News from Turin.
Every Olympiad the Bermuda squad make it a point of honour to organise the biggest and best Olympiad Party on the night before the final Rest Day, and this year was no exception. The venue was well-chosen with a large terrace/garden to meet and talk as well as two different dance floors places on which to rub bodies with those players from other squads who you've fancied for the last two weeks - or at least find out who their boyfriends / girlfriends are.
The rum punch was as as potent as ever and things flowed along very well with all the top players there plus many others (including Yasser Seirawan, recently in Cardiff) flying in as well. You even had the strange sight of male chessplayers making a bit of effort and dressing up - even if their dancing sometimes left a bit to be desired.
I mentioned the party in some detail in preference to talking much about the previous round of chess. In a nutshell, we got mashed by the Mongols:
Wales 0Ѕ - 3Ѕ Mongolia
Richard Dineley 0-1 Batchuluun (2303)
Tim Kett 0Ѕ Gundavaa (2124)
Alan Spice 0-1 Balgan (2042)
Jac Thomas 0-1 Hatanbaatar (GM, 2433)
Much has been written about the Mongols unethical board order (see John Saunders comments in www.bcmchess.co.uk for example). All I would add though is that their top two players were clearly up and coming stars who have Rating Performances here of over 2500 and 2400 respectively, whereas their GM was a much older bloke - perhaps giving youngsters their chance.
In general it does seem to be the rule here that younger players are often underrated while established FIDE grades are if anything somewhat inflated in comparison with our hard-earned British ones !
Anyway, they played very well and we didn't have much chance with any of the losses. I made a token attempt at playing for a win in patches but in reality was more nervous of defeat for most of it.
Leighton Watch. Rule change alert !! We now think (very belatedly) that you don't need to play x number of titled players to get your norms any more. Leighton and Richard therefore don't have to worry about that but do have to play 5 of the last 6 games available between them - and of course win most of them.
Leighton is only in second place for the Board 1 medal (on 5Ѕ/6) after we noticed that the Pakistan Board one is slightly ahead on 6Ѕ/7.
There is something very strange going on with the Pakistan squad who have 3 players doing extremely well - the other two have 100% (!!) - plus three players with no more than 1 point each.
The speculation is of course that the role of the other 3 is to ensure the overall team performance stays low to get easier games for the top guys.
Cheating is the order of the day in FIDE these days it seems, as no-one in authority seems in the least perturbed by this. All Kirsan wants to do is get re-elected. We get more and more of his depressing propaganda every day.
Sorry to end on such a miserable note - I am loving it really !
Round 10 draw - The Mongolian board order leaves a little to be desired to say the least. Their GM, rated 2433, is playing on board 4 below a player rated 2042! Surely it is about time that FIDE did something about this blatant medal gaining ploy.