Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The Olympiad - Round 8

A very little positive can be said for today´s round.
Results of Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina were opposite again and we could see Sweden winning 3-1 while Bosnians lost 1-3. But why than there are little positive things today? Well, to not win against Nigeria with 4-0 is not satisfactory at all.

Sweden-Nigeria  3-1

A Swedish team captain took very reasonable decision and played with Pontus Carlsson again correctly evaluating his lost yesterday as an consequence of state in the match in that moment.
Nigeria has only one Elo rated player, and other players are without Elo (and they are performing on decent level but still far bellow Swedish players).
Nils Grandelius had the hardest task on paper, but he played confidently, took an early initiative and won in nice style.
His play on the first board is excellent so far, and Sweden probably got a player for the first board in future Olympiads.
Emanuel Berg played quite logical game, and his opponent just didn´t understood a position.
Emanuel´s accumulated activity on the kingside was enough for safe victory.
In that moment, Pontus Carlsson took to much risk and his position was beyond repair.
His opponent converted it in a full point very nice, and Sweden lost an important point.
Hans Tikkanen played very aggressive with black pieces, and his opponent defended acceptable, but with approaching time trouble his level of resistant dropped considerably.
Hans won, and final result is 3-1.
I am sure that Sweden expected 4-0, but they won 2 match points, and they can take advantage of Swiss pairing system, and with some victories in last rounds their result can be improved.

Bosnia and Herzegovina - Belarus  1-3

This round was not good for Bosnians. We took en early lead, when Denis Kadric won in a nice style on the fourth table. He is on his way to the GM norm, and I think that his performance is around 2700. He just need to show up on the next two games!
I know that he already has one GM norm from Zadar Open 2011, and Olympiad norm is counted as double norm so his job for GM title is almost finished.
He only needs to improve his rating to 2500, and I think that we can expect this to happen a way before the next Olympiad. It should be nice to have one more Grandmaster in the country.
Well done Denis!
His victory didn´t helped to much, as Kurajica played under his usual level, and was already  lost. I had impression than he waited Denis to win his game and  then to resign, purely by psychological reasons (not to put pressure on other players in the team).
Dizdarevic played very safe with white, but I think that he was a bit depressed when he understood that we can not save a match. He resigned shortly after it.
Bosko Tomic played  The King´s Indian Defence, against Teterev (Yes, that guy who was crashed by Michael de Verdier). Bosko had a nice position when he panicked and started to play over aggressive. He was punished for that.
It was 3-1 for Belarus.
Guys are playing very well, and thay lost against very strong China, and against always dangerous Belarus, but they need to improve a bit just for a reason of final standing, even if their performance was quite good so far.

Other results:

Russia-Ukraine 2,5-1,5
This is it! Karjakin won against Volokitin and Russia is on their way to the gold medal.
Three games ended in a draws.
It was very funny how chess computers don´t understand chess, and how their level of play in the endgames is very low. In the game Karjakin-Volokitin, engine with evaluation of position on organizers website showed +0.24 in a pure rook endgame. All who blindly followed this game trusting computer´s evaluation could expect this to end in a draw. In that moment Volokitin took Karjakin´s pawn on h4 (which was an only move) and on the board they had only 6 pieces left.
The new evaluation was quickly made by help of tablebase (which can operate just with 6 or less pieces), and than it showed mate in 47!!
Enough about engine evaluation and +0,24 evaluation. I have to say that, this does not mean that computer played best possible moves, but position was lost anyway and just by approaching it in the game computer "understood" that it is lost. 
It means that computer would ,in hypothetical game, make decisions out of 0,24 evaluation!
For example, go in that position, instead of less promising 0,50 which actually could be a draw.

Azerbaijan-China 2-2
Wonderful game by Mamedyarov.

Armenia-Uzbekistan 3-1
Macedonia-USA 1-3
Germany-Hungary 2,5-1,5
This means that European Champion is very close to the medal!
England-Philippines 1-3
This is a real surprise, and Philippines team, rated 35 is now in the places where they can expect fight for the medal.
Serbia-India 2-2
Croatia-Poland 1,5-2,5
Spain-Israel 0,5-3,5
Denmark-Norway 3-1

An update with introduction to the next round will come shorty after organisers publish pairings for round number 9 and standings after round number 8.



1. Russia   15 mp
2-6. China, Armenia,USA
       Germany, Philippines  13 mp
20. Serbia  11 mp
22. Macedonia  11 mp
25. Slovenia  11mp
26. Denmark  11mp
35. Croatia  10 mp
46. Sweden 9 mp
50. Bosnia and Herzegovina 9 mp
70. Montenegro 8 mp

Round 9.

This is the last chance where Russia can lose their lead (even than tie-break is on their side) but I doubt it.
With these two teams list of aspirants for gold medal is finished. There are many teams with 12 match-points and they can compete for medals, but objectively not for gold.
I am glad that they will play against each-other, because at least one land can go on 13 mp!
This is one of these matches which Sweden should win with their normal play, but they need to not underestimated their opponents. Mongolia is rated number 56 and Swedes are favourites tomorrow.
Bosnia and Herzegovina-Finland
Finland is rated 52 while we are rated 50, so this should be very tight match. I dare to say that 2-2 is the most realistic result, but Finish players had their rating average based on very strong first table, Tomi Nybäck. If Kurajica manages to stop him, than I think that Bosnians are slight favourites, but this is very open match.

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