No surprises in first round Olympiad

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
OlympiadLike in any big Swiss, the top half of the Olympiad plays the second half in the first round. With 148 teams in the Open section and 114 teams in the Women section it was clear that there would be many 4-0 and 3.5-0.5 scores, but there was a small number of surprises on the individual boards.

General info

The 39th Chess Olympiad takes place September 20th – October 3rd at the Tennis Sport Development Center in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. 148 teams (735 players) in the Open section and 114 teams (559 players) in the Women section participate in the biannual event.

Each team consists four players and one reserve. The rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves and then 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move one.

Results round 1 | Open section | top 20 boards

Results round 1 | Women section | top 10 boards

Complete results and standings can be found here

Round 1

Although it doesn't really surprise us anymore, we still think it's important to mention that the transmission of the live games failed during the first few hours yesterday. Sometimes the official website was down completely, or just very slow. It seems that the chess world is reinventing the wheel over and over again...

Unfortunately despite the "we are all one family" motto, politics interfered with chess already in this first round. Yemen refused to play against Israel and thus lost 4-0 by default. Don't let the PGN fool you, where the games do have some moves. It's full of other mistakes as well.


No match between Israel and Yemen

One of the surprises of yesterday's round happened on the highest board of the whole event, where the ceremonial first move was made by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug–Ugra, Natalya Komarova.


With the first move the Olympiad started for real

Russia didn't start with top gun Vladimir Kramnik and so it was Alexander Grischuk who led his team against Ireland. As we reported earlier, GM and Chess Today editor Alexander Baburin declined participation this year but IM Sam Collins did an excellent job by drawing this game with Black.

Algis Shukuraliev of Kyrgyzstan drew on board four with China's Li Chao and this should have been a win:

Shukuraliev-Li Chao Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad With some consolidating moves this position is a win, but the Chinese escaped: 36. a6?! Rc8 37. Qb7 Rc7 38. Ra3 Bb2! 39. Ra2 Rxb7 40. axb7 Qc7 41. Ra8+ Kg7 42. b8Q Qc1+ and Black had perpetual check.

South-Africa's Kenny Solomon played a fine game with Black against Azerbijan's Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, and was still a pawn up in the final position where, perhaps influenced by the clock or the huge rating difference, he agreed to a draw.

Mamedyarov-Solomon Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad


Kenny Solomon draws with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov


Malaysia's IM Mas Hafizulhelmi held Michael Adams to a draw.

Then we arrive at board 13, where the biggest upset of the day took place. Board 1 Jan Smeets for The Netherlands got a worse position in a very messy Sicilian and then in timetrouble even got mated. Dominican Repulic's hero was IM Lisandro Munoz.

Smeets-Munoz Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad In an already horrible position, the Dutchman gets no mercy: 26...Ng4! 27. Bh3 Ne5 28. Bxc8 Nf3+ 29. Kh1 Nxe1 30. Bf5 Qd1 31. Ne2 Qxe2 32. Bxe1?! Qf1 mate.

Another upset cannot remain unmentioned. Swedish GM Tiger Hillarp Persson, known for his ups and downs in chess results, had another down yesterday and lost to Surinam's Dewperkash Gajadin (2179).

Hillarp Persson-Gajadin Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad In a completely winning position the grandmaster blunders horribly: 40. Qd2?? Rxc4! 41. Qxh6 Rc2+ and Black won.

For Hungary, Judit Polgar won with a nice trick against Jordan's Ahmad Fawzi Samhouri.

Samhouri-Polgar Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad 19. f4? Nd5! 20. exd5 Bxc2 21. Qe2 Nd3 22. Nf3 Nxf4 23. Qh2 Nd3 24. Re2 Bd1 and White resigned.


Hungary with Judit Polgar between Zoltan Almasi and Ferenc Berkes

Update: thanks to Jeroen in the comments who mentioned the following upset: Jason Lin Chieh-Sheng (1736) beating Turkish GM Can Emre (2500).

Lin-Can Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad The grandmaster already squandered a winning position and instead of 44...Qxf4 played 44...Bd4?? which allowed mate in one.

In the women's section there was really barely any surprise; the first eight boards were 4-0 sweeps.

Selection of games

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Chess Olympiad & FIDE Congress 2010 | Schedule
Chess Olympiad & FIDE Congress 2010 | Schedule

Photos courtesy of FIDE, more at the official site


We'll continue adding links during the Olympiad. If you're missing one, don't hesitate to mention it in the comments!
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