Archive for August, 2012

Olympiad Round 4

August 31st, 2012 7 comments

I finally played a decent game, where I found some good moves at a critical point. Generally happy with that, even if this draw should cost me another 1-2 rating points, making the loss of three games here erode all of my gains from Politiken Cup (where I won rating in all 10 games). Luckily I am retiring and with a rating over 2500…

The team played poorly as a whole and losing against Costa Rica was certainly not what we were looking for. We really have to turn things around in order not to be asked to stay here (and the place has not improved at all).

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Olympiad Round 3

August 31st, 2012 10 comments

John did not want to play me, so I blundered against Alan Tate instead. The team captain wants me to “get going” so I am in play again today. The fog in my head is lifting; maybe I will play well today. Who knows!

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Olympiad round 2

August 30th, 2012 7 comments

Denmark lost a tough match against Kazakhstan in a bad way. Sune Berg Hansen got nothing from the opening and just drew on board one. A curiosity is that the arbiter refused them to take a draw from three time repetition, forcing them to repeat a bit more before making it to move 30. Lars Schandorff got the worse end of a Semi-Slav endgame where his opponent just outplayed him. At some point Lars should have given up a pawn and tried to draw a rook ending. If it could be done is not too obvious, but instead he was about to lose it under worse circumstances when he blundered the exchange. The most painful game was my own. I first forgot my preparation (partly because I simply did not understand it) and then I allowed a trick I had seen. I then had a few forced draws, which were too hard to find, before I had a passive, but drawable position. Then in move 40 I game a check, with a few seconds on the clock, and was just lost. On move 41 he played a nice move and I had to resign. Jakob Vang Glud did not face strong opposition, but played quite well and is laughing with 2/2. Hopefully this is the start of the GM-norm, which will count double and thus be title immediately for him!

The event can only be described as abysmal. The area is as charming as the more industrial (dangerous) parts of Glasgow and the food worse than you would get there. So far I have stabilised on a diet of beans and rice. I am sure that the organisers have never even heard of the word vegetarian . The internet on the hotel essentially does not work, except in the early morning or during the night, when there are not 200 chess girls trying to upload their photos to facebook.

One funny story happened yesterday. Grischuk was having a coffee with some friends before the game outside the playing hall. An African player approached him and asked if he could have his photo taken with him. Sure. So the African guy asked one of the friends if he wanted to take the photo. Sure. The African guy walked away glowing with pride. Not much of a story, you might think. Ok, I accept it. But please understand that this is why I will in all perpetuity refer to Vladimir Kramnik as “the photographer”.

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Olympiad Round 1 – First impressions

August 29th, 2012 1 comment

I want to divide this into two parts, the Danish team and the organisation of the tournament.

First of all, the atmosphere on the Danish Team is the best I have ever experienced of any team. And I have played for teams almost 30 years. There are no conflicts or tensions, even though you have this painful daily process of telling one guy that he is not playing. It is my feeling that the same is the case with the Danish Women’s Team and I am sure their captain agrees with me (as saying “I agree” has become a running joke, example: “I played like a clown today”, “I agree”).
There is an honest belief in the team that we will do well here and that we will do even better in the future. So far I am quite positive about having taken on the job as Danish National Coach (from October – after retirement).

Now we get to the less positive part. In 2008, my Scottish team mates were all deeply optimistic about Istanbul as a host. But so far it has been a disaster on almost all accounts.
You can read up on all the political conflicts. I don’t take a side, but feel that connecting them to the Olympiad is unfortunate and has definitely hit many innocent individuals. I know a few.
The place we are staying is desperately uncharming. The hotel is actually fine, even though there is only Internet access here early in the morning, because their bandwith cannot take 200 chess girls uploading their photos to facebook at the same time. But the area is half constructed and will be a sad industrial area once finished. Seeing the planes rise is the only charming thing about the place.
The tournament hall looks fine from the outside, if you are a player. Any spectator will find this a dour experience. The complex is vast, but there is no way you can see the games. Only about 20 games are visible (board 1s 2 meters from the string-barrier (what are these called), but luckily the organisers have 10 people there to push you away, should you get close enough to actually see enough of the board to determine the position.
The live transmission also did not work well at all.

So, so far I am having a good time because I am here with my friends and team mates, proud to play; but the tournament is not well organised.

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Olympiad – Day 1

August 28th, 2012 2 comments

Arrived well on a direct flight from Edinburgh. Denmark is playing Honduras today, a bunch of 2100s, leaving us as favourites. I am not playing, as I looked worst last night (a rare case of hayfever). The hotel is generally good, although there are some internet problems. Breakfast was so/so, while it was raining like it was Scotland when we went out to buy water and lan cables this morning. John and the rest of the Scottish team are staying 4km away from the playing hall, while I can see it from my window.

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Our best review this year

August 25th, 2012 10 comments

The words in the review are not overpowering, but then you get to the evaluation. In my opinion the reviewer is entirely right; it was a good book the first time around and the second time we made it at least twice as good. I am very proud of this book.

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Quiz Question

August 24th, 2012 12 comments

How many Quality Chess authors will be at the Olympiad in Turkey? We do not know, who knows?

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White has compensation in the Morra!

August 24th, 2012 27 comments

After a very close run it was decided that White has compensation in the Morra Gambit. I personally do not feel inclined to accept it after reading Esserman’s book…

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