Round one Dresden 2008

November 13, 2008 at 10:33 pm 5 comments

For those who didn’t know, there have been several major changes to the format this year. The Open have only 4 boards and now instead of winning on points it is a team victory: 1, .5 or 0. I guess that is good news for Australia who got only half a point against Czech Republic (a draw by Yuan), but perhaps a little disappointing for Switzerland who got 1.5 against Russia, a pleasing result not exactly reflected in a big fat zero.

Meanwhile the Aussie women had a great start drawing with the much higher seeded Belarus.

Round 1 on 2008/11/13 at 15:00
Bo. 54 AUS Australia (AUS) Rtg – 26 BLR Belarus (BLR) Rtg 2 : 2
26.1 WIM Caoili Arianne 2170 – WGM Sharevich Anna 2322 1 – 0
26.2 Nguyen Thu Giang 2101 – WIM Popova Natalija 2264 ½ – ½
26.3 WIM Moylan Laura 2114 – WIM Azarova Nadezhda 2308 ½ – ½
26.4 WIM Dekic Biljana N 2103 – WIM Berlin Tatiana 2218 0 – 1

Well done, girls!

The other change you might have noticed from above, is that although the Open teams have been cut down to 4, the Women’s has been increased to 4!!!! I quite like Chessninja’s comments on this move by FIDE:

The main change this year is cutting the Open teams down to five players (four boards, one reserve) and adding a board to the Women’s event so that’s also five players. This way the strong players will be more tired and play worse, but in compensation we’ll get a few hundred more games between unrated women. Good job, Dresden. If you want to make a stand for equal rights, abolish the Women’s event entirely. No, I’m not really in favor of that. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for Title IX and making sure women have equal access and protection against discrimination in sports. But as is made clear by the women playing in the Open section — in 2006 I believe there were seven — access isn’t the issue. It’s a culture thing. And I’m fine with affirmative action in general. We need to find ways to encourage more women to take up and stay with the sport, absolutely. But doing it this way, swapping 2500-players for 2000-players even up and bringing in dozens of players who are practically beginners, it looks silly.

Okay, enough on that. We won’t really notice it once things get going and I’m sure ChessBase will be delighted to have dozens more just-happy-to-be-here young women to photograph for their in-depth chess coverage.

The favorites in the main event are, as usual, the Russians. Kramnik is back on board one in an attempt to recover from 2006, when he led the top seeds to a miserable sixth-place finish in Turin. Kramnik himself actually had the best performance rating of the event, but Svidler was off and Rublevsky a disaster. This time they have the highest-rated team ever, a 2756 average, with Kramnik, Morozevich, Svidler, Grischuk, and Jakovenko. The loss of the second reserve board cost Alekseev a spot. But I’m sure there’s a spunky reserve Women’s player from, say, Korea who just learned to play on the flight to Dresden who appreciates the change.

Having been one of them myself (you can see my Olympiad games here), the spunky chancer who shouldn’t be there, I have to say YOU ARE RIGHT, Chessninja. On the other hand, I must assure you, nobody minded me being there. And there was actually some chance at the time that I’d turn into a chess player.


Entry filed under: chess 2008 Olympiad. Tags: , , .

Dresden 2008 Chess Olympiad Defending like the Maestro.

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jonathan  |  December 2, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    I think you should distinguish between 4 card majors where you open the minor with major/minor and when you open the major.

    You 5 card major people have two opening bids: 1Major is like opening e4 backed with the latest theory, and opening 1C or 1D with AQJx KQxx xxx xx is like opening 1a3. Which says
    my theory is a bit rusty and I don’t know what to do better make
    a noncommittal nothing move. I admit I’m White so I have to open something…

    Opening the minor with 4-4 is more like the English opening
    1 c4. Coincidentally, it is fairly popular here in England. You
    don’t rush in there to occupy the centre with 1d4/e4, but you
    observe it soundly while restraining opponents, and
    retaining the option of a flank attack (much easier to reach 6minor). It’s subtle and sound, but not very preemptive. Opponents can occupy the centre if they want by overcalling
    1…e5. If they pass with 1..Nf6, you can find your 4-4 major fits
    easily with 2d4…

    Now opening the major with major/minor, is really a bit of a destructive system. Not very sound, but hard to combat. This has got to be a gambit of some kind – the king’s gambit? The
    Morra gambit? Basically you start with 1 e4 but soon you find yourself a pawn down in a grotty 2NT contract…

    A Precision club is probably 1 Nf3…..

    1g3 is probably a strong pass system. You welcome opponents into the centre but you hope to undermine it later.

    Yeah. Maybe. Jonathan

  • 2. cathychua  |  December 2, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Gee, my own brother thinks my chess was cowardly. For me 1.g3 was part of a group of opening structures. I might have opened 1.b3 or 1.f4 – or others along those lines. I guess the obvious connection with 4 card majors is not doing what everybody else is doing, in this case avoiding 1e4 and 1d4. That also meant avoiding a lot of theory.

    Four card majors are rather like that too. Unlike 5 card majors they aren’t about theory. I think both 4 card majors and 1.g3 (If I can use that to be representative of various openings) permit you to be sensible, to work out at the table the best plan, rather than needing to know the latest theory (in chess) or a bunch of artificial sequences in 5 card majors to make up for the unnatural methods.

  • 3. Chris Depasquale  |  December 2, 2008 at 6:39 am

    I understand the question but not the answer. 4-card majors is all macho agrression, having no fear of the odd 1100 penalty, but getting in there fearlessly. 1.g3 is about “if I keep everything on the first three ranks, and everything on the third rank double protected it will take longer before I am wiped out” chickensh*t stuff.

  • 4. cathychua  |  November 14, 2008 at 5:18 am

    Sartaj, Try 1978 vs Argentina which was written up on our return as the best Australian game of the tournament. It’s quite nice. As for the typos, I guess I can point them out to the site.

    Hmmm. You want a connection between four card majors and 1.g3. I don’t see that there is a contradiction, so please explain!

  • 5. sartaj  |  November 14, 2008 at 3:43 am

    Saw the first game of the Buenos Aires Olympiad.

    How do four card majors and 1.g3 fit together ???

    And the game score has Rg4 and black resigns. Whereas the position looks more like Rg4 and White resigns !


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