• Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Five Press Report

    From samsloan@21:1/5 to All on Fri Sep 28 09:31:04 2018
    Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Five Press Report
    Armenia is playing Azerbaijan on top board in round five. This seems surprising as these two countries have been enemies and even at war for a long time. It also seems surprising that these two small countries sandwiched in The Caucasus Mountains are
    such chess powerhouses, along with Georgia, another small country in the Caucasus.
    These are all former Soviet Republics which encouraged chess. At the 2016 Olympiad in Baku, the Armenian team refused to travel to Azerbaijan to play.
    This year Azerbaijan has won the match 2.5-1.5 with two of the strongest players in the world Mamedyarov beating Aronian on top board.
    The USA top board Fabiano Caurana defeated Gelfand but the USA could only draw Israel 2-2.
    China lost to the Czech Republic. France lost to Poland.
    World Champion Magnus Carlsen is not here. I suspect he is preparing for the big match next month against Caruana for the World Championship and does not want to reveal his opening preparations.
    This year I believe every country of the world is represented here, with the sole exception of North Korea. When will they ever join the world community?
    Tonight is the night of the Bermuda Party, the biggest event of the Olympiad, bigger than any of the matches.
    As the old saying goes, “What happens at the Bermuda Party stays at the Bermuda Party.” If you happen to see a male chess grandmaster making out with a female chess player from a rival team, forget about it. I have seen it happen and I keep it to
    My first chess Olympiads I did not go to the Bermuda Party thinking I had more important things to do. I try not to make that mistake again.
    At the Bermuda Party at the 2010 Chess Olympiad in Khanty Mansiysk, they let in the local ladies who did not even play chess get in to balance off the huge number of male chess players.
    While any girl who wanted to go in got right in without waiting, us men were all crowded together and it took us hours to get in.
    I finally got in and the next day it was reported that World Champion Magnus Carlsen had to wait an hour and half longer behind me than I did to get in.
    Perhaps they should assign places by rating points. Players with higher ratings get in the Bermuda Party first.
    Anyway, the party at Khanty Mansiysk was a wild party, well worth the wait to get in.
    My complaint yesterday about the fact that child prodigy Carissa Yip International Master aged 13 did not get on the US Woman's team while two players rated lower than she is got on the team was answered by a member of the USA delegation who said that
    there is a formula on the uschess website showing how the players are selected. The problem with any formula is there will always be exceptions where players who should be allowed to play aren't.
    In one Olympiad, Hikaru Nakamura did not get on the team even though he was the highest rated player in the USA. His rating had gone up too fast and his old rating was considered, not his current rating.
    I remember back in 1957 when the rating of one young player was far too low to be allowed to play in the US Championship.
    Finally an exception was made by unknown persons and he was allowed in.
    A lot of established players were angry about this that some little kid was allowed to play in the US Championship pushing aside older and more experienced players who other wise would have gotten in.
    Imagine the shock when contrary to all expectations, Bobby Fischer not only got in but won the US Championship beating Reshevsky,
    Now look at the result of Annie Wang age 15 at the recent US Woman's Championship.
    You can see that she finished ahead of all the players now on the USA woman's team. (and she even beat me in a tournament game in the World Open.)
    And Carissa Yip who is now rated higher did not even get in the US Woman's Championship because her rating then was too low and she was pushed out by the recent arrival of a player from Iran.
    The problem always is that these kids get so much stronger so fast that nobody can predict how strong they will be a few months from now.
    Back in the Good Old Days I used to go around these Olympiads taking pictures of every pretty girl I saw.
    Then I would publish a website saying “Beauty Contest for the World Chess Olympiad”.
    But now this behavior is no longer acceptable. With the #MeToo movement it is no longer acceptable to compliment a woman on her looks. So, I have to keep my photos and my opinions to myself.
    Sam Sloan

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