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2012 Chess Olympiad Istanbul: Final round clashes

9/8/2012 – Sunday is the big showdown, with the chess equivalent of blood and gore to be expected. In both sections the Chinese teams lead, on tiebreak points. In the Open section they have the same match points as two others, in the Women's with one other team. We bring you the final pairings and the tiebreak rules, and show you where you can watch everything live. Games start at 11:00 a.m.
 

The 40th Chess Olympiad is taking place in the Turkish metropole of Istanbul, from August 27 to September 10th, 2012. A record of 158 national chess federations have brought teams to Istanbul to participate in this prestigious event, which is being staged in the WOW Hotel and Convention Center, just minutes away from the airport.

Final round clashes

In the Open Section there are three teams tied for first: China, Armenia and Russia, with 17 match points each. One team, Ukraine, is trailing by one match point, and four teams have fifteen match points apiece.

Rank after Round 10 – Open

Rnk
SNo
Open
+
=
Pts
TB2
TB3
TB4
1
6
China
8
1
1
17
343.5
28.5
127.00
2
3
Armenia
8
1
1
17
336.5
26.5
132.00
3
1
Russia
8
1
1
17
321.5
25.5
132.00
4
2
Ukraine
8
0
2
16
292.5
26.5
121.00
5
4
Hungary
7
1
2
15
311.5
26.5
122.00
6
5
USA
6
3
1
15
307.0
27.5
120.00
7
14
Germany
6
3
1
15
282.0
25.0
120.00
8
16
Poland
7
1
2
15
259.0
26.0
113.00

The question is of course what happens in case of a match point tie after the final round. To find out we have to look at the FIDE rule book for the Olympiad. Here is the relevant passage:

FIDE

G. Tie Breaking

14. The position of teams that finish with the same number of match points shall be determined by application of the following tie-breaking procedures in sequence, proceeding from (a) to (b) to (c) to the extent required:

a) the sum of Sonneborn-Berger points, which are calculated as follows: match points of each opponent, excluding the opponent who scored the lowest number of match points, multiplied by the number of game points achieved against this opponent;

b) by the number of the game points scored;

c) by the sum of the match points of all the teams opponents, excluding the lowest one.

Mathematician (and GM and author and publicist) John Nunn drew our attention to a substantial ambiguity in the above rules, specifically 14.a. "What happens if you have played against two teams, both of which finish with the same number of match points. How do you know which one to exclude? This could make a big difference if you scored 2.5 points against one team and 4 points against the other." We assume the FIDE calculators will have a solution for this case?!

Whatever. So what are the chances of the individual teams. Clearly China, Armenia and Russia are best placed to take the medals. If all three win their matches they will get Gold, Silver and Bronze, most likely in the order they are currently placed. But the tiebreak system is tricky as it depends on several other matches and is a curious mixture of match points and game points. So there are scenarios where things could end differently. And other outcomes apart from straight wins by all three will complicate the matter. Maybe one of our readers can make a spreadsheet to calculate all eventualities.

Team Pairings for the final round – Open

No.
SNo
Team
Pts.
MP
Res.
MP
Pts.
Team
SNo
1
2
Ukraine
26½
16
 
17
28½
China
6
2
4
Hungary
26½
15
 
17
26½
Armenia
3
3
1
Russia
25½
17
 
15
25
Germany
14
4
16
Poland
26
15
 
15
27½
USA
5
5
29
Argentina
24
14
 
14
26
Netherlands
9

From the above we see that the Chinese may have the best chances of the three leaders, but they also have the toughest opponents. Ukraine has staged a vigorous comeback after losing to Russia in round eight. They beat France and Azeibaijan in the next two rounds and could prove to be a dangerous opponent for the Chinese team, which only drew the Azeris in round eight.

The Armenians, who overtook the Russians in round ten on TB2 points, also have a dangerous opponent – nominally more so than Russia, although the Germans have been playing very well in this Olympiad and will certainly conclude the event with a fighting round.

Here are the standings in the Women's Section and the pairings for the final round:

Rank after Round 10 – Women

Rnk
SNo
Women
+
=
Pts
TB2
TB3
TB4
1
1
China
7
3
0
17
357.0
29.0
131.00
2
2
Russia
7
3
0
17
348.0
29.0
126.00
3
4
Ukraine
6
4
0
16
325.0
27.0
127.00
4
14
France
7
1
2
15
294.0
27.5
120.00
5
22
Kazakhstan
6
3
1
15
281.0
27.0
112.00
6
9
Germany
7
1
2
15
277.5
26.5
113.00
7
6
India
7
1
2
15
277.5
25.5
122.00

Team Pairings for the final round - Women

No.
SNo
Team
Pts.
MP
Res.
MP
Pts.
Team
SNo
1
2
Russia
29
17
 
15
27
Kazakhstan
22
2
13
Bulgaria
26
14
 
17
29
China
1
3
4
Ukraine
27
16
 
15
26½
Germany
9
4
14
France
27½
15
 
15
25½
India
6

Here we can be fairly sure that China and Russia will share the top medals, most likely in that order, while Ukraine should not be expected to suffer a shock defeat against the Germans. So we will predict Gold for China, Silver for Russia and Bronze for Ukraine, with an outside chance that Germany might steak the third place from their opponents in the final round.

Where to watch the final round

Naturally Playchess.com will be broadcasting the most important final round games live, and with engines running and Let's Check switched on our visitors will be the best-informed spectators on the planet. Video images are provided in high quality by the Turkish organisers, or more specifically by Mark Gluhovsky, the press officer of the Russian Chess Federation, and his team in Istanbul.

Above we see Mark attending to commentator Evgeny Miroshnichenko, who is commenting in a special cabin in the press area of the Olympiad. From Moscow.

In an adjacent room we have the technical staff and Turkish coordinators. Among other things they are relaying broadcasts from a Russian studio in which GM Sergey Shipov is commenting on selected games. The live coverage they produce in the window below will become available as soon as the round starts.

Live video coverage of the Olympiad

Note that you can switch to HD quality and maximise the screen for maximum viewing pleasure.

Remaining schedule of the Olympiad

There is live commentary of the most interesting games on Playchess.com,
beginning around half an hour after the games have started.

8 September 2012   Free Day
9 September 2011 11.00 11th Round, Closing
Daniel King
10 September 2011 Departure

Some hours after the end of each round we will be posting video summaries by Daniel King and Andrew Martin on our news page. If possible they will appear on the same night, otherwise early the next morning.


Links

The top games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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