Olympiad R3: Croatia holds Ukraine

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
OlympiadIn the third round of the Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk Ukraine dropped its first match point. Playing without Ivanchuk they were held 2-2 by Croatia. Albania also drew 2-2 with Kazachstan and in the women section, Germany managed to tie 2-2 with Russia 2.

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 3 | Open section | top 20 boards

Results round 3 | Women section | top 10 boards

Complete results and standings can be found here

Round 3 report

Except for the more or less standard game transmission problems on the first day, the Olympiad website has been a joy to visit so far. Interestingly, on the second day it already saw a change in design, which makes it slightly more difficult to find the live-games-without-computer-annotations, but content-wise it's just excellent, with a wide variety of articles. However, the romance story between Sophie Milliet and Yannick Pelletier seems to be removed from the site...

Update 14.48: during the fourth round the official website has been down for quite a while again. Grumbl. At least they can say Facebook isn't doing much better this week.

Back to the tournament, where the third round saw few surprises. At the top of the pairings a strange match took place between Ukraine and Croatia. Two draws and two black victories held the balance: Efimenko beat Saric but Moiseenko lost to Palac.

After beating Adams, Ivan Sokolov (playing for Bosnia & Hercegovina) also won with Black against Poland's number one Wojtaszek.

Wojtaszek-Sokolov Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad White took up the gauntlet with 23. d6! Bxd6 24. Rxd6 Qxd6 25. Nxf7! Qe6 26. Nd6+ (Also interesting was 26. Nxh8 Kf8 27. h3!?) 26... Kf8 27. Qc3 Rd8 Olympiad and here he missed the double-attack 28.Qa5! which forces Black to give back the exchange. In the game after 28. Rd1?! Kg8! 29. Rd2?! Bg6 and Black was simply material up, and won.

Thanks to Miton, who beat Kurajica, this match ended in 2-2. Mexico limited the damage against Georgia to 1.5-2.5 due to a fine win from Leon Hoyos against Jobava.

Kamsky seems in excellent shape and scored another nice victory with the white pieces, on board 1 of the USA-Chile match.

Kamsky-Morovic Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad Having fixed the kingside with a firm control over the black squares, White now gives a pawn to open a path for the queen. 20. c4! Nxd4 21. Qa3! Nec6 22. c3 A rare case where the doubled pawns in the Winawer are actually helpful. 22... Nf5 23. cxd5 exd5 24. Rb5 Ka8 25. Nxd5 Na5 26. Qb4 Qc6 Olympiad 27. Nxb6+! Rxb6 (27... axb6 28. Rbxa5+) 28. Qxa5 Rb7 29. Rxb7 Qxb7 30. Bd8 Kb8 31. e6! and White won.

A nice thing of these Olympiads is that you suddenly see a lot of different, often ancient opening variations. In the game Lopez Silva-Hess from the same match, White went all romantic with 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d4 Bxd4 6. Nxd4 Nxd4 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 Qe7 9. f4 Qc5 10. Bxf7+?! Kxf7 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. fxe5 Qxe5 but in the 21st century that's not such a good idea.

Long-time visitors of this site know that we've been a fan of David Navara for years. It seems he's becoming quite a strong 2700 player, as he beat former world title contender Peter Leko convincingly yesterday.

Navara-Leko Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad 33. Nxd4! Bb7 (33... exd4 34. e5 d3 35. Rb2 Bb7 36. exf6 Rxa4 37. Rxd3) 34. Nf5 Bxe4 35. Bxe4 Nxe4 36. Rc4 Nf6 37. a5 Ne8 38. Nxh6 d5 39. Nxg4! and White won.


Russia 1 beat Italy 3-1 with good draws for Fabiano Caruana and Sabino Brunello against Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler respectively. China crushed Moldova 3½-½, where Wang Yue showed why the Volga/Benkö gambit lost its popularity, against Viktor Bologan.

With draws on the other boards, Anish Giri decided the match Netherlands-Slovakia in a bishop ending.

Jurcik-Giri Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad 39. Bc5 (According to GM Reinderman, who follows the Dutch teams with analysis on, this might be the basis of White's loss. He suggests 39. Kd4 Kc6 40. Bd2 Bb6+ 41. Ke5 Kd7 42. Bc3 Bg1 43. Be1 Bxh2 44. Bf2=. 39... Kc6 40. Bd4 (40. Kd4?! Bd8!) 40... Kd5 41. Be3? This loses without a fight. Better was 41. Bf6 Bb6 42. Be5 Bg1 43. Ke2 Ke4 although Reinderman suspects it's a win for Black anyway. 41... e5! 42. Bd2 (42. fxe5 Bxe5 43. Bc1 Bd4 44. Ke2 Kc4-+) 42... e4+ 43. Ke2 Bb6 44. Be3 Bxe3 45. Kxe3 Kc5 46. h3 Kd5 47. Kd2 Kd4 48. Ke2 e3 and White resigned.

France vs Israel was a 2-2 tie. On board one Maxime Vachier-Lagrave beat Boris Gelfand in an Anti-Moscow where the 19th (!) move was a novelty compared to a Joop van Oosterom correspondence game. After a long series of logical moves, Black suddenly found himself in a lost rook ending. Food for thought and analysis for the theoreticians.


Scotland did very well with a 2-2 against the Philippines. On board one Colin McNab managed to draw with Wesley So and Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant beat the higher rated Darwin Laylo in a nice game. IM Stephen Burns-Mannion lost to Asian legend Eugenio Torre.

We wonder if we ever wrote about Albania, but today we can. Two IMs and two FMs held two GMs and two IMs from Kazachstan to 2-2. Bulgaria crushed Costa Rica with 4-0 but especially the first two boards were real and very tough fights. IM Mauricio Arias Santana was doing fine for 43 moves with Black in an Alekhine against Veselin Topalov, but then collapsed.

Topalov-Arias Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad 44... R2c5? Why? After 44... Kh7 it's not easy for White to make progress.
45. Bxc5 Qxc5 46. Qd3 and White won.

England beat South Africa with 3-1; FM Steel managed to beat Luke McShane, who went all or nothing with a piece sacrifice, which looked "too brilliant for me" - words used by Nigel Short once, when the author of this report suggested a move during a post-mortem at the Essent tournament in Hoogeveen. The same Short had a nice finishing touch against Kobese.

Kobese-Short Khanty-Mansiysk OL 2010 Olympiad Can you see what's wrong with 31.c4?

In the Women section, fifth seeded Russia 2 dropped a match point against Germany, where all four games ended in a draw.

Today we see some very big matches for the first time. In the open tournament there's Russia 1 vs USA and Hungary-China, and the women section has Georgia-Russia 1.


Anatoly Karpov, running for FIDE President, at his stand

Photos courtesy of FIDE, more at the official site

Selection of games

Game viewer by ChessTempo

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


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