Daily report by GM Alexander Baburin from Turkey
Day Fifteen, 11th November 2000. Today
was a free day at the Olympiad. Most people spent it recovering from the Bermuda
party, which took place last night. I was there too, but survived without
causing too much damage to my health, though beer was relatively cheap (about
$1.5 per glass). I thought that the music was too loud, which made it hard to
talk. As I am not really a dance fan, that was a serious blow for me. Yet, even
those who like to dance had a tough day — in the beginning the music was
mainly Turkish. Later western music prevailed, but the choice was poor. Anyway,
it’s history now.
In the evening some on the Irish teams went to a
restaurant, where the waiter tried to overcharge them heavily. As $150 extra
between 6 people was very obvious, he failed miserably...
In the evening some players met (as usual) for a
drink in the Taksim Square hotel, Yet, most of us did not stay long, as the
following day the round would start at 10-00 in the morning. Saturday night is
very busy in Istanbul. For the first time in my life I saw traffic jams at 1 o’clock
in the morning!
We are lucky with the weather here — it’s
relatively warm, without any rain. I heard that there were floods in Ireland
recently. So, playing in a chess Olympiad could provide a good escape sometimes!
I hope to see the Blue Masque and the bazaars, but fear that I will not have
time or energy. Most likely both — Olympiads are quite tiring.
I spend a lot of time in the Internet café
today. The one, which I liked most during the tournament, was a bit pricey
(about $3 per hour), but had excellent connection. Some of the others had
painfully slow connection, but pool tables to make up for it - you click on
something, play a few shots and then the site appears on the screen! :-) Yet, as
I am poor at pool, I preferred higher Net speed!
More later — stay tuned!
Day Sixteen, 12th November 2000. The
tournament is over! Russia duely won the event by drawing all 4 games against
Georgia very quickly. It was interesting to see how Germany would do against
England. Many believed that Germany could lose and let Hungary to overtake them.
Yet, Hungary drew 2-2 against Slovenia, while Germany beat England 21/2-11/2. On
board 3 Dautov defeated Hodgson. Both Dautov and Yusupov had fantastic results
here. Other results from the last round:
Ukraine-Bosnia 3-1, Israel-Yugoslavia 3-1, India
beat Cuba 21/2-11/2. Ukraine caught up with Hungary and took the bronze on a
The final standing is as follows:
- 38 points
2 Germany - 37 points
Ukraine - 351/2 points
4 Hungary - 351/2 points
5 Israel - 341/2 points
6 Georgia - 34 points
7-13 England, India, China, Switzerland, Uzbekistan, Slovenia and
Macedonia - 33 points. One of the main surprises of the Olympiad is a very poor
result of the US team, which usually competes for gold. This time it finished
Ireland beat Chile 21/2-11/2 and finished on +3
— our best result in Olympiads so far. I played a decent game in the last
A. Baburin (2590) — J. Egger (2433)
Online Game Viewer
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 d5 4 e3
Bf5 5 Nc3 e6 6 Nh4 Bg4 7 Qb3 This line
is currently rather popular. White often gets more space and two bishops, which
is not too bad! 7·Qb6 8 h3 Bh5 9 g4 Bg6 10 c5 Qc7 11 Nxg6 hxg6 12 g5 Ng8 (D)
On this move my opponent spent
42 minutes, which is very impractical. The move itself is fine - Black wants to
relocate this piece to f5, while leaving the d7-square for the other knight.
However, it had to be played much faster! Also possible was 12...Nfd7.
13 e4 Nd7
Better was 13...Rh4, as in the
game Dreev-Huebner, Essen 2000. Still, after 14 exd5 exd5 15 Ne2! Na6 16 Qg3!
Rh8 17 Bf4 Qa5+ 18 Bd2 Qc7 19 h4 Ne7 20 Bh3 Nf5 21 Bxf5 gxf5 22 Bf4 Qa5+ 23 Kf1
Be7 24 g6! White seized the initiative and eventually won.
14 exd5 exd5 15 Ne2! White's
dark-squared bishop might become a poor creature, so White must bring it out to
f4. 15...Ne7 I was going to meet 15...Rh4 with 16 Qg3 Qxg3 17 fxg3 when
White again can control the f5-square with a pawn.
16 Bf4 Qa5+ 17 Bd2 Qc7 18 0—0—0
b6?! Better was 18...0—0—0. 19
Bf4 Qb7 20 h4! (D)
White takes away the h4-square
from the enemy rook and gives more space for manoeuvring to his own rook.
20...0—0—0 21 cxb6 Qxb6 21...axb6
would be safer.
22 Qc2! Nf5 23 Rh3! This
rook lift highlights Black's weaknesses on the queenside. Now we can see the
benefits of 20 h4!.
23...Bd6 24 Rc3! Nb8? Better
was 24...Kc7, although after 25 Bg2 White has a great position. 25 Bh3! (D)
Now White is winning, as Black
cannot defend all his numerous weaknesses.
25...Bxf4+ 26 Nxf4 Rxh4 27 Bxf5+
gxf5 28 Qxf5+ Rd7 29 Nxd5 Here Black
played 29...Qb5, but his flag fell. 1—0
My overall result was +4-2=5 against 2530
opposition, which was slightly above my expected result. I was a bit unlucky to
lose against Al-Modiahki in the game where I was winning, but generally I was
happy enough with my play in the tournament.
There were 126 teams competing in the men's
event. This is the biggest turnout at any chess Olympiad so far. As for
individual results, Alexander Morozevich
received a trophy as the player who showed the highest rating performance in
Istanbul. On board 1 the gold medal went to GM Utut Adianto of Indonesia;
on board 2 GM Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine won the gold medal. On board 3
the winner was GM Dragoljub Jacimovic of Macedonia, on board 4 - GM Ashot
Anastasian from Armenia. 17-year old Ponomariov had a very good result and
his current rating must be close to 2680! Watch out for this guy in India!
In women's event the final results were as
- 32 points
Georgia -31 points
- 281/2 points
Ukraine - 27 points
Yugoslavia - 26 points
Netherlands - 251/2 points
In the women’s event the best individual
results were: board 1 - Viktoria Cmilyte, from Lithuania; board 2 - Zhu
Chen from China; board 3 - Nino Khurtsidze from Georgia; reserve player -
Zahira El Ghaby, of Morocco.
Irish women’s team finished well, winning
their last 2 matches and coming 61st.
In my opinion, the Olympiad was well organised and both local organisers and
FIDE deserve credit for it! OK, there were some problems at the start (with
electronic board and bulletins), but they were quickly solved. The organisers
even insisted on replacing bulletins 1-3 (full of mistakes), which they indeed
exchanged! The accommodation was good, transport excellent and food was
reasonable — it was never bad (as it was sometimes in Moscow in 1994 or in
Yerevan in 1996) and at times it was fine. The playing hall was not perfect (too
stuffy), but at least you could see both events in the same hall. Istanbul is a
very interesting city to visit and I hope that I will come back here again as a
tourist - remember hamam! :-)
Hopefully Chess Olympiads will not disappear
even if chess will become an Olympic sport (which isn’t too likely to happen
soon anyway!). Chess Olympiads have definite cultural importance and there is
more to them than just tough struggle among top chess nations. On this note I am
finishing my report. For more information on the Olympiad please refer to its
official Web site: www.istanbulchessolympiad.com,
which is very informative.
What is next?
If you enjoyed my reports, do come back to Grandmaster Square — to have a look
at some games or read some stories. As in the end of November I will go to New
Delhi for the FIDE World Championship, expect to see my Indian Diary here!
With best regards,