Sunday, 16 November 2008

Dresden chess olympiad, Round 3

The Malaysian team was quickly brought down back to earth early this morning to face the harsh reality that they were playing against a team that was at least a league better than them. Germany One came prepared and only Lim Yee Weng had a decent game. Yet, he had nothing better than a draw. We felt the might of the German team but at least, we did not come away empty-handed in this match. It could've been worse.

Is it only in Europe that you can see crowds as large as these at chess events? (Photo: Europe-Echecs)

(Photos: Paul Truong / Susan Polgar)

(Photo: ChessBase)

(Photo: Chess Vibes)

So how did the top 10 tables fare? Interestingly, five small minnows - Malaysia, Faroe Islands, El Salvador, Japan and Malta - were thrust into the limelight playing the juggernauts at the top 10 tables and they were overwhelmed. It wouldn't have happened this way if not for the change in one of the Olympiad rules where match points are now counted instead of game points. It has certainly given rise to rather unique situations and pairings. For example, how could tournament leader Tajikistan with 7½ points end up playing at the seventh table while Russia with 5 points played at the top table? Interesting. BTW, I'm surprised that China lost. Norway is seeded many rungs below China so this is an upset result.

Russia 3½-½ Cuba
Germany One 3½-½ Malaysia
Georgia 1½-2½ Ukraine
China 1½-2½ Norway
Netherlands 2-2 Azerbaijan
Armenia 4-0 Faroe Islands
Tajikistan 1-3 Spain
India 3½-½ El Salvador
Japan 1-3 Romania
England 4-0 Malta

And how were the fortunes of the rest of the Asian teams in this round?

Singapore 1-3 Poland
Kyrgyzstan 1-3 Belarus
UAE 1-3 Croatia
Slovakia 4-0 Yemen
Bosnia & Herzegovina 2½-1½ Syria
Lebanon 1-3 Sweden
Uzbekistan 4-0 Iraq
Jordan ½-3½ Kazakhstan
Luxembourg ½-3½ Vietnam
Monaco 1½-2½ Philippines
Macedonia 4-0 Thailand
Sri Lanka 0-4 Austria
Bangladesh 3-1 Libya
South Korea ½-3½ Portugal
Pakistan 2-2 Paraguay
Hongkong ½-3½ Ecuador
Nepal 0-4 Costa Rica
Afghanistan ½-3½ Indonesia
Mongolia 3-1 Mozambique
Ethiopia 1-3 New Zealand
Turkmenistan 3-1 Malawi
Mexico 1½-2½ Iran
Australia 4-0 British Virgin Islands
Qatar 4-0 Namibia
Palestine 3-1 Fiji
Papua New Guinea 1½-2½ Netherlands Antilles
Cyprus 2-2 Chinese Taipei
Macau 4-0 Virgin Islands

Our representatives in Dresden, Round Three: (left to right) Mas Hafizulhelmi, Lim Yee Weng, Mok Tze Meng and Jimmy Liew

At Table 2, these are the results of the Malaysian team:
GM Naiditsch Arkadij 2678 - IM Mas Hafizulhelmi 2439 1-0
GM Gustafsson Jan 2634 - FM Lim Yee-Weng 2396 1/2
GM Fridman Daniel 2630 - FM Mok Tze-Meng 2308 1/0
GM Baramidze David 2557 - IM Liew Chee-Meng-Jimmy 2306 1-0

For Round Four, Malaysia has been pushed down to Table 15 - not too unreasonable considering the quantum of their loss but hey, match points over game points, remember? - and they are going to play Slovakia. It's going to be another tough match. Their first four players are GMs. Good luck, boys!

No comments: