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Batumi Olympiad 2018

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  • That experience will vary in fairness. I know at the European Cup last year, our longer games were very keenly contested and I think were more liable to be decisive.

    Without knowing if a draw offer was made, it's harsh to criticise the player, and I don't see how you can criticise the captain.




  • Board pairings are up for round 4. David Fitzsimons is rested today against Faeroe Islands.
    Alex Baburin plays GM Helgi Dam Ziska who won his title at a previous olympiad.

    For the women's match against Uganda, poor Mercedes is rested after yesterday's ordeal.

    Diana Mirza will be playing the Queen of Katwe, Phiona Mutesi, whose story made such a great film a few years ago. I shall certainly be keeping an eye on that one.
    This match is also a good chance for Eibhia Ni Mhuireagain to get on the scoreboard.

    There are some top games to watch in the Open, especially (again) the USA match. Stand-out match-ups include
    Le Quang Liem v Vachier-Lagrave (could be a Najdorf?)
    Caruana v Anand
    Mamedyarov v Adams




  • Tough looking matches today as our teams start to meet roughly equal opposition.
    After two and a quarter hours, the men may be slightly better on two or three boards but anything could happen.

    In the women's, unfortunately Eibhia seems to have sac'd a piece for almost nothing, while Diana, Hannah and Gearoidin look roughly equal.
    We need one of them to win and actually Diana would have been almost lost if the Queen of Katwe had found the fairly simple 19...Rxe1 (when 20 Qxe1 loses the exchange while 20 Nxe1 Bxf4 shatters White's pawn structure.)




  • One hour later, Diana has won a pawn and Hannah is better too. Eibhia still fighting. Gearoidin has some chances to win her ending too.

    Baburin drew and we are better in two of the boards.
    Caruana beat Vishy in 2.5-1.5 win for USA.

    Kramnik just got mated. Russia still need care to draw their match against Poland (Jakovenko should have lost in the middle game).

    Azerbaijan are killing England; Howell drew, Adams lost and the other two are worse.




  • After four hours and a quarter playing time:

    Three draws agreed in the Open so far. Alex Lopez may have a small edge and it's up to him to win/save the match.

    Diana won and Hannah has a winning ending.
    Gearoidin's ending was one of those nasty B v N affairs with rival passed pawns. I'll have to study it later but online Stockfish says she was clearly better around move 43, then she made a ghastly blunder at move 55 which fortunately wasn't noticed by the opponent (55...Ne4+!) and the Ugandan player later missed two chances to force a winning K+P ending. But she is well ahead on the clock so the prospects of saving this are not good.

    Eibhia lost so the prognosis is 2-2 in both matches.

    It looks like Dragun will beat Jakovenko after all to win the match for Poland against Russia. He has B,N,P v R. So long as he can mate with bishop and knight.


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  • So 2-2 in both matches as predicted. Hannah showed good technique to win the ending of R=3 v B+3 on the same wing.

    Poland-Russia was not the only result today against the seedings. Nepo' won for them against Wojtaszek but Karjakin only drew with Duda. Kramnik's loss was the biggest individual upset of the day.

    Lithuania beat the home nation Georgia's first team 3-1.

    It's also surprising that Norway, without Carlsen and Hammer, could whitewash Iceland.

    In the women's tournament, USA look like being held to 2-2 by Azerbaijan but Zatonskikh is trying to win R+N v R.

    UPDATE: She won it! Check it out at https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/olympiad-batumi-2018-women/4/5/1

    One individual star performance is worth noting: GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (originally from Georgia and a former Soviet women's champion) now has 4/4 for Scotland on top board, and as they lost for the second time today she'll probably get a beatable opponent in every round.




  • One individual star performance is worth noting: GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (originally from Georgia and a former Soviet women's champion) now has 4/4 for Scotland on top board, and as they lost for the second time today she'll probably get a beatable opponent in every round.

    Herself and Korobov are carrying my fantasy team! Both on 4/4 (I also have Girya and Batsiashvili on 3/3) :)




  • Round 5 draws so; last round before the break.

    Ireland v New Zealand in the Open; seeded one below the Faroes (who we drew with today) and 11 below us. Another tough but winnable match; hopefully law of averages means we can improve on today.

    The women have Malawi, 125th seeds (we're 88th), and looking at the ratings, they should cause us no particular problems. A 4-0 is a possibility, though it's always tough.




  • cdeb wrote: »
    Round 5 draws so; last round before the break.

    Ireland v New Zealand in the Open; seeded one below the Faroes (who we drew with today) and 11 below us. Another tough but winnable match; hopefully law of averages means we can improve on today.

    The women have Malawi, 125th seeds (we're 88th), and looking at the ratings, they should cause us no particular problems. A 4-0 is a possibility, though it's always tough.

    Stephen and Diana rested today. There's a good chance of two Irish wins today; let's hope!




  • After 12 moves and half an hour, Eibhia is a piece and pawn up.
    Early days otherwise.


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  • Hannah a piece up too now




  • 42619683_2243999479179895_3513152161431158784_n.jpg?_nc_cat=110&oh=2ffb90d6cccdb7781955d6743de8e3ed&oe=5C2B0A79
    I'm all for supporting chess in developing nations, but no one playing for longer than a week would fall for this. I presume there's just massive corruption in the selection process, and someone's niece got a holiday on FIDE's expense.




  • mikhail wrote: »
    42619683_2243999479179895_3513152161431158784_n.jpg?_nc_cat=110&oh=2ffb90d6cccdb7781955d6743de8e3ed&oe=5C2B0A79
    I'm all for supporting chess in developing nations, but no one playing for longer than a week would fall for this. I presume there's just massive corruption in the selection process, and someone's niece got a holiday on FIDE's expense.
    Oh wow.

    (In the interests of aesthetics, I think I'd have taken with the bishop)

    Gearóidín winning an exchange now, so all going swimmingly there.




  • Well it may not be chess as we know it but at least they are playing. When the olympiad was in Norway two years ago. I believe there were two or three teams entered so they could get Schengen visas but they then disappeared into the vast morass of illegal immigrants.




  • While I take your point, you'd have to wonder if it really constitutes "playing" as such. It might recur later in the tournament now that other teams can see it's something to try for.

    4-0 on the way for the women anyway; well done to them. Still all fairly even in the men's event.




  • cdeb wrote: »
    While I take your point, you'd have to wonder if it really constitutes "playing" as such. It might recur later in the tournament now that other teams can see it's something to try for.

    4-0 on the way for the women anyway; well done to them. Still all fairly even in the men's event.

    Baburin's opponent blundered a pawn at move 33 and will lose. Alex Lopez is a bit better but short of time with a few moves to the control. Conor is even shorter on time but may be fine. David has a probably won rook ending.

    UPDATE: Conor's game was drawn by repetition. Alex Baburin has won.
    Alex Lopez made the time control but seems equal now. His opponent will have to try to beat him if they hope to save the match. David is playing for two results and will probably get the favourable one eventually.




  • Conor has agreed a draw.

    Not sure how the NZ board 1 hung the pawn; it looked fairly obvious - but pressures of the board, etc, can often make it easy to criticise from the comfort of the keyboard!

    Mercedes is showing a draw, but I assume that's an error as she has B+5 v 5 and there's no question of the win.




  • women's result fixed now - 4-0.

    men are 2-1 up with David probing for a win still but very unlikely to lose unless he throws caution to the wind.




  • oops *open team 2-1 up




  • David has won. Good feeling for them to have two match wins going into the rest day.


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  • Herself and Korobov are carrying my fantasy team! Both on 4/4 (I also have Girya and Batsiashvili on 3/3) :)

    Not such a good day for you today then.

    Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant won again. Scotland also won, so she might get a more testing game on Saturday but really no team in the middle/lower part of the draw has a player as strong as her so far as I can see. Very friendly person too.

    Korobov rested; Girya drew and Batsiashvili lost. Who else have you got?

    I didn't even know about this fantasy olympiad or I would have had a go.




  • yeah, I'd a disaster - one player from each board in each section, with no more than 1 per country overall and an irish player. I think there is an official fantasy one but we made our own one on Monday morning - hence the irish player rule.

    Amonatov 0.5
    Harikrishna 0.5
    O'Donnell 0.5
    Shankland 0
    Korobov -

    Arakhamia-Grant 1
    Batsiashvili 0
    Lei Tingjie 1
    Abdumalik 0
    Girya 0.5

    4/10 :/




  • Round 6 team pairings are now up. I am not sure when the line-ups have to be declared, in view of the rest day maybe not until tomorrow evening.

    Ireland v Algeria in the Open and v Brazil in the Women's.

    Four teams still on 100% MP in the Open, so it will be:
    Azerbaijan v Czech Republic
    Poland v Ukraine

    In the Women's tournament only USA have 10 MP.

    http://chess-results.com/tnr368908.aspx?lan=1&art=2&rd=6&flag=30




  • After yesterday's league excitement, it's back to armchair viewing from Batumi starting at noon.

    In the OPEN, Ireland play Algeria in match 20 and Alex Baburin is rested for the first time.
    We are outrated on the top three boards, but in the Olympiads that usually means little.
    Alex Lopez and Conor O'Donnell play GMs, Stephen Jessel and David Fitzsimons play IMs.

    The top matches between teams on 100% are Azerbaijan v Czech Republic and Poland v Ukraine.
    Perhaps the most interesting top board match-up is in match 5 where Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran (who won the Junior World Championship last month with a round to spare) has White against Ding Liren, who has now gone about 60 (?) games unbeaten and hasn't lost a classical game in 2018.
    Also there could be some fireworks in Nepomniachtchi v Anand, while Mickey Adams has White against MVL.

    Turning to the Women's tournament, Ireland play Brazil in match 42 with White on odd boards.
    Eibhia is rested. This could be a tough one.
    The top matches are India (9 MP)-USA (10), Ukraine-China (both 9 MP), and Russia (8)-Armenia (8).




  • Diana and Hannah have drawn; the women with Black have lost or are losing, so 1-3.

    Alex Lopez has reached the time control with a clear advantage and a long fight ahead.
    Stephen Jessel's position deteriorated in time shortage (so nothing new there) and he will have trouble saving it now.
    The men with Black are probably losing.




  • Respectable result for the women alright.

    This game caught my attention at the lower end - Gambia v Mauritius. Another fool's mate - though she did at least notice the knight was attacked... I'm reminded of one of Ireland's games at the 2010 Olympiad where Ireland (black) won all four minor pieces - two of which were defended and white simply didn't recapture.




  • Great first week by the men to get to Table 20.
    Only losing to 2700+ players.
    Hopefully week two will bring some wins over 2300 players




  • I suspect Stephen felt he had to win to get a team result and took a couple of risks.




  • cdeb wrote: »
    This game caught my attention at the lower end - Gambia v Mauritius. Another fool's mate - though she did at least notice the knight was attacked...
    Well, at least they're learning from their team-mates' mistakes. The approach worked for Alpha-Zero, I guess...


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  • ishidaogo wrote: »
    Great first week by the men to get to Table 20.
    Only losing to 2700+ players.
    Hopefully week two will bring some wins over 2300 players

    Unfortunately some losses today to sub-2700 players but a great win for Alex Lopez against a 2501 GM so he may still have hopes of a norm.

    I think 1/4 was a respectable result for both teams considering their opposition. It is really tough at this level playing Black even if your openings are solid. Maybe Conor played over-aggressively in the opening but credit to him for trying. You learn more from your losses.

    As you say, Stephen would have realised a draw was no good for the team and had to try for more. It's the logic of team matches.


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