Sunday 9 September 2012

The Olympiad - The last round and final word

The last round in 40th Chess Olympiad was finished. The gold took Armenia with a minimal victory against Hungary, while Russians won against Germany with 3-1 but took only the silver medal. China lost 3-1 to Ukraine which took bronze.
Swedes crashed Brasil by 3-1 and finished in the top 20, while Bosnians had the worst day during the Olympiad and lost against approximately equal rated Bangladesh with 2,5-1,5.
A pleasant surprise came from Denmark, and they will also finish in the top 20 after superb victory against Georgia with 3-1.

Bosnia and Herzegovina-Bangladesh 1,5-2,5

It can not be much worse for your final place when you finish Swiss-tournament defeated in the last round.
It means that Bosnia and Herzegovina will finish lower than their average rating place, despite fact that they were placed between 10th and 40th place all the Olympiad.
It is how it is, and to be honest maybe the final standing was not a primary goal for Bosnian team.
If we look a bit historically, all the Olympiads from our independence the best result that we made was the second place and silver medal in Moscow 1994, while in Yerevan 1996 we shared 5-7 place.
All later Olympiads were not as successful as these two in the beginning and it is worth to mention 18th place in Istanbul 2000 and 15th in Bled 2002.
Later on, Calvia 2004 with 25th place, and Turin 2006 with 41th place were clear indication of demise of medal aspiration for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In Dresden in Germany 2008 we were 30th while in Khanty-Mansiysk 2010 we were on very low 66th place.
This year in Istanbul I personally did not have great expectations as we played with team without some of our main players. However they surprised me in a positive way, as they played almost all the time against higher rated teams and with very good success. The final place however will not be a good reflection of play.
In the match against Bangladesh, we played without the best scorer Denis Kadric, and it did not finished well. On the first board Kurajica lost very complicated game, after he blundered in the time trouble.
Despite some chances on the second and third board, Bangladesh players fought hard for two draws and Tomic´s draw on the fourth table could not change things. It was minimal defeat for Bosnians.
What is the most positive thing from the Olympiad is the final GM norm made by Denis Kadric.
In him, we got a new player for many Olympiads, and as we got one more GM earlier in 2012 (Stojanovic took his final norm in European Individual Championship in Plovdiv) we can hope that together with Borki Predojevic we have respectable team to fight for better positions than we took in the last two Olympiads.
These norms from Stojanovic and Kadric is a clear indication for other young players in the country where should they try to play as I do not see a big improvement potential by playing a big number of rapid tournaments which are organised in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This, and a little more sport ethics can improve our performance considerably.
What I mean is that a victory in the last round is probably much more worth for the final standing than two big victories in the middle of the Olympiad.
We have two players in the team who past their best chess years, and the Olympiad is tough competition with 11 rounds. At the end they could not play on the same level as in the beginning.
We shall see which course will take Bosnian chess in the next couple of years.

Sweden-Brasil 3-1

Swedes did just what I expected in the last round. After some tough moments in the middle of the competition, one could note that Swedes pushed hard to change things in their favour.
They won their last four matches and that can guarantee high place in the Swiss competition.
Their main player was Nils Grandelius, who played very self-confidently on the first board.
He won some crucial games, and he did not disappointed today. He won with white pieces in a nice style.
Almost as good as Nils was Hans Tikkanen on the second board, despite having some health problems during the event.
Their third board Emanual Berg did not played as expected, as he oscillated much on a very low board for his standards.
On the fourth board played Pontus Carlsson and Axel Smith, both débutantes in the Swedish team on the Olympiad.
Pontus won two crucial games, today against Brasil and earlier against Croatia. He had two losses but both did not influenced the results on the matches.
Smith played 6 games with a white pieces and his 50% on the fourth board was clear under-performance.
Swedes won against lower rated teams, with one exception against Emirates, and against higher rated teams they took 3 mp, which means that they as a team over-performed by 1 mp.
This is clearly supported by final standings, and their result can be considered as a success.
However, I think that Swedish young generation with Grandelius and Tikkanen as their best representatives can do a much more with some experienced players in the team.
They too (just as Bosnians) did not played with all of their best players, and maybe am I too optimistic but I think that in the next couple of years Swedes can do a result which can be better than Istanbul 2012.
In the last 20 years, the best result by Swedes is 11th place in Yerevan 1996 followed by 15th and 17th place in Elista 1998 respectively Turin 2006.
As I said, Sweden has a new generation of players which can do a better things with a bit more support.

Other results:

Russia-Germany 3-1
Despite this victory, Russians will not take the Gold medal, as their TB2 was lower than Armenians. I have to appologise, as I did not have right with my thoughts about TB2, and this is explained on chessbase. I still don´t think that this is the best possible way for TB2 but is much better than I thought in the beginning.
Kramnik and Karjakin won their white games for this big victory.
Armenia-Hungary 2,5
Movsesian was an Armenian hero, for their gold medal.
Ukraine-China 3-1
China has an historic chance to take the gold medal, but they lost to Ukraine and did not even took silver or bronze.

Final Standings:

1. Armenia 19 mp
2. Russia 19 mp
3. Ukraine 18 mp
4. China 17 mp
5. USA  17 mp
14. Serbia 15 mp
16. Sweden 15 mp
18. Denmark 15 mp
25. Slovenia 14 mp
27. Croatia  14 mp
38. Macedonia 13 mp
54. Bosnia and Herzegovina 12 mp
88. Montenegro 10 mp

Nothing much changed in top-chess, as all the best places were taken by former Soviet republics. China is a new (chess) super-power and USA is always good, but most of their players are by origin Soviet players.
Former Yugoslavian republics are still strong in chess, and chess is still dominated by European (mostly east-European) countries.
A clear progress was shown by Asian countries, while south-Americans has their positions too. 
At the end of my Olympiad rapports I hope that you enjoyed, and that you will follow to read my blog. I have to say that number of readers raised considerably during the Olympiad.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the coverage!

    And congratulation to the Swedish team for a nice finish !