Home Subscribe to MagazineBaker Street ShopOnline ShopReviewsContact

Send an email to the BCM

LinksMap Bound VolumesBridgeGoBackgammonPoker

37th Chess Olympiad, Turin, Italy, 21 May - 4 June 2006

Last Edited: Monday June 5, 2006 12:15 PM

The Turin Chess Olympiad starts with the opening ceremony on 20 May in the playing venue, the Turin Oval, followed by 13 rounds of chess, from 21 May to 4 June (with rest days on 26 May and 1 June). One of the big events of this Olympiad will be the presidential election, with Dutch businessman Bessel Kok mounting a serious attempt to oust the sitting tenant, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. The 77th FIDE Congress runs from 27 May to 4 June, with the general assembly timetabled for 2-4 June.


OLYMPIAD LINKS

Official website: http://www.chessolympiad-torino2006.org/
Wiener Zeitung
website, with names of players, statistics, etc
Olimpbase
website, with records of previous Olympiads and international team tournaments
http://www.chessvista.com/ - Frits Agterdenbos, Photo Reports
Scottish Team Coverage by Helen Milligan
Welsh Team Coverage by Mark Adams and Tim Kett
Irish Team Coverage
Closet Grandmaster Blog (lots of gossip about the Olympiad, plus photos, mainly focusing on the Philippines and Australia)


Playing Days: 21 May - 4 June 2006 - rest days 26 May, 1 June

Time Limit: 90 mins for all the moves, with 30 second increments - i.e. too fast!

Latest: Round 13 (the last - 4 June) Armenia (34) 2-2 Hungary (30½) - that's it, Armenia are the champions - congratulations to them - they have proved conclusively that they are the best team in Turin. Meanwhile, in the women's event - Ukraine (28) 1½-1½ Armenia (22½) - congratulations to the Ukraine women's team who have also done superbly well and deserved their success. The four Armenia-Hungary games were drawn in 15, 16, 10 and 12 moves, and the three Ukraine-Armenia games in the women's olympiad were drawn in 11, 10 and 12 moves. What we chessplayers routinely call a 'package draw', as if it were something completely normal - and what people in all other sports and games would call 'a fix'. Just imagine, next weekend, if Germany and Costa Rica decided a draw would be a good start to their FIFA World Cup campaign and shook hands on a 0-0 draw a few minutes into the game. The global audience would go crazy. The old chessplayer's refutation of that analogy was that there is no paying audience for chess so it doesn't matter. But in fact there is a massive internet audience for chess these days and we've all been deprived of some last-round excitement. It does make you wonder what was in it for the Hungarians and the Armenian women's team since the drawn matches will not get them a medal of any hue. I don't mean to make a big thing of this, nor am I directing any criticism against any individuals or federations (they are just doing what chessplayers are brought up to do) but we have to keep reminding ourselves that it makes chess look a bit silly to outsiders looking in - including potential sponsors.
   Other results : China (31½) 2½-1½ Netherlands (29½) - China take the silver medals - a fantastic achievement for the 12th ranked team. Russia (31) 1-3 Israel (30) - final round disaster for the Russians - overall sixth - their worst ever: not as bad as their Euro Team fiasco last year but they had their big guns playing this time). A good recovery for Israel - but they were pipped for bronze by USA. USA (29½) 3½-½ Norway (29) - great finish by the USA to take them into bronze position. Kamsky drew with Carlsen and the rest won... Serbia & Montenegro (27½) 1½-2½ England (28) - pretty good finish to the tournament for England, with Adams and Short finishing with wins, but there remains an overall feeling of 'end of empire' about English chess. The top players are aging and all bar Adams and Short only rank as semi-professionals these days. They finished 19th, only six places below their seeding, but did not meet any of the other top 20 finishers. Scotland (26) 2-2 Argentina (26) - a reasonable finish for the Scots whose overall performance was about par for the course. Ireland (24½) 3-1 Italy C (24½) - also a reasonable tournament for the Irish, Wales (24) 1-3 Albania (24) - sadly, Leighton Williams lost again, so he finished with 0/2 when he needed ½/2 for a GM norm - heart-breaking. The good news was that Richard Jones finished with 3/3 to achieve an IM norm. Jersey (18½) 3½-½ South Korea (18½) - Jonathan Hawes was Jersey's best player throughout. Guernsey (18½) 1½-2½ Chinese Taipei (18½) - Fred Hamperl made a 72% score for the Channel Islanders. Scores: 1 Armenia 36, 2 China 34, 3 USA 33, 4 Israel 33, 5 Hungary 32½, 6 Russia 32, 7 France 32, 8 Ukraine 32, 9 Bulgaria 32, 10 Spain on 32... 19 England 30½... 52 Scotland 28... 56 Ireland 27½... 90 Wales 25 123 Jersey 22 138 Guernsey 20. Women: Ukraine (28) 1½-1½ Armenia (22½) - gold medals for Ukraine, nothing for Armenia. India (22) 1-2 Russia (26) - good enough to secure the silver medals for Russia, but they were seeded to get gold. China (25) 2½-½ Belarus (22) - China won gold last time but without their stars they were only ranked 6th - so this was a very good result, getting them the bronze medals. 12-year-old Hou Yifan made a tremendous score. Germany (22) 1½-1½ USA (23)... Finland (18½) 1-2 England (18½) - a middling sort of Olympiad for a makeshift English team, without a couple of their best players. Australia (17) 1½-1½ Ireland (17) - Ireland must be delighted with their young player Poornima Menon who had an excellent first Olympiad, Scotland (16) 1½-1½ Jamaica (16) - Amy Officer had an excellent first Olympiad, Sri Lanka (16) 1½-1½ Wales (16) - pretty good effort from the Welsh women. Suzy Blackburn had a very good Olympiad. Scores: 1 Ukraine 29½, 2 Russia 28, 3 China 27½, 4 USA 24½, 5 Hungary 24½, 6 Georgia 24½... 42 England 20½... 73 Scotland 17½... 75 Wales 17½... 78 Ireland 17½, etc. TPR (General) Table: 1 V Kramnik (RUS) 2847 x 9, 2 Wang Yue (CHN) 2837 x 12, 3 E Bacrot (FRA) 2833 x 8, 4 M Carlsen (NOR) 2820 x 8, 5 S Karyakin (UKR) 2798 x 11, 6 Bu Xiangzhi (CHN) 2790 x 12... 18 M Adams (ENG) 2735 x 11... 50 N Short (ENG) 2650 x 11, etc. TPR (Women) Table: 1 Zhao Xue (CHN) 2617 x 13 (presumably a GM norm?), 2 Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS) 2598 x 12, 3 Hou Yifan (CHN) 2596 x 13, 4 Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL) 2563 x 12... 58 Jovanka Houska (ENG) 2337 x 12, etc. Amy Officer (SCO) was 10th, and Suzy Blackburn 13th, in the board three ranking list.

Round 12 (3 June) - England had a decent win against Iran, with Mickey Adams winning on top board against Ghaem Maghami and the other players drawing. The English squad is now down to five players after board four GM Danny Gormally flew home a couple of days ago. Before leaving, he displayed the first sign of real aggression seen from the English squad since its arrival in Turin. Sadly it was not at the chessboard, but at the Bermuda party on the night before the second rest day. From what the BCM has been able to gather from various sources present in Turin, the facts appear to be as follows: annoyed that a young lady player (Arianne Caoili of Australia - sorry, this is my third attempt to spell her name right - hope I've got it right this time) preferred to dance with Levon Aronian of Armenia, Gormally landed a punch on the world number three. Thankfully the blow did not do any real damage but the Armenian delegation was understandably incensed that their top board should be treated in this way. The next day Danny Gormally decided to go home to England (note this correction - we now understand that his decision was purely voluntary - he wasn't sent home).
    Incidentally, Gormally's team-mate Nigel Short voiced criticism of his colleague in his weekly column in the Guardian on 1 June (presumably written before the alleged incident at the Bermuda party). Curiously, the London newspaper does not seem to have published this online yet as they usually do, but here is a quotation: "Danny is clearly wrestling with demons of his own. When the entire hall rose for a minute's silence as a mark of respect for the victims of the Indonesian earthquake, England's fourth board remained slouched in his chair. Suffice it to say that he lost miserably. While everyone can be excused the occasional poor result, bad form combined with bad attitude is less easily forgiven." It seems that all was not sweetness and light in the English camp even before the incident at the party.
   Regrettably this is not the first time that an English-registered player has behaved in this manner in the course of a tournament. It goes all the way back to the 19th century master JH Blackburne who is alleged to have thrown Steinitz through a window on one occasion. There was a rather more recent incident - only last year - in which a young English player lashed out at a tournament organiser during a tournament in Ireland. This received very little publicity in the press (with the exception of New in Chess magazine). The tendency to keep unsavoury incidents under wraps seems to be the norm in English chess circles, but perhaps it is time that we learnt to air these matters more publicly. The English Chess Federation tends to keep very quiet about incidents but it is our view that the English chess public should have the right to know how players behave when they have been chosen to represent their country. Well, there we are - the headlines read "English player thumps rival in nightclub incident" - and the World Cup hasn't even started yet...
   So much for the boxing, back to the chess: Ireland were badly thumped... sorry, I shall have to avoid violent metaphors from now on... Ireland were heavily defeated by Latvia in this round, but Scotland beat Albania 3-1. Bad news for Wales: Leighton Williams lost to Utut Adianto, so his board one gold medal chance has probably evaporated. However, he may still be on course for a GM norm. Richard Jones did extremely well to defeat GM Megaranto, so his IM norm chances look rosy. Top of the Table: Armenia drew 2-2 with France to remain in a comfortable lead. China and Russia both scored 3-1 wins to cut their lead, but a 2½ point lead should be good enough for Armenia to cruise home tomorrow. Russia could have won 4-0 against Cuba but a loss by Peter Svidler set them back. One other notable result: Vishy Anand lost his individual game to Pascal Charbonneau of Canada. I cannot remember the last time a 2800+ rated player lost to someone below 2600 but it doesn't happen very often. Anand has not had a good tournament. One could cite the unfriendly time limit but Anand is probably the best rapidplay player in the world. Scores (General): 1 Armenia 34, 2 China 31½, 3 Russia 31, 4 France 30½, 5 Hungary 30½, 6 Israel 30, 7 USA 29½, 8 Netherlands 29½, 9 Bulgaria 29½... 24 England 28... 49 Scotland 26... 68 Ireland 24½... 80 Wales 24... 139 Guernsey 18½, 140 Jersey 18½, etc. Women: England lost 1-2 to Switzerland, Scotland and Wales suffered heavy defeatss, but the Irish women chalked up a 3-0 win. Ukraine scored a 2½-½ win over India (with Zhukova beating Humpy Koneru) to put themselves on the brink of winning the gold. The next two matches (France v Russia and USA v China) both ended in draws. 1 Ukraine 28, 2 Russia 26, 3 China 25, 4 USA 23, 5 Armenia 22½, 6 Georgia 22... 43 England 18½... 69 Ireland 17... 73 Scotland 16... 76 Wales 16, etc. TPR (General): 1 E Bacrot (FRA) 2865 x 7, 2 M Carlsen (NOR) 2851 x 7, 3 V Kramnik (RUS) 2847 x 9... 27 M Adams (ENG) 2709 x 10... 61 L Williams (WLS) 2645 x 8. TPR (Women): 1 T Kosintseva (RUS) 2631 x 9, 2 Zhao Xue (CHN) 2610 x 9, 3 Hou Yifan (CHN) 2575 x 10, 4 A Stefanova (BUL) 2550 x 8.

Round 11 Results - Scotland (22) 1-3 England (22½) - The ninth England v Scotland meeting in Olympiads, and it turned out to be a walk in the park for England. The two black players, Adams and Speelman, chalked up comfortable draws, while the two white players, Short and Conquest, were presented with fairly easy wins. The match was over in not much over 3 hours. The historical score is now England 7 wins, Scotland 0 wins with 2 matches ending in 2-2 draws. England won the first match 3½-½ in 1933, and the second match in 1937 was drawn (Thomas 0-1 Aitken, Alexander 0-1 Montgomerie, Golombek 1-0 Page, Wheatcroft 1-0 Reid). They did not meet again until 1958 - this and the matches in 1964, 1966, 1968 and 1970 were won by England with scores of 3-1 or 3½-½. The next meeting was in 1986 when England won 2½-1½ (Miles ½-½ Condie, Nunn ½-½ McNab, Short 1-0 Pritchett, Speelman ½-½ Motwani - note, three of those players are still playing Olympiad chess 20 years later). Their last meeting was at Moscow 1994 when the second of the 2-2 draws occurred (Adams 0-1 Motwani, Speelman ½-½ McNab, Miles ½-½ Bryson, Hodgson 1-0 Upton).
   'Right Moves' supporter Nigel Short's period of elation after his win would have been a brief one. About an hour and a half later came the news that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had been re-elected president of FIDE by 96 votes to Bessel Kok's 54. Business as usual. But let's get back to the Olympiad. Ireland (21½) 2½-1½ Mexico (21½), a good result for the Irish team, who now move higher than Scotland. Wales (19) 3½-½ Thailand (19½) - predictably, Leighton Williams chalked up another win, and that was quickly followed by wins for Richard Jones and Tim Kett. Jersey (15) 2½-1½ Guernsey (15) - another British derby match. It was decided on the result of the top board game. Top pairings: Armenia (29) 3-1 Czech Republic (26½), China (27) 1½-2½ France (26), USA (25½) 2½-1½ Russia (26½). Armenia's lead has now increased to 3½ points and they look unassailable with only two rounds to go. Aronian had an incredibly quick win against Navara to get his team off to the best possible start. China and Russia both lost ground. Nakamura beating Grischuk decided the USA v Russia match. Scores: 1 Armenia 32, 2 China 28½, 3 France 28½, 4 Russia 28, 5 USA 28, 6 Czech Rep 27½, 7 Ukraine 27½, 8 Cuba 27½, 9 Israel 27½... 33 England 25½... 49 Ireland 24... 59 Scotland 23... 74 Wales 22½... 131 Jersey 17½... 139 Guernsey 16½, etc. Women: Dominican Republic (14½) 0-3 England (14½) - it was a good day for England all round. Ireland (14) 0-3 Albania (14) - not so good for Ireland, Wales (14) 1½-1½ IBCA (14), Italy B (14) 1½-1½ Scotland (14). Top pairings: Bulgaria (19½) ½-2½ Ukraine (23) - another wonderful result for Ukraine, who move one point clear of Russia, Georgia (20) 1-2 Russia (22½) - Kosteniuk won while the Kosintseva sisters drew, China (20½) 3-0 Greece (19½) - the Chinese women are not surrendering their 2004 trophy withouta fight, India (19½) 2-1Romania (19). Women's Scores: 1 Ukraine 25½, 2 Russia 24½, 3 China 23½, 4 USA 21½, 5 India 21½, 6 Georgia 21... 41 England 17½... 67 Scotland 15½... 71 Wales 15½... 81 Ireland 14, etc. TPR (General) Scores: 1 E Bacrot (FRA) 2888 x 6, 2 V Kramnik (RUS) 2826 x 8, 3 V Akopian (ARM) 2818 x 10, 4 Bu Xiangzhi (CHN) 2814 x 10, 5 M Carlsen (NOR) 2807 x 6... 10 L Williams (WLS) 2788 x 7... 35 M Adams (ENG) 2682 x 9... 60 N Short (ENG) 2646 x 9. TPR (Women's) Scores: 1 T Kosintseva (RUS) 2659 x 10, 2 Zhao Xue (CHN) 2626 x 11, 3 Hoanh Thanh Trang (HUN) 2563 x 11, 4 L Javakhishvili (GEO) 2563 x 11, 5 Hou Yifan (CHN) 2558 x 11 (aged 12)... 39 J Houska (ENG) 2387 x 10. Board Prizes: Leighton Williams is the current leader for the board one prize with 92.9% but he still needs to play one more game to qualify.

Round 10: England lost 1½-2½ to Belarus. Adams and Pert played out fairly uneventful draws. Short won a couple of pawns but his opponent, Fedorov, got considerable compensation for the sacrificed material and might have been slightly better at one point. In the end it came down to a drawn opposite bishop endgame. Danny Gormally's game was very entertaining but, in the end, rather heart-breaking. It wasn't entirely clear whether Gormally was trying too hard to win or whether Azarov was taking big risks in a dubious position. Watching a game like this in real time makes you realise just how tough top chess is, especially at a time control that puts you in time trouble for almost the whole game. Scotland beat Australia 2½-1½, but John Shaw lost his unbeaten record. Roger and Rowson had an early truce but Colin McNab was implacable against Zhao Zong-Yuan. Shaw lost a close rook and pawn endgame. Wales, without their top two boards, were crushed ½-3½.
   One irritation for the Welsh squad was the board order of the Mongolian team. In board order (starting from board 1) the Mongolian squad is rated 2303, 2124, 2322, 2042, 2270... and 2433. That's right - the Mongolian board SIX is rated 2433, more than 100 rating points above any other member of the team. He is also a GM, whereas the rest of the squad are either FMs or untitled. Leighton Williams needs to play a third GM to have a chance of a GM norm, but he cannot play someone from the wrong end of the opposition team. How come Mongolia is allowed to get away with what most of us would regard as blatant cheating? Will FIDE allow the Mongolian board six to receive a board medal if he gets the requisite score? Anyone who has ever played team chess knows that you are expected to arrange your players in descending order of strength from board 1 down. But, as far as I can see, there is no written FIDE regulation governing the board order in Olympiads. Most self-respecting competitions have regulations which prevent the manipulation of the board order, but apparently not the Olympiad. Mind you, even where there are competition regulations in place, the organisers don't bother to adhere to them. According to the published FIDE Olympiad regulations, the time limit should be "40 moves in 100 minutes, then 20 moves in 50 minutes and finally 10 minutes for all remaining moves. From move 1, 30 seconds will be added after each move." But, as we know, the time limit in Turin is 90 mins for all the moves, with 30 second increments. It is difficult to have respect for an organisation that disregards or discards its own rules when it feels like it.
   Please forgive the long digression. Like Scotland, Ireland were successful against Antipodean opposition, beating New Zealand 2½-1½. Colm Daly failed again but the rest of the squad had a goo day. In the women's competition, England lost 1-2 to Azerbaijan, with Jovanka Houska providing the one win. Scotland and Wales drew their match 1½-1½ so I suppose honour was satisfied. Abigail Cast beat Helen Milligan on top board, but in the battle of the two high-performing youngsters Amy Officer got the better of Suzy Blackburn and has now overtaken her in terms of percentage score. Only half a game point now separates all the British and Irish teams.
   Top teams report: Armenia increased their lead with a 2½-1½ win against China. Akopian provide the full point, beating Zhang Zhong, but Aronian couldn't quite beat Bu Xiangzhi. France and USA drew 2-2 while Russia beat Ukraine 3-1 and more or less ensured that the 2002 gold medallists were out of running this time. Scores: 1 Armenia 29, 2 China 27, 3 Russia 26½, 4 Czech Republic 26½, 5 France 26, 6 USA 25½, 7 Cuba 25, 8 Uzbekistan 25... 39 England 22½... 47 Scotland 22... 53 Ireland 21½... 92 Wales 19... 133 Guernsey 15... 135 Jersey 15. Women: Ukraine beat Georgia 2-1 to maintain their narrow lead over Russia, who beat Bulgaria 2-1 despite a quick defeat for Kosteniuk. China beat Armenia 2-1 and France drew 1½-1½ with USA. Ukraine have won all their individual matches so far (though that only counts as a tie-breaker, of course). Each of the Ukrainian players has scored consistently. For Russia, the Kosintseva sisters have been outstanding but Alexandra Kosteniuk has been below par. All the big three teams have now played each other (and Ukraine have played Georgia) so it remains to be seen how they fare against the lesser sides in the last three rounds. Scores: 1 Ukraine 23, 2 Russia 22½, 3 China 20½, 4 Georgia 20, 5 Bulgaria 19½, 6 India 19½, 7 Greece 19½... 59 England 14½... 69 Scotland 14, 70 Wales 14... 72 Ireland 14. TPR Table (general): 1 V Akopian (ARM) 2849 x 9, 2 V Kramnik (RUS) 2845 x 7, 3 D Navara (CZE) 2836 x 9, 4 L-D Nisipeanu (ROM) 2833 x 6... 10 L Williams (WLS) 2785 x 6... 34 M Adams (ENG) 2694 x 8, etc. 1 TPR Table (Women): 1 T Kosintseva (RUS) 2709 x 9, 2 Zhao Xue (CHN) 2603 x 10, 3 L Javakhishvili (GEO) 2601 x 8, 4 A Muzychuk (SLO) 2585 x 8... 42 Jovanka Houska 2377 x 9 (playing to her rating of 2378). Amy Officer (SCO) has the second best TPR of all the British women taking part in Turin - 2069 x 7 - impressive for her first Olympiad.

Round 9 - England beat Mexico 2½-1½ but it was rather unconvincing. Jonathan Speelman went down to a quick and brutal defeat after messing up the opening. Conquest was completely lost but his opponent let him off the hook in the endgame. Adams took a long time to win his game but it never looked in much doubt. Nick Pert won a piece with a neat queenside tactic (17...b5!). Scotland, like England, drew 2-2 with Peru. Rowson lost on top board but Gourlay counterbalanced this with a win. Wales and Ireland both scored 2-2 draws, with Leighton Williams winning again (to keep his gold medal hopes on track) and Tim Kett scoring his third win in a row. The English and Scottish women drew all their games. Suzy Blackburn scored her fourth win in a row for Wales - she has the best percentage of all the British women. A special mention also for Poornima Menon of Ireland who has the best score on her team. Top of the table: General Competition - Armenia had their lead cut to just 1 point despite a 2½-1½ win against Ukraine (Sargissian beat Moiseenko). China thrashed Georgia 4-0, which hoisted them up the table into 2nd place. France are 3rd, having beaten Russia 2½-1½, with Fressinet clinching the match after Rublevsky blundered. Kramnik was held by Bacrot. So, for the time being, Russia are out of the medal positions. Scores: 1 Armenia 26½, 2 China 25½, 3 France 24, 4 Russia 23½, 5 USA 23½, 6 Ukraine 23½... 32 England 21... 51 Scotland 19½... 58 Ireland 19... 79 Wales 18½... 130 Guernsey 14... 140 Jersey 12, etc. Women's Competition: More bad news for Russia: they were held to a 1½-1½ by China (12-year-old Hou Yifan beat Kovalevskaya) and were overtaken by Ukraine who beat USA 2½-½. Scores: 1 Ukraine 21, 2 Russia 20½, 3 Georgia 19, 4 China 18½, 5 Bulgaria 18½, 6 Armenia 18... 52 England 13½... 67 Scotland 12½, 68 Wales 12½, etc. Other teams: It is worth noting that England is not the only leading nation that is performing below par. Spain (ranked 11th, two ahead of England) has 20½ points, that's half a point fewer than England. Alexei Shirov has been woefully off-form - he has 2½/7, with five draws, two losses and zero wins. Spain lost 1½-2½ to Azerbaijan today, and no Spaniard has won an individual game since round 5. The Azerbaijanis themselves have been doing poorly. Their player Namig Guliev, a 2580-rated GM, has scored 1/6 for a TPR of 2088. Israel (ranked 6th) have had some poor results, though they bucked up today with a 3-1 win against Paraguay. One explanation is the time control, which doesn't suit older players or those who are used to more humane time limits. Another is the rather chaotic set-up in Turin - we've heard a number of negative reports of conditions there. A further factor is the psychology of team chess. Some players find it hard to adapt to team chess, while others seem to love it (e.g. Leighton Williams, who plays better under the Welsh flag, and when he has his trusty mascot Idris beside him!). TPR (General) Table: 1 Kramnik (RUS) 2873 x 6, 2 Karyakin (UKR) 2861 x 7, 3 Sargissian (ARM) 2852 x 9, 4 Bu Xiangzhi (CHN) 2841 x 8... 10 L Williams (WLS) 2785 x 6 - that's 91.7%, making Leighton Williams the leader in the race for the board 1 gold medal at present. TPR (Women's) Table: 1 T Kosintseva (RUS) 2699 x 8, 2 L Javakhishvili (GEO) 2668 x 7, 3 Hoang Tranh Trang (HUN) 2589 x 9

Round 8 - England got back on track by beating Lithuania 2½-1½. Short won a pawn against Kveinys but couldn't find a way to convert his advantage. Speelman was a bit more like his old self, getting to a level endgame and then outplaying his opponent. Conquest ran into a storming attack by Zagorskis, who fairly blew him from the board. Nick Pert's opponent allowed him to get behind his position and White won quite easily in the end. Pert is now the player whose form is closest to his rating (minus 29, compared to Adams' minus 51 and Short's minus 52). Scotland had one of their worst results, losing 1-3 to Iran. Rowson drew fairly quickly with former 'Manx Monarch' Ghaem Maghami, and McNab was outplayed. Shaw and Aagaard both had their streaks ended: Shaw surrendered his 100% score at last (he drew quickly) while Aagaard's unbeaten record was ended (though the score of this game currently makes no sense). Ireland won 2½-1½ against Luxemburg: Collins and Daly are off form but the rest of the Irish squad is playing to rating more or less. Wales beat the IBCA (blind players) 2½-1½ with Richard Jones winning a flashy game on board one, but Richard Dineley losing quickly on board two. Tim Kett also won quite easily. In the women's section there was another good win for Jovanka Houska, and Scotland's Amy Officer made it three wins in a row. Top teams: Armenia beat Cuba 3-1 to stretch their lead over Russia to 2 points, with the in-form Akopian and Sargissian producing the wins. The Russians could only draw 2-2 with Czech Republic (Kramnik was rested and Svidler lost on top board to Navara). Scores: 1 Armenia 24, 2 Russia 22, 3 Ukraine 22, 4 China 21½, 5 Georgia 21½, 6 USA 21½, 7 France 21½... 36 England 18½... 54 Scotland 17½... 57 Ireland 17... 73 Wales 16½... 134 Guernsey 11½... 140 Jersey 10, etc. Women: The Russian women's team was also held to a draw by USA (for whom Irina Krush beat Nadezhda Kosintseva). Ukraine closed to within half a point of them by beating Hungary 2-1. Scores: 1 Russia 19, 2 Ukraine 18½, 3 USA 17, 4 China 17, 5 Georgia 16½... 50 England 12... 66 Scotland 11... 71 Wales 10½... 79 Ireland 10½. TPR Table (General): 1 S Karyakin (UKR) 2927 x 6, 2 D Navara (CZE) 2916 x 7, 3 V Kramnik (RUS) 2914 x 5. Leaders Armenia have two players (Akopian and Sargissian) performing at 2800+ and one (Aronian) performing at 2700+. Top Brit is still Wales's Leighton Williams at 2742 x 5 (he's probably got his eye on a board prize and sat out today's round). TPR Table (Women): 1 T Kosintseva (RUS) 2665 x 7, 2 E Kovalevskaya (RUS) 2638 x 5, 3 C Peptan (ROM) 2632 x 6 ... 40 Jovanka Houska (ENG) 2391 x 7.

Round 7 - England's sufferings continue. They lost 1½-2½ to Norway, so I won't be able to take my revenge on the Norwegians for that famous football commentary after all. Probably just as well. Magnus Carlsen beat Mickey Adams on top board. It was a beautifully mature game by the 15-year-old prodigy: he took a fairly balanced position where he had rook for knight and two pawns and gradually ground the former world no.4 into submission. Just the way Adams wins many of his own games. Nigel Short won an incisive game against Johannessen but Jonathan Speelman lost his first game of the event after giving up a pawn in the opening and never getting quite enough for it. Scotland are once again ahead of England after beating Finland 2½-1½. The only winner was John Shaw, who has moved onto 4/4. The two Welshmen who had not won a game so far (Kett and Thomas) now have full points to their credit. They beat Hong Kong 3-1. Of the British women playing, Amy Officer stood out with her second win in succession. As regards the medal contenders in the general section, Armenia beat Netherlands 3-1 and Russia beat Belarus 3-1 (with Kramnik winning again). So Armenia have a point lead over Russia, with Cuba just half a point behind the Russians. But there are quite a few teams still in with a good chance of medals. Positions: 1 Armenia 21, 2 Russia 20, 3 Cuba 19½, 4 Uzbekistan 19, 5 Ukraine 19, 6 Georgia 19, 7 Czech Republic 19... 36 Scotland 16½... 38 England 16... 68 Ireland 14½... 84 Wales 14... 126 Guernsey 10½... 130 Jersey 10, etc. Women: Russia crushed Slovakia 3-0 to cement their lead. But Ukraine and USA kept up the chase with 2½-½ wins. 1 Russia 17½, 2 Ukraine 16½, 3 USA 15½, 4 Hungary 15, 5 Georgia 15... 45 England 11... 57 Wales 10½... 61 Scotland 10... 85 Ireland 8, etc. TPR (General): 1 Vlad Kramnik 2914 x 5 - he's looking like a world champion again - 2 Sergey Karyakin 2884 x 5, 3 David Navara 2858 x 6, 4 Viktor Laznicki (CZE - a new name to me, he's only 18) 2856 x 6. Leighton Williams (who didn't play) is still at no.18 - the only non-GM in the top 45 names. TPR (Women): 1 Nadezhda Kosintseva 2678 x 5, 2 Kachiani-Gersinska 2678 x 5, 3 Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia, aged 16) 2638 x 5.

Round 6 - the day after the first rest day - England could only manage a 2-2 draw with Peru. Adams drew with the strong Peruvian grandmaster Julio Grande Zuñiga. The Peruvian team was predominantly young. Short played the 15-year-old IM Emilio Cordova (who beat former British champion Joe Gallagher in an earlier round) and could not find a way past his solid Trompowsky Opening, followed by a large exchange of material. There was an even younger player on board four, who is no.44 in Peru. That would seem to be pushing their 'youth policy' a bit too far: Stuart Conquest made short work of him, ending with an attractive tactic based on a queen sacrifice. But Danny Gormally came unstuck against a FM rated 2331. He is having a nightmare tournament so far. Scotland lost 1-3 to Georgia. Rowson drew solidly while McNab was ground down. Aagaard had a big material advantage (Q+B v R+R) but couldn't find a viable way to capitalise on it and only drew. Gourlay was outplayed. Ireland had a tough match and lost ½-3½ to Poland. Brian Kelly did well to avert a 0-4 whitewash by hanging on against Macieja. Kempinski showed good technique to win a level opposite bishop endgame. Wales went down 1½-2½ to quite a strong team from Syria. Leighton Williams finally broke his 100% streak with a draw (though he was lucky to get it). Tim Kett's game I could make no sense of at all until it dawned on me that White might have played 23 Bd5 and not 23 Nd5. But it still does not make too much sense so maybe I'm wrong. The game scores look a bit fishy, as they do at most big tournaments these days. Over-reliance on electronic boards is the bane of modern chess, at least from the point of view of accurate reporting. Unfortunately Jovanka Houska lost her second game so she falls down the TPR ranking list. England lost 1-2 to Venezuela but the good news was that Jessie Gilbert chalked up her second win. She is going pretty well. Russia lost 1½-2½ to Netherlands (Rublevsky 0-1 Nijboer) and drop back to 3rd place. Kramnik drew with Sokolov. Positions - Open - 1 Armenia 18, 2 Netherlands 17½, 3 Russia 17, 4 Belarus (ranked only 19th) 17... 33 England 14½... 43 Scotland 14... 58 Ireland 13... 94 Wales 11... 124 Jersey 8½... 129 Guernsey 8, etc. Women: Russia beat Hungary 2-1 to retain the lead. 1 Russia 14½, 2 Ukraine 14, 3 Slovakia 13½, 4-7 USA, Romania, India, Bulgaria 13... 46 England 9½... 66 Scotland 8... 76 Wales 7½... 79 Ireland 7, etc. The women are also demonstrating 'K-Power' in the TPR list - 1 Ketino Kachiani-Gersinka (GER) 2642 x 5, 2 Nadezhda Kosintseva (RUS) 2631 x 4, 3 Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS) 2616 x 6, etc. 12-year-old Chinese star Hou Yifan is in 22nd place on 2477 x 6. She is going to be a big name. As regards the men's list, it is now headed by Vladimir Akopian (ARM) with 2879 x 5, 2 V Kramnik (RUS) 2877 x 4, 3 E Bareev (RUS) 2874 x 4. Adams is 18th on 2763 x 5. Vishy Anand is languishing in 49th place with 2661 x 4, way below Welshman Leighton Williams (2742 x 5).

Round 5 - England beat Kazakhstan 3-1. Michael Adams could only draw with a player rated 2290, but Short and Conquest provided the full points. Scotland beat Egypt by the same score. John Shaw reached a drawn king and pawn endgame but his opponent blundered and allowed a neat finish. Ireland rested their GM board one but came away with a creditable 3-1 win against a Chile side which outrated them on three boards. Wales would probably have been disappointed with a 2-2 draw with Botswana, but Leighton Williams continues to grind out the wins - he's reached 4/4. England women's board one Jovanka Houska won again to give her side a 2-1 win against Iran. Wales's Megan Owens - at 11 years 5 months, the youngest player in the whole Olympiad - scored her first win in Wales's 1½-1½ draw with Botswana. In the Open, the top five matches all ended in 2-2 draws. Kramnik beat Aronian but his win was negated by Morozevich's loss to Sargissian in the Russia-Armenia match. Anand drew with Bu Xiangzhi in the India-China match. Ukraine beat leaders Russia in the women's event - Kosteniuk lost to Zhukova - though Russia retain their overall lead. The young Chinese team also went down to defeat, losing ½-2½ to Hungary. Positions - Open - 1 Russia 15½, 2 Armenia 15½, 3 Netherlands 15, 4 Uzbekistan 14½, six teams (inc. USA) on 14)... 27 Scotland 13... 31 England 12½... 35 Ireland 12½... 80 Wales 9½... 129 Guernsey 6½... 135 Jersey 5½, etc. Women: 1 Russia 12½, 2 Ukraine 12, 3 Hungary 11½, then eight teams (inc. USA) on 11... 40 England 8½... 70 Ireland 6½... 75 Wales 6, 76 Scotland 6, etc. Individual Performances: The overall table in terms of TPR (tournament performance rating) is further proof - if it were needed - that having a name beginning with 'K' gives you a head start at chess - 1 Kramnik (RUS) 2960 x 3, 2 Kamsky (USA) 2896 x 3, 3 Kasimdzhanov (UZB) 2895 x 3... 10 Adams (ENG) 2832 x 4... 23 Williams (WLS) 2764 x 4, etc. The 2348-rated Welshman is the only sub-2500 player currently in the top 30 of the rating table. Top of the women's TPR table: 1 Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS) 2701 x 5, 2 Corina Peptan (ROM) 2675 x 4, 3 Humpy Koneru 2663 x 5... 19 Jovanka Houska (ENG) 2514 x 4.

Round 4 - A bad round for England, losing 1½-2½ to Turkey. It might have been still worse had not Mikhail Gurevich not gifted Michael Adams a point in a level position. Nigel Short got a slight edge against Atalik but not enough to win. In fact it was a pretty good result on the higher boards, against 2600+ rated players. But the other two boards were outplayed by lower-rated players. Scotland are now a few places above England after beating Kyrghizstan 3-1. There was a Celtic derby match between Ireland and Wales for which the Welsh rested their 3/3 man Leighton Williams. But Richard Jones did well enough to draw on top board against Alex Baburin. The match might have ended 2-2 but for Jac Thomas's unlucky loss to Colm Daly after having a won position for a very long time. England's women lost 1-2 to Poland but they will be pleased with top board Jovanka Houska's win against the strong Iweta Radziewicz (rated 2439). Positions - Open - 1 Russia 13½, 2 Armenia 13½, 3 Netherlands 13, 4 Uzbekistan 12½... 41 Scotland 10... 45 England 9½... 47 Ireland 7½ ... 88 Wales 7½... 119 Jersey 5... 131 Guernsey 4½. Women: 1 Russia 11½, 2 Ukraine 10, 3 USA 9½, 4 China 9½, 5 Bulgaria 9½... 43 England 6½... 74 Scotland 5... 78 Ireland 5... 79 Wales 4½.

Round 3 results. For the second day running, Michael Adams was the only winner for England. Stuart Conquest lost to a 2364-rated FM. Alex Baburin was Ireland's only winner, defeating the European champion, Zdenko Kozul of Croatia.

Round 2
results. A minimal success for England, with Michael Adams scoring the only win. Scotland were well beaten by China as were the English women team (by the Chinese women's team). IM Leighton Williams of Wales is the pick of the Britons so far - 2/2 against an average of 2602 ratings (both GM scalps - but both made huge blunders!).

Round 1
results. Matches generally went to form but Wales scored an excellent 1½-2½ against Belarus, with IM Leighton Williams (2348) beating GM Aleksei Aleksandrov (2634) and FM Richard Jones (2308) drawing with GM Viacheslav Dydyshko (2550).

Scores of British and Irish Teams at the Turin Olympiad
 
  England   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 P W D L Pts %
1 M Adams 2720g   1 1 1 0   1 1 1 11 6 4 1 8.0 72.73
2 N Short 2677g 1   1 1   1 1 11 5 6 0 8.0 72.73
3 J Speelman 2555g       0 1 0     0 8 1 4 3 3.0 37.50
4 D Gormally 2554g 1   0   0       0       5 1 1 3 1.5 30.00
5 S Conquest 2505g   0   1 1   0   1   8 3 3 2 4.5 56.25
6 N Pert 2494g 1   0     1 1   9 3 5 1 5.5 61.11
      3.5 2.5 2.0 1.5 3.0 2.0 1.5 2.5 2.5 1.5 3.0 2.5 2.5         GPts MPts
      U
A
E
T
K
M
I
N
A
T
U
R
K
A
Z
P
E
R
N
O
R
L
T
U
M
E
X
B
L
R
S
C
O
I
R
I
S
C
G
        30.5 18.0
  Scotland   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 P W D L Pts %
1 J Rowson 2594g   0 1 1 0 1 12 3 7 2 6.5 54.17
2 C McNab 2437g 1 0   0   0   1 0 0 10 2 3 5 3.5 35.00
3 J Shaw 2439g 1   1   1   1 0 1 10 5 4 1 7.0 70.00
4 J Aagaard 2447m   1   0 1   1 10 3 6 1 6.0 60.00
5 I Gourlay 2340f   1   0     1         5 2 2 1 3.0 60.00
6 N Berry 2285f 1 0             0     5 1 2 2 2.0 40.00
      3.5 0.5 3.0 3.0 3.0 1.0 2.5 1.0 2.0 2.5 1.0 3.0 2.0         GPts MPts
      J
C
I
C
H
N
Y
E
M
K
G
Z
E
G
Y
G
E
O
F
I
N
I
R
I
P
E
R
A
U
S
E
N
G
A
L
B
A
R
G
        28.0 16.0
  Wales   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 P W D L Pts %
1 L Williams 2348m 1 1 1   1     1   1 0 0 9 6 1 2 6.5 72.22
2 R Jones 2308f 0 1 1 0   1     1 1 1 10 6 2 2 7.0 70.00
3 R Dineley 2264     1 0   0 0 0       7 1 2 4 2.0 28.57
4 T Kett 2195 0 0     1 1 1 1 0 11 4 4 3 6.0 54.55
5 A Spice 2216 0   1   0     0   0 8 1 3 4 2.5 31.25
6 J Thomas 1988   0   0 0   1   0 0   0   7 1 0 6 1.0 14.29
      1.5 1.0 4.0 1.0 2.0 1.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 0.5 3.5 1.5 1.0         GPts MPts
      B
L
R
T
J
K
B
R
N
I
R
L
B
O
T
S
Y
R
H
K
G
I
B
C
A
A
L
G
M
G
L
T
H
A
I
N
A
A
L
B
        25.0 10.0
  Ireland   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 P W D L Pts %
1 A Baburin 2519g 1 1   0 1 1 1 12 5 6 1 8.0 66.67
2 B Kelly 2492m   0 1 1   0   1 0 1 10 4 3 3 5.5 55.00
3 S Collins 2409m 1 0     0 0   1 1 0 0 10 3 2 5 4.0 40.00
4 M Quinn 2399m 1 0   1 0   1   0   1 9 4 2 3 5.0 55.56
5 C Daly 2380f       1 0   0     0       4 1 0 3 1.0 25.00
6 M Heidenfeld 2365m 1   0   1   1     0   7 3 2 2 4.0 57.14
      4.0 1.5 1.0 3.0 3.0 0.5 1.5 2.5 2.0 2.5 2.5 0.5 3.0         GPts MPts
      S
M
R
D
E
N
C
R
O
W
L
S
C
H
I
P
O
L
V
E
N
L
U
X
Q
A
T
N
Z
L
M
E
X
L
A
T
I
T
A
C
        27.5 15.0
  Jersey   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 P W D L Pts %
1 P Wojciechowski 2115 0 0     0   1 0 1 10 2 4 4 4.0 40.00
2 M Simmons 2060 0   0 0     0 1   1 9 2 3 4 3.5 38.89
3 J Hawes 2166   1     1 1   9 3 6 0 6.0 66.67
4 A Fulton 2137 0     0 1   0 1   0 9 2 3 4 3.5 38.89
5 L Joualt       0 1   0       0 1 7 2 2 3 3.0 42.86
6 G Boxall 2020   0 0 1 0   0 0       8 1 2 5 2.0 25.00
      0.5 1.0 1.0 2.5 0.5 3.0 1.5 0.0 2.0 3.0 2.5 1.0 3.5         GPts MPts
      S
C
O
S
Y
R
H
K
G
E
T
H
L
I
E
P
N
G
M
O
Z
S
U
D
B
E
R
I
S
V
G
C
I
B
O
T
K
O
R
        22.0 11.0
  Guernsey   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 P W D L Pts %
1 P Rowe 2049 0 0 1 0 1   0 0   11 2 4 5 4.0 36.36
2 P Kirby 2047 0 0 0 0     0 1 11 1 5 5 3.5 31.82
3 M Ozanne 1961 0   1 0   1 0 1 1 0 0 11 4 2 5 5.0 45.45
4 F Hamperl 2010   1   1   1 0 1   1 9 5 3 1 6.5 72.22
5 G Forbes   0       0 0               3 0 0 3 0.0 0.00
6 T Brookfield     0   0     0 0   0   7 0 2 5 1.0 14.29
      0.0 1.0 3.5 0.0 2.0 1.5 2.5 1.0 2.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 1.5         GPts MPts
      C
H
I
G
U
A
P
N
G
P
L
E
A
F
G
E
T
H
S
U
R
N
A
M
M
A
C
H
K
G
J
C
I
K
O
R
T
P
E
        20.0 8.0
  England Women   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 P W D L Pts %
1 J Houska 2378m   0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 12 6 3 3 7.5 62.50
2 J Gilbert 2144wf 1 0   1 0   0 1 0 1 11 4 3 4 5.5 50.00
3 J Bellin 2170wg 1 0   0   0   0     1 8 2 2 4 3.0 37.50
4 S Tidman 2086 1   1 0     0   1   8 3 3 2 4.5 56.25
      3.0 0.0 2.5 1.0 2.0 1.0 1.5 1.0 1.5 1.0 3.0 1.0 2.0         GPts MPts
      B
O
T
C
H
N
B
R
A
P
O
L
I
R
I
V
E
N
M
D
A
C
Z
E
A
U
T
A
Z
E
D
O
M
S
U
I
F
I
N
        20.5 12.0
  Scotland Women   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 P W D L Pts %
1 H Milligan 2053wf 0 1   0 0 0 12 1 7 4 4.5 37.50
2 R Giulian 2050 0 1 0 1     11 2 7 2 5.5 50.00
3 A Officer [1712]         0 1 1 1 1 1 0 9 5 2 2 6.0 66.67
4 R Hughes [1562] 0 0 1   0   0     0     7 1 1 5 1.5 21.43
      0.5 0.5 3.0 1.0 1.0 2.0 2.0 1.0 1.5 1.5 1.5 0.5 1.5         GPts MPts
      I
S
R
I
B
C
A
P
A
N
C
O
L
B
R
A
B
O
T
G
U
A
E
S
A
S
R
I
W
L
S
I
T
A
B
I
S
L
J
A
M
        17.5 10.0
  Wales Women   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 P W D L Pts %
1 A Cast 2116wf 0   0 1 0   1   10 2 5 3 4.5 45.00
2 J Wilson 1945 0 1   0   1 0 1 0   10 3 3 4 4.5 45.00
3 S Blackburn 1779 0 1 1   1 1   1 0   10 5 3 2 6.5 65.00
4 M Owens     0 0   1 0   0   0 0 9 1 2 6 2.0 22.22
      0.0 2.0 0.5 2.0 1.5 1.5 3.0 0.0 2.0 1.5 1.5 0.5 1.5         GPts MPts
      S
L
O
I
S
V
D
O
M
J
A
M
B
O
T
A
L
B
B
O
L
B
I
H
A
L
G
S
C
O
I
B
C
A
V
E
N
S
R
I
        17.5 13.0
  Ireland Women   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 P W D L Pts %
1 S Connolly 2027 0 0 1 0   1 1 0 0 1 12 4 3 5 5.5 45.83
2 D Quinn 1813 0   1 0 0   0 1 0 1 0 11 3 2 6 4.0 36.36
3 E Shaughnessy   0   1     0 0 1     0     6 2 0 4 2.0 33.33
4 P Menon     0 1   1 1   1 0 10 4 4 2 6.0 60.00
      0.5 0.0 3.0 1.5 1.5 0.5 1.0 2.5 1.5 2.0 0.0 3.0 0.5         GPts MPts
      M
D
A
P
H
I
T
R
I
B
R
A
I
B
C
A
I
T
A
B
B
O
T
F
I
J
D
O
M
I
R
Q
A
L
B
U
A
E
A
U
S
        17.5 11.0

 

Home Page: www.bcmchess.co.uk