Friday, August 31, 2012


I am currently sat in my beanbag, writing this while waiting for the live coverage of round 4 of the Olympiad to begin. Tonight I have my English head on, as the classic battle between England and France is being played. Both these teams are outside chances for medals in this Olympiad with France ranked 8th and England ranked 11th at the start of the tournament. Both teams have won all their games, and both have had to overcome some pretty tough opposition. In the previous round, France played Bulgaria who were ranked 10th before the tournament and who fielded the dangerous duo of Topalov and Cheparinov on the top 2 boards. However, Topalov was beaten by French board 1 Maxime Vachier-Legrave and the rest of the games were drawn. England also had an impressive victory in the 3rd round against Cuba (ranked 15th) with 2700+ players Dominguez and Bruzon on the top 2 boards. England's board 1 Adams won against Dominguez, while England also won on board 3 where they have the hugely experienced Nigel Short. With the other games drawn, this was a decisive 3-1 victory. The match has just started, and if either side can pull out a victory, then they will put themselves in great position at the head of the field.

Most of the top teams are near the top, but the big exception is Holland. I'm not sure what is going on here. The Dutch team seem to be missing Anish Giri, but still have 4 players rated above 2600 with the hugely experienced van Wely and Ivan Sokolov on top boards. However, none of their team is currently performing and from a starting rank of 9th they have currently won only 1 of their 3 matches including losing to Venezuela who are ranked a lowly 58th.

However, besides Holland, the top nations are there or thereabouts and this is shown in the 4th round pairings. USA(5)-India(13), Russia(1)-China(6), Azerbaijan(7)-Germany(14), and of course France(8)-England(11). The rest of the top teams are just behind these.

Australia narrowly lost out to Mongolia yesterday and find themselves down the field playing Pakistan, where hopefully they will bounce back up the field. In the 2.5-1.5 loss there was a good win for Max Illingworth on board 4 against a higher rated opponent. Max grabbed some material early on, and held on. There were some nervous moments through the middle of the game, but I get the feeling that Max felt comfortable, and he finished the game off in style.

1 comment:

  1. we are both really enjoying your commentary and learning alot. Thanks