Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Dresden chess olympiad, Round 11

So it has finally ended: the Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany. Armenia are the champions, a successful defence of the title won two years ago in Turin, Italy. Congratulations to them. And congratulations too to Israel for taking the second spot and the United States for claiming third again. Ukraine lost out on the bronze by tie-break. As for Russia, I think they just gave up at the end. They don't look the powerhouse any more. China is still within the top 10 chess-playing nations in the world today and so is the emerging Vietnam. Congratulations, especially, to the Vietnamese for these achievements.

It would be ideal if I could tell you that our representatives in Dresden had played well but then I would be stretching the truth. Fact is, the results of the Malaysian team could have been better and the players know this themselves. It was not the losses against the better teams that disappointed. Instead, it was the inability of the team to produce the form when it mattered most. And usually, it would be the final round that was the most important.

Granted that the scoring system deployed in this year’s Chess Olympiad was a departure from past practices, but against a team like Guatemala, Malaysia should have won this match instead of drawing it. Winning this match would have added one more point to the team’s tally. Would this extra point make a difference? Sure. Definitely. It would have pushed them several notches up the final standings. Instead of tying with 18 other teams in the 82nd to 100th positions, the Malaysian team could have shared the 64th to 81st positions instead.

But maybe, this would have been too much to expect it from them, seeing how their dismal form suffered in the second half of the Chess Olympiad. From afar here in Malaysia, we were cheering them on but day after day, immediately after the first rest day of the Olympiad, fortune was against them.

Here are the results of the top 10 tables in the final round:

China 1½-2½ Armenia
Lithuania 1½-2½ Germany One
USA 3½-½ Ukraine
Israel 2½-1½ Netherlands
Russia 2-2 Spain
France 1½-2½ Azerbaijan
Vietnam 2½-1½ Serbia
Hungary 2½-1½ Belarus
Georgia 2½-1½ Romania
Croatia 2-2 England

And these are the performances of the rest of the Asian teams:

Bulgaria 3-1 Kazakhstan
India 3-1 Slovakia
Australia 1-3 Cuba
Montenegro 3½-½ Uzbekistan
Luxembourg 1½-2½ Iran
Japan 0-4 Germany Three
Singapore 2-2 Indonesia
Argentina 1½-2½ Philippines
Italy 4-0 Tajikistan
Thailand 0-4 Bangladesh
New Zealand 1-3 Brazil
Mongolia 2-2 Qatar
Ireland 3-1 Iraq
UAE 2½-1½ Kyrgyzstan
Syria ½-3½ Faroe Islands
Pakistan 3½-½ Nicaragua
Malaysia 2-2 Guatemala
Jamaica 2½-1½ Palestine
Jordan 3½-½ Afghanistan
Namibia 1-3 Sri Lanka
Barbados 1-3 Lebanon
Chinese Taipei 0-4 Yemen
Nepal 4-0 Surinam
South Korea 3½-½ Hongkong
Macau 2-2 Aruba
Trinidad & Tobago 4-0 Fiji
Rwanda 0-4 Papua New Guinea

Our representatives in Dresden, Round 11: (left to right) Mas Hafizulhelmi, Lim Yee Weng, Mok Tze Meng and Edward Lee
At Table 41, Malaysia drew with Guatemala:

IM Mas Hafizulhelmi 2439 - IM Juarez Flores Carlos A 2358 1-0
FM Lim Yee-Weng 2396 - FM Lorenzana Wilson Estuardo 2202 0-1
FM Mok Tze-Meng 2308 - Quinones Centeno Carlos 2127 0-1
Edward Lee Kim Han 2054 - Galvez Dastin Eduardo 2178 1-0


19 points: Armenia
18 points: Israel
17 points: USA, Ukraine
16 points: Russia, Azerbaijan, China, Hungary, Vietnam, Spain, Georgia
15 points: Netherlands, Germany One, Bulgaria, England, India, Slovenia
14 points: Belarus, Romania, Serbia, Norway, France, Cuba, Greece, Sweden, Montenegro, Croatia, Canada
13 points: Poland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovakia, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany Three, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic, Denmark, Iran, Italy, Germany Two, Moldova, Latvia, Austria, Philippines, Bangladesh, Paraguay
12 points: Colombia, Uzbekistan, Switzerland, Indonesia, Scotland, Brazil, Portugal, Egypt, Australia, South Africa, Macedonia, Ireland, Faroe Islands, Singapore, UAE
11 points: Iceland, Pakistan, Qatar, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Argentina, Belgium, Tajikistan, Ecuador, Mongolia, Mexico, Luxembourg, Jordan, Japan, El Salvador, ICSC, Jamaica, Wales
10 points: Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Iraq, Bolivia, Guatemala, IPCA, Algeria, Dominican Republic, IBCA, Albania, Panama, Sri Lanka, Puerto Rico, Malaysia, New Zealand, Angola, Lebanon, Thailand
9 points: Palestine, Nigeria, Botswana, Monaco, Tunisia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nepal, South Korea, Andorra, Libya, Netherlands Antilles, Malta, Uruguay, Jersey, Nicaragua
8 points: Zambia, Barbados, Mozambique, Uganda, San Marino, Cyprus, Namibia, Ethiopia, Trinidad & Tobago, Guernsey, British Virgin Islands
7 points: Honduras, Mauritius, Surinam, Kenya, Hongkong, Papua New Guinea, Macau, Aruba, Chinese Taipei, Bermuda
6 points: Malawi, Liechtenstein, Ghana, U.S. Virgin Islands
5 points: Gabon, Fiji, Seychelles
4 points: Madagascar
3 points: Rwanda

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After so many years, there is a very glaring problem with Malaysian chess.

Frankly and bluntly, the Malaysian players cannot play properly. Looking at all their collective games, I struggle to see any quality, any signs of a good, upcoming Grandmaster. Instead, what I spot all the time were trashy, 'nothing' moves which just appear to be 'bean counting', waiting for the opponent to make mistakes.

I was once a chess enthusiast in Malaysia and I still love Malaysia to do well in the international scene. But the situation is so horrendous that it will take a long while before we even improve.