Friday, September 28, 2012

A Day Off in Sao Paulo

I also had a day off which I spent with my lovely wife, Caroline.It isn't often that we get days off together, and chess tournaments seem to be the same. Because as Sao Paulo had a day off, the men's Grand Prix in London and the women's Grand Prix in Ankara were in full swing. The London Grand Prix is struggling through mid tournament and has seen a lot of draws so far. It's a big shame that 2 of the tournament's young stars, Nakamura and Giri,  seem to be in terrible form. However, the tournament leader, Boris Gelfand is only at +2 so a lot could happen yet with 5 rounds still to go.

The women's tournament has created far more exciting chess, with top seeds Muzychuk and Koneru leading the way on 7.5 from 10 games. With just one round to go these 2 lead by half a point from Xue Zhao, and one of these 3 will be the winner. They have all played each other so it is anyone's tournament. In the last round, the most fascinating game to my mind was the continuation of the theoretical duel between Tatiana Kosintseva and Wenjun Ju in the main line of the Sicilian Najdorf. This was an opening that was all the rage when I was young. I remember buying a book on the Najdorf by John Nunn in about 1982 and being enthralled with it. Nunn then revised his book and updated it and when it was published I became disillusioned with the Najdorf and opening theory in general due to the increase in size of the book and the knowledge needed to play this sharp opening.

Before looking at this game, yesterday I set this puzzle:
This was from the game Nedezhda Kosintseva-Vojinovic Gaziantep 2012. What move did black miss here? If black had found the amazing 30..Qe4! white could have resigned. Black threatens 31..Qxg2 mate and if 31.Qxe4, then 31..Rxf1+ leading to mate as well. The Kosintseva twin was lucky that her opponent missed 30..Qe4 and after an eventful rest of the game, it ended in a draw.

After the move1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3
Qc7 9. O-O-O Nbd7 10. g4 b5 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. g5 Nd7 13. f5 a critical position in the Najdorf has arisen.
I remember looking at this position in some detail in my teens and thinking deeply about the options 13..Bxg5, 13..Ne5 and 13..Nc5, the last of which was always seen as the mainline. A couple of years ago, the move 13..O-O appeared, and has proved a favourite of Chinese player Wenjun Ju. She has played it a number of times, including games against both Kosintseva sisters at the Nalchik women's Grand Prix in 2011 and Russian women's legend Alexandra Kosteniuk in a rapid event in 2011.

Nedezhda Kosintseva played very conservatively with 14.fxe6 fxe6 15.Qe3 when confronted with this move and lost. Two days later, Tatiana played more aggressively with 14.Rg1, though black proved to have adequate counterplay and the game ended in a hard fought draw. Kosteniuk followed the same plan as Tatiana, and again the game ended in a hard fought draw. The soundness of the move 13..O-O was given a big boost by its employment by 2700 super GM David Navara earlier this year.

Obviously this line was expected by Tatiana Kosintseva as she came out with the novelty 14.Qh5. The idea seems very simple, trying to prove that 13..O-O is too risky to play and going straight for the black king. The Russian seemed to be in charge of the tactics, and 10 moves later was completely won, with black resigning on move 30. A great attacking game, and perhaps the last time the Chinese player will venture the risky 13..O-O for a while.

I can't remember who said chess is 99% tactics but openings like the Najdorf certainly bring out the truth of this statement. Another opening that does is the King's Gambit which is where the other position from yesterday originated. You see, I had a look at Marin's book, "Beating The Open Games" and after reading the introduction and first chapter on the King's Gambit, decided to look at some games in the King's Gambit. I had just downloaded the latest TWIC, and the only game starting with 1.e4 e5 2.f4, was between 2 club players. However, just because games aren't between top players, it doesn't mean that interesting positions can't be reached and analysed, like the one from yesterday.
White has so many tempting moves, and sometimes when there are a number of choices, it makes it difficult to find the right choice. White here played 16.Neg5, no doubt heading for f7, but perhaps would have struggled if black had taken on g5. The first move which tempted me was 16.Ne5 heading for g6 instead. After 16..Nxe5 17.dxe5 Qe7 I really would have liked to have opened the h-file but I can't see how to do it. White's position looks promising, but no more. So, how about opening the h-file straight away? Black has real problems after 16.Bg5!! as 16..hxg5 loses to 17.h4!, and 16..Ne7 and 16..Qd7 lose to 17.Ne5. So I guess that leaves 16..Nf6, but white can just take 17.Nxf6 leaving black in a hopeless position.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chess, chess and more chess. But I'm on holiday!

Today I'm suffering from a well known malaise. I finished work yesterday, and have a week's holiday. So today I've felt woolly headed and lethargic. A shame really, as there is so much top class chess going on. I took a brief look at the games from Sao Paulo, and I want to look a little more deeply into the ending between Caruana and Anand. It was a rook ending where Caruana finished with rook and 2 unconnected pawns against Anand's rook, yet the game finished in a draw.

The lead up to this had been fascinating, but here, Anand as black played 69..Kg7. I first thought, why not 69..Kf7? I then thought that white might have a win after 69..Kf7 70.Rf8+ Kxe7 71.Rf2 where black's king is cut off. However, black has 71..Rh1+ 72.Kg3 Rh8 switching to a frontal attack which will work as white's pawn hasn't crossed to the fifth rank. If now 73.g5, then 73..Rf8 when white either has to exchange rooks leading to a drawn pawn ending, or allow black's king in front of the pawn. After Anand's 69..Kg7 Caruana played 70.Kh4 and the game was agreed a draw.Black will play 70..Rh1+ and then return to e1, and there isn't much white can do as his rook can't leave e8, and his king can't cross the e-file.

Apart from Sao Paulo, there is a Grand Prix tournament in London where defeated World Champion challenger, Boris Gelfand is currently leading. Gelfand was gifted a win from Chinese player Wang Hao in another rook ending.
In this position, the Chinese GM played 55..Kh7? and after 56.Kf7 forcing mate, resigned and burst into laughter!

There is also a women's Grand Prix in Ankara which is being a bit overshadowed in news terms by the men's events. Perhaps organisers could bring themselves to not clash top women's with men's events so that the women get a fair go in the press. A strong field is being led by top seed Anna Muzychuk.

Ok, that's it because I'm on holiday! I will be getting back to blogging very soon (tomorrow!) but I leave 2 testing positions:

 What killing move did black miss in this position?

What move would you choose as white here? (There are loads of interesting lines here!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Melburnian in Moscow

(first published on my other blog)

I work with Michael Pahoff who is one of the millions of hobby chess players worldwide. Michael told me he was off on holiday to Moscow, so I suggested a chess related visit. Michael followed up on that, and sent me this story! Thanks Michael.

Hi Carl,

In early September, I visited Moscow for the primary purpose of witnessing Russia's 200th anniversary celebrations and reenactment of the Battle of Borodino 1812 / 2012. With 3,000 participants and over 100,000 spectators the reenactment was marvellous. Whilst in Moscow, on your suggestion, I visited the Moscow Central Chess Club, near the city centre, which was also a very worthwhile experience.

The building that houses the Moscow Central Chess Club was built around 1820, coincidentally, as part of Moscow's restoration after Napoleon's 1812 Invasion of Russia, where the Muscovites burnt down their own city, rather than giving it up wholly. It is two stories high, with a third currently being constructed as a further restoration to the entire building. The second floor has a central plaza, where the parents wait for their children, with wings / rooms on both sides for tournament play. There are lots of old photographs on the walls of Moscow Central Club Members who have been National and World Champions. While I was there, one of the wings was being used for junior Chess lessons.

I was given a very warm welcome by the Manager, Anton Kuzin, and would recommend the Moscow Central Chess Club to anyone visiting that wonderful city.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thinking Processes again

If you're playing someone much higher rated than you, or much lower rated than you, do you change your style of play? And should you? I have to admit, that my policy has been to play more solidly against lower rated players, while trying to mix things tactically against higher rated players. As a result I usually grind down players much lower rated than me, although I do sometimes end up drawing (or even losing the odd game), and against higher rated players I sometimes have big wins but not that often. So is this general plan desirable or should I be playing true to myself each game irrespective of my opposition?

So far in the Monday night tournament at the MCC, I have played 2 games against players quite a bit lower rated than myself. In both games I followed a similar pattern. I sought as much space as I could get, tried to consolidate my gains and then brought my pieces to their most effective positions behind my pawn cover before breaking through. My opponents both defended quite passively and allowed me the time to fulfil my goals. Against Bill Reid last week, I questioned my calculation skill in the following position:

One line I looked at here was 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.Bxd8 Nf4 21.Bc4 Qg6 and I asked in my last blog post what did I miss in this line? Well, quite a bit actually. After 19.Nd5 Nxd5 (I think black must take because of the threat to c7) 20.Bxd8 (This is not an obligatory capture. White has a comfortable edge after 20.Bc4, but forcing moves like 20.Bxd8 are easier to calculate) 20..Nf4 (Black should play 20..Rxd8 which will leave him with 2 pieces for a rook after 21.Bxe6 Ne2+ 22.Kf2 Nxd4) 21.Bc4 Qg6 (and now 22.Qd2 would win material for white, though this line is pointless because of 20..Rxd8).

My trouble in these lines was seeing opportunities for my opponent, and alternatives (especially non forcing moves) in variations. In my game last night against Tanya Kolak, I worked hard on these aspects and was pretty happy with the way I was thinking. I noticed once again that I looked for forcing lines at one point, ignoring another possibility, though it may have another cause other than calculation problems. I reached the following position for black.
Black has a wide range of moves and plans to choose from. I chose 11..d4 creating extra tension in the centre. One move that I merely glimpsed at, and then ignored was 11..e4. But this move has a lot going for it. It opens the h2-b8 diagonal, displaces white Nf3, vacates e5 for a black minor piece, and holds back white's e-pawn which currently blocks the dark squared bishop.

So why didn't I choose such an obviously good looking move? I think the reason is one of familiarity. I have played pawn advances such as 11..d4 often and I'm usually comfortable with an opening of the centre. In the above position, I judged that my better development would put me in good stead if lines opened. Partially closing the centre with 11..e4 is something that I tend to do rarely in my games, and I tend to feel less comfortable in positions with a closed centre. Looking at more positions like those above and comparing them can only help a player to understand the game better, and perhaps the style that suits his natural game the most.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chess Thinking Processes

When you play games it's a good idea to analyse your thinking processes afterwards. I mean, it's easy to get a computer to check the moves for blunders, but the 3000+ rated silicon tactic master can't correct the way we think about our moves. I played a game on Monday in the MCC Open, and have analysed some of my thinking processes. Take the following position:

White to move

As white in this position, I had 3 candidate moves:

I analysed the most forcing 19.Bxf6 first seeing 19..gxf6 [19..Qxf6 20.Qxf6 gxf6 21.Nd5 seemed good for white] 20.Nd5 winning a pawn by force.

19.Nd5 tries to exploit black's pinned knight, but I looked at 19..Nxd5 20.Bxd8 Nf4 21.Bc4 Qg6.

19.Bc4 Qe5 then seemed to me similar to the first line.

So based on this artificial analysis, I chose 19.Bxf6, winning a pawn in the most forcing way and I went on to win the game. But really, my thinking processes were flawed in a number of ways:

1. I was overly attracted to the most forcing lines which clouded my judgement.

2. After 19.Nd5, I analysed lazily, again taking the forcing line to be gospel.

3. I made assumptions not based on analysis, such as 19.Bc4 being essentially the same as 19.Bxf6.

How can I correct these problems in my games?

Well, identifying problems is the first step. Secondly, I must not make assumptions about positions without doing the work. And finally I must put in the work. Analysing some difficult tactical positions and analysing games generally needs to be something which I undertake more often. And I need to make myself work harder during the games, and not be blinded by the most forcing lines of play.

If any of my thinking problems resonate with you, then try to work out what was wrong with my analysis of the line starting with 19.Nd5? (from the diagram above: 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.Bxd8 Nf4 21.Bc4 Qg6). What did I miss?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Playing Again

I've had a bit of a break from playing chess (a couple of months) and feel fully refreshed and ready to give it my all in the latest Monday night event at the Melbourne Chess Club. The MCC Open is a 9 round swiss event which started last night and runs until 12th November. So far 30 players have entered with the favourites being IM Guy West, FM Dusan Stojic and IM Mirko Rujevic. I'm sat at number 5 seed, which meant that I started in the top half which usually means an easy point. However, it seems to me that easy first round points are getting harder to come by, and in fact, a few games went against the odds. Thai Ly was the highest rated player to drop points, Alex Kaplan again scoring a good draw. But Finley Dale probably caused the biggest upset of the night beating Gary Lycett. Gary had been in excellent form in the recently finished Malitis Memorial, which made young Finley's win even more impressive. Tanya Kolak and Abraham Widjaja were the other upset winners beating Anthony Hain and Paul Kovacevic respectively.

While I'll be taking a personal view of this tournament, arbiter Kerry Stead is reporting on the event on his blog, while another MCC member, Paul Cavezza (who is largely responsible for the reconstruction of the MCC website) will also be blogging about the tournament.

From my point of view, I have had to build my playing schedule around my work as a chess coach. I now don't work on Mondays, so I have an easy run in to the tournament. But that is where the fun ends. Tuesday is my busiest day, starting at 8am and finishing at 7.30pm (I leave my house about 7am, and get home about 8pm!). So while I give my all in my games, I apologise now to players if I rush off without analysing our game. And though I will look at the games in some depth at some stage, it probably won't be until later in the week. What I will say about this game is that I played very safe at the start of the game and felt I had no tangible advantage for the first 15 moves. I didn't like Bill's 16th move pinning himself and was able to win a pawn, though I'm not sure I managed to do this in the best way. I was worried about possible opposite coloured bishop endings, and if Bill had played 28..Bd6 instead of 28..Ra8, we may have been in for a late night.

Olympiad round up

Well that was an amazing event! Both the men's and women's tournaments went to the wire, with Armenia edging out Russia in the Open section, while Russia beat China in the Women's section. Man of the tournament was Armenian number 1, Levon Aronian who led his team from the front, posting a 2848 rating performance and 70% on the top board against all the strongest opposition. Women's world champion, Yifan Hou starred in the women's section with a 2645 performance and 72%. One thing worth noting is the bi-polar tournament of the Netherlands. Obviously disturbed by the absence of board 1 Anish Giri, the 9th seeded team found themselves in lowly 74th place after 4 rounds. In round 5 Giri played his first game, arriving in Istanbul after visa problems, and from then Netherlands started their move, finishing eventually in 6th.

The tournament wrapped up with the closing ceremony, and almost as soon as the event closed, the tweets started about Tromso 2014. The big question regarding the next Olympiad is whether the host nation will be able to get their star player, World number 1 Magnus Carlsen, to play. Even with Carlsen Norway are unlikely to place near the medals, but they would probably do better than their 54th place starting from a ranking of 45. The venue for the 2016 Olympiad was decided at the FIDE council, and disappointingly, it was given to Baku in Azerbaijan. Personally I have no problem with Azerbaijan but the fact that Armenian's will not travel there means that we are likely to have a tournament without one of the big favourites. Really FIDE should insist on host nations who are not in conflict with others, so while I am not happy with Azerbaijan, I would be equally dissatisfied, for example, with Armenia.

Australians should be proud of the performance of their teams, who suffered at the start of the event from illnesses, but who pulled through. The Open team had a remarkable event, with young stars Moulton Ly and Max Illingworth having particularly notable tournaments. Moulton scored 70% on board 2 for a 2541 rating performance which shows that he is capable of playing at GM standard. Max also scored 70% as board 5, scoring an IM norm which means he will be an IM as soon as he reaches 2400 which surely cannot be too far away. Max also finished in the top 20 for his board. Australia's women had an indifferent start to the event but came through to finish in 50th, which is where they were originally ranked. All the women chipped in with performances, and Ariane's last round victory against Peng Zhaoqin rated 2411 was a real highlight.

Istanbul 2012 was a great media event, and a competitive success. There is a huge amount of material with thousands of games ready to download or view online. There are also pdf bulletins which can be downloaded with games and information about the event. There is enough raw material to keep most of us busy until the next Olympiad in 2014. One game that may have escaped your notice was from the round 1 match between Mozambique and Bangladesh. It isn't often you see 4 queens on the board by move 10.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Olympiad heating up

It's just my luck that on such a dramatic day at the Olympiad as yesterday, I should feel ill and not be able to follow any of the action. Saying that, with the time difference here in Australia, I'd have been in bed before all the main action really would have happened. While it's frustrating to have to go to bed half way through a game that you've become engrossed in, I suppose if I was still living in England, then I'd be working while the games were happening.

Australia at the Olympiad:

The Australian men's team have done us proud. Their starting position was 61, but they are currently in 47th place having had a string of good results. In round 8 they beat Ireland with nice wins from Solomon and Illingworth, while they drew with the team from Tajikistan in round 9, though this could have been an even better result had David Smerdon not lost on time in a good position. David's Facebook post says it all:

"Losing on time on move forty when your 2600+ opponent is about to resign...

Wine. Lots of wine." - D. Smerdon

The men should be pretty happy with the way things have gone though. Max Illingworth has been a star on board 4, while the rest of the team (except Alex Wohl who has been having a forgettable tournament and sounds as if he is feeling guilty about it to the team) have been playing respectably well. 

In my opinion, the women have had a tough time of it. They have had some tough pairings for their position, and have done well to stay around the 50th position in which they started. Tonight is another example where the women have a really tough draw against Argentina who are the second highest seeded team in that score group, while Australia are also in the top half of that score group according to seeding. Likewise they got a very tough draw against number 10 seeds Romania earlier in the tournament. Saying that, the women are doing ok, and have all had their moments.

The under 16's will be a little disappointed, though they shouldn't be. Our top team finished in 8th place from a starting rank of 5th. However, in the last round Australia lost to India by 2.5-1.5, while if they would have won 3-1 they would have gained the bronze medals, which shows how close the event was. Australia fielded 3 teams, the other 2 finishing 25th and 30th. It will have been great experience for these kids, and especially working with a Grandmaster coach like David Arutinian.

This amazing video from Chessvibes captures the drama at the end of the big match USA-Russia.

Of course, the main news of the Olympiad was Russia's loss to the American team. With the Russian's seemingly coasting they came up against a team that can be unpredictable. Obviously the USA are strong but they can sometimes disappoint and they can sometimes amaze. Yesterday they amazed, and all the talk on the social networks is of Nakamura's underpromotion. I've felt so ill today that I haven't actually checked it out yet! So USA pull level with Russia, and they are both joined by China and Armenia. The match up of USA-China is an intriguing one where I expect little compromise. These teams play to win, and if they lose it's usually because they push too hard! Meanwhile Russia drop down to play Argentina while Armenia face a resurgent Netherlands. Since Anish Giri arrived the Dutch have turned their Olympiad around and are on the verge on a great result. Giri-Aronian on board 1 is a mouth watering encounter!

In the women's tournament, China hold a 1 point lead from Russia, with a chasing pack a further point down. Having played many of their closest rivals already China face 22 seeds Kazakhstan, while the Russians have a much harder task against Armenia.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Visitors to the Olympiad

The past couple of days some notable chess celebrities have attended the Olympiad in Istanbul. Former World Champion Garry Kasparov turned up in Istanbul to cheer on the Russian team. In fact, I guess having Kasparov in the building probably turned up the pressure on the Russians to actually win the event this time. Kasparov's presence has certainly done the trick, as the Russian number 1 Kramnik, beat his arch rival Armenian Aronian on top board with a nice piece sacrifice.

Here, Kramnik as white played 23.Nxb7 sacrificing his knight for both black's queen side pawns. After 23..Rxb7 24.Qxa6 Rbc7 25.b4 Qd7 26.Qb6 black's pieces are in a terrible tangle and white went on to win.

Unfortunately for Kasparov, Kramnik's victory was not enough for a match win. The Armenians managed to draw with the Russians, but since then Armenia lost to China while Russia beat Hungary and stand in first place a match point ahead of China and Ukraine. Tonight sees the big match up of Russia against defending champions Ukraine!

While Kasparov witnessed Russian victories, former women's World Champion Susan Polgar was in town, while her sister Judit is playing for the Hungarian team. Judit did her part in the match against the Russians drawing with World number 7, Karjakin, though the Hungarians narrowly lost. Good news for Judit was not just that Susan was in town, but her other sister Sofia also showed up.

Judit, Sofia and Susan Polgar (courtesy of @Arman Karakhanyan on the Olympiad site)

Of course, there could be other reasons for the appearance of people at the Olympiad. Those with political ambitions (such as Kasparov) will not have a better chance of meeting such an amount of national chess dignitaries, and FIDE itself has its congress at the Olympiad. I'm sure that Kasparov, among others, will be checking out some of these activities, as well as spectating the Olympiad. Susan Polgar will no doubt be supporting her sister, but may also be in Istanbul as a coach and a journalist. One person who is not there as a journalist is Evgeny Surov, the editor in chief of the Russian chess news website. He has been denied accreditation as a journalist by the organisers (actually it seems Turkish chess President Ali Nihat Yazici is behind the action) which has caused quite a storm. A number of grandmasters and officials have signed an open letter protesting the treatment of Mr Surov. With only a few rounds to go this won't help Mr Surov at this Olympiad, but if it does anything to stop the political ambitions of Yazici, then it will be a good thing.

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!