Saturday, September 1, 2012

Chess Numbers

There are loads of numerical theories (eg) that pertain to chess. Whole sets of maths puzzles are based around chess, and I wouldn't be surprised if some numerologists have tried to put together some greater meaning behind some chess related number patterns. This post has got nothing to do with that but is just a random post about some numbers that I have found interesting.

2693 This is the FIDE rating of Pavel Eljanov and Gabriel Sargissian who are playing each other in round 5 of the Olympiad. What I found particularly interesting  about this is that 2 players with such whopping ratings should find themsleves on the bottom board for their respective teams. The Olympiad is now going through a tough phase (especially as they are using match points as the first determining factor of rank) where the top teams will all have to play each other. Hungary against Russia is another mouth watering pairing, where a repeat of the 2004 World Championship match between Kramnik and Leko is being played out on board 1.

46 (No, not the age I'll be turning next birthday!!) Australia's men's team rank before round 5, 15 places above their starting rank. I'm not sure what the team will consider a good final placing but it is an interesting subject. If Australia finish in the top 50 this may be considered a good result for a team starting from 61st place. Maybe top 40? Will it depend on the opposition. So far, the Australian team have done ok beating the teams ranked below them, and drawing with one of the teams above while only narrowly losing to the other. I also wonder if there is a team perspective on this subject or whether the players themselves are left to set their own targets? The women's team are performing a little below par. They have won 2 and lost 2, but one of their losses was to a team ranked below them, so they will not be happy with that. From a starting position of 50th, I guess the women will be looking to finish above that and perhaps challenge the top 30.

33 Of all players born in 1999, Melbourne youngster Karl Zelesco is ranked 33 in the new FIDE rating list published today. His 2116 rating is still a far cry from the top player of that year group, Yi Wei (2453) of China. However, it only seems like yesterday that Karl was coming through Junior rapid tournaments and we considered him a talented Primary School kid. I will be interested to see just how close he is to representing Australia at the next Olympiad in Norway as the improvement of our youngsters seems to know no bounds. Even Karl's international placing is eclipsed by Sydney's Anton Smirnov who currently sits at number 2 for players born in 2001, his 2139 rating just 15 points shy of the 2154 of Iranian youngster Tabatabaei in first place. So with Karl in Melbourne and Anton in Sydney Australian chess playing adults have a long suffering future ahead of us :(

Karl Zelesco

30 The number of moves in the Olympiad before a draw can be agreed. Also, coincidentally, roughly the amount of time in minutes taken for 30 moves to be made in the game Nguyen-Gagunashvili before it was agreed a draw. I guess if 2 players want to make a draw, then its going to happen! Was there any prearrangement here? Of course not!.....Riiiiiiiiiiiigghhhhtt!!!

21 The record number of Olympiad appearances, made by GM Eugenio Torre of the Philippines. Torre moves clear of Hungary's Lajos Portisch who played in 20, while Finnish GM Westerinen played in 19. The top English participants are Nigel Short and John Speelman who have played in 14 a piece, while the top Aussie is Ian Rogers who has played in 14!

The last number I lost count of, which was the number of tweets I ignored about the Melbourne Storm's win against the West Sydeny Tigers while I was trying to find out why Anish Giri hadn't been playing for Holland at the Olympiad. While obviously happy to see the Storm win, I was even happier to notice a tweet from chessvibes not saying why Giri hasn't been playing, but at least saying that he has finally arrived in Istanbul and will hopefully start helping the Dutch pull themselves up to a respectable position. I'll now go back to Twitter to see if I can find out any more info about this and other chess news matters while sifting through the hundreds of tweets about my other favourite team, West Ham who are currently beating Fulham in the Premiership!

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