Olympiad Diary 2002, by Heather Lang
This diary is part of the British
Women's Chess Association website. The BWCA is a non-profit
organisation whose aim is to promote girls' and women's chess throughout
the British Isles.
The diary was last updated on .
Other coverage of the Olympiad :
Thursday 24th October 2002, Day before going
Not the ideal preparation for an Olympiad. I broke my wrist and my cycle
helmet falling off my bike two weeks ago, and had to withdraw from a
couple of tournaments I'd planned to play in. Fortunately it's a stable
fracture, and the plaster is coming off the day after I get back from
Bled. Carey Wilman, our board 2 this time, had a broken arm at the 1996
Olympiad in Yerevan, and got her moment of fame by getting her picture in
the bulletin. Maybe it'll be my turn this time, an accolade even greater
than getting a diagram in one of your games! :-)
The Scottish teams this time are :
- GM Jonathan Rowson
- GM Paul Motwani
- IM John Shaw
- GM Colin McNab
- IM Steve Mannion
- IM Douglas Bryson
- WFM Helen Milligan
- Carey Wilman
- Heather Lang
- Louise Macnab
Oh well, at least it wasn't cricket
I was supposed to be playing - the
World Cup qualifying is next summer, and I should be fine for that!
Friday 25th October, Travel Day
Got to Stanstead eventually after getting stuck in a traffic jam and
having to jump off the bus to take the Underground from Hillingdon.
Fortunately it's on the Metropolitan Line the same as London Liverpool
St, which is where the Stanstead Express leaves from.
Met up with the rest of the team there, and we had quite a nice RyanAir
flight. I'm just recovering from a cold, so had sore ears and was
half-deaf for the next few hours - hate that! We were efficiently met and
bussed from Trieste to Bled. It was dark by the time we arrived, but on
the way we spotted some huge mountains that started suddenly and towered
spectaculary above the land. Helen and Dougie have both brought
guidebooks, so we genned up on Bled on the bus and oworked out which hotel
we were staying in.
RyanAir don't do free food, and most of us wanted dinner by the time we
arrived. The Opening Ceremonay was going out live on Slovenian Television,
and as the bus hadn't made it in time for the 7:30pm start, we couldn't go
in late and instead had our first taste of the food. Very good. The tap
water is OK to drink here too, so finding a supermarket isn't as important
as it often is in eastern Europe.
We are staying in Hotel Trst (thankfully not in Trieste, as we first
misheard!). It's an 'extension' of the Grand Hotel Toplice, which is where
most of the top teams are staying. The Aussies found the name especially
amusing, speculating about whether there was a Toplice Bar, but apparently
the correct pronunciation is to rhyme with 'splice'.
The restaurant we are eating in is called the Panorama. In the dark, you
can see Bled Castle, high on a rock above the lake. It looks even more
unclimbable than Stirling Castle, though according to the guidebook there
are two differetnt paths up to it round the back somewhere. A spectacučar
fireworks display rounded the opening ceremony off - we went out onto the
patio for a better look. Just when you thought it had come to an end, an
even more spectacular barrage came along.
We went back to the Toplice to collect our passports, and the Macnabs' day
was made when we swept through the door to find Kasparov and some of the
other Russian players hanging around chatting in the lobby. Helen and
I, comparative veterans, had both played in events where he had been
playing before, but the general consensus among the other two is that he
has 'lovely eyes'. :-)
The Trst is quite nice, clean, en suite, etc etc. All f the radiators were
jammed on full when we arrived, but with a bit of knob-twiddling and
window-opening, we got the temperature to reasonable levels. Team meeting
tomorrow at breakfast.
Saturday 26th October, Round 1 - Aga-do-do-don't!
When we went to breakfast this morning, we realised why the restaurant is
Panorama. Wow. Sepectaclar. Amazing. Breathtaking. It is dificult to
describe the view. The
photograophs in the guidebook don't do it justice. They don't even start
to. It's so clear
and beautiful and panoramic (good name!)
There's the castle up on the cliffside - we'd seen that already of course.
The lake is
massive, and the hills and mountains range from 700m-2500m high. Some are
will be comparitively easy to climb if we feel like doing so on the rest
completely and utterly totally gorgeous!
At the other end of the lake from us is an island, which is apparently the
only island in
the whole of Slovenia. There is a church there, and a few other bits and
pieces - it's
really tiny but also really beautiful. It's a lovely sunny day too! We all
got a goodie bag
yesterday, including various brochures about Bled and the Olympiad and a
pretty glass vase
with the Olympiad logo engraved on it. We also received an official Chess
Yes, umbrella. Apparently Bled rivals Manchester at this time of year when
it comes to rain.
Hopefully not earthquakes though!
We were paired against Moldova - a tough team with a 2350 on board 4! As
we didn't have
player names before the start of the round, my preparation consisted of
leafing through my
new Closed Sicilian book until I fell asleep. Sorry Gary - your book's
just that boring! :-)
The team meeting had been postponed until after breakfast, and Carey,
who's acting as team
captain on the playing side, confirmed that we would be playing the top
three for this
match. We also discussed the unusual time control - all moves in 90
minutes, with 30s adeed
each time you make a move. No extra time at move 40. The main concern was
what if we needed
to go to the toilet. Various ideas were punted around, including
catheters, pit-stops and
time-outs. Lovely. We're just going to have to live with it!
In my game, I got a very very nice position against Agababena (2356 or
so). Helen told me
before the game that she plays on ICC as 'Agababy'. Not helpful. Have you
ever tried playing
chess with 'Aga-do-do-do' going round and round in your head? I think I
deserve a medal for
remaining sane! I wanted to play c3, kicking a N from d4, and all I could
think of was 'push
pineapple'. And exf5 was 'shake the tree' of course. Argh! I think she
somehow knew - her counterplay came on the queenside, then she mated me on
the kingside. To the left, to the right ...
I'd love to blame 'Aga-do-do-do' for how I spoiled the very good position
I had, but I think
that'd be taking it a bit too far! I thought I'd build up, missed a shot,
didn't find the
best moves and lost. Th time control was weird too - it really punishes
you if you get
behind on the clock. I was all set up for blitzing moves out, and then
found myself with
much much more time and had to slow down again. Quite strange. I'll get
used to it in a
couple of games' time I think, but treating it like a 'normal' Olympiad
game (ie 40 in 2h,
extra hour etc) was too slow and I paid the price for not playing obvious
Elsewhere, great stuff was going on. Helen drew a rook ending defending
4v3 all on the same
side - once her opponent had allowed her to get h4 in, it was always going
to be difficult
to win. And Carey demonstrated how to play the Pirc against their
board. She was always in control of the position, and reached an ending of
N+g-pawn vs N,
with white's king way way off-side. The lass may have missed some drawing
choosing to cover g1 with her N from the start, instead of covering g2
first in order to get
her king a couple of squares closer. At the end of the game, it was
unclear whether she
would lose on time, resign or get mated first, but she chose the middle
option, and Scotland
had drawn with the 17th-seeded team, and had the better of the third game
for a while!
The guys beat Liechtenstein (sp?) 4-0. One of the traditions I enjoy most
is gathering in a
room in the evening to go through the games from the day. Dougie showed us
his "I last had
this against a 1600, 12 years ago. At the time I analysed one line out to
a perpetual, so I
played the other one." It was very like a theoretical position from the
Meran, with the
omission of Nc3 for W and c6 for B. The 'other line' (the non-perpetual
one) looked like
'normal' ... except for the point at which black is supposed to play ...
Qd8-a5. Oops. Well
he won anyway, and so did everyone else.
Elsewhere, England, Russia and a load of other top teams dropped
half-points (Short and
Morozevich the culprits), so the Scottish men are in the lead. :-) In the
China, Russia and most of the usual suspects are on 100%, thought the
Georgians did drop points to Canada today.. The English women
(seeded 12th; we
are 62nd) with the young team of Harriet Hunt, Jovanka Houska, Heather
Richards and Ruth
Sheldon also dropped half a point against Peru.
Saturday 27th October, Round 2 - In Training?!
The men have France today, and the women have drawn Iran. They're much
weaker than Moldova, but have also taken a point and a half off strong
opposition, so it doesn't pay to be complacent. Louise is making her
senior debut today, which is why I'm at the Tourism College, hammering
away on one of ther 36 computers that chess players have access to. It's
not to busy in the mornings, and as long as you're not doing much
web-based stuff, the conention is fine. Alan spent 20 fretful minutes
trying to log himself into his hotmail account before giving up, but my
telnet connection to compsoc is fine. :-)
We're planning on going up to explore the castle later. I'm also planning
to run round the lake. Colin walked round it in 1h10m yesterday, and Alan
(Minnican, team captain) managed 1h15m this morning, but I get the feeling
that the record is about to go!
The clocks went back today. I wondered why Paul and Steve were down at
breakfast so early - they hadn't realised. Neither had Carey or Alan when
they'd gone to get the pairings and submit the teams. Not too pleased. I
wonder how many people are going to arrive at the tournament hall an hour
early - there was no announcement about it before the start fo play
yesterday. Though they dod make a cerimonial first move. On board 1 of the
open Olympiad? For the strongest Slovenian player? No, and no. Showing
that they truly knew how market chess for the TV cameras, the organisers
made the first move for the Slovenian Women's team. Not quite Kosteniuk,
The Scottish men are playing France today on board 3. We gave them a good
run for their money in Moscow 1994 - we'll see how it goes this time.
As with the last 2 Olympiads, the games are being recorded using
auto-sensory boards. They should be live on the official website soon,
though they had technical problems vesterday. In Istanbul, the easiest way
to see how your team-mates were getting on was from an internet cafe, as
people who weren't actually playing were banned from the playing area.
Again, we have 'playing player' badges then let us onto the ice rink
(carpeted and not too cold!) where the games are being staged. There's
room for spectators round the outside, and if anyone fancies a wee holiday
with a bit of chess then RyanAir fly cheap to Trieste and (I think)
Klagenfurt, which are both reasonably close by.
Well, the record time for going round the lake tumbled. 32m47s with one
arm in a stookie. Nice. :-) The views are even more gorgeous from round
the corner a bit - it was difficult to watch for my footing and watch the
There's a little white 'train', which is Bled's equivalent of an
open-topped bus. It sounds like a milk float as it purrs along, and loops
around the lake picking up and settign down pasengers, and tooting
occasionally. Me and it set off at around the same time - it's faster than
I am (though Paula Radcliffe would give it a very good run for its money!)
but it was handicapped by having to take a longer route while I swished
through autumn leaves on footpaths, and also by having to stop for
passengers. We overtook each other a couple of times, then I outsprinted
it down the home straight and felt quite chuffed, if you'll excuse the
pun. It was especially pleasing, as I'd initially thought I'd bitten off a
bit more than I could choo.
Speaking of which, the official website has a small corner on the ront
page reserved for chess jokes. The one there at the moment is so terrible,
I feel it ought to be preserved for future generations.
Paul visits his friend Steve and finds him playing a game of chess with
his dog. 'This dog of yours is really clever,' says Paul. Steve responds:
'Not really. He only wins one game in three.'
Oh dear. Alex MacFarlane - look out, your crown is not safe!
A quick change later. In the tournament hall, spectators have a reasonable
chance of seeing the games if their team is playing close to the edge. You
have to use the seats from where you'd normally watch the ice hockey. I
had a good view of my team mates' games - everyone looked fine out of the
Free days means the chance to explore. I decided to go up to the castle.
It was literally breathtaking - the hill is ultra-steep and the path
zig-zags skywards - you travel 100m vertically in almost no space at all!
And the view was also breathtaking (predictably). I played the 'studentka'
clause, and got 30p off my entry ticket as well. Lots more photos ...
Back to the tournament hall in time to see Carey win, Helen draw and
Louise go a piece down. The guys finished as well, though as they were
playing on one of the top boards in the middle of the hall I wasn't able
to see their individual results. Also noticed that the England ladies had
gone down 2-1 to Azerbaijan, with Harriet winning and Heather and Ruth
We went through the games in reasonably good spirits. Paul had gone down
against Bacrot in a Berlin, but had come up with what seems to be an
interesting new idea in the course of the game (though he didn't actually
play it over the board). John and Colin were our 'stars', drawing and
winning respectively. Carey had played well, and there are thoughts of a
possible 13-round WIM title, but it's early days yet.
The first round bulletin is a real disappointment. No number of beautiful
b+w photos of Bled can make up for the fact that it contained very few
games, making preparation from it impossible unless you happened to be
playing one of the very top teams. The guys have drawn Germany though -
another big big match (they're seeded higher than France), and we have
Bosnia. They are minus the 'blonde bombshell' 2400 I played in the 1998
Olympiad, and with us playing well so far a good result is within our
There have been problems with getting the pairings out on time. Rather
than become more effieient, the organisers have decided to start the games
at 2:30pm instead. Oh well, less time to wait for dinner, I suppose.
Monday 28th October, Round 3 - Caught in a Trap?
More tough opponents today, and a much more usual routine for me -
preparing rather than being a tourist! Another Sicilian - I think my
opponent (Dengler) was expecting 3.f4 which I do play sometimes, but not
today! I got quite a nice position, chickened out of a line which I would
have played instantly in a five minute game, and ended up with the
prospect of being ground for hours in a good N vs not quite so good B
Being me, I sacced three pawns for activity. It shouldn't have been good
enough, but she got a bit confused and I won them all back, with the game
ending as an exciting draw. I played on for a bit with level material,
hoping that nominative determinism would prevail and she'd leave a piece
dengling, but she spotted all my cheapos. Song in my head today -
"Suspicious Minds" ("we're caught in a trap"). The Elvis version of
course! Louise played a wee bit passively and lost, as did Carey.
Paul drew against the "2600 and a big chunk"-rated Graf, who plaed a
slightly dubious line in a Slav, and Dougie followed a game that Graham
Burgess had when he played 500-odd people in a simul! He played the same
as the punter had, and drew against Luther. Colin lost and John got ground
down in a long ending where both players were down to the 'last 30
seconds' for ages and ages.
Gathering in John's room to look through the games, Dougie had John
perturbed by turning his laptop into a music centre. Dougie has brought a
CD stuffed full of MP3s, ranging in quality from mighty fine to very
dubious. There was the odd hic-cup or two as well - we reckon that Fritz
has some taste and won't allow Whitesnake to be inflicted on our poor
The round 2 bulletin is no more impressive than the first round one. It
has the merit of containing the individual board results at least, but
it's still very thin as far as games are concerned. Just as well loads of
us have Chessbase!
Tuesday 29th October, Round 4 - Notable Authority?!
We have Mexico today. When we last played them (Yerevan, 1996), Carey
rested and turned up to watch wearing a very large sunhat that could
almost have passed for a sombrero.
I was preparing general stuff as I didn't know what my opponent did, and
was leafing through a new opening book. It looks pretty much like a
database dump, but it's up-to-date, and the only book that I know of
specialising int he variation in question. As part of my general prep, I
decided to look up a line that had given me trouble in the World Junior in
1997, and again more recently in the local league.
So I worked my way through to variation B23432ab(ii)4 (or something like
that) and found ... my game from 1997. A database dump right enough! To
give the author (or Fritz) some credit though, he had suggested an
improvement over what I had played the previous time.
On announcing my new-found fame at lunch, Dougie mentioned that Chessbase
had reckoned that I was an 'authority' on one of the lines he had been
preparing yesterday. Apparently ChessBase has some kind of opening summary
function where it effectively 'writes a book' for you (bet that's how he
did it!) and as well as the super-GMs who have played the line in the
past, it gives other 'notable' players. And I was one of them, despite
only having two games in the line, both against 1700-ish opponents.
Notable authority. Go me. :-)
I was quite disappointed with my draw today. I thought I'd equalised
comfortably with Black, then was pleased when she fell for a cheapo ...
but it didn't work so I had to play another move and suddenly she was a
bit better. I think she might have missed a win, and I bailed out into a
queen ending where she had the choice of randomising and both of us having
a passed pawn, or sitting tight. She went for the latter, and I gave a
Louise got on the board today against a rated opponent, a nicely played
game ending in a draw. As I type, Helen is still trying to hold an
inferior ending. (I see now via the webcast that she's drawn.) Good
to see that the live games are up and running now. Dire warnings today
about how we must leave the playing area when our games are finished, so I
don't know how the guys are getting on. England ladies are playing
Switzerland today, and Hund-Hunt has already ended in a draw.
Ah, the wonders of modern technology. The guys are 2-1 up (Paul won, Colin
and Dougie drew, Steve is still playing).
In just about every game so far, film director Helen has had a bad bishop, with her pawns welded to
the same coloured squares as it wants to move on. She claims that it's in
her contract, and is actually a subtle form of advertising. Aye. She also
revealed that she had a good idea about the opening in her match today
because she's in the middle of editing a video on it! Nice one.
It was Alan's turn for his computer to be turned into a music centre this
evening, with the Champion's League match between Deportivo and Bayern
also vying for our attention. Good goals! Dougie uploaded the pictures
from his digital camera, and we were able to have a chuckle at a few of
them. Hopefully he'll reduce the filesize a bit, and some will be
appearing here soon.
Alan's computer turned out to be as good as playing mp3s as his ankle
currently is at bearing weight. He had a bit of a tumble a couple of days
ago and ended up in hospital. Fortunately nothing is broken, but it looks
like he has a golf ball in there as well. Of coures I have to point out
that for him, this is turning into an o-limp-iad.
Wednesday 30th October, Round 5 - Blanket Coverage?
Firstly, a word about blankets. I appear to have gained a reputation among
the Scottish team for going around everywhere in a blanket. This is mainly
due to this picture, which was taken a couple of Olympiads ago.
It was cold, right? See, I'm wearing a jumper and I'm still cold. So I
used the blanket too. Hardly a criminal offence, is it? OK, so the blanket
also went to breakfast with me fairly regularly, but all the teams were
being catered for individually in their own apartments - it's not like I
took it to the board or anything. And yes, blankets are provided by the
hotel in Bled. And yes, I was doing preparation wrapped in one this
morning. But my reputation is entirely unwarranted - I assure you!
Now, when the team were looking at Dougie's photos last night, they
spotted this in the one from our match against Moldova that I've already
posted on here :
So I got severely told off for taking my blanket to the board with me.
It's so unfair!
Today we were playing Lebanon. As with many of the women's teams here,
they have a comparitively strong board 1 who tends to score a lot of their
points for them. Carey won in about 15 moves or something, I eventually
picked up a loose piece, and Helen, again left with a bishop at the end,
drew. Her opponent offered despite having an extra pawn, but it looks like
there's a nuance which means that it's actually won for her. So 2.5-0.5,
and we ought to have a tough pairing tomorrow.
The guys - one day Germany, the next, Barbados (basically a team of
2250s). They've just shut them out 4-0, so they should be back in with the
big boys in time for Jonathan Rowson arriving. Jonathan, I can exclusively
reveal, was in Stuart Conquest's suitcase(1). D'oh. To explain,
England are a player short - Stuart's case, which contained his passport
and laptop, was stolen at London Victoria, and he's currently trying to
get express replacements in order to join the rest of the team. Neither of
the English teams are performing to their seeding - Adams lost to
Steffanson yesterday and the women went down to Switzerland, seeded far
(1) - This may not be strictly 100%
Thursday 31st October, Round 6
The USA surprisingly beat China yesterday, and Georgia whitewashed the
young Indian team. On board 3, Russia defeated Poland 2-1. So the women's
leaderboard currently looks like this :
England are 28th= with 8.5, Scotland and Wales 46th= with 7.5, Ireland
75th= on 4.5.
We have the Aussies today, and the guys have Spain. With the Ashes
starting soon and the same restaurant catering for both teams, we're
I've been ill today, quite gutting as I was meant to be playing.
Fortunately I realised in time and Louise went on the teamsheet instead.
So, nothing much to report, except that it was a lot lot colder and duller
today, though the sun did peep through for a while. Found the European
edition of the Guardian for Tuesday 29th, quite a good read, though I'm
stuck on the crossword after doing a few clues in two corners.
Lagging hugely wrt access to live games (and indeed in general), so i
don't think I'll know how we got on until I meet up witht he rest of the
Helen drew on board 1 - it looked like she was getting crushed, but she
came up with a cheapo that I'd have been proud of to escape with a
perpetual. John, when going through Carey's game, pointed out a trap that
might have happened in a few moves' time ... only for Carey to realise
that it had been on and she could have won a pawn instead of going a pawn
down herself. Louise offered a draw when running a little short of time.
As her opponent scored 8.5/9 at the Istanbul Olympiad, it was quite a good
result! England lost 2-1 to Lithuania, and are still only just ahead of
The guys lost 3.5-0.5 to Spain, but were buoyed by Jonathan's arrival from
Harvard. Stuff's going fine there, and he's ready to play against Peru
(Granda Zuniga - 2600+ on board 1) tomorrow.
Token nod at Halloween in the restaurant this evening, with a lantern on
the bar. Speaking of which, the drug testing team are supposed to be
arriving in the net few days. The following er, interesting article has been pointed out to me, in keeping with
Friday 1st November, Round 7
I'm being rested today in case I still feel ill. I'm probably around 90%,
and am feeling a whole lot better. I've had a wander round the lake as
it's another beautiful day, but it's a bank holiday, so most things are
closed. Shame. I'd like to play - we have Uzbekistan, who are about as
strong as the bottom 3 or 4 boards of the Peruvian men's team.
I've been browsing the 35chessolympiad.com website
while the traffic's not been too high, and have found some pictures.
In amongst the ones of good players and the Slovenian women's team,
there's one of someone with a plaster cast. My moment of fame at last.
I've heard via email that the live games and video of the 'playground'
(playing hall) are quite watchable, so the lag we get here is probably the
cyber room's (their terminology) and not the server's. Even the
live press conferences are watchable, apparently.
According to /usr/local/var/log/httpd-access.log, the diary has been
viewed 1420 times in the week since it started. Now, granted, some of
these visits were me and some have been search engine bots, but not all of
them! BCM and Chess Scotland have linked which
has probably helped.
Being rested for a couple of days has been quite good for my Slovenian. As
well as the usual run-of-the-mill and pedestrian 'please', 'thankyou',
'yes', 'no' and 'water', I have learned 'notepad', 'file', 'open', 'new'
and 'save'. Granted these are unlikely to be as useful as the ones I knew
already, but they're all quite important when it comes to spodding.
Fortunately the programs all have the same filenames as they do in English
versions of windows, so finding ftp to upload the page hasn't been a
Technology has certainly come on a long way in the last wee while - I can
remember the good old days of keeping a watchful eye on Teletext in the
hope that it would have news and results a few days after they'd happened.
However, there may well be a bit of technological jiggery-pokery going on.
And I don't mean the autosensory move-entry system, which may cut down on
manual labour but has produced some rather 'amazing' games.
During my game the other day, I popped into the loo while my opponent was
having a big think. I heard a tinkle coming from one of the other
cubicles. Quite normal you may think, but it was the tinkle a mobile phone
makes when it receives an SMS. Now, no doubt it was someone saying "saw u
on wbcam, cu l8r m8"(1), or "free minutes when you top up this
month" but it could well have been "Nxg5 wins - you have Qh7+ at the end".
This is fairly plausible when the games are being beamed out live
worldwide. If they were in fact cheating they weren't doing a very good
job and should at least have had their phone on silent. But still ... Very
difficult to legislate against, unless the drug testing team go a bit
beyond their call of duty, and monitor everyone's call of nature.
(1) Who did this to the English language? Who?!
Speaking of live internet coverage, the team have all had long games so
far - they've made around 40 moves on average and are in endings. Carey's
a pawn down and grovelling, Helen's 2 down but with a dangerous passer
supported by her king but her opponent can probably sac her rook for it
and remains with 3 connected passed pawns, and Louise is slightly passive
with more pawn islands in a rook ending with equal pawns.
Jonathan's not the only player to have arrived late for the tournament.
Stuart Conquest eventually made it a couple of days ago, and Boris Gelfand
has just come over to play for Israel - he defeated Anatoly Karpov 2-0 in
the final of the Cap d'Agde Chess Festival.
Saturday 2nd November, Round 8
There are a few certainties in life. One is that Scotland will almost
definitely meet Ireland at some point during the Olympiad. We've played
for at least the last two years (with us winning 3-0 on both occasions),
and sure enough there it was in the draw again for the day before the rest
This time, we were coming off a 0-3 reverse in round 7, and they had just
yo-yo-ed up the other way. Boing. A good result and we'd be well placed
with six rounds to go and could go into the rest day with smiles (and
chocolate if it was 3-0).
The guys also have a team they played in Istanbul 2000 - Venezuala.
They're mainly a bunch of young IMs and could be quite dangerous. Drama
first thing in the morning, as Dougie, in the team as agreed the night
before didn't feel too good and didn't want to play, but couldn't find
Alan to tell him to swap things around. Eventually, Alan was located as he
was just about to hand the teams in, and had to lurch back (ankle still
dodgy) to make sure Steve was OK to play. All sorted out in the end, with
Jonathan, Paul, John and Steve in the team.
I played my opponent in the 1998 Olympiad but didn't have much more
information on what she played. so decided that sleep was the best kind of
preparation. Arriving at the board, we were asked to pose by Cathy Rogers,
who was taking photos for the Chessbase player database. I think that my
current one is from my player badge at the 1996 Olympiad in Yerevan. I'd
do anything to banish that checked shirt from photographic records. So I
grinned, both with plaster and without. :-)
The game went well. She went a bit wrong int he opening and I had a nice
position, then she gave me a bit of help near the end and I picked up a
few extra pawns. After the game when I'd unsoundly sacced three pawns,
Carey had told me to keep a careful count of them in the future. Colin
pointed out that if that was the case, I ought to be getting rid of them,
as then there would be fewer to count, so I'd save a lot of time, and at
this rate of play it could make all the difference! So I've compromised on
counting both my pawns and my opponents', so that it's OK for me to win
Louise's opponents always plays wild gambits, but our lass took and hung
onto the extra material - she was about 12 points up when her opponent
eventually resigned, havign seen that she wasn't about to get back-ranked.
Carey won with a nice cheapo. I looked at the position thinkign that black
was going to lose a pawn, and then before I knew it she'd resigned after
blundering a whole lot more than that.
It being the evening before the first rest day, it was time for the 'not
the Bermudan party'. To explain, every Olympiad, the Bermudans organise a
(in)famous party the night before one of the rest days. The organisers had
caught on to this, so billed the get-together as a 'Bermudan Party'.
Basically it was a very good live band in a large permanent marquee
outside the tournament hall that also has a bar, a pig roast etc etc and
during the day is also populated by stallholders selling chess books,
souvenirs, and even glass-bolwing ornaments while you wait.
The band's lead singer was quick to point out that this was a 'traditional
Slovenian get-together party' and that she 'hoped that lots of us would be
getting together'. Not much dancing going on, though the Ketchup Song drew
some Aussies and some others onto the dance floor, and Carey's rendition
of the birdie Dance has to be seen to be believed!
They were playing quite a wide mixture of rock 'n' roll, country, and pop,
and harmonised and played together very well indeed. 'The Express band',
they were called.
There are a lot of things I didn't think I would be doing at this
Olympiad, but have ended up doing. In increasing order of improbability.
- Saccing three pawns in an ending.
- Saccing three pawns in an ending and managing to draw.
- Running round a lake.
- Running round a lake without falling in.
- Hearing a Slovenian band play Buddy Holly covers in a mixture of
- Being lead singer in a Slovenian band playing Buddy Holly covers.
I assure you that nothing stronger than orange juice was involved. After
the third bit of their set I was all ready to wander off and get some
sleep, but thought I'd compliment the band on how good I thought they were
and how well they played together. We got chatting and they asked me if I
played anything. Yes, I play the guitar and sing, but I can't at the
moment because of my arm. So did I want to sing? Oh. Ah. Um. Alright, why
"I took a photo of you giving it laldy," was
Dougie's worrying comment.
The main problem was finding where our repertoires intersected. We
eventually settled on "That'll be the day", a three chord Buddy Holly
classic. So I was introduced as "Heather from Scotland" and sung that.
Then they asked me to sing another one (not sure if the crowd were calling
out for more, but the band were. :-) And they sprung "Satisfaction" (The
Rolling Stones) on me. Thanks guys. It was a bit too low so I went up an
octave. I don't think Mick Jagger ever sung it like that.
It was fun to have a go anyway. I returned to join my shell-shocked team.
I'm not sure if they were shellshocked with how bad I'd been or how good
I'd been, or a bit of both. But anyway, hey, it was fun.
Sunday 3rd November, 1st Rest Day
After a hilarious breakfast with a lot of good chat going on, I went out
for a short run then seven of us went out to the island that is in the
middle of the lake. Apparently it is the only island in Slovenia, and a
popular tourist attraction.
The little boats that go out to the island are 'rowed' from the back by a
person standing up and looking forwards. Quite bizarre and probably very
bad for your back, that. There's a church on the island, and a souvenir
shop / cafe, and not a lot else. The church has lots of pictures inside -
we may have Powerpoint nowadays, but when not many people could read it's
a good way of getting things across. There is also a rope hanging from the
ceiling. Now, a rope with 'Pull Me' written on it in glowing 6ft neon
letters has less chance of being randomly pulled than that rope. At least
it solved the mystery of the seemingly random
tintinabulation(1) that has been going on all week.
(1) Now that Jonathan has arrived, I must get
at least one big word into every diary update. I learned this one from the
Catchword gameshow, hosted by Paul Coia. Floccinaucinihilipilifiction was
also a candidate, btu I couldn't quite work out how to incorporate
As the island takes at most 20 mintues to explore (the record for 'once
round the lake' well and truly fell!) and the gondoliers allow you half an
hour to look around, the little tea and souvenir shop does roaring trade
from boredom-induced impulse trinket buying.
Dougie has also asked me to upload some more photos, so I've been sent
down here with a disc. So here goes. I've put some of them earlier in the
diary, eg the one of the castle.
The tournament hall looking busy.
Triglav is the big mountain that some big goat with
golden horns was meant to live up or something. The goat's on the 5 Tolar
(approx 0.013 pence) coins.
The women's team on some steps on the
The castle is 100m higher than the lakeside. Most
of it is 16th century, as a lot of the older building was knocked down by
Gazza. Not wearing his player badge -
Monday 4th November, Round 9 - Hundreds of moves!
You may have wondered why the diary wasn't updated on the 4th (I'm doing
it retrospectively the next day). Simple reason - my game went on for
absolutely ages! As white, I chucked a pawn in the opening (Alan said that
he decided to stop watching then!) - for a chuck it wasn't bad as I got a
little bit of play for it. I'd actually seen the line when I played my
move, but thought I was more actively placed in an ending with level
material - I'd failed to take Carey's advice and keep on counting my
Alan had gone back and told John the opening moves of all the games, and
when they looked mine up, they discovered that it had been played before,
but the most recent occasion was 1905. However, Rubenstein had actually
gone down (as black) in the 'line', and sure enough I had a few tricks.
She played a bit passively, then blundered a rook.
Plain sailing, you'd think?! Well. What can I say. She had a knight left,
and I was careless. I could have played Rxf6+ at one point, swappign
everything off, and remaining a rook up. But I miscounted my rooks (!) -
as Jonathan said later "how many did you think you had?!" - and instead
played Bxf6, threatening all sorts of nasty discoveries. I'd seen that she
had ... Ne2+ but knew I could just move my king. So I was happy that I had
everything covered. But she played ... Ne4+ instead. Which also hit one of
my rooks. D'oh. After losing the exchange, I only had one pawn left, and
eventually ended up in the infamous R+B v R ending. This is theoretically
drawn, but there are reasonable practical winning chances.
Thing is, I didn't know how to win it. I had a vague idea of what to aim
for, but wasn't sure of the technique once there. And with only the added
30s for every move left on my clock, I didn't have time to work out the
method over the board. But fortunately she didn't knwo how to draw it
either, I got her king to the edge of the board, and was winnign anyway
when she fell into a mate in two. Phew.
Big sighs of relief and congratulations from my team mates, who had been
through the mill watching, and the 2-1 result that we'd hoped for at the
start of the day.
Elsewhere, the boys took 1.5 points off the USA, with Paul winning a very
accurately played game against Gulko and Colin drawing. A good result in
just about any sport, with the exceptions of cricket and rugby!
Tuesday 5th November, Round 10 - Bah!
We were playing Slovenia A today, one of the 'glamorous' ties in the sense
that there is a reasonable chance we'll end up on TV tonight! Just how
much publicity the Olympiad is getting here was apparent when I went to
check their previous day's result at the hotel reception to try and
second-guess the board order. The receptionist thought I was looking for
today's board pairings, and helpfully said "this is yesterday's". "I
know," I said "we're playing Slovenia today, and I'm seeing how they did
yesterday." "Yes I know, it was on the radio this morning," was her reply!
Well, I remembered to count my pawns, and my rooks, and put pressure on
her throughout. At the critical point, I was pleased to see that I could
swap into an ending where I was temporarily a pawn down, but thanks to
activity and a couple of nuances, I was winning two pawns back again. The
I thought I was winning another, played too quickly (i still had 10
minutes left, so no excuse!) and got cheapoed. Bah. Double bah. No way to
make progress without a lot of help. I made sure that she was going to
draw it, before offering a draw - this time control means that you can
keep on playing more or less indefinitely (until the 50 move rule kicks
in), so there are fewer draw offers because the side standing better is
about to run out of time. John was ground down in an ending like that a
few rounds ago - it's horrible to keep on having to make a move every 30s
and knowing that it's going to take almost an hour to draw by the 50 move
Carey drew and Helen lost, so a decent result against much higher-rated
Paul was the only one to get points on the board, with a draw against his
Moldovan opponent. He was also randomly selected for a drug test as well,
I'm told, so we'll see how that went later, I guess.
Wednesday 6th November, Round 11 - Key Wee?
The latest bulletin (they now have all the games in them by the way) has a
comprehensive summary of all of the individual results so far, along with
individual board placings. The problem is - it's completely and utterly
wrong. They not only have the wrong players playing in some of the
matches, they have given points to the wrong people. So Carey is
apparently on 5.5/7 (actual score 4.5/8) and has snaffled half of my
rating points and some of Helen's as well. No fair!
Scotland are definitely not the only team affected, and there'll be a huge
backlash if the results go in for grading as they are at the moment. This
is despite the organisers having :
- Signed scoresheets from each game showing the correct players and
- Signed match result cards showing the correct players and
- PGN files of games featuring the correct players and results (even if
some of the moves are a bit skewy).
What more do they need?!?! Carey was wondering why people were making
comments to her last night about what a good score she was on, and now
it's all become apparent.
More details of the drug tests this morning. Paul said that they didn't
actually supervise the sample being given, which makes the whole thing
utterly pointless (nice bit of apple juice, anyone?!). Amusingly, when the
sample was split into the A and B containers, the guy pressed the lids on,
and then to make absolutely sure they were jammed on tight turned the pots
upside-down and stood on them. We were wondering how he managed to balance
- perhaps they 'randomly' selected short people so that they could balance
on their shoulder. Paul showed us the form he had to sign, which also
gives details of time taken (what, in case someone sets a record?!), pH
(stops the apple juice trick, I suppose) and another few things. And Paul
had to sign it. On the line that said 'Podpis' next to it. Brilliant.
Much much colder again this morning - I definitely needed a jumper while
running round the lake. We are playing Peru today. So why am I in fiddling
around on computers while I should be preparing? Well, it's all down to a
kiwi fruit. The other day, I left dinner with an orange in one pocket and
a kiwi fruit in the other.
I digress slightly. There is another story about kiwi fruits that is worth
passing on. At every meal, there is a large fruit basket with a good
selection of fruit in it. After all, that is what fruit baskets are for.
But anyway, one day several Scots had kiwi fruits. So naturally enough,
the course of the conversation turned to kiwi fruits. And Helen mentioned
that she had a relative who was a kiwi fruit farmer. Funny - John also has
a relative who is a kiwi fruit farmer. What was helen's relative's name?
Cameron. If the look on John's face could be bottled, it would be marketed
as 'sheer surprise, disbelief and terror'. But it turned out that there
are two Camerons who are kiwi fruit farmers.
Back to Peru. And the kiwi fruit. I ate the orange that evening, but
totally forgot about the kiwi fruit. And then I took my jacket to the
board for my game against Slovenia. And then I sat on the pocket. Bravo!
The rather fetching green disc that I've been transporting PGN files,
diary updates, photos etc etc backwards and forwards on was in the same
The girl I am playing today has only played one game so far (as far as we
can see) - in round 9. And despite my best efforts with Scandisk to rescue
the data, this one game apparently lasted only 5 moves. The first of which
was ... Qxg3+. Oops. So I have bought a new disc, from a shop called
Pik-Pok. It's yellow this time. Hopefully it'll survive a bit better than
the other one did.
After the game ...
I'm absolutely exhausted. I just claimed a draw by threefold repetiion
when my opponent had 2 queens and I only had 1. She doesn't need to repeat
either - her king can escape from the checks. Thing is, she was adamant
that it wasn't three times, and she didn't speak English.
The match arbiter passed the buck to the senior arbiter. The senior
arbiter declared it a draw and left the scene, but still my opponent
wouldn't sign the scoresheets. It looked like she was going to when
another guy in a 'team captain' badge in addition to the one who had been
watching the match appeared.
He insisted on going over to the senior arbiter despite there having been
several of their delegation present when the senior arbiter made her
initial decision. I'm afraid that I was extremely wound up by this stage
(having pointed out the moves both on my scoresheet and hers - even she
had the threefold written down). I was a little rude to this new captain,
but apologised afterwards - hope that was alright.
With hindsight, it appears that she didn't realise how to claim a draw by
threefold repetition. the player claiming the draw must stop the clocks
and write their intended move on their scoresheet - the one that
produces the same position with the same person to move for the third
time. The position on the board had indeed not occured three times, but my
intended move, ... Qb2+, would have been the third occurence. She was also
one move behind on her scoresheet, which didn't help.
Phew. Carey unfortunately lost - there was a fair bit of babbling going on
at my board which didn't help her defend a tricky ending with less time on
her clock. (The dispute went on for about 10 minutes.) I tried to move the
babbling over a bit, with limited success. I guess the senior arbiter
should have made my opponent sign the scoresheets at the time she made her
decision, or something. But hey, it was the right result in the end.
I think I managed to wriggle out because I had jam for breakfast. Jammy.
Thursday 8th November, Round 12
After the exertions of the last three days, I'm having a rest today. Phew.
Gives me time to comment on some of what's been going on elsewhere in the
Georgia looked to have it sewn up - 2.5 points ahead of China, havign
already defeated them in their individul match. They faced the young
Polish team (all 24 and under, and all 2400 or thereabouts) yesterday ...
and lost 2.5 - 0.5. Meanwhile China were chalking up a 2.5 - 0.5 win, so
suddenly the gap is only half a point. I'm not expecting to see any
package deals of draws this time around!
I just had a quiet day - I'd been up fairly late trying to work out
exactly how I should have handled yesterday's incident. Options (a) Leave
the board as soon as the senior arbiter has made her decision. doesn't
work, as there are still five people gathered roudn the board babbling.
(b) Take command. Say 'Right, one player, one player, one captain, one
captain, one arbiter, everyone else get out!' And discuss it then. But
that's the arbiter's job. (c) Do as I did, but without being rude right at
the end. I think this would have been optimal.
So all I did was run round the lake (twice - 1h15m :-), eat and sleep. I
found the supermarket for the first time - the shopping centre is up a
flight of steps that I'd missed the first time. There is also a giant
chess set up there - not sure if it's a permanent fixture or if it's
specially for us. A lot of the shops have made an effort to have some kind
of chess designs in their windows, even if they don't sell anything
chess-related (eg the sports shop where I bouzght my trainers after
realising that my new plaster was light enough for me to running).
The team won 2-1 against the Dominican Republic (Helen and Louise got the
points), and the men beat Lebanon 3-1. The evenings have started to become
noted for Carey's games of charades when she's gone to find out the
pairings. She tried to mime a cedar tree for Lebanon the evening before,
but we thought it was a pyramid and got stuck. The Dominican Republic was
just as bad, though afterwards we reckoned that there was some mileage in
miming (Alan) Minnican for it.
Friday 8th November, Round 13
The title race in the women's event is still balanced on a knife-edge.
Vietnam defeated Georgia 2-1 yesterday (they surprisingly beat them 3-0 in
1998) but China didn't take full advantage, drawing 1.5-1.5 with Armenia.
These two now stand 1st= on 25.5 points. Just half a point behind are
Russia, who have been gaining ground on their rivals - they crushed
Hungary 2.5-0.5 and are on 25. Poland drew with Yugoslavia, and on 23
(along with Vietnam) are outside chances for a medal.
England scored (I think) their first 3-0 shut-out in their match against
Canada. They have been rewarded with a pairing against Hungary for their
efforts. Who knows - a couple of good results in the last two matches and
they may finish around their seeding, after under-performing for most of
A little essay on the subject of propoganda. I woke this morning to find a
red bag on the table, resting on top of my computer. The hotel
receptionist had given two to Helen when she'd gone down for breakfast
earlier. There is a bag for every player, captain etc at the Olympiad.
On it, the bag says, in bold white letters 'Kirsan with FIDE, FIDE with
Kirsan'. An improvement on 'Four legs good, two legs bad' I suppose. I
opened the bag.
- A baseball cap. 'Kirsan with FIDE, FIDE with Kirsan'. FIDE logo.
Embroidered. I thought that it may be possible to unpick the stitching,
but they've thought of that - the front two panes of the hat have sturdy
material reinforcing them.
- A badge. 'Kirsan with FIDE, FIDE with Kirsan'. Picture of said
- A shirt. 'Kirsan with FIDE, FIDE with Kirsan'. Picture of said Kirsan.
What a complete and utter waste of what could have been a nice cricket
shirt. the bright side is that the logo may iron off. The down side is
that this will probably damage the iron.
- A pen. 'Kirsan with FIDE, FIDE with Kirsan'. It is a two-colour pen,
and probably the best thing in the bag, as the logo looks fairly easy to
- A watch. Unlike the other items, it says only 'KIRSAN' on it, and a
FIDE logo. The strap is so big I could probably fit it on over my
- A poster. 'Kirsan with FIDE, FIDE with Kirsan'. A mellow, moody blue
background, with a small calender on it. In stark relief against the
background, the Man Himself, grinning away, dwarfing the calender into
I was going to write about the other freebies we received earlier in the
tournament - the 'energy T-shirts', but more of these another time. It's
good. It's well worth the wait.
But our goodie-bag this morning is beyond
belief. Having been involved in kitting out cricket teams, I know how much
these kinds of things cost (in Britain at least) ... and there are 2000
people here for the Olympiad! I wonder how many people will have run out
of clean clothes by the last couple of days and will be desperate enough
to wear the shirt with Our Great Leader on it. I think they're more likely
to play in their pyjamas, to be honest!
You never know, there may be a referendum.(1)
The socio-politico-economo-oraganisational structure of FIDE should be a
Kirsanocracy. We, the people, proclaim and reaffirm Kirsan as our mighty
solemnly request that he continues to reign over us and the empire of
FIDE. Gens una Sumus!
The democratic process is wonderful!
(1) I made this bit up. But the rest is
I'll get all the old, tired, boring and obvious jokes out of the way now.
Early Christmas presents for Turkey. Stuffed by Turkey. What a fowl joke!
Turkey gobbled us up. OK, done. It was one of these matches where I'd
almost swap my individual win for a better team result (ie we lost 2-1)
My opponent had obviously been primed with a number of moves and ideas,
but once out of the opening she made a 'typical mistake' and my attack
basically played itself. All that work I've been putting into my openings
and typical middlegame positions recently is certainly paying off! And I'm
very glad that I was doing a lot of tactics before coming here - there
were a few nice little ideas in my attack today (which I think was sound),
and I didn't lose my nerve in the same way I did against Slovenia A.
A bit of insight into what we get up to in the evenings. After eating
together, the Scottish team tends to play through and analyse all the
games of the day before people go off and do their own thing.. This is
obviously extremely useful, especially if an opponent decides to repeat a
line from earlier in the tournament. It's also great to see strong players
explaining their games (and having other strong players chipping in with
suggestions they think are better than what was played!) - seemingly
'quiet' positions suddenly brim with tactics and pertty ideas, and my
enthusiasm for chess increases. Whatever my result in Round 14, I've had a
really enjoyable tournament, have learned loads, and have seen my playing
strength increase (I think ...)
I'm certainly thinking about the game in more dimensions as a result of
all the analysis. In some positions, it is alright to play quiet
moves, strengthen your position gradually, maybe improve your king or your
pawn structure, or something like that. I've been trying to do that more.
I've also been realising that a worse ending isn't the end of the world,
and that's sometimes a much better option than going for a few cheapos
'just in case' then resigning five moves later.
With my PhD winding up soon, I'm hoping to find a lot more time for chess,
both playing and working. I have a fair idea of what I need to do to
improve even more, and hopefully I'll actually get round to doing it too!
If I suddenly jump to 2200, you'll know why!
The guys have already finished - a 3.5-0.5 win over Iraq that puts them
back up where they should be. In the same competition, Russia - Israel and
Hungary - Armenia have already ended 2-2 (four draws in each match). In
the women's Olympiad, it looks like Russia and Vietnam may have done
likewise (though the connection here is too slow for me to check) - the
match has certainly ended 1.5-1.5 (three draws) - leavign all to play for
after the last rest day for the bronze medals.
Ber-limey! China only drew 1.5-1.5. And Georgia LOST 2-1. Wonder if Russia
/ Vietnam are ruing their early draw?!
Saturday 9th November, 2nd Rest Day
Yesterday evening was the Bermuda Party. A party organised by the Bermudan
team. It's been an Olympiad tradition for as long as most people can
remember. Great entertainment - chess players dancing. Need I say more?!
Of coure I am a chess player and can't dance either, but in a crowd of
people, half of them seemingly doing Thunderbird impressions, it really
It was a good evening anyway! Even if the organisers did turn up in their
Looking at some of the individual performances, the reason for the Chinese
and Russian teams fighting back has become apparent. Funnily enough, the
two board fours are both on 9/10, with performance ratings of 2695 (17
year-old Xue Zhao) and 2655 (16 year-old Tatiana Kosintseva)
respectively! Maia Chiburdanidze is 3rd in the performance rating
rankings, and the Vietnamese board one Thanh Trang Hoang is also in there,
having performed to 2600+ so far..
In the open tournament, the Zimbabwean board 1 is on 9/9, which is
theroetically a rating of infinity! Next is Garry Kasparov, at a
phenomenal 2938 for his 7.5/9 against the best in the world.
I've just been looking at the hits for the diary. 11041 since the 1st of
November! (The logs reset themselves monthly, and I don't have full details
for October - suffice to say there were at least 1400 hits in the few days
then.) I've had a few people coming up to me and saying that they are
reading and enjoying the diary. I'd thought that all the hits from Slovenia
were me updating the pages, but it looks like I'm not the only one viewing
them from here. I'm staggered.
Right. The energy T-shirts. A few days ago, we returned to the hotel to
discover that the receptionist had a bag for each player. We eagerly ripped
them open, thinking that the rather nice colourful tournament T-shirt would
be inside. Instead, there were shirts with a strange round symbol on the
front, and a small Chess Olympiad logo on the sleeve. We wondered what they
were for, then realisied that each T-shirt came with an official letter from
the organisers and a leaflet explaining everything. Some choice quotes :
- Improve your mental, emotional and physical capacities.
- T-shirts with printed energy symbols intensified a person's
- The shirt should be put on at least 30 minutes before a stressful event
- The brain will be ready to activate its latent capacity.
- When facing an extremely stressful situation, you can even wear the
T-shirt the night before.
Um, er, wonderful! I wonder what happens if you wear two at once. Actually,
it did improve my mood - I hadn't rolled on the floor laughing so much in a
long time! Scientifically, rather than the clap-trap I didn't quote, I
think the T-shirt will give out most energy when it
is eaten or burned - that's usually the way things work!
NB: Note to the T-shirt manufacturers. This does not represent an
endorsement. I think your product is silly. Please do not quote me on your
Sunday 10th November, Round 14
Phew. Another Olympiad over. It's been my best one so far I think. Once
Louise had reminded me that I was playing board 2, I prepared for the
correct person for two hours yesterday, and it really paid dividends. I
learned something that is a bit different from what I usually play, and
hoped that either she'd have prepared for the latter and would get the
lines mixed up, or wouldn't have prepared at all. Anyway, she made a
mistake on move 10, after which I was clearly better, and a few moves
later I had a winning position the exchange and a pawn up.
Quite a nice way to end the Olympiad really! Helen had already won - I saw
her with a very nice position, and the next thing I knew her opponent's
queen was leaving the board. Louise's opponent used her white to stodge
around, and we won the match 2.5-0.5.
Carey had been swooping around being captainly, and checking on the other
teams in the running for the section prize (basically a grading prize),
and it looks as if we've come second (Turkey will probably win it - their
board 3 was a piece up and if she won it'd take them ahead of us). I
wandered through to take a look at the round 13 bulletin. I realised
yesterday that I was in with an outside chance of a board prize if I won
today to reach 7/10. However, it depended on the four people already ahead
of me dropping points today, so i decided not to think about it.
First up - Socko had won her game. Well I wasn't going to catch her
anyway. The Croatian who'd already been on 7/10? Draw. Good. Unfortunately
for me, the other two both won, so 4th for me. Oh well, at least I gain
rating points, have enjoyed the chess a lot, and am feeling prepared to
prepare to win!
The men had a tough one against Azerbaijan - Radjabov et al. Jonathan drew
on board 1 and Colin won nicely, but Steve and Paul both lost. Russia
halved out to secure the gold medals, Hungary came second, and Armenia
At the top of the women's tournament, Georgia lost again - 2-1 this time.
After having a lead of 2.5 points at one stage, their players haven't won
an individual game between them for the last four rounds. China demolished
Bulgaria 2.5-0.5, which was the score they needed - even though Russia
beat Slovakia by the same scoreline they still remained half a point
behind. Poland won 3-0 against Vietnam to take the bronze medals.
I decided to assault the record for running round the lake after my game.
It wasn't the best day to pick - literally the whole of Bled and their dog
(and their other dogs, and their children, and their grannies) were out,
and with all the zig-zagging, especially at the end, I didn't run quite as
fast as I think I would given a clear path. Despite this, I was still on
course to be inside 30 minutes ... until right at the end, around 30m from
home, I got stuck behind some slow-moving people between the train (yes,
the train again!) and some parked cars. There was no way round the other
side of the cars, so I had to walk the length of the train, and finished
in 30m5s. Gah! Oh well, a moral victory I suppose.
I'm not sure how the other UK teams have done. Wales were half a point
oahead of us, goign into today, having been behind us all the way,
but I think we must have finished ahead of them, and Ireland too. England
drew with Germany (three draws in the individual games).
Here are our round by ropund results summarised. Big thanks to Alexander
Bisset who is rewriting the Chess
Scotland grading program (to include, among other things, online grade
lookup, etc). He posted the results up to round 11 a few days ago, and I
modified his HTML to produce the table.