarks they are nto wise any time at all. the maker of remarks is well kown hater who always scruongeing a round to hate peoples especally nakamura. maybey you do not know but you will find out. but even so it is clear that nakamura played like stupid bum today and very child ish.

If Nakamura's potential is to become world champion and "crush Kramnik like a bug", he hasn't reached it yet - the issue is that it's inherently hard or impossible to predict the future. Tomorrow he can first try to crush a Panda ... .

About Canada: Their match draw against Bulgaria (Bluvshtein-Topalov 1-0) is actually their second upset in a row - yesterday they tied Croatia who had themselves upset Bulgaria and even, as the only ones so far, Ukraine (on Ivanchuk's rest day). Seems like anything can happen, not only on the top tables.

Omigawd, one word: Chuky! While quite a bit of the focus has been on Kramnik and Carlsen and Russia losing to Hungary etc, the great Ivanchuk has been quietly steam-rollering everybody in sight! Amazing game against Jobava! Has he won all his games so far? Or did he have a drawn game somewhere?

Ivanchuck plays so many different types of position so well, when he is in form, it is just amazing to watch. He can pull out stunning novelties or else "just play", simply outplaying the most powerful opponents. Another crusher today. I want to see a few Ivanchuck-Carlsen clashes with both players in top form.

Great mines stink alike,d_tal : )

Noteworthy: Belarus visit to Table #3

USA vs. China
Hopefully Nakamura will teach his Chinese counterpart a lesson in not fishing in troubled waters .

Alas, I think that the match will turn out poorly for the US.

Hungary vs. Azerbaijan is an interesting match-up.

Ireland is seriously punching above its weight...nice to see

Iran and Estonia are also overperforming

Poland has yet to lose a match +4=3

Team-Pairings - Open
Round 8 on 2010/09/29 at 15:00
No. SNo Team Team Pts. MP Res. : Res. MP Pts. Team Team SNo
1 1 RUS1 Russia 1 19 12 : 13 21 Ukraine UKR 2
2 5 HUN Hungary 17½ 12 : 12 20½ Azerbaijan AZE 7
3 20 GEO Georgia 21 11 : 11 20 Belarus BLR 35
4 9 USA United States of America 19 11 : 11 20 China CHN 3
5 15 POL Poland 20 11 : 11 18½ Armenia ARM 6
6 10 FRA France 17½ 11 : 10 20 Russia 2 RUS2 4
7 21 SRB Serbia 19 10 : 10 17½ Slovakia SVK 22
8 11 ISR Israel 18½ 10 : 10 16 Netherlands NED 13
9 38 IRI Iran 18 10 : 10 18 Cuba CUB 18
10 48 EST Estonia 17½ 10 : 10 16½ Russia 3 RUS3 14

Maybe this team format helps Ivanchuk's nerves, since he is primarly concerned about his country's success and not his own.

Has he done well at past Olympiads, or is this his first super result at this tournament? He'll be very close to top-five after today's win.

THe "crush Kramnik like a bug" was a reference to Carlsen's same quote about Kramnik in the Netherlands earlier this year...unlike Carlsen, Naka didn't actually lose to Kramnik after making the quote :).

I personally think Naka has a few too many holes in his game to consistently remain at the top 5 without some retooling, but he is young and has plenty of time if he is willing to humble himself and continue to work on his weaknesses.

The "anything can happen" is a reason I love this tournament -- its the only time the top players can't just hide behind their ratings playing in super-GM only tournaments -- you actually get to see what 2500s and 2600s can do against them in serious action. A pleasant change from all the GM draws in many of these invitational tournaments.

Ivanchuk is 6 out of 6 (he sat out Round #3, vs. Croatia. That was the match that Ukraine ended up drawing!)

Ponomariov has only managed draws for all 5 of his games--a poor result for Board #2.

At this rate, Chukky could surge past Eljanov's 2761 rating. Hopefully, he'll rack up an epic score on Board 1

Canada actually gets a "Pair Down" with Mongolia. The could be on 11 Points after Round 8.

Russia 2 is only on 10 Points, but they'll need to defeat a tough to beat France team. Bulgaria is the only Top 10 team that is really out of it.

As for Nakamura, the Olympiad still has 4 rounds to go, and he ought to to be playing in all of them. If he maintains his 2800+ TPR, then all credit (plus a nice handful of ELO points) goes to him.

Yes, good point. He is not in the limelight and can just play and not worry too much about having to prove anything. Of course the opposition is on average weaker, too. I think he normally does quite well at Olympiads, though my memory is sketchy. Agree with all your second post, too.
I also get such an impression of huge chess strength from Karjakin's games, watching him completely outplay strong GMs, that I wonder why he isn't even higher in the world rankings, even a challenger for the WC. He is a bit too peaceable at the supertournaments, maybe?

Ivanchuk-Jobava, what a game. That's no way to play serious chess! What about developing pieces, king safety, prepare before you attack, and stuff like that?

The true masters of the game know when basic rules can be bent, even broken. That's often what serious chess is all about.

Starting with 4.a3? the opening looked like a random collection of nonsense moves by both players.


And your ELO to make such a comment about an opening involving two 2700+ players is what, approximately, Hag?

-If you quote game, please give date & location, (I am lazy)tks.
-Well, In a tournament I participated, there were where 93 GM's and 80 IM's. On one day there was two rounds, between the first one and second one everybody GM & IM was with his laptop checking lines...like patzers? As Boby F. said in one of his interviews, for chess first quality is memory, Well,Silicon has more memory than me! Therefore I use the Silicon Friend :).
BTW, here is the final ranking list of the first hundred ones who were using computers.---:)
Enjoy !

1 GMI WANG YUE CHN 2644 7 2784
9 MI PETROSIAN SUREN ARM 2391 6,5 2666
11 MI WIRIG ANTHONY FRA 2433 6,5 2654
12 GMI POSTNY EVGENY ISR 2616 6,5 2651
13 GMI NI HUA CHN 2632 6,5 2648
14 GMI DVOIRYS SEMEN RUS 2534 6,5 2638
15 GMI BRODSKY MICHAIL UKR 2597 6,5 2632
16 MI MORANDA WOJCIECH POL 2468 6,5 2624
19 GMI IONOV SERGEY RUS 2522 6,5 2610
21 MI RODSHTEIN MAXIM ISR 2520 6,5 2604
22 MI MALETIN PAVEL RUS 2527 6,5 2602
24 GMI GAREEV TIMUR UZB 2551 6,5 2594
25 MI ORLOV ANDREY RUS 2447 6,5 2589
26 MI GASANOV ELDAR UKR 2477 6,5 2588
28 GMI KOVALEV ANDREI BLR 2533 6,5 2559
29 MI KRAVTSIV MARTYN UKR 2464 6,5 2545
32 MI DANIELIAN ELINA ARM 2426 6,5 2418
34 GMI BOBRAS PIOTR POL 2542 6 2635
35 GMI GOLOD VITALI ISR 2597 6 2629
36 MI VOVK ANDREY UKR 2487 6 2627
44 MI VOVK YURI UKR 2497 6 2560
45 GMI SUMETS ANDREY UKR 2533 6 2535
47 MI ABERGEL THAL FRA 2475 6 2520
49 GMI AKESSON RALF SWE 2475 6 2514
50 GMI WANG HAO CHN 2619 6 2513
51 MI MARZOLO CYRIL FRA 2472 6 2509
52 MI NINOV NIKOLAI BUL 2506 6 2509
58 MI GLADYSZEV OLEG RUS 2455 6 2483
60 MI FIRMAN NAZAR UKR 2481 6 2474
63 MF VAN DOOREN DIRK NED 2303 6 2443
65 GMI KLOVANS JANIS LAT 2448 6 2414
67 MI TOMCZAK JACEK POL 2457 6 2390
68 GMI SHAW JOHN SCO 2440 6 2389
70 MI SANCHEZ JOSEPH PHI 2482 6 2367
71 GMI KHENKIN IGOR GER 2611 6 2533
74 MI PRUESS DAVID USA 2416 5,5 2611
75 GMI VOROBIOV EVGENY RUS 2563 5,5 2569
76 MI CZAKON JAKUB POL 2485 5,5 2550
77 GMI MOROZ ALEXANDER UKR 2507 5,5 2545
78 MI ERDOS VIKTOR HUN 2518 5,5 2539
79 GMI LALIC BOGDAN CRO 2522 5,5 2536
80 GMI KRITZ LEONID GER 2597 5,5 2517
83 MI MARHOLEV DIMITAR BUL 2351 5,5 2505
84 GMI PLACHETKA JAN SVK 2410 5,5 2504
85 GMI BALOGH CSABA HUN 2616 5,5 2502
87 GMI DZHUMAEV MARAT UZB 2526 5,5 2502
88 MI GOZZOLI YANNICK FRA 2453 5,5 2481
92 MI BERKOVICH MARK ISR 2389 5,5 2467
93 GMI MAMEDOV NIDJAT AZE 2549 5,5 2467
95 MI MATEO RAMON DOM 2417 5,5 2457
98 MI PEREZ RODNEY CUB 2395 5,5 2450
100 MI SZELAG MARCIN POL 2464 5,5 2432

chess-results.com has easy links to past Olympiads, so I checked for Ivanchuk's earlier results. Altogether, they seem almost as mixed as his round robin performances:

Dresden 2008 6/11, TPR 2722 - including losses against Jobava(!) and, in the key last-round match, Kamsky. Hence USA won bronze, Ukraine was 4th, concrete pillars suffered and Chucky missed a doping control.

Turin 2006 8/13, TPR 2716, Ukraine finished 8th

Calvia 2004 9.5/13, TPR 2819 (starting with 5.5/6 then slowing down a bit), Ukraine won gold.

Will history repeat itself? Funny that back then Ponomariov also just had a modest 50% score on board 2, TPR 2626.
But there's also hope for Russia, because the other Ukrainian hero was ... 14-year old Karjakin on board 5 (6.5/7, TPR 2929). Regarding Karjakin, I wonder if his federation change and working with Dokhoian is now bearing fruits. In the Carlsen-Kasparov case, effects (also psychological ones on his opponents) were immediate, in Karjakin's case it may be more a longer-term project?
It would be understandable if Karjakin skips tomorrow's match against Ukraine, but I wonder if Russia can afford it ... .

Really, you're not bowling me over with your mental acuity today. If you had clicked on the link you could have got the date. Or searched yourself on chessgames.com. Now, did I say laptops were bad in general? Or that people who used them were patzers? No. You made that up by yourself. Well done. I said, one bad effect of computers in chess is that patzers like yourself think they know a lot more than they do, and make silly statements like Re1 is a terrible move cos its not Rybka's no.1 choice. I too am a patzer (1900). But I don't make such outlandish claims about my knowledge. Maybe you should think about it too, no disrespect intended.

Actually Ireland's current standings partly reflect randomness of the Swiss system: after their first-round loss against Russia, they didn't play a single team ranked ahead of them. Estonia also didn't overperform that much. Iran did - drawing against Brazil and Russia 3, so did Canada as I mentioned before. And Belarus earned their "visit" to table 3 beating England today (Teterov-Short 1-0, Podolchenko-Howell 1-0). Tomorrow shaky England - all but board 5 losing rating points at the moment - faces the German B-team that also does better than expected beforehand (crushing Mexico 3.5-0.5, drawing Vietnam today).

The German men had beaten Chile before, and the women had won against Venezuela, Chile and Peru. Mexico is also Latin but not South America, what about Vietnam? ,:)

"The true masters of the game know when basic rules can be bent, even broken. That's often what serious chess is all about"
Fine !
Vassili Mikhaïlovitch/"Chucky" has been very smart with his "Fantasy Caro Kann".
He just invites Jobava to "break" the rules who couldn't refuse the offer, but after move 17 look at the material, control of the center-dark square light squares, and no attacking plan for Black...
Inviting to break is better than breaking. :)

hello le metis. i did nto enjoy your list becuase i do nto konw what i should do with list. but mabey it just me.

This sounds more realistic about Nakamura - as I wrote several times before, I also consider myself a neutral and objective observer, not a hater of anyone. I didn't like "crushing like a bug" from Carlsen either - but at least the first time it was original, and Carlsen at least had winning chances against Kramnik in their Corus game, even though he subsequently lost ,:) .

"its the only time the top players can't just hide behind their ratings playing in super-GM only tournaments"
Not quite true, maybe you forgot about other (European) team events, or - writing from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean - you are not aware of their existence. I quickly scanned the German Bundesliga pages, surprisingly (or maybe not) there seem to be rather few Elo upsets, all I could find for the 2009/2010 season was
Shirov - Bezold 0-1 *
Vachier-Lagrave - Ikonnikov 0-1

GM Bezold (2517) also beat McShane, actually there were persistent rumors that Bobby Fischer had visited him at his home - did he share some secrets with him? When queried, Bezold had only replied "no comment".

This question was recently asked: Can someone please give an example of a respectful post from chesshire cat? I've looked and looked, but can't seem to find one.

The Answer: Follow the link above. No disrespect intended.

Quiz for today: Who said "I also consider myself a neutral and objective observer, not a hater of anyone."

The Answer: Thomas! Yes, it's true, strange but true.

None are so blind as those that will not see, Lukey.

Just Laugh with it !!!

ha ha
ha ha
ha ha
ha ha
ha ha
ha ha
ha ha
ha ha
ha ha
ha ha
ha ha
ha ha

I resign ! You won !

First of all, what makes you think I'm not writing from Europe? Not all people who like Nakamura's games are American. Secondly, I am aware of those club tournaments, but name how many players under 2650 have Topalov, Carlsen, Kramnik and Aronian played since the last Olympiad in FIDE-rateable time controls? I would bet that combined it is less than 25 (and that's over 2 years, with likely most of those games coming in the annual Netherlands tournament)...I'd be happy to be proven wrong if someone can crunch the numbers.

I suggested that you _might_ be American because you seemed to be unaware of club events. You are basically right about the top 5 who probably don't depend on club competitions as a source of income and have too busy a supertournament schedule. Anand and Carlsen are part of the Baden-Baden lineup but hardly play, Aronian used to play in the Bundesliga but maybe he became too expensive or too busy.

But things change if we move slightly down the rating list - I am a bit selective because I only checked three players (as I knew that they play club events):
Since the last Olympiad:
Gelfand played 14 games against sub-2650 (7* Austrian League, 3* Spanish League, 4* European Club Cup)
Shirov had 35 games (16 Bundesliga, 2 Hungarian League, 4 Spanish League, 5 European Club Cup - and 8 at the Canadian Open)
Svidler had 29 games (10 Bundesliga, 11 French League and 8 Gibraltar Open).


You are about right. A quick review of their FIDE calculations from April 2009 to July 2010

Aronian 11 (out of 112) +4 =7 -0
Topalov 2 (out of 63) +0 =2 -0
Carlsen 8 (out of 98) +4 =3 -1
Kramnik 3 (out of 39) +2 =1 -0

shows they combined played 24 rated games against 2650 or below.
(There may be some additional games, when the September and November 2010 calculations become available.)

What will be the result of the FIDE election?

The Answer: Karpov will resign before any vote is taken.

Thanks, Bartleby. Nice to see my opinions supported by fact :).

i m stoopid is definitely a cultural icon for this blog. I enjoy your reflectons, i m stoopid.

When i m stoopid first came to this blog, I was not happy with his obviously fraudulent characterization of himself. Although it was obvious his intelligence far superceded his intended persona, I thought his musings were fairly superfluous. But since his self-imposed sabbatical, I have come to realize just how in tune to the chess world he really is. So even if he does happen to be one of the former er, 'black sheep' of this blog with a new handle, he has proven himself a welcome contributor, at least in my eyes...

...typing ability or nto. :)

(By the way, i m, you once stated you would never make that interpositional mistake again!)


Chuky insisted on sac'ing a pawn against Kramnik, but should hopefully be able to hold the draw. Karjakin-Eljanov looks enthralling.

Just out of curiosity, what are the rules re conversations with your team captain and trainer? Can you for example discuss with them prior to offering/accepting a draw offer?

In my day, at team tournaments a world away from the standard of the Olympiad, we did.

It seems you can discuss draws, as Bareev keeps mentioning team members asking him about it during matches. e.g. Grischuk yesterday: http://www.chessintranslation.com/2010/09/russia-beats-russia/

I've also put some more up there on Wojtaszek's win against Nakamura. Wojtaszek "had the better of" a draw against Aronian today, while Nakamura looks in trouble...

Bareev also mentioned that Vocaturo was not allowed to accept Grischuk's draw offer ("the captain of the Italian team went over to his protégé and, bringing an end to peace talks, very strictly said: “Play!” ") - so it's not just him and the first Russian team.

Today, it seems that Bareev made the right decision leaving out unpredictable Grischuk and keeping the drawish Svidler and Malakhov. This also gave Karjakin yet another white (his sixth in seven games), and he converted in what may well have been home preparation. A Chessbomb live chatter mentioned an earlier 2010 game Inarkiev-Eljanov(!) in the same line, won by black.
Svidler drew, Kramnik drew - also defending his #5 spot on the live rating list for the time being (Ivanchuk would have overtaken him with a win), Malakhov still has to defend an apparently inferior (Berlin) endgame.

I wouldn't want to be Malakhov facing up to Bareev after this game if he loses - in general the pressure on the players in these team events must be enormous!

The pressure is enormous, but only for the top teams and medal candidates. Carlsen could have fun playing junk like 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Nf6?! without having much to fear from his team captain (Peter Heine Nielsen)!?
In the meantime, Nakamura can again try to prove that two pawns down in an endgame is "less than a zillion" - as against van Wely (NH tournament) but it didn't work against Wojtaszek yesterday.

Malakhov does look lost to me (move 47).

He lost indeed. Will Russia be able to get on the gold fight with 3 rounds to finish? Isn't Nakamura in need of a rest now? Shulman won and now guess what can happen in Onischuk-Zhou.

Onischuk-Zhou was drawn (wrong rook pawn for white). To answer your question: who knows? ,:)

Current standings are:
Ukraine 14
Russia 1, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, France 13
USA, China, Israel, Cuba 12
In case anyone is missing Russia 2, after losing against France today they are down in no man's land with 10 points.

Ukraine obviously still has the best chances for gold, but "anything can happen". I think the USA probably cannot afford to give Nakamura a break if they want to fight for a medal: fifth board Robert Hess, while nominally not much weaker, is less experienced at an international level.

Thomas is so cute with his obvious and constant attempts to criticize and denigrate Nakamura. "...fifth board Robert Hess, while nominally not much weaker..."

Nakamura = 2733.
Hess = 2596.

Thomas = "...fifth board Robert Hess, while nominally not much weaker..."

Of course, as Thomas always reminds us, he is not a Nakamura-hater. Perhaps he will remind us again.

Oh, my god!

The Bug-Crusher got crushed again (by a chinese ant)!!!

Carlsen back on track, beating Argentina/Flores Diego (2615) with black rather easily. Norway won the match 3.5 - 0.5. (Mig, cry your heart out, if you have any tears left after the election).

Norway will meet fairly strong teams in the last 3 rounds, so still plenty of challenging opponents for Magnus.

OK this was prone to misunderstandings, but obviously things have to be assessed top down. If Nakamura takes a break:
- Kamsky replaces Nakamura on board 1: no disaster, Kamsky also still has world top potential and is more stable than Nakamura
- Onischuk replaces Kamsky on board 2: another experienced GM
- Shulman replaces Onischuk on board 3: another GM who played several Olympiads before
- Hess replaces Shulman on board 4: "nominally not much weaker" referred to the gap between him (2596) and Shulman (2636). But all competing teams (see list above) have players rated above 2600 on boards 4 and 5. So far in 2010, Hess scored 2/9 against such opposition [I include his US Ch win against Akobian, 2599] - and IMO the limited number of games is even more relevant than the results he had.

hi and good bye to every one. i must now go away again. mabey i come back next year but mabey nto. who can say. any way i hope you all well and happy lifes to all. bye bye.

Apology accepted.


Oh wise one, why were you so wrong about the FIDE elections?

The Answer: Because I am a moron.


Russia 2 lost to France in Round 8. 3 points behind the crowd tied for 2nd, with 3 matches yet to play. It will be tough to up that gap. Plucky Georgia comes up with another win. when was the last time that the Georgian men placed higher than the Women at an Olympiad?

Re Nakamura: it was fortuitous that he was scoring points when it seemed that he was not even in good form, but now it seems that his form has not improved, and his results have (rather predictably) regressed to the mean.

He'll need to play at his best to lead the USA to a medal. Kamsky, Onischuk, and Shulman are solid enough, but between the 3, they will be hardpressed to do better than an even score.

Nakamura needs to stop playing that junk in the opening. He just made passive moves, and let Black immediately equalize.

"Current standings are:
Ukraine 14
Russia 1, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, France 13
USA, China, Israel, Cuba 12
In case anyone is missing Russia 2, after losing against France today they are down in no man's land with 10 points."

USA vs. Bulgaria in Round #9
That means a juicy match-up on Boards 1 and 2
(Topalov and Cheparinov).

Table 3 has the interesting match between two teams that are in good form, France and Georgia.

Along with the Ukraine, France is the only men's team yet to lose a match.

Jakovenko's Russia 3 team is a point ahead of Russia 2

Team-Pairings - Open
Round 9 on 2010/09/30 at 15:00
No. SNo Team Team Pts. MP Res. : Res. MP Pts. Team Team SNo
1 7 AZE Azerbaijan 22½ 13 : 14 23 Ukraine UKR 2
2 6 ARM Armenia 21 13 : 13 21 Russia 1 RUS1 1
3 20 GEO Georgia 23½ 13 : 13 20 France FRA 10
4 11 ISR Israel 21½ 12 : 13 19½ Hungary HUN 5
5 18 CUB Cuba 21 12 : 12 22 China CHN 3
6 8 BUL Bulgaria 21½ 11 : 12 21 United States of America USA 9
7 19 IND India 20 11 : 11 21½ Poland POL 15
8 17 CZE Czech Republic 21½ 11 : 11 20 Canada CAN 53
9 28 CRO Croatia 19½ 11 : 11 21 Spain ESP 16
10 35 BLR Belarus 21½ 11 : 11 19½ Slovakia SVK 22
11 14 RUS3 Russia 3 18½ 11 : 11 20 England ENG 12
12 23 NOR Norway 19½ 11 : 11 21 Serbia SRB 21
13 24 BRA Brazil 21 11 : 11 19½ Italy ITA 30
14 57 COL Colombia 20½ 11 : 11 19½ Estonia EST 48
15 4 RUS2 Russia 2 21½ 10 : 10 19 Iran IRI 38

Oh, is g3 really that bad? The reversed Modern is a dynamic enough opening, no? Some good games by Larsen and Benko with it. Naka went wrong later with some overoptimistic moves, but don't shoot the opening!

Even in the Reverse Modern, you fight for space when you can. Nakamura got a passive, cramped position, and evidently thought that he could mesmerize Wang with fancy Knight maneuvers.

If Hikaru had just played in a solid, Classical opening style, he would have encounted Wang's well known choices for defense, which are Super-solid, but unlikely to yield any advantage for Black. Maybe Donaldson instructed him to play for a win at all costs on Board 1?

Unofficial results are in, and it looks like a decisive victory for Kirsan.

First, let me extend my congratulations to "Chesspride", Kirsan's most redoubtable believer.

Obviously, many of Karpov's "supporters" were lying to him.

Don't be shocked if Karpov accepts the invitation to be FIDE Vice-President. There have been stranger bedfellows in politics, namely Karpov and Kasparov. OK, the odds are against Karpov taking the offer, but looking at Karpov's career, he hasn't shown many scruples when it comes for looking out for #1.

In the "No honor among Thieves" department, it is amusing how readily Kirsan is willing to sell his henchman/sidekick Makropoulis "Down the River"

From chessvibes.com

"Kirsan Ilyumzhinov remains FIDE President for at least four more years. He just won the vote for FIDE President in Khanty-Maniysk convincingly with 95 votes, to 55 for Karpov, and 3 abstentions. Update: we just heard that Silvio Danailov won the European Chess Union presidential elections.

According to our source in Khanty-Mansiysk, after his re-election Ilyumzhinov immediately invited Anatoly Karpov to become Vice-President, to which his opponent hasn’t responded yet."

Who's to say, perhaps Wang would have easily equalized in other openings. Lot of unknowns. Hikaru probably wanted to get him into unknown turf and outplay him. Or he might have just had nothing special in his openings bag today. Point is, he tried some optimistic but positionally dodgy stuff in the middlegame, that could've happened in any opening. He nearly always tries to win, sometimes it works, sometimes not, as can be expected. More similarities to Larsen emerging by the minute : )
That said, I get your point that g3 is hardly killer stuff...not going to emerge with a big advantage..but dealing with a well prepared, strong GM's mainline defenses to e4 or d4 can often run into a brick wall too!

Doug, I count 10 FIDE Vice Presidents: http://www.fide.com/fide/directory/fide-officials.html?comid=1&task=committee

So it doesn't actually mean anything and you don't need to worry about Makropoulos and Azmaiparashvili & co. being out of a job.

"If Hikaru had just played in a solid, Classical opening style, he would have encounted Wang's well known choices for defense, which are Super-solid"

Do you realize that he played Wang Hao, not Wang Yue? I don't know why "the Panda" didn't play today, maybe the Chinese team captain decided that the dynamic Wang would be a better match for Nakamura.

Here is Mark Crowther's take, from TWIC:

"The result of all the campaigning the Kasparov and Karpov did over the last few months is that they gained one vote over the 96-54 loss of Bessel Kok in the FIDE elections in Torino, Italy in 2006. There seems a block vote within FIDE that is practically impossible to dislodge. It is quite plausible to see Ilyumzhinov stay in power another 15 years and beyond. I don’t believe this represents the view of chess players throughout the World. If this is the case then players need to start being active in their own national associations and replacing the FIDE delegates that voted for Ilyumzhinov. In this regard Karpov’s campaign probably started two years too late.

This voting block has meant that essentially there hasn’t been a change in power within FIDE since 1982, with Ilyumzhinov taking over from Florencio Campomanes (and his still Vice-President Giorgos Makropoulos) who sent the organisation bankrupt in 1995.

What is remarkable is that seemingly savvy
people in the Chess World ever thought that Karpov had a chance. One can understand Karpov's capacity for self-delusion on this count, but what about his followers?

Frankly, folks ought to have drawn the same conclusions way back in the 1980s, that Crowther is seemingly reaching only just now. Any organization that countenances a travesty such as the annulment of the Karpov-Kasparov "Moscow Marathon" World Championship match of 1984-1985 will support the Leader through everything, and will always toe the party line. Hopefully, this defeat will finally put a stop to this pipedream.

What needs to be done is simply to have the opposition stop trying to reform FIDE from within, and create a new, (rival) Chess Federation to compete against FIDE.
Take away everything of value, but leave all of the dregs with FIDE.

Devise and implement a new (and slightly improved) rating system.

Reform/improve the process of awarding titles, generating Title Norms, etc. Make the Titles more valuable

Set up a coherent, sustainable, and rigorous Championship cycle (for Men and for Women), culminating in a World Championship match of length. No more silly Knock-out World Championships

Take the best out of the World Cup and Grand Prix formats, but host tournaments outside of the Causcauses or Siberia

Run the same array of Scholastic, Senior, and Team championships that FIDE currently runs, and run them better.

Organize a Chess Olympiad type tournament, with only the Top 30-40% of the World's Chess Federations being invited to field a team.

Finally, poach the western Chess Federations, and the cream of the rest of the World's National Federations. Most of the rest (I'm looking at you, the 95 Federations who voted for Kirsan!) either have no meaningful chess culture (and never will), are irredeemably corrupt, or both.
For those nations that have an established Chess tradition, a sizeable number of strong chessplayers, AND are stalwart cronies of Kirsan, the thing to do is to recognize a completely separate National Chess Federation, comprised or local chess politicians willing to play ball. In states that are unfree, these can be Federations-in-Exile, comprised of those who have set up residency elsewhere. There are no shortage of willing chess politicians, many of who are genuine reformers, but who hold no influence, and others who resent getting the short end of the stick.

Hopefully, Mig will announce next week that this was the Karpov teams's game plan all along, and the Karpov candidacy was simply a forlorn effort to demonstrate beyond any doubt that FIDE is too far gone to hope for any reform.

Even if that wasn't the plan from Square One, given all of what has transpired in the recent weeks

* Kirsan soon to step down from power in Kalmykia, thus very possibly losing most of his capacity to come up with "free money" (puttings aside the ethics about how he got the $$ in the first place, which has never seemed to trouble that many folks. Alas.)

[I suspect that the Russian government will have to step up and fund Kirsan directly, would at least would be a good development for the rank and file Kalmykian resident]

* Some fresh, sharp evidence of his nuttiness, in the form of regular pronouncements about space aliens, "Chess mosques" in Lower Manhattan, and his idolization of despots.

Kirsan and (therefore FIDE's) monopoly of power in the Chess World are at their lowest ebb. Now is the time to strike

Karpov shouldn't allow himself to be co-opted into being named a VP and become a part of that fumbling foolishness of Kirsan's FIDE. This is a sad day for professional chess and the growth of chess everywhere.
I guess the real question now is whether or not Kirsan will be able to achieve his goal of one billion chess players on earth in order to prevent those higher beings watching us from above from wiping us out...

I agree. The 56 members who voted for Karpov, the real chess power nations, should ally themselves and start a new chess federation, one that seriously is interested in the growth of chess around the world and truly cares about its professional chess players.

OK, and Makro has Deputy President post anyhow. :-)
Though Kirsan *would* discard Makropoulis without a moment's hesitation.

The offer of a Vice-Presidency to Karpov is more of a calculated insult than I had reckoned.

Since the whole FIDE hierarchy is essentially comprised of toadies, flunkies, flacks, and henchmen, I hadn't bothered to delve more deeply into FIDE's "political structure". Pretty hideous Rougues' Gallery.

The idea of a new Chess Federation sounds good. But the problem is: who will provide the millions per year to keep it running?

I am in what must be the tiny minority of kibitzers who are more interested in any in the result and score of any offhand blitz games that Kasparov and Karpov might have played than this whole business of Fide politics..

Yep, my bad. I thought that because Wang Yue hadn't played in Round #7, that he was due to appear at Board 1 again. Maybe Wang Yue is ill? My sense is that Super-solid Yue would have matched up quite well to Nakamura....

Wang Hao, on the other hand, has played all 8 rounds. If it was a Captain's choice, it turned out to be an inspired decision on the part of the Chinese. But maybe it cost them on a lower board.
Before this Olympiad, I'm sure that the USA would have been happy with a drawn match vs. China.

I reaize that Hao's middlegame is certainly more dynamic than Yue's, but is Hao's repetoire of Openings for Black also in the "Dynamic range?"
What does he usually play against non-1.g3 openings?

"If Hikaru had just played in a solid, Classical opening style, he would have encounted Wang's well known choices for defense, which are Super-solid"

Do you realize that he played Wang Hao, not Wang Yue? I don't know why "the Panda" didn't play today, maybe the Chinese team captain decided that the dynamic Wang would be a better match for Nakamura.

Hao could Yue get the wong Wang?

Which openings does Wang Hao play with black? According to chessgames.com, mostly various Sicilians against 1.e4 and Nf6/e6 stuff against 1.d4. Nothing Nakamura had to be afraid of, but ... he probably prepared for Wang Yue's Petroff or Slav and, surprised to face the other Wang, chose something non-theoretical. BTW, Wang Hao had faced such systems before, twice against Movsesian.

Talking about surprises: it might actually be a wise, certainly an interesting decision to give Nakamura a break tomorrow and put Kamsky with black against Topalov? Kamsky is solid, Nakamura might get the worse end in a wild battle between two ever-ambitious players who both seem to be a bit out of form.

Put Hess to the line up!

Topa-Naka tomorrow, assuming both play!

The H-Bomb will explode the toilet - you heard it here first. I may just need to watch this one live. What time are the games?

the professor wrote:

Hao could Yue get the wong Wang?

My nomination for the "Funniest Post In A Very Long Time" Award.

Kirsan 95 Karpov 55

I told you so, I told you so, I told you so.

USCF gets a big fat nothing....and it was all so predictable.

Long variation, wrong variation.

FIDE all the way!

Worldwide, are secret ballots common practice at the representative (not individual) level?

I don't know about the whole world (who would?), but in Germany such elections are either secret, or people can ask that they will be secret. Of course, anyone doing so might have eyebrows raised, as if that person had something to hide(!!?). How do various sources (Europe Echecs, Chessbase) actually know (for sure!?) that Europe mostly supported Karpov, while Kirsan's victory relied on "small federations from Asia, Africa and South America"?

Some details and quotes from the English and French Europe Echecs videos:
- Sweden, France and apparently Belgium (refusing to be explicit) supported Karpov. Namibia refused to reveal their secret (fair enough!). Papua New Guinea seemed skeptical that either candidate will do something for Oceania ("we are in the bottom of the world").
- Jean-Claude Moingt (French federation president): "If the heart voted, Karpov would win easily. As the wallet takes priority, it will be tense."
- The person standing up ("regarding the verification of proxies ...") was GM Bachar Kouatly.
- The person shouting at Kasparov ("Respect the house!") is still anonymous to me.

Hao could Yue get the wong Wang?

Haha. Brilliant.

Topalov seems to be playing a nice positional a'la game, fixing a few pawn weaknesses on the Q side and then hoping to pick them off. But is it enough is the question ...

Kamsky trapped Chaparinov's Q very nicely. Just saw longer in that line where he sac'd his e pawn.

In topalov's game, wouldn't 28. Nb2 followed by Na4 be a good plane, with sustained pressure on Nakamura's isolated pawns?

Topalov-Nakamura didn't become the wild game I predicted, basically because Naka didn't play sharp lines (KID? Grunfeld?) but chose something safe and psychologically interesting. Topalov had lost a VERY important game in the same line, including the idea of -Nf6!? allowing split queenside pawns: the last game of his WCh match against Anand.

Yes, Topalov has a certain positional advantage - but methinks it's tangible only if Nakamura somewhere somehow loses patience.

Latest comments on the Russian team from Bareev (& Karjakin): http://www.chessintranslation.com/2010/09/fortune-beckoned-then-melted-into-thin-air/

It'll be interesting to see what Bareev has to say about Svidler if he doesn't convert today (and it's looking very tricky). As it is Bareev keeps mentioning that Svidler's hopeless in the openings nowadays :)

Glad you've come up with a new cover story, Chesspride. You were really starting to show some cracks in your faith, in some of your recent postings.

Aside from the Las Vegas Knock-Out World Chamionship in 1998, which as we know was not exactly a success in popularizing chess in the US, what is it that the USCF gained from FIDE?

What are Kirsan's prospects for coming up with his magical money, once his ATM (Kalmykia) is taken away from him?

And don't try to fool us: You don't care about the USCF (Why should you? You were er, "let go" from employment by the USCF)

What are the remotely plausible scenarios here:

--"Business as Usual": FIDE treads water, manages to barely stay afloat.

--"Capsizes": Without the blood money looted from Kalmykia to bail out FIDE, the organization quickly succumbs, and sinks.

--"Dies on the Vine": a new International Chess Federation is created, and the civilized chess world flocks to it. FIDE is left only with its parasitic cronies, who have clearly latched on for good. Each year, FIDE sinks more and more into oblivion.

@Doug: Would you consider Russian-speaking countries as part of the civilzed chess world?

Karjakin's results (8.5/9) have been a little deceiving, as he has had 8 whites (!!!) in 9 games; his only game with B he drew with Judit Polgar.

Doug has a tendency to just dream of a better FIDE - but his dreams never include a means of financing them. Nice!

Glad you've come up with a new cover story, Chesspride. You were really starting to show some cracks in your faith, in some of your recent postings.

Aside from the Las Vegas Knock-Out World Chamionship in 1998, which as we know was not exactly a success in popularizing chess in the US, what is it that the USCF gained from FIDE?

What are Kirsan's prospects for coming up with his magical money, once his ATM (Kalmykia) is taken away from him?

And don't try to fool us: You don't care about the USCF (Why should you? You were er, "let go" from employment by the USCF)

What are the remotely plausible scenarios here:

--"Business as Usual": FIDE treads water, manages to barely stay afloat.

--"Capsizes": Without the blood money looted from Kalmykia to bail out FIDE, the organization quickly succumbs, and sinks.

--"Dies on the Vine": a new International Chess Federation is created, and the civilized chess world flocks to it. FIDE is left only with its parasitic cronies, who have clearly latched on for good. Each year, FIDE sinks more and more into oblivion.

DOUG clearly doesn't know his history.

USCF gets little from FIDE because USCF governance chooses POORLY every time.

USCF instructed its delegate to vote to allow Campo to run for reelection -- after Kasparov lobbied the federation with promises of active marketing in the US. USCF did so...Campo won...USCF got zilch.

USCF supported Kasparov and PCA over FIDE (even though USCF is a member state of FIDE!!!).

USCF's own player -- Kamsky -- qualified for the FIDE title cycle. But did USCF enter a bid? No -- USCF had no money and no connections for any world title funding.

FIDE had to run the event in Elista.

The series of faxes to the FIDE Secretariat were embarrassing -- sending a fax asking for an update on the match, only to have the FIDE Secretariat write back inquiring whether USCF had found any funding for its player (!)

USCF has opposed Kirsan's administration for several elections -- even though US persons (i.e. Doyle) have been included as VPs in the Kirsan administration in the past.

What is remarkable is how often USCF has opposed the Kirsan administration...and how much USCF has still received! Doyle as FIDE VP. A world title KO in the US in 1999 (one that USCF couldn't afford to help with - instead, the tin cup was raised and FIDE was asked to provide funding/jobs for US persons and funding for USCF programs BECAUSE the event was held in zone 2.1 -- embarrassing!).

Here in this election -- a former USCF president was on the Kirsan ticket *#*&!! and USCF still opposed it and ran bath water for the Karpov ticket.

USCF gets nothing because -- instead of being a FIDE supporter -- it has been a FIDE OPPOSER for the last 15 yrs.

DOUG's personal attacks on my person -- which are 100 percent wrong -- are an affront to logic.

I am a USCF supporter. I run a USCF-affiliated club. I direct 50 USCF tournaments a year....and have done so year after year after year. See www.freewebs.com/allentowncentercitychessclub

I am the biggest USCF booster in my part of Pennsylvania.

I have been on USCF committees, been a USCF delegate and been 100% pro-USCF throughout the last decade. Not exactly disgruntled here, you jerk!

I just think that USCF governance choose badly when it comes to FIDE -- they lead with their idealism rather than their realpolitik...and they don't realize just how much implementing their idealistic dreams would cost (and they don't have the funding to pull them off anyway).

Now go troll somewhere else.

Woo hoo!!!!! Check out Shirov's 29. Rxg6!! against Baadur Jobava! Man, Shirov's fund to watch!

"Fire on the board"
Congatrulations Shirov !

Just when you suggested that he lacks energy ... OK you wrote "for a sustained effort" so you aren't proven wrong. It looks like Shirov "wins when the opportunity arises" and, at other occasions, is happy with a draw - maybe also in the interest of the team.

In any case, he does a better job than Topalov and Carlsen: both lost again today, making it five losses in total for the World's #1 and (former, as far as live ratings are concerned) #2 - who would have predicted this before the Olympiad? Absentee Anand is getting close(r) to his goal of becoming #1 again, but will have to add some own effort in Bilbao and Nanjing.


Organize an Olympiad-type tournament? There is already the World Team Championship.

You say 95 who voted for Kirsan are corrupt. I don't believe any group owns a monopoly on that and it is simplistic to make such a statement.

Carlsen loses again.

and Topalov.

Carlsen and Topalov shedding points like never before. Aronian would move to live #3 now. Carlsen's cushion would still keep him #1 but one more loss and he wont be there.

But Ivanchuk won again - who can stop Ukraine, now that even Ponomariov won his first game after seven draws?
Some (possible) deja vus:
- Israel coming from behind, as in Dresden 2008 (when they won silver) and Turin 2006 (fourth place)
- Russia will face Spain in the final round, as in Dresden 2008 and at the European Team Championship 2009. Both matches ended 2-2. Actually this time Russia might go for it: it would secure silver, and gold may be out of reach anyway.
- rather unlikely but maybe (theoretically) possible: the USA win a medal thanks to a crushing victory in the final round. They face ... Cuba.

Current standings:
Ukraine 18
Russia 1 17
Israel 16
Poland, Hungary, Armenia, Spain, France 15
Russia 2, China, Azerbaijan, Italy(!), Russia 3, USA, Cuba, Greece(!) 14
But Greece and Italy will face Russia 2 and China tomorrow, both also fighting for their last small medal chance (among other things, they need draws in the matches Poland-Hungary and France-Armenia).

Unfortunately there are a lot of simpletons out there peddling knee-jerk analyses, informed by ignorance and fuelled by naked prejudice and ill-considered assumptions about the honesty or otherwise of some federations/delegates.

I have been an active member of 3 separate national federations, 2 european and one african, over the past 2 decades and have never been consulted about the voting intentions (in FIDE elections etc) of my federation. Such opacity in decision making could be a mask for corruption or merely administrative expediency but some assume that it must be the former for the third-world and the former for the 'civilized world'.

BTW, awkward (worst case?) situation in the Women's competition: Russia 1 have won all their match and have gold secured. Behind them, Ukraine, China, Georgia, Poland and Russia 2 are fighting for silver and bronze, and the top match in the final round is Russia 2 vs. Russia 1.

If the first Russian team also wins their final match, no problem. If they go for a friendly draw, not much of a problem either. But if the second team wins ... even when everything is fair they might not get the benefit of doubt?!

So what is the tiebreak in the Olympiad? Ukraine have 18 match points, Russia 17. Ukraine have 29 points, Russia 26. According to the rules as they were before (I think) that means Ukraine is guaranteed gold with 2-2 against Israel since they get 19 match points and 31 points while Russia can get at most 19 match points and 30 points. But on chess-results.com there is some other tiebreak ahead of points, with Ukraine 322.5 and Russia 321.5 atm so maybe a draw for Ukraine in the last round could mean that Russia wins the gold if they just score the expected win against Spain?!

OK, if I've understood things correctly, and I probably haven't, Ukraine must beat the strong Israeli team to be certain of gold. A (quite probable) draw in the match would mean Russian gold if they beat Spain.

I don't know if German Chessbase understood things correctly ... . They actually write "according to the applied tiebreak rules, which noone really understands, Russia is leading [ahead of Ukraine]".

Yes, the rules are hard to understand, maybe better if they had used points. Anyway I think Russia will win this on tiebreak since Spain have a couple of players in the 2500s and Israel-Ukraine feels like 2-2.


You mean there is opacity in the tiebreak rules ???
Oh :)
Opacity is everywhere !

I think "somebody" is going to accuse quickly Kirsan about that !

weird situation in the women section. standings before last round:

1.Russia1 20
2.China 16
3.Ukraine, Georgia, Russia 2, Poland 15

last round pairings:
Russia 1 vs Russia 2
China vs Ukraine
Georgia vs Poland

so far Russia 1 won all of their matches, if they do the job against Russia 2 then the winner of Georgia-Poland probably gets bronze. but if Russia 2 wins against Russia 1 then they probably get the bronze. so how motivated will be Russia 1 to play for a win against Russia 2 since they have the gold in their bag already? i don't know how smart is to allow a pairing Russia 1 vs Russia 2 in the last round for the "image" of the olympiad. i can imagine that either Georgia or Poland won't be too happy if Russia 2 inflicts the first loss to Russia 1.

I just wish they would use 1 point for a match win and 1/2 point for a match draw. It would make the standings a lot easier to understand at a glance, since that's the usual scoring system for individual tournaments.

I think I understood the tiebreak rules, at least I get the numbers given at chessgames.com. As mentioned below the entire table, TB2 is "Olympiad-Sonneborn-Berger-Tie-Break without lowest result", which means
[board points scored in each match] * [match points obtained by the other team], and the weakest team faced (normally the first-round opponent) doesn't count.

Russia may get the tiebreak edge thanks to Ireland (hi chesshire cat!) and Croatia ,:) .
Why Ireland? Russia dropped 1/2 point in their first match and therefore got a fairly strong opponent (Serbia) already in the second round, whom they beat 3-1. Ukraine beat Iraq 4-0, followed by another 4-0 against Scotland. At the moment, this yields Russia 39 tiebreak points (3*13) vs. 36 for Ukraine (4*9).
Why Croatia? They started well (including a 2-2 against Ukraine) but then ran out of steam, including losses against Spain and Brazil in the last two rounds.

Now if Ukraine draws Israel tomorrow they get 34 extra points (2*17). If Russia beats Spain 2.5-1.5, they get 37.5 extra points (2.5*15). However, currently they have a tiebreak edge from the match against Ukraine (because Ukraine has one more match point) which will disappear if both teams end up with the same number of match points. Russia is presently one tiebreak point behind Ukraine, in this scenario - with everything else remaining equal - they would pass Ukraine by 0.5 tiebreak points.

But everything else won't remain equal, as all changes depending on the final round. It might actually depend on table 46 where the first two Ukrainian opponents, Iraq and Scotland (both currently 9 match points), play each other: if the match is drawn, Ukraine gets 4 extra points - if either team wins, Ukraine gets 8 extra points. Imagine if all other games are finished and IM Noah(2397) and IM Burns-Mannion(2372) discuss a lengthy queen ending, with all Ukrainians and all Russians watching, as gold and silver depends on that game ..... ,:) .

Do I sound ridiculous?? If so, blame the tiebreak rules, not me!! Note that Russia would probably be safe if they beat Spain 3-1 or higher

It used to be that pairings in Round Robin events were tweaked a bit to prevent two compatriots from playing each other in the last round, and possibly colluding to manipuloate results to benefit National prestige.

Given that there are other apparent tweaks to these Swiss System pairings during the Olympiad, it might have been a good policy to force pair the leading Russia teams a few rounds earlier, or simply re-pair the last Round to have them play different opponents.

There is at least some strong motivation on the part of some individual Russian players to not tank, and even have the ambition to play for a win.

2 of the players for Russia 1 need to play, just to be Board Prize eligible. IM N. Kosintseva needn't play: She can win a high Borad Prize by sitting out. One of the Top 3 Boards for Russia 1 needs to sit in Round 11. Probably, IM Bodnaruk could sit out.

Too many scenarios to ponder...

For Russia 1:

Board #1:

GM Tatiana Kosintseva is leading in the competition to get the Board #1 Gold Medal prize, with a Performance Rating of 2662. She probably needs to win in Round #11 to take the Gold. If she draws or even opts to sit out, she might not hold off Nana Dzagnidze, if the Georgian were to win.

Board #2:

IM Nadezhda Kosintseva is ALSO the leader for the Board #2 Gold Medal. She has a better Winning percentage, has accrued more points (and played more games) than her sister, earning her a higher Performance Rating. She could conceivably rest (she has played all 10 rounds thus far), and maintain the winning margin. 9it is hard to believe that she has not earned the GM Title, yet. she should obvious earn a Norm from her Olympiad performance.

Board #3:

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk is in 4th Place, just out of Medal classification. She has not had a great event, and as things stand now, she will LOSE 5 or 6 rating points. Nevertheless, a Victory in round 11, along with any faltering from those ahead of her, could easily propel her to the Silver Medal.

Board #4:

IM Alisa Galliamova has a 2538 Perforamnce Rating, which would put her in position to win the Bronze Medal. However, she has only played 6 games, shy of the minimum threshhold. If she plays 1 more game (for a total of 7), I believe that Galiiamova becomes Board Prize eligible. Her result is almost unimportant: Even if she plays and loses, she stands a good chance of winning the Bronze medal. Interestingly, she might get paired with either IM Anastasia Bodnaruk of Russia 2, or even WGM Kashlinskaya Alina, also of Russia 2, both of whom are also in Borad Medal contention, for Boards #4 and #5, respectively!

Board #5:

WGM Gunina Valentina has scored 5.5/6 on Board #5, for a TPR of 2657. this would easly suffice to win the Board #5 Gold Medal!Having only played 6 games, she needs to play just 1 more to be eligible for the Gold Medal.

Russia 2:

No real Board Prize Medal chances for the top 3 Boards of Russia 2.

Board #4:

IM Anastasia Bodnaruk would be a cinch to win the Board #4 Gold Medal, if it were not for the blistering 2691 TPR of Ukrainian IM Anna Gaponenko (highest among all women in the Olympiad). Bodnaruk's 2619 TPR (6.5/7) should assure her of the Silver medal, though.

(Gaponenko faces a tough decision of whether or place, as the Ukraine faces China on Table #2, with the Silver/Bronze team medals completely up for grabs. Losing team goes home empty)

Board #5:

WGM Alina Kashlinskaya is sitting in Bronze Medal position currently, but as soon as WGM Gunina plays her game, she'd drop down to 4th. She's played 8 games so far, so could sit out. However, her chances of getting a Bronze Medal on Board 5 are enhanced, if she were to play, and score a draw.

1. Russia 1 (RUS1 / RtgAvg:2536, Captain: Dokhoian, Yury / TB1: 20 / TB2: 370)
Bo. Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pts. Games Rp w we w-we K rtg+/-
1 GM Kosintseva Tatiana 2573 RUS 1 1 ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 6,5 9 2644 6,5 5,59 0,91 10 9,1
2 IM Kosintseva Nadezhda 2565 RUS 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 8,5 10 2662 8,5 7,43 1,07 10 10,7
3 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2524 RUS 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 0 6,0 9 2438 6 6,56 -0,56 10 -5,6
4 IM Galliamova Alisa 2482 RUS 1 0 1 1 1 1 5,0 6 2538 5 4,36 0,64 10 6,4
5 WGM Gunina Valentina 2465 RUS 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 5,5 6 2657 5,5 4,45 1,05 10 10,5

Board-prizes (Rank after Round 10) - Women
Board 1
Rk. Name Rtg Team % Games Pts. Rp
1 GM Kosintseva Tatiana 2573 Russia 1 72,2 9 2478 6,5 2644
2 GM Dzagnidze Nana 2534 Georgia 77,8 9 2406 7,0 2626
3 WGM Mamedjarova Zeinab 2234 Azerbaijan 80,0 10 2368 8,0 2608
4 GM Hou Yifan 2578 China 75,0 10 2384 7,5 2577
5 IM Muzychuk Anna 2535 Slovenia 72,2 9 2390 6,5 2556

Board 2
Rk. Name Rtg Team % Games Pts. Rp
1 IM Kosintseva Nadezhda 2565 Russia 1 85,0 10 2366 8,5 2662
2 WGM Ju Wenjun 2516 China 85,0 10 2310 8,5 2606
3 IM Zimina Olga 2334 Italy 77,8 9 2247 7,0 2467
4 IM Zatonskih Anna 2480 United States of America 66,7 9 2339 6,0 2464
5 WGM Chelushkina Irina 2325 Serbia 62,5 8 2362 5,0 2457

Board 3
Rk. Name Rtg Team % Games Pts. Rp
1 WGM Marrero Lopez Yaniet 2324 Cuba 87,5 8 2175 7,0 2511
2 IM Melia Salome 2439 Georgia 70,0 10 2309 7,0 2458
3 WGM Stojanovic Andjelija 2337 Serbia 75,0 10 2261 7,5 2454
4 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2524 Russia 1 66,7 9 2313 6,0 2438
5 WGM Berzina Ilze 2283 Latvia 80,0 10 2182 8,0 2422

Board 4
Rk. Name Rtg Team % Games Pts. Rp
1 IM Gaponenko Inna 2469 Ukraine 93,8 8 2247 7,5 2691
2 IM Bodnaruk Anastasia 2399 Russia 2 92,9 7 2197 6,5 2619
3 IM Dworakowska Joanna 2315 Poland 83,3 9 2142 7,5 2415
4 WGM Baginskaite Kamile 2328 United States of America 78,6 7 2136 5,5 2366
5 WIM Schut Lisa 2288 Netherlands 77,8 9 2123 7,0 2343

Board 5
Rk. Name Rtg Team % Games Pts. Rp
1 IM Muzychuk Mariya 2464 Ukraine 75,0 8 2244 6,0 2437
2 WGM Velcheva Maria 2272 Bulgaria 71,4 7 2209 5,0 2367
3 WGM Kashlinskaya Alina 2358 Russia 2 68,8 8 2220 5,5 2361
4 WIM Fuchs Judith 2237 Germany 75,0 8 2064 6,0 2257
5 WFM Hakimifard Ghazal 2173 Iran 57,1 7 2178 4,0 2228

5. Russia 2 (RUS2 / RtgAvg:2427, Captain: Tregubov, Pavel V. / TB1: 15 / TB2: 287)
Bo. Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pts. Games Rp w we w-we K rtg+/-
1 WGM Pogonina Natalija 2491 RUS 1 ½ ½ 0 1 0 ½ ½ 0 1 5,0 10 2377 5 6,40 -1,40 10 -14,0
2 WGM Girya Olga 2414 RUS 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 5,5 9 2413 5,5 5,41 0,09 10 0,9
3 WGM Savina Anastasia 2404 RUS ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 0 2,5 6 2262 2,5 3,67 -1,17 10 -11,7
4 IM Bodnaruk Anastasia 2399 RUS 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 6,5 7 2619 6,5 5,02 1,48 10 14,8
5 WGM Kashlinskaya Alina 2358 RUS 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 0 5,5 8 2361 5,5 5,14 0,36 15 5,4

Does DOug win the prize for 'longest post' of the year?


Mr. Noone should post here to enlighten us.

Despite Carlsen's poor handling of the black side today, has anyone noticed how well the Caro-Kann has done so far in the Olympiad? The black side has won 44 games while the white side has won 41 games. All hail the Caro-Kann!! It's been my favorite response to 1.e4 ever since I started playing it in the late 1970s.
Watching the Sjugirov-Carlsen game today, I got the feeling that Carlsen thinks he can play just about anything (11...g5?!; 18...Ngf6??) and get away with it. Not today.

After round 10, the biggest gap on the entire liverating list is still between Carlsen and his closest pursuer, but not by much.

It looked as if it could get boring at the top, with Carlsen getting so far ahead of everyone else that it all becomes less interesting. Maybe good for chess that it suddenly looks more unpredictable, at least until Carlsen is back at his normal self and starts crushing the opposition a la Nanjing and Bazna again. It also looks as if the top 5 might get less cemented, with lots of players moving closer to the fifth spot.

Interesting, you really must love the Caro-Kann if you check things in such detail ,:) .

At the same time it's surprising to me because I remember only spectacular wins with the white pieces:
Ivanchuk-Jobava (not a typical Caro-Kann ...)
The only black win I remember, Nakamura-Wojtaszek, wasn't related to the opening. So were the black wins mostly in "boring" or less important games (on lower tables)?

Second question or observation: It seems that 3.e5 has more or less become the main line. Here black gets unbalanced positions with winning (and losing) chances. The earlier mainline 3.Nc3 (or 3.Nd2) seems more consistent with the "traditional" view of the Caro-Kann as a drawish opening!?

How could he do so if he doesn't understand himself? He may have looked at the situation after round 9: yesterday, Ukraine closed and slightly reverted the gap thanks to their crushing 3.5-0.5 against France - Ivanchuk playing on and eventually winning against Vachier-Lagrave after the match was already decided may turn into a key game.

Of course, there were earlier ones from an Ukrainian perspective, notably Efimenko's consecutive wins against Malakhov and Safarli from rather even endgames. Efimenko - who already got lots of praise from Ponomariov for being his second in Dortmund - is another rating winner and a recent addition to the (live) 2700+ club.

I played through Ivanchuk's game vs Vachier-Lagrave again, with some analysis, and it is a truly sublime game. Some of the subtleties, and the fine hidden tactics show his mastery. Reminds me more than a bit of some of Fischer's superlative efforts towards the latter part of his ascent to WC.

Old warriors Ivanchuk and Shirov are entertaining everybody with spectacular chess.

Carlsen's results in recent events are so solid that he can afford losing a few games here and still stay at the top. He needs to lose 2 more games, it's so hard for him to get out of no. 1 :-).

This Olympiad brought Karjakin finally to top 10. Not that it's a big surprise for him to get there, but I've been waiting for this, and looking forward to seeing him going all the way further.

Nakamura did fantastic against under 2700, with a perfect 4-0.
But against 2700s players, he only has 0-2=3.
He still hasn't proven himself able to win, or even just to equalize, against the best. Hopefully he'll do better in the future.

Throw some bones to the dogs to get them to stop barking:


Gelfand - Ivanchuk: a draw on the 19th move... (?)
Ponomariov - Sutovsky: the board is pretty clean on the 22nd move.

Going according to plan here, Israel-Ukraine 2-2, win for Russia, and Russian gold!

Apparently Ukraine decided to focus on the lower boards, and Russia on their white boards - for once not including Karjakin who drew in 12 moves with black.

What kind of game was that by Shirov? Approximately equal or slightly worse after 19 moves (Rybka had it at -0.10) but then he just stopped moving, thought for 45 minutes for the next move or two and just had seconds left already after 20 moves.

Ouch, Svidler just threw away the gold after losing with white against an opponent in the 2500s.

It may backfire badly, as Svidler as a rough time against Salgado, and so Kramnik's likely win would only tie the match. Certainly, and not even in the craziest nationalistic dream i would think we could win against Russia. A tie makes a great reverence to their bad match strategy. It's not normal for Svidler to lose but accidents do happen...

Indeed, he already lost. Bye bye, gold.

Well, i wonder if you shouldn't consider 2595 most likely in the 2600s but still, it has a point (albeit less) Wonder what punishment his teammates will inflict on Peter Bogdanovich. I think however the main responsable is the captain, giving two early draws in such an important match. I think that playing against a clearly inferior opponent you should try to keep as many options open as possible. It's easy to say such things now, but you now, accidents happen, phones ring and so and so...

Rus1 preferred to work with older drawhorses like Svidler and Malakhov.
Compare this with the incredible speed and ease with which Nepomniachtchi wins his games on the first board of Rus2 (+4 without losing a single game)!
Nepo is born in the same year as Carlsen and Karjakin and he is proving and will prove to be in the same league as well.
But for some unjustified reason they thought they could do it without their finest talent.

svidler did not take a look at kramnik"s board???vlad was winning the endgame clearly,so why playing suicidal?at the time peter he still could play it safe.unbeliveable loosing white against a much lower player,threw away the gold medals.

at any sport-includeing chess-you wanna play a 19 years old rookie not a 29 yrs rookie-malakhov-.the great endgame connaisseur lost a decisive equal endgame against efimenko,probably the decise game for gold.rus1 could win that match thanks to karjakin.

Maybe just as well that it wasn't decided by the incomprehensible tiebreak.

To be fair to Malakhov he was basically given the unenviable task of trying to hold with black in all but one (I think) of his games - so Karjakin could have white. Of course Malakhov's a pretty solid player and generally up to the task (despite his one serious failure), but as he said recently: "I love to have the initiative and I play that type of position very strongly". He wasn't given much chance to show what he could do and it's not certain than e.g. Nepo would have done better if only given black.

Of course you can criticise Bareev's general tactics of not simply playing the four best players and letting them have an equal number of whites and blacks... but on the other hand the tactics very nearly worked. Without that Malakhov loss or Svidler's disaster today they'd have won the tournament (despite never really impressing).

We probably haven't heard the last about the FIDE Presidential election: http://stevegiddins.blogspot.com/

After buying over Karjakin, getting a rule change so he could play for Russia, having five teams in the Olympiad, home advantage, and being big rating favorites, it's a big failure to once again miss out on the gold. Against Ukraine, who lost one of the best players in the whole event to a Russian team that were favorites already before that happened. Maybe playing for Tukmakov is more fun that playing for Bareev, going by the latter's comments. With Kasparov on first board Russia won in 2002 but now it's four in a row without a gold.

The reason they gave Karjakin so many white games was taken during the tournament because they saw he was the only one who was in really good shape.
You always have to select your best players for the first team.
Elo is one criterion but other criteria nearly as
important are actual shape,recent results,live rating , fighting spirit, motivation,stability, commitment and experience.
with all these criteria in mind Nepomniachtchi should definitely have been included in the first team.
Personal sympathy on the other hand is not a valid criterion.

But we have to wait for the next BCM magazine to get the juicy details.

"big rating favorites" : The rating average of Russia was only slightly higher than that of the Ukraine.
"buying over karjakin" : Nobody talks of buying when i don't know how many former soviet players went to play for western countries and are still doing so. Did Holland buy Anish Giri recently? Karjakin went to Russia because he saw better opportunities in Moscow. Besides he's an ethnic russian born in the crimea.
Yes they didn't win gold in the last four olympiads but they won the last two world team championships and the european team championship in 2007.
The fact that they had 5 teams in this olympiad was of no advantage at all.

"The reason they gave Karjakin so many white games was taken during the tournament because they saw he was the only one who was in really good shape."

Sure, but e.g. at the beginning Malakhov won his first game with black, and despite the dodgy opening he played very nicely after that. So at that stage I don't think it was so clear who was in the better form. But then he was given black the next day and Karjakin won again with a second white and after that Malakhov didn't really get a chance (the advantage for the team captain was that Malakhov was the one player in the team who he could get away with treating like that!?). Details here: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr36795.aspx?art=20&lan=1&flag=30&m=-1&wi=1000&snr=1

Who knows what would have happened if he'd also been given the chance to play white more than once in the tournament.

Plus at the end Bareev said that Karjakin was very tired, but still he played him even though he finished with 3 quick draws - maybe a fresh Malakhov could have done more?

That said I do basically agree Nepo was the way to go - and then perhaps with Karjakin and him Russia might have got some easy wins instead of it being a grim struggle each round!

Thanks mishanp, this is critical and constructive, most other comments are "annotating by the result" and, quite possibly, anti-Russian from the start:

- If Russia had beaten Spain to overtake Ukraine on tiebreak, we could instead criticize Ukraine for their "safety first" approach in the final round. We could even criticize Israel for doing so if they lose bronze to Hungary on tiebreak, or if France-Armenia had been decisive (it was 2-2, hooray for France again) with the winner getting bronze.

- Svidler played aggressively for a win today. It backfired upon him, this can happen - e.g. Nakamura-Wojtaszek (and some games by myself and, possibly, danyplayer who don't make it into databases ,:) ). At which stage could he have played it safe, e.g. bailed out with a perpetual check??

- I think Nepomniachtchi may have been put on the second team with the idea of getting two medals rather than one. It didn't work out, not clear what exactly went wrong for Russia 2: boards 4 and 5 underperformed, and they ended up narrowly losing some key matches.

- Karjakin changed federations because he was unhappy with the Ukrainian one. He is neither the only player ever changing federations (Gelfand and Shirov to name the highest-rated ones), nor the only one who was unhappy with the Ukrainian one. Things changed for the better in Ukraine, just in time to get Ponomariov back on the team but too late to keep Karjakin. For lack of evidence, Russia "buying over Karjakin" is at best speculation, at worst a serious insult.

I'm relying on Google Translate, but if Weizsäcker really did have a heart attack then Makropoulos mocking him when he collapsed is an impressive new low even for Makropoulos' appalling career:

"From a dreamer who believed Karpows lies, nothing more was expected than that he was weak on his legs."


It was 2755 against 2738 so not that much on paper, but that's with Eljanov rated higher than Grischuk and the latter is a much stronger player so it isn't only about rating. Kramnik is better than Ivanchuk, etc, down to Karjakin being better than Efimenko. Russia had to pay FIDE quite a big sum of money for the federation switch and it's of course no difference if Netherlands buy over some player with the intention of winning an Olympiad at home.

Russia winning all other important team events doesn't make their once again failing in the Olympiad looking better. I thought they would win easily this time, they are after all favorites every time and this time Ukraine was the only team within 50 points on average rating. But it's twice Armenia and twice Ukraine in the four latest Olympiads.

"From a dreamer who believed Karpows lies, nothing more was expected than that he was weak on his legs."

Wouldn't surprise me one bit if that quote was correct, some really scary people in Kirsan's team.

I guess Shirov went into deep thought around move 20 because he thought/realized that he was worse at that stage: his queenside weaknesses and passive bishop on b7 matter more than the potentially weak white pawn on d4. At least that's what the game continuation suggests, Shirov went on to lose without making obvious blunders - and in some positions 2750+ GMs may still be stronger than engines.

The Google translation is accurate ,:) - I will also give the preceding sentences:
"At the general assembly in Khanty-Mansiysk FIDE treasurer Nigel Freeman announced that he will sue the German federation for one million Swiss Franks financial compensation and threatened with personal action against von Weizsäcker. Several times von Weizsäcker asked to be allowed to reply on this. When he didn't get the word, he collapsed [nervous breakdown is one way of translating it]."

It's absolutely in Makropoulos' style. One of the most annoying things after following this election pretty closely is to read the totally misguided (to put it politely) and lazy opinions of people like David Levy: http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=6712

e.g. "Ilyumzhinov's election campaign exhibited very little anti-Karpov rhetoric. Where Karpov's campaign fell down badly was in its anti-Ilyumzhinov emphasis..."

Every interview Makropoulos gave included a brutal attack on Karpov and Kasparov - Ilyumzhinov was more Jekyll and Hyde - he'd occasionally be "charming" i.e. patronisingly condescending, then switch to calling the 2Ks "accomplices" etc. Though the most notable approach of Ilyumzhinov was to criticise the 2Ks for bringing disunity and discord... as though it was a crime to actually try and get people to vote for them! You can see the same if you watch the Ilyumzhinov documentary that was posted at Chessvibes just before the election - there he's also talking about unity when asked about the opposition (one of whom was subsequently murdered): http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/kalmykia-documentary-posted-on-youtube/ The subtext is of course: join us and support us as one happy FIDE (or Kalmyk) family...........or else.

One would have to be blind not to agree on all counts.

BTW, for what it's worth (probably little consolation for Svidler): a draw in his game and Russia-Spain 2.5-1.5 would still have meant gold for Ukraine on tiebreak!

Final standings are
Ukraine 11 8 3 0 19 380,5 31,0 143,00
Russia 1 11 8 2 1 18 379,5 28,0 157,00

If Russia had beaten Spain they would have gotten 1/2 extra tiebreak point (2.5*15=32.5 rather than 2*16=32), and Ukraine would have gotten two extra points from their match against Russia (2*19 rather than 2*18). Things would have been different if the match Iraq-Scotland on table 46 had been drawn rather than Scotland winning, the former result would have cost Ukraine 4 tiebreak points ... .

Russia/Bareev may have known beforehand (if they read my post here ,:) ) that 2.5-1.5 against Spain may or may not be enough for gold. So maybe today they opted for a mixed strategy: two quick draws with black basically secured silver, and two wins with white might mean gold. Kramnik took calculated risks, Svidler (too) big ones ... .

"Maybe just as well that it wasn't decided by the incomprehensible tiebreak."
Here I agree with gg - but there may be no time (or it's too much to ask from the teams?) to schedule a rapid or blitz tiebreak soon after the final round: potentially between Ukraine and Russia, or between Israel and Hungary for bronze. And what about the dramatic finish in Dresden last time? USA beat Ukraine 3.5-0.5 to edge them out for bronze, it would have been quite "funny" if both teams had to play another rapid/blitz match right after their classical games ... .

Concerning Ukraine match draw, i think at least two players drew from a better position (they would no doubt have played on) once they saw what happened in Svidler-Salgado. I don't know if Bareev was really that bad. I think he really failed with the last round and sure he could have given some rest earlier to Karjakin. But I don't envy his job.Sure they could have put Nepomniachtchi on first team but I certainly think twice before taking out Svidler. As for Malakhov, i think he was OK with being the reserve (don't know if Nepo would be) and playing many blacks. In general, i find it too easy to criticize them, even if they obviously failed as they are in my view clearly the stronger team. Congratulations to Spain, 5 shared (8) is a very good result. Best PR overall to Sutovsky but i think best performances (subjective of course) to Ivanchuk and maybe Nepomniachtchi who certainly shows he deserves a spot on Russia 1 on the next tournament.

I find it very strange that a normal human being (especially a male) would just faint and collapse because some ass threatens to sue the federation he represents.

Yes, Kirsan - as has always been the case - is a lowlife. But it seems he will be forever in power given the really dumb and weak opposition he faces. Capable, respectable people steer clear of the never-ending farce of FIDE politics, leaving the field to the lunatics: Kirsan, Kasparov & Co.

The Levy article at Chessbase correctly points out that Karpov made tw very serious mistakes (I wrote the same here, way BEFORE Levy):

1. He let Kasparov bewcome the face of his campaign. That is a huge no-no given Kasparov's monumental history of failures and conflict.

2. He ran on an empty platform of vague promises and constant attacks on Kirsan, basically sending a message that read: 'Elect me because Kirsan is a bad person'. He should have concentrated on providing evidence that he could actually get some legitimate corporate sponsorship for the game. How about producing a few letters - signed by his rich friends and their companies/contacts - pledging X amount of sponsorship dollars on the condition that Karpov becomes FIDE President? That would have made his campaign far more believable. Instead, he promised to create some sort of pension fund for chess professionals, something only a real retardo would deem feasible at this point.

Well, I guess the bottom line is the 2K's were just ineept away from the chess board, and not nearly on Kirsan's level when it comes to political maneuvering.

"Instead, he promised to create some sort of pension fund for chess professionals, something only a real retardo would deem feasible at this point."

Hmmm, that's actually from Kirsan's incredibly slapdash "vision": http://www.onefide.com/one-vision/

"LIVING STANDARDS of all chess Grandmasters need to be improved by mandating titled players for training missions. FIDE will study the introduction of an additional financial contribution by organizers of its events, so as to create a pension fund for Grandmasters after reaching the age of 60."

My comment on the Ukrainian strategy referred to two quick draws, understandable as they might be: Ivanchuk had learnt from Mamedyarov that he isn't invincible after all (hence a GM draw with black against Gelfand), and Ponomariov was drawish throughout the Olympiad.

To your list of individual heroes, I would add
- Belorussian Teterev who won board 3 by a large margin (and with Elo 2511 he is one of the lowest-rated players in the top twenty on all boards). It probably won't yield him supertournament invitations, but maybe a financially attractive spot in some club competition(s)!?
- Aronian whose 2888 TPR was just two points lower than Ivanchuk's. For various reasons he was largely overlooked: Armenia didn't really fight for the medals this time, his five wins were distributed differently (three at the start, two in the final rounds), and his games weren't as spectacular. Methinks his wins against Jakovenko and Vachier-Lagrave were impressive nonetheless. The Frenchman played "allright" throughout most of the event, but really got some lessons from Ivanchuk and Aronian at the end.

BTW, this is somewhat, or almost reminiscent of two years ago: Topalov and Gelfand were in contention for first prize on board 1, but suddenly Leko overtook Gelfand with the smallest possible margin (TPR 2834 vs. 2833 for Gelfand), thanks to a 130-mover in the last round.

Irv (and David Levy),

Please get a clue. Karpov did not "let Kasparov become the face of his campaign."

This was a Kasparov campaign. Kasparov invited Karpov to be the campaign's presidential candidate.

Thomas, almost everything correct in your calculations, but 2.5*15=37.5; not 32.5, so Russia still could be first with 2.5 if Svidler and Ukraine drew.

mishanp i cannot agree with u when you said that rus1 didnot impres.they were under a lot of pressure being the number1 favourites,playing at home and after all they played the toughest teams,thats why they have a better tb2-if they had won against spain-than ukraine.of course they didn"t crush the oposition-but they played armenia,ukraina,china,usa, etc-of course not all their players were in top form,except karjakin,takeing malakhov was sort of a gamble,cause jakovenko realy perform well in 2008 olimpics and nepo looks to be the real deal.svidler probably should join moro outside team russia,vitiugov should probably join the first squad.

Money had a lot to do with Karjakin's move to Russia. Eljanov in a an interview on chessdom alludes to that aspect.

Anyone notice how after Vietnam's loss to USA in the 6th round, it was all downhill after the brilliant start...amazing how things went south.

Any reason why you ignored their result from the 5th round? You know, the one right before their 6th round pounding by USA. Vietnam got pounded by Georgia even worse. So, USA didn't start them on their downhill slide. Georgia did.


The real mistake by Shirov was allowing Kramnik to get a slightly favorable position with absolutely zero dynamic counter chances for himself. Shirov allowed just the sort of game Kramnik loves and he hates. Shirov, obviously disappointed at the state of things on the board, lets his play become very sub-par, and he loses like a child. An easy game for Kramnik and one that must leave Shirov depressed at being out-played so completely.


Shirov pays occasional visits to the Daily Dirt, no doubt looking for helpful tips such as those you provided about the Kramnik game.

But you could help Shirov even more by suggesting specific opening lines through which he could evade the Kramnik squeeze, or at least, lose like an adult.

I agree with greg koster that Shirov doesn't really need opening advice from <<2700 players. That being said, Jim might have a point: the Cambridge Springs variation which Shirov plays recently (avoiding Botvinnik and anti-Moscow) may not suit his style - at the Olympiad he had another loss against van Wely and a narrow escape against Vachier-Lagrave. But he is strong enough to draw his own conclusions.

Yesterday, Kramnik's 6.Qb3 was probably a prepared surprise, deviating from the mainline they discussed in Shanghai (where Shirov was also close to losing). Of course Kramnik did a few things right, besides Shirov going wrong - and I guess he was also prepared for sharper lines which he doesn't avoid these days.

It looks as a very fine kramnik-game. But also as very one-sided affair, as if it was pre-arranged (no resistance), as if a fictional textbook game to exemplify the "postion-play" style/approach to chess : manouvering to create weak pawns and holes (on both sides, 2-nd weakness principle) central breaking, combined action against those weaknesses winning eventually pawns and then the technical execution.

It would be insulting to assume that Shirov did not understand how bad for him was the position which resulted from the opening (around 15-18 move). It was only Kramnik was playing there, he was free (at will) to build up pressure.
Perhpas Shirov only had a bad day and he could not pull himself together to find the ways to mess up the game, and thus make Kramnik's task less straightforward.

Surely you can show some variations of that resistance that wouldn't make your post seem "pre-arranged" (just a random opinion with cheating allegations) by one of those Rybka-bots... Oh, wait, the one at the official site at least was giving variations from time to time to support its appreciations of the position. Sure Shirov would appreciate. Why is it that when one gets a tactically lost position people think he fell on the trap and when it's a positionally lost one people think he should fight? Sometimes you just can't, and even less against such opposition.

Junior,Svidler winning nothing but the Russian Championship 3 times is like saying the Yankees have only won the baseball championship 28 times... great job...hahahaahhhaha.btw greatjob team Naka

For what it's worth Shipov thought Kramnik's 27. Bxc6 was careless (just 27. f4 and he was totally won). As it was Shirov could have pinned the queen e.g. starting 27...Rc7 and it seems as though it gets quite tactical again (there are various nice tricks). I think tiredness was probably a big factor in Shirov losing so meekly.

I'm a huge Shirov fan and have been since the mid-90s, and it is painful for me to watch what happened to him yesterday vs. Kramnik, and I'm sure Shirov was undoubtedly a lot more critical of his own play than I was in my post. I'm also certain he'll find a way to remedy his play next time he faces Kramnik with the black pieces -- suggestions from me would be entirely way too superficial.

What would be more critical than "losing like a child" (BTW, wasn't this a comment from 14-year old Carlsen after losing a game of chess?)? Losing like a baby??

Actually Shirov's next game with black against Kramnik will be in about a week in Bilbao.

Which of course probably explains the opening choice.

Clever choice by Kramnik. Shirov probably wasn't satisfied with his own prep in the Anti-Meran. In that case, there's not much choices left, besides Orthodox QGD, which would suit Kramnik just fine. Was probably hoping for a normal Meran. And/or maybe a little bit of healthy sporting pride-wanting to prove that he could in fact defend the position that he had lost with before, against anyone.
Getting dynamic counterplay against the likes of Kramnik is difficult even on a good day. And everyone gets flattened now and again. Ivanchuck was killing everyone til his Benoni got mashed. Was happy to see some vintage Shirov at the Olympiad, too. Maybe the Vienna next time, Alexei ? : )

On second thoughts, that runs into the Catalan...

There have been a couple of reports about Carlsen somehow being "distracted" at the Olympics, but none of the reports have specified exactly what the "distraction" was. Even today, the chessbase report says that Carlsen was "very distracted" at the Olympics but offers no further details.

This leaves it open to speculation as to what this "distraction" could have been:

1. Being drunk all the time.
2. Playing blitz with teacher late at night.
3. Teenage hormones.
4. Political foolishness.
5. Your guess is as good as mine.


It's really hard to avoid the Catalan without playing indian defenses, and then one should rather aim for Grunfeld or KID which is no cake against Kramnik. What to do? Already on "Fire on the Board" Shirov makes a comment about how strong Kramnik was, especially with white... at 13!

I don't quite understand the last few comments: Shirov already played the Cambridge Springs in Shanghai when he couldn't hide his "best" Bilbao preparation, because he first had to qualify. The Meran or anti-Meran is white's choice (5.e3 rather than 5.Bg5, then 6.Bd3 or 6.Qc2), not black's.

Shirov's alternative choices would have been Queen's Gambit Accepted, Grunfeld or even KID (but that may not be a good idea against Kramnik).

"Clever choice by Kramnik" might actually refer to the rare 6.Qb3 which, according to Chessbase, he played before ... in some blitz games from the last century (late 1990s). Chessbase has a picture of that moment: apparently Kramnik got up after this move, leaving Shirov in deep thought. Hard to find an earlier moment for a surprise, as Shirov's own 5.-Nbd7 was no longer surprising.

Well yes, Thomas. Every word of your post was dealt with in the preceding ones, you have just reformulated it. What is there, then, that you don't understand?

Ah. I see, I think. Well, if you insert "after Bg5" after "choices left" maybe it's clearer. And yes, that's what "clever choice" referred to. I thought it was obvious.

It's all about names of opening variations: the anti-Meran is (after 5.e3) 6.Qc2 rather than 6.Bd3, not 5.Bg5 instead of 5.e3. You probably meant that Shirov wasn't satisfied with his prep in the Botvinnik or anti-Moscow - maybe he doesn't have any fresh ideas and didn't follow recent developments closely, as (it seems like) he gave up on those lines for the time being.

And I also don't understand Dondo's comment: Shirov played his new pet line, which may well be part of his Bilbao preparation - he might reconsider it now but doesn't have much time left. More radical options would have been:
- play something really weird: a mirror variation to Carlsen's 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 might be 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6
- take a rest day, as he did before when he was due to play Carlsen with black.
Both choices would have eyebrows raised among teammates, Ukrainians and neutral observers ... ,:)

Yes, I understood all those lines to be various anti-Merans. Wikipedia refers to Bg5 as the Anti-Meran gambit, which does distinguish it from others, I suppose.

Ah I see - actually I looked at the same Wikipedia article but only at the table of contents ,:) . TWIC also refers to 5.Bg5 as "anti-Meran gambit", e.g. in the recent Leko-Gelfand rapid match where it was played in 7/8 games. One move later white could still be anti-Meran without sacrificing a pawn, or again do so on the next move playing the Shirov-Shabalov gambit. And the various anti-Meran gambit lines each have their own proper name ... more familiar (to me!) than the overarching term.

I wonder if ECO codes are less confusing, I don't memorize them with the exception of B33 for my beloved Sveshnikov Sicilian.

Time to rewrite Wikpedia. Anti-Meran is 6.Qc2 instead of Meran 6.Bd3. I know because I lost against it yesterday.

Interesting. My MCO (DeFirmian-2007-don't laugh) has Bg5 under "Anti-Meran", and Qc2 under "Semi-Slav-Various". Anyway enough nitpicking for one day. Just stay away from the Semi-Slav and we'll all get along fine.

To briefly interrupt this incessant nitpicking about the name of a chess opening:

According to Chessbase, despite losing the election for FIDE President, Karpov says he remains "more convinced than ever that the chess world is in dire need of a major transformation."

Such as?

(The nitpickers may now resume their game.)

Was waiting for your valued input, Loek.
Transformation; well, the bottom line is the cashflow, then transformations can start.

Please tell me you meant 'Luke,' and not 'Loek!'


Variety is the spice of strife, co.


All well and good, cat. But any reference to 'Loek' in a chess-related scenario is going to bring to mind a certain Dutch GM, whose career I am particularly fond of following.

'Luke,' on the other hand, seemed to fit the context as a shot at Hag, insinuating that he is the (in)famous poster formerly known as Luke (a postulate shared by more than a few on this site), which was my interpretation of your intended meaning. The only other explanation my feeble mind can can up with is if you think Hag is, in fact, the Loek of whom I speak, but I dismiss that. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

Lucien, or Lucius, Lech, or Lex, while just as accurate, would each imply a different interpretation, however they may be inferred. I was just trying to confirm that my interpretation was correct.


Yeah keep backing that lizard face,what idiots you all are.I am by far the lesser of two evels,you no not how lucky you are that the serpent was cast back into the bowels of hell. How easily you are all manipulated by a hated,corrupt,russian politician,pathetic losers all.

Don't worry co, GM van Wely has better things to do. Yes, all references to any variation of the name "Luke" can be taken as referring to the latter, aka Stoopid/ Hag / The Answer/ whatever other ones he thinks up.

Rather surprising the anti-Kirsan propaganda hasn't stopped (and it continues on multiple sites.)

Apparently the KK Team intends to continue the fight... it'd be interesting to see what new org & tournaments they unveil in the coming days... Have to disagree with Irv on their putative lack of funds: the KKs have a huge amount of backing: from the U.S. government.

**Stay tuned, cuz it ain't over.**

(In fact, because of the geopoltiics involved it'd probably continue for years to come.)

Why is this "Rather surprising the anti-Kirsan propaganda hasn't stopped (and it continues on multiple sites.)"


Certainly, if the Russians (USSR) had controlled FIDE during the height of the Cold War era, then I might have expected that the CIA would have thrown some money into either co-opting FIDE, or in creating a rival Chess Federation.

But times have changed: Nakamura is not as talented as Fischer (even if he shares personality traits), Russia is no longer an ideological rival, and (thanks to Kasparov's loss to Deep Blue) chess has lost nuch of its cachet and prestige in America, if not in all The West.

Russia is committed to propping up FIDE. It has been doing so since Kirsan took over FIDE in 1995, and will continue to do so, with even less pretense of being discreet, now that Kirsan has nominally ceded power in Kalmykia.

It is more likely that Deep-pocketed China will be the entity that will endeavor to move the Center of Gravity of the Chess World away from Southern Russia....to the East.

The only problem with your theory that Karpov and Kasparov will receive $$ for the US governement to form a new International Chess Federation is this: Karpov and Kasparov are such money grubbers that it is difficult to conceive of them letting go of any "free money" they would get their hands on. For every Dollar that flowed through, they would take their share "Off the Top", and leave mere pennies for actual Chess operations. After all, how many ex-wives do Karpov and Kasparov have, respectively?

Kirsan may be the problem (although it is probably the case that the Body Politic of FIDE is even more rotten than the head), but Karpov is not the solution.

I had thought/hoped that K/K had some corporate and philanthropic money lined up, to launch a new Chess Federation when their bid to take over the reins of FIDE inevitably failed.

Maybe they are waiting to depart Siberia before making their next move, but it is beginning to look like this is it.

Perhaps Mig can provide some enlightenment about what transpired, and indeed post that material to The Daily Dirt, if not to Wikileaks.

Doug wrote:

"Kirsan may be the problem (although it is probably the case that the Body Politic of FIDE is even more rotten than the head), but Karpov is not the solution."

I absolutely agree.

I don't think there is any involvement by the US government - there is nothing to be gained by installing anyone (Karpov, Kirsan, Mother Teresa or Ted Bundy) as head of FIDE. Chess is insignificant from a global perspective and there are better ways of investing the money and effort.

That said, I repeat my question: IF (big IF) the backing is real and the promises of sponsorship are real too, why not create a new federation?

I mean, they could start rather small with a series of professionally-run tournaments (two per year would be enough) so that everyone could see what can be done. In fact, running these tournaments and showing a great organization would put Karpov & Co. in a perfect position to challenge Kirsan in four years - if that's even necessary by then.

Why is FIDE necessary, really? A new federation could recognize FIDE title and ratings and even take the opportunity to create a SuperGM title. It would be a smooth transition, guaranteed to kill FIDE in short order.

The problem is that it takes some money to do all this. Do Karpov and his 'millionaire friends" (as Mig put it) have any money and sponsorship? I seriously doubt it.

What personality traits does Nakamura share with Fischer? I don't see any myself.

mean, they could start rather small with a series of professionally-run tournaments (two per year would be enough) so that everyone could see what can be done. In fact, running these tournaments and showing a great organization would put Karpov & Co. in a perfect position to challenge Kirsan in four years - if that's even necessary by then.

Why is FIDE necessary, really? A new federation could recognize FIDE title and ratings and even take the opportunity to create a SuperGM title. It would be a smooth transition, guaranteed to kill FIDE in short order.

FIDE is necessary to do the sorts of things national federations want to do ...but cannot do by themselves.

1. world title cycle (including all zonal qualifiers and other regional events -- this by itself is a massive undertaking because ALL players in the world must theoretically be able to participate in qualification).

2. titles -- of all kinds

3. rules (uniform rules are a blessing that we often take for granted -- in zone 2.1 uscf's own rules are an accepted variant of the fide rules, per repeated fide decisions over the years)

4. ratings -- again, if you live in a federation that has its own rating system, you may not realize that fide's ratings are the ONLY ratings for some federations

5. outreach to new/under-developed federations i.e. chess growth

6. training of arbiters and arbiter titles

I am sure there are other functions as well that go unrecognized

The point is that the breakaway crowd always focuses on the meaty parts of the business model -- such as the world title finals or running a few elite events for the top 20 players...

..and they forget that the governmental infrastructure is important...it costs money...and it has an inertia of its own.

PCA failed because it was a breakaway for 50 players....not 50,000 players.

No such breakaway is possible or even desirable in today's environment. Each national federation would be well-advised to tend to its own internal development, raise money or put money in the bank and get healthy first before trying to transform world chess....

...which is why USCF's effort was farcical. Was it for the top 20 players? Why would USCF invest 1 dime or 1 man-hour in that effort? As long as the title cycle is fair, open to all and cost-effective...there was no reason for USCF to support Karpov EXCEPT the vanity of local governance...that dabbles because it likes to dabble.


I agree with every one of your points, chesspride.

The point I tried to make is that FIDE's functions (the ones you mention and others) could be easily replicated IF there is a solid financial basis.

When everything is said and done, it is a matter of money: if the KK Duo has "millionaire backers" and real sponsors lined up, they would not have any problems operating in parallel with FIDE. They don't even need the support of ANY federations. All they need is enough money and regularly-run events to attract the professional players. But it is all dependent on whether there is real sponsorship available for sustaining the effort long term. I doubt it.

The money would appear - were it worth it.

But it's not.

The prize to be captured was FIDE and its organizational structure.

A new organization cannot stealth its tool of Kasparov and U.S. backers. KK would purchase an administrative headache of no geopolitical value. Kasparov isn't interested in becoming a tournament director. His goal is rule over Russia itself - nothing else.

"KK would purchase an administrative headache of no geopolitical value."

In all honesty, FIDE has no value except to professional chess players or amateurs with title aspirations. Most chessplayers in the world (the 99% not good enough to obtain a published FIDE rating) spend their playing "career" blissfully oblivious to FIDE and its circus-like affairs.

I can't imagine what constitutes FIDE's "geopolitical value", either. Chess is a very marginal activity, along the lines of backgammon and poker. Nobody thinks of chess as more than a game (except for some chess players, of course).

"Kasparov isn't interested in becoming a tournament director. His goal is rule over Russia itself - nothing else."

Then Kasparov is more deluded than I thought. I mean, if the only goal is to rule over Russia, becoming behind-the-scenes FIDE President is definitely not the way to go about it.

Obviously, Kasparov might harbor grandiose political ambitions. But even assuming that Garry wants to take over Putin's position, becoming the functional head of FIDE is hardly the path that will get him to that destination. More logical to assume that Kasparov had merely scaled back his ambitions, to something that he thought was feasible and attainable: "Reforming" the Chess World (via FIDE), instead of all Russia.

Being a chessplayer provided focus and meaning to Garry's life, since he was a child. since he retired, he has been seeking to replicate that sense of purpose, but has only ended up flitting about.

"Kasparov isn't interested in becoming a tournament director. His goal is rule over Russia itself - nothing else"

Naka's biggest problem is that he has a lot of loose games with W against the 2700-2750 crowd that cost him -- i.e. Gelfand in the Youth-Experience match, Gashimov in the 1st round of the Spanish league, Wang Hao and Wojtaszek in the Olympiad.

For his sake, I hope he will be able to shore up this weakness -- I think he will. Would like to see him invited to the Tal Memorial next month.

Apparently Nakamura will play the Tal Memorial, together with Kramnik, Grischuk, Karjakin, Aronian, Gelfand and Shirov and three players still to be determined. Ivanchuk and Anand declined the invitation, Carlsen will play only the blitz event (source: TWIC partly based on an interview with Ilya Levitov).

My impression is that Nakamura does relatively better whenever he is not among the favorites. If this pattern holds, he may positively surprise in the classical event, but not in the blitz competition!?

I agree that Naka does better when playing against the best...he is still career even score against 2800+ competition (3 draws, including 2 with the black pieces).

I would expect Naka to do very well in blitz...he's easily as good as anyone in the world given his style. Whether that's enough to win the World Blitz title is another story, but I'd put him in the short list of favorites that would include Carlsen, Anand, Aronian (2009 World Rapid champion), and Kamsky (2010 World Rapid champion); IMO Naka would be 3rd favorite after Carlsen and Anand.

BTW, Aronian is quietly moving up (2794 and counting)...if he wins the Tal Memorial, he'll break 2800 and depending on how Anand and Carlsen do could become world #1.

Here is Nakamura's result in the last 3 years (since he started playing against top players), up to the last Olympiad:

Against top 5 he got 0-2=6
Lost vs Kramnik & Aronian

Against top 20 he got 3-9=17
Won vs Gelfand, Navara, Shirov
Lost vs Aronian, Kramnik, Svidler (3 times), Gelfand (2 times), Mamedyarov, Grischuk

He still hasn't proven much against the best.

Note: Nakamura's record against top 20 includes the one against top 5.

Another note: The top 20 limit in the records above is equivalent to about Elo 2725+. If we go a little lower, and compile Nakamura's record against all 2700 players, the conclusion won't change much.

Naka hasn't played much against the best, either. In those 8 games against the top 5, he's had black in 6 of them (Kramnik twice, Aronian, Carlsen, Topalov, Anand), yet is only -2 and as I noted earlier is even score against 2800+ competition.

Plus Gelfand was world #6 when Naka shellacked him on the Black side of the KID.

Bottom line: the jury is still out on Naka; these next 4 months will tell us a lot. I'm looking forward to it. My biggest concern with Naka is not the top players (2750+), but the players in the 2700-2725 range.

I was about to call this "Gashimov's Revenge" until I remembered that was title of Mig's post :) http://www.chessintranslation.com/2010/10/update-on-the-gashimov-saga/

The charming quote of the day prize goes to Mair Mamedov of the Azerbaijan Chess Federation:

"Interviewer: There are rumours that Teimur Radjabov has special status in the team. At events held overseas in contrast to the rest of this teammates he lives in a more prestigious hotel…

Mamedov: Beating Kasparov at 15 years old instead of playing in his club. Do you see the difference?"

Plus spare a tear for Azmaiparashvili...

I agree that eight games against the top 5 is a (too) small sample, and the color distribution was uneven. However:

- his losses against Kramnik and Aronian were positional lessons showing the weak spots of his play (Vachier-Lagrave had similar lessons from Ivanchuk and Aronian at the end of the Olympiad). For me, positional squeezes are as relevant or more so than tactical "shellacks" - in any case, both count the same in terms of tournament standings and Elo.

- Does it then make sense to reduce things to even less games, three against 2800+ (BTW, Topalov was already below 2800 on the live rating list when he drew against Nakamura ...)? If you mean to imply that 2800 is a different league than 2780, I would disagree: at the Olympiad, Kramnik and Aronian (who, as you say yourself, might cross 2800 soon) did better than Carlsen and Topalov.

Instead, Henry took the logical next step to include the next group of opponents, making it 29 games. And for that expanded Elo range, Nakamura had losses with white against Gelfand (twice), Svidler and Karjakin (not mentioned in Henry's list because he was "only" #21 prior to Corus 2010).

So yes, the jury is still out on Nakamura - he is not yet convicted guilty (of doing badly against 2700+ opposition) - but for the time being the tendency is against him. Why is it so hard to deny this?

And maybe I need to explain what I meant with "Nakamura doing better when he's not a favorite". Looking backwards:
US Championship 2009 - he won and the hype around him started, +1 for him
San Sebastian - he won (but note that he mostly beat the tailenders), +1 again
NH 2009 - -1 because he was sick, else it would have been -2
London 2009 - I didn't expect him to compete with Carlsen and Kramnik for tournament victory (maybe he and his fans had such expectations, hopes or dreams), but I considered him favorite for third place which requires more than =4-1 against the rest of the field, -1 altogether (but within the event his draws against the two leaders fit the overall pattern)
World Team Championship - he and the US team overperformed, +1
Corus 2010 - a fine result (but again he mostly beat the lower half of the field), +1
US Championship 2010 - he couldn't defend his title and was crushed with white by Shulman in a key game, -1
NH 2010 - he won but not convincingly, 0 for the result, -1 for his play
Olympiad - the team did OK (nothing wrong with the 9th seed finishing in 9th place), but couldn't live up to Naka's claims that "we will fight for gold". For Nakamura himself, again 0 for the result (he actually won a few Elo points), but -1 for the play he showed.

The near future:
Tal Memorial: ? note that this will (probably) be his first event without "weak" (<2700) players
London: ?

For me, claims as "Nakamura will _certainly_ enter the top10 and become a fixture there" are still premature. And claims during early rounds of the Olympiad that he's the dominant individual player (only Ivanchuk doing better) DID turn out to be premature - no surprise to me, becaue even in the early rounds his results were better than his play.

Yeah, Nakamura beat Gelfand once with Black (at World Team). But he also lost against the same Gelfand twice, both with White (at NH and Bundesliga).

In fact, that win against Gelfand was his only win with Black against anybody in the top 20.

Nakamura played about equal number of Whites and Blacks against top 20 (including top 5).

He got 14 games with White and 15 with Black.
In both cases, with negative score.

White games: 2-4=8 (14 games)
Won vs Navara, Shirov
Lost vs Gelfand (twice), Svidler, Mamedyarov

Black games: 1-5=9 (15 games)
Won vs Gelfand
Lost vs Aronian, Kramnik, Svidler (twice), Grischuk

There is no reason to say Nakamura has a disadvantage of playing more Blacks. He has about equal Whites and Blacks, and is negative with both colors.

If you say this statistics is not much, then your 3 games against 2800 players is meaningless statistics, and there is no reason to say he "does better" against the best. As far as we know, so far he produced 37.5 % against the best (top 5), and 39.7 % against top 20.

I noticed something interesting while checking Nakamura's records. He has played almost all top players, but never against Wang Yue at this level (they only played some games as juniors).

Yes, I didn't include games against 2700 players if they are not top 20. If we also include the other (lower) 2700s, we will find more losses, such as against Karjakin at Corus, and the 2 losses in the last Olympiad (against Wang Hao and Wojtaszek). The final conclusion won't change.

I also agree that the 2800 distinction doesn't mean much. But top 5 distinction perhaps means something. In the last couple of years, the same group of players has occupied top 5, showing a consistent distinction between them and the rest. Furthermore, the difference between no. 5 and 6 is often around 20 points, while subsequent differences from no.6 down the list are much less significant.

What in the world is Magnus wearing in Bilbao???
I think his chess rating exceeds his style rating.

"Interviewer: There are rumours that Teimur Radjabov has special status in the team. At events held overseas in contrast to the rest of this teammates he lives in a more prestigious hotel…


- I read somewhere that Radjabov's father is a VERY rich and powerful man in the small country of Azerbaijan. Proberly his son enjoy some of his fathers wealth and prestige. Deservingly or not...

Some people here appear to be extremely obsessed with Nakamura. Perhaps too obsessed.

"So yes, the jury is still out on Nakamura - he is not yet convicted guilty (of doing badly against 2700+ opposition) - but for the time being the tendency is against him. Why is it so hard to deny this?"

Because Naka has played in virtually no supertournaments (i.e. all participants 2700+), yet is still #15 in the world. That's why. Its still too early to judge.

"So yes, the jury is still out on Nakamura - he is not yet convicted guilty (of doing badly against 2700+ opposition) - but for the time being the tendency is against him. Why is it so hard to deny this?"

Because Naka has played in virtually no supertournaments (i.e. all participants 2700+), yet is still #15 in the world. That's why. Its still too early to judge.

Maybe that says more about the world...than the player.

After all...who would be # 15 in 1930? Vidmar? Kashdan? Reti?

Nakamura hasn't played in supertournaments, but he did play those 29 games against top 20 players (and more than 30 games against 2700 players), with a negative score. That's a fact.

Whether that's enough statistics to predict his future results, that's another story. But that's enough to say that SO FAR he has not proven himself equal to 2700 players on a face-to-face basis. He might improve, of course, but he hasn't shown it yet, so far it's negative.

His no. 15 position shows that his overall performance (against all opponents) is comparable to the overall performances of other top 20. But that's not the same statement as saying he had performed well against (i.e. face-to-face against) the best. He had not. So far, his performance is negative.

I'm not obsessed with Nakamura. Just obsessed with statistics :-).

Pioneer said:

"However, I think that when positional players like Leko, Yue, etc. show a pattern of taking 20 move draws against other super-GMs (which they have done FREQUENTLY), this in combination with their less obviously flashy style leads to denigration."


What statistics do you have to show that Wang Yue shows a "pattern" of 20 move draws against super-GMs, which he has done "FREQUENTLY"? I am not asking for a few examples. Show me statistics.

From my record of all Wang Yue's games against top 20 players (about 100 games), his average move is 43.09 moves. If you want to take just the draws, his average move is 40.02.

So where is your so-called pattern?

Of course, Wang Yue did play some 20 move draws, just like other GMs, but he is also ready to play long engdames. Contrary to your statement, my impression is that he actually loves to play such long endgames.

Pioneer said:

"Right now, few players are having a better Olympiad than Naka. Only one I can think of at the moment is Ivanchuk."


This is a few hours before Nakamura lost to Wojtaszek, followed by another one against Wang Hao.

Be careful when making statements :-).

Which is why I said "right now". At that time, it was absolutely correct...btw you were pretty quiet when his ELO for the Olympiad was 2964. Everyone is a genius after the fact.

The stats thus far (since you claim to love stats) say that Naka is even score against 2800+ competition, and is most vulnerable to players rated 2700-2725...albeit all on a small sample size as he has yet to be consistent invited to the 2700+ supertournaments the way everyone else in the top-15 has. Making broad judgments about Naka's future based on such a small sample size is foolish, regardless of your opinion about his ability.

I have said my peace on Naka, and the next 4 months will give us all a much better picture of the caliber of player he really is. If you want to keep hating, go ahead.

If you want to take objective expositions of facts and statistics for hate, go ahead. You may feel a bit lonely (or, sadly, not). I also think Nakamura is a good player, but by no means consider him such a promising one. Only time will tell. So far, it's what it is.

"Naka has played in virtually no supertournaments (i.e. all participants 2700+), yet is still #15 in the world."
Given his negative score against 2700+ opposition, maybe Nakamura is currently #15 _because_ he hasn't played too many games at that level, not "despite the fact"? While the number of games is limited, it makes more sense to me to look at the available evidence than ignoring it or using it selectively (singling out his three games against Carlsen and Topalov). Of course this refers to the recent past, not the (nearby) future.

"he has yet to be consistent invited to the 2700+ supertournaments the way everyone else in the top-15 has"
Ground-truthing required: Over the last two years
- Karjakin didn't play any such invitational events (he played Bilbao, qualifying with his win at Corus 2009)
- Mamedyarov played Dortmund this year ("consistent" means more than one event)
- Eljanov played NO top events
All played the FIDE Grand Prix events, because they met the criteria for participation at the start of the series, Nakamura did not at the time.

Actually I think it's more appropriate to compare Nakamura with other players who still have to become established at the world top (which includes roughly even or better results against fellow 2700+ players). As examples:
- Vachier-Lagrave played (and won) Biel 2009
- Wang Hao played five games in Shanghai earlier this year.
Again, one event is not a consistent pattern.

IMO, the available evidence suggests that Nakamura was pushed rather than hindered:
- To become invited in London twice in a row, you have to be English, absolute world top or Nakamura. That's positive discrimination.
- "Normal Corus procedure" is that rising stars have to qualify for the A group by winning the B event, often preceded by winning the C group. An exception was made for Nakamura.

All this speculation about the paucity of Elite tournament invitations Nakamura has received implicitly assumes that all other factors are equal (i.e. That Nakamura demands roughly the same terms/conditions for his services as a typical 2700+ or Top 20 player. If his demands for money are not in scale with his peers, it could explain why organizers might prefer to invite other players, if they suffice to maintain the category/prestige of the event. Nakamura WILL get invitations to Elite Events--Category 19-21, and he will be given some opportunity to excel. His sample sizes against the 2800+ players, Top 5, Top 10, Top 20, and 2700+ players will grow, and so will our basis to draw conclusions about where he belongs in the Chess hierarchy. Nakamura's record against the "28s" may indicate that he in potentially an absolute peer of Carlsen, Anand, Topalov, and Kramnik...or it may simply indicate that these players have not deemed it worthwhile to invest the time and effort in dissecting Nakamura's playing style. Nakamura has exploitable weaknesses, and it is a race to see whether Hikaru can recognize and remedy those weaknesses before his rivals manage to detect and exploit them.

Do not enough money to buy some real estate? Worry no more, just because that's achievable to receive the loan to work out such problems. Thus take a sba loan to buy everything you require.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 23, 2010 1:50 AM.

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