Friday, 7 September 2012

The Olympiad - Round 10

Today´s round is almost finished (there some more games unfinished but nothing serious will change), and it is still completely open question who will win the Olympiad.
We could see that USA won against Russia yesterday, bringing everybody (expect Russians) very exciting finish.
Today, they lost to China who is now in the lead, together with Russia and Armenia who won against Netherlands.
As all three teams played against each-other they will get some easier opponents tomorrow.
I don´t know what is the first tie-break but it seems that it is number of game-point won by opponents which I will explain later in the text. This was also one more successful day for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sweden. Bosnians played against higher rated Austria, and had all chances to win this match, but are probably satisfied with 2-2.
Swedes won against lower rated Canada with a minimal possible margin and you can guess who was their match winner.

Bosnia and Herzegovina-Austria 2-2

Not bad at all.
After two loses Bojan Kurajica played very safe and took a draw against higher rated Markus Ragger. In that moment Tomic had advantage on the third board and one could already see Bosnians winning again. However his opponent tried his best and succeeded in securing a draw. The games on board two and four (Bosnians black boards) were drawn by stable play by Stojanovic (who wait´s FIDE congress to approve his GM title) and soon to be GM Denis Kadric.
Stojanovic played with his king in the centre but closed character of the position proved that he did not had any problems.
Kadric sacrificed a pawn for some activity on the queenside, but it was not enough for advantage because his queen hadn´t support of other pieces.
What can Bosnians expect after this round is up to the pairing for the last round.
If we look just by means of final standings than it is all up to the last round, but in my opinion nothing can ruin a good impression.

Sweden-Canada 2,5-1,5

At one point during the match I thought that Sweden could win with a 4-0.
Grandelius had stable advantage on the first board and Berg had position in which his opponent tried to prove an compensation for sacrificed pawn. On the White boards Hans and  especially Axel had a substantial advantage.
Hans played solidly and his advantage was converted in a extra-pawn in the rook endgame, which was not enough for a win.
Smith could increase his pressure with Bf6 in one moment (I think that he would won the game in the next couple of moves), but he took decision to take Bxe7 and lost all his advantage. His game was first to finish.
Berg played a draw after some complications, and on the first board everything was up to the Nils.
It looked like he lost control in the time trouble but his opponent blundered something (I think that f4 was an mistake) and NIls won after some tactics.
I think that Swedes are for the first time after the round one, on the position when they are better placed then their average rating, and they can improve even further with one good match (and some luck in the pairings) in the last round.

Other results:

China-USA 2,5-1,5
Ding Liren won against Onischuk and there were three draws in the rest of the games.
Russia-Argentina 2,5-1,5
Karjakin won, and Russia won without Kramnik.
Netherlands-Armenia 1-3
Azerbaijan-Ukraine 1,5-2,5
Czech Republic-Poland 1-3
Denmark-Hungary 0-4
Slovenia-Croatia 2.5-1,5
Serbia-Switzerland 2,5-1,5

Now Russia, China and Armenia have 17 mp, but what I want to say that I don´t have a clue who is leading by tie-break.
What I want to say that I understood that the first tie-break is probably number of points which took your opponents.
All right, what is strange with that?
No match points but game points!
It means that according to standings after round 9, it is all the same if you played against England or Faroe Islands!
It doesn´t make any sense. For me, if the first criteria is match-points than the first additional criteria should be number of match points gained by your opponents and if I look at some teams it looks very logical because in this system teams are trying to win their matches and it is more worth if you play against two teams who had for instance 14 mp, than to play against two teams with 10 mp but maybe the same number of game-points due to some 4-0 victories.
I hope that this will be discussed and changed for future Olympiads.

I will publish standings and the pairings of the last round later during an evening.


Rank after round 10.

1-3. Russia, China, Armenia  17 mp
4. Ukraine  16 mp
5-8.  Hungary, USA, Germany, Poland 15 mp
14. Slovenia 14 mp
27. Serbia  13 mp
28. Sweden  13 mp
32. Denmark  13 mp
37. Croatia  12 mp
39. Bosnia and Herzegovina 12 mp

Pairings for the last round (note, it will be play on Sunday, not tomorrow!)

China needs to win this match in order to win a gold. According to rules, which I already wrote about, the best possible victory (for every team) in the last round is 2,5-1,5 and not 4-0, because team can get 2 match-points and build up the first criteria with additional 1,5 from the opponents. This is just not right! Maybe I misunderstood something, but it is very clear what is the TB2 on the official site.
I have to say that Armenia and China has a bit more difficult matches than Russia, but that is somehow fair as Russia had the most demanding matches during the Olympiad.
Russia will definitely push hard with Kramnik in order to overtake the first place in case China fails to win against very strong Ukraine.
This is the last match in which fate of the medals can be decided.
There are some interesting matches with teams with 14 mp, but I shall jump directly to Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Very interesting pairings for Swedes. It is not to difficult opponent (they could get Azerbaijan for example) but not the best possible to. Brazilians are a bit higher rated, but Swedes already played a draw with for example Serbia which is even better rated then Brazilians.
It is completely open, and what is curiosity is that one of the Brazilian players speaks Swedish. I will not tell you which one until the final round finishes.
Sweden is placed 28 right now, for the first time higher then their rating and they have 3 victories in the row. Whit possible victory they can go up probably between 16-20 place.

Bosnia and Herzegovina-Bangladesh
Bangladesh is rated 48th while Bosnia and Herzegovina is rated 50th. It means that this match is completely open too.
Bangladesh did not performed very well during this Olympiad, and almost all of their players are in minus in rating, while all of our players are in a plus.
The Olympiad is very specific competition and Bangladesh can finish a way higher than Bosnia and Herzegovina with possible victory but impressions that two teams left are completely different.
However that Bosnian players need to play just like in the first 10 rounds and everything will be good. A draw is good, victory is perfect and a lost in not an catastrophe.

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