Wednesday 29 August 2012

The Olympiad

Probably every chess related person in the World knows that Chess Olympiad in Istanbul started yesterday.
I see no point to write general informations about the Olympiad as you can find all aspects of it covered on the most popular chess sites on the internet.
I shall focus on results and and games of Swedish and Bosnian teams , not because both are coloured in yellow and blue but because the majority of readers comes from these two countries and of course because I am Bosnian (more precisely Herzegovinian, but this is regional not ethical term) who lives in Sweden and have many friends in both teams.
It can be also interesting with Danish team and I will comment on them too, and probably not just Bosnia and Herzegovina but also other ex. Yugoslavian countries.
As I said yesterday was played the first round of the Olympiad, and right now I am following the second round.
Both teams (Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina) won their matches with 4-0 !
As Sweden played against respectful chess country Estonia (but their team in this Olympiad is very weak), Bosnian and Herzegovina had very exotic opponent , Guernsey.
Sweden has two débutantes in their team, and a very young team which can do a big things.
It was interesting to see their match yesterday, in which two of Swedish players with black pieces played the same variation in the Sicilian, Kan variation.
As I know that other players in the team has preferences for this variation, and that one of the Swedish GM´s wrote a book about this opening, it can be said that The Kan variation is Swedish speciality, especially against lower rated opponents.
IM Smith (one of the débutantes) had an easy job on fourth table, considering that his opponent blundered a piece very early in the game.
The convincing victory with black pieces was made by GM Emanuel Berg on the second board.
On the first board, GM Nils Grandelius played The English opening and got  the very pleasant endgame straight from the opening. Without any troubles he converted it in full point.
Some difficulties experienced GM Pontus Carlsson, but his game on the third board was decided virtually in one move (Nd5) , probably missed by Black, as his play after it was considerably weaker than before Nd5.
Today´s opponent is strong team of Serbia.
Serbia is higher rated than Sweden and has around 60 GMs on their list.
Luckily for Sweden (in today´´s round), the Olympiads (as majority of national team competitions) are played on 4 boards (not 60) and I really see this like a real challenge and the good chance of the positive result.
If I look separately on every board I cannot see substitutional advantage for Serbia.
Bosnian team are playing against Vietnam, and also has two débutantes in the team.
During this year Bosnian chess has some problems, and I already wrote about that (rating issue), and if we consider that we are playing without Ivan Sokolov (2700+ on live rating) who changed federation to Netherlands, Predrag Nikolic (2650) who decided to retire from national team, GM Borki Predojevic (2600+) and GM  Ibro Saric( 2550+) withdrew because of private problems, than we can see that we are practically playing with second team (although GM Kurajica and  GM Dizdarevic are part of the fantastic team who took the silver medal on Chess Olympiad in Moscow 1994, and  GM Stojanovic was already part of the national team in the past).
We can expect many original and not to theoretical games from Bosnian team.
Two débutantes in the team are IM Bosko Tomic and young IM Denis Kadric.
Denis just finished his tournament in Prague (European Youth Championship) on the good seventh place, and Bosko Tomic played very good during 2012, especially on European Individual Chess Championship in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
It seems to me that Vietnam (opponent in the second round) is to big bite to swallow, but in any case this Bosnian team deserved to be supported.
I am looking forward to see what Danish team has to show, as a good mixture of experienced (Sune Berg Hansen, Lars Schandorff) and young players.

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