How China conquered the Batumi Olympiad 2018 with a double gold

by Sagar Shah
10/6/2018 – The excitement levels had gone off the charts for the final round of the Batumi Olympiad 2018. The strongest teams were fighting against each other to decide who would take gold. USA and China were pitted against each other in the open section and China and Russia faced off against each other in the women's. The matches ended in 2-2 draws with a lot of drama surrounding them. The tiebreaks favoured China in both the sections and they went home with a double gold! In the Open, the USA took the silver and Russia the bronze while in the Women's Ukraine had to be content with silver, and bronze went to Georgia's first team. Full report from Batumi by Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal.

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It often happens at an event like the Olympiad that one team moves ahead of the rest and is assured of the gold medal even before the last round has been played. Or sometimes a team has to beat a relatively weaker opposition in order to get the gold medal. Nothing of that sort was going to happen at the Batumi Olympiad 2018, as the best teams took on each other in the final round of both Open and Women's section. 

Standings at the end of round 10

Rk. Team Team
1 United States of America USA
2 China CHN
3 Poland POL
4 France FRA
5 Russia RUS
6 India IND
7 Armenia ARM
8 Ukraine UKR
9 Germany GER
10 Czech Republic CZE

USA had a slight edge in terms of tiebreak (Sonneborn-Berger) but it hardly meant anything because the fluctuations are pretty large when it comes to SB.

These were the three key matches in the open section in the final round:

The match between the USA and China would decide who would win the gold medal. Would it be the USA two times in a row or would it be the 2014 winners China? Board two would decide another medal and if Poland won their match it would ensure them a medal finish for their fantastic performance at the Olympiad. Of course, there were other teams on 15/20 who were in with a chance for a medal if everything went in their favour not only in their own match but also in others. 

Initial moments of the final round captured by ChessBase India

The final day witnessed a lot of spectators | Photo: Amruta Mokal

One of the spectators who added "glamour" with his presence was GM Timur Gareyev | Photo: Amruta Mokal

India vs Poland

Poland has had a fantastic tournament. They played so amazingly that out of the eleven rounds they fought against the top eight seeds! They beat the USA and Russia! But the Olympiad is not a place where you can bank on the results of the past rounds. The Polish team had to overcome a final barrier in order to have a medal around their necks at the closing ceremony. And that final barrier was India!

Team India has their own secret jokes before the game! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Vishy Anand agreed to a quick draw against GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the Petroff and Radsolaw Wojtaszek couldn't pose too many problems to Harikrishna Pentala. Everything hinged on the last two games.

Kacper Piorun began to get some nagging edge against Vidit Gujrathi, while Adhiban was taking all the possible risks that he could against Jacek Tomczak | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Once Vidit realized that the game was not going his way, he went into damage control mode and made a draw. Adhiban tried really hard to get the full point for team India. He even sacrificed a piece to try to win that endgame. But Tomczak stood strong and managed to hold the game to a draw.

For Poland, Jacek Tomczak was the find of the event! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Annotations by GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly
 

The match ended in a 2-2 draw. It was a disappointment for India as they finished sixth, but more so for Poland who played an amazing event and yet were pushed out from the medal tally. With 17/22 they had to settle for fourth place. 

France vs Russia

The final round being in the morning at 11:00 am is never so easy especially in such a tough tournament | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Nepo was either too sleepy, or the game was just too easy for him! He managed to play a miniature and provide that crucial win which helped his team beat France | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Annotations by GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly
 

In the end, Russia beat France with a score of 2½-1½.

The Russians were roaming around pretty confidently and it's not very often one finds all the teammates being away from the board | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Kramnik fought hard but could not beat Fressinet | Photo: Amruta Mokal

USA vs China

The biggest match in the playing hall was between USA — the 2016 winners — and China, the 2014 winners of the Olympiad. One could say China has two super GMs — Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi against USA's three Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura. But Bu Xiangzhi and Li Chao have the experience of playing at the highest level and could not be underestimated. The same could be said about Sam Shankland who played on board four for Team USA. It was a very evenly matched encounter and everyone looked forward to it with great interest.

There are only four players above 2800 currently in the world and two of them were battling against each other in the final round of the Olympiad 2018 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Ding Liren played some inspired chess and sacrificed his rook to force a perpetual. It was a good result for China as their board one managed to draw the game with black pieces.

Annotations by GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly
 

Wesley So speaks about his draw against Yu Yangyi on board two

Samuel Shankland also drew his game with ease against Li Chao. All eyes were on the game between Hikaru Nakamura and Bu Xiangzhi on board three. Nakamura had been playing pretty poorly at the Olympiad. It was the perfect occasion to redeem himself. But Bu Xiangzhi is a tough nut to crack. He had been having an excellent event in Batumi and our readers will remember that exactly a year ago, he had knocked out Magnus Carlsen from the World Cup 2017 that was held in Tbilisi, Georgia. Against USA, Bu Xiangzhi played really well and when Hikaru offered a draw, the Chinese player was a pawn up, although he had a pretty cramped position.

 

Bu Xiangzhi thought for a while, asked his captain about the decision and finally agreed to split the point. Thus the match had ended in a 2-2 draw.

The Chinese stood rock solid and held the wall high | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The next couple of hours were spent by the teams waiting for the tiebreak results. The system used was Sonneborn-Berger. This means that the points you have scored against your opponents in a match are multiplied by the final match points of the opposing team. So, for example, if the USA played against Panama in the first round and won with a score of 4-0 and Panama ended the tournament with 11 match points, then the Sonneborn-Berger of the USA would be enhanced by 44 points (4x11). The tiebreak used at the Olympiad was SB minus the lowest finishing opponent. As it turned out the tiebreaks were decided somewhere around the boards 20-30 with teams like Georgia 3 or Panama winning or losing their matches. Finally, when all the games ended we got to know that China had become the Olympiad champions for the second time!

Interview with the Chinese players after the won the Olympiad 2018

The English team finished fifth. They beat Kazakhstan in the last round. It can be said that they were helped by a slightly easier pairing, but still to finish fifth is a commendable result. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Germany fought hard in this tournament and earned the unique distinction of not losing a single match! They finished 13th | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Alina l'Ami works really hard taking pictures at the venue, but somewhere on her mind is always the question — 'What's happening in Erwin's game!" | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The key results of the top four matches in the final round — note that there was only one decisive game out of 16 encounters

Final standings in Open section after 11 rounds

Rk. Team Team
1 China CHN
2 United States of America USA
3 Russia RUS
4 Poland POL
5 England ENG
6 India IND
7 Vietnam VIE
8 Armenia ARM
9 France FRA
10 Ukraine UKR
11 Sweden SWE
12 Czech Republic CZE
13 Germany GER
14 Austria AUT
15 Azerbaijan AZE
16 Uzbekistan UZB
17 Iran IRI
18 Hungary HUN
19 Egypt EGY
20 Greece GRE

Women's Section

Standings going into the final round:

Rk. Team Team
1 China CHN
2 Ukraine UKR
3 United States of America USA
4 Armenia ARM
5 Russia RUS
6 Georgia 1 GEO1
7 Azerbaijan AZE
8 Hungary HUN
9 Spain ESP
10 India IND

The most important pairings of final round

The most critical match of the entire event was Russia against China.

Aleksandra Goryachkina quickly built up a winning position against Shen Yang. She played some amazing sacrificial chess and crowned her strategy with a mating attack.

 

This game also received the best game prize in the women's section of the entire event!

The match-up between Valentina Gunina and Huang Qian ended in a draw. It must be mentioned that Huang Qian played 11 games for China and in nine of them, she was Black! What a great sacrifice to ensure that her team does well. Russia already led with a score of 1½-½. And it seemed that the margin would be much bigger. Olga Girya was just cruising towards victory on the fourth board against Lie Tingjie. She was three pawns up and it was clear that she would win her game. At the same time, Alexandra Kosteniuk was holding her own against Ju Wenjun. 3-1 victory for Russia was on cards.

Meanwhile, Ukraine had played well against USA team and had won the match with a score of 3-1. Thus Ukraine moved to a score of 18/22. If Russia managed to beat China, then Russia and China would have been tied with 17/22 and Ukraine would win the gold without any tiebreak scenarios coming into the picture.

But destiny had something else in store! First Lie Tingjie managed to generate some counterplay in the position and created enough chances to draw the game.

 

Lei Tingjie miraculously saved her position! As she said in her interview later, "I was worse in the 10th round also. I think winning this Olympiad was written in our destiny!"

Lei Tingjie's draw motivated Ju Wenjun to try her best. The score was 2-1 now and if she won the game a 2-2 tie would mean Ukraine and China would be at the top with 18/22. The game was equal throughout. It seemed impossible that Kosteniuk would lose that game. But Ju Wenjun didn't give up. She kept moving around and at some point she won a pawn. The position was still even, but in that stressful environment where you have spectators, coaches, arbiters, media around you, the chances of making a mistake are very high. Somewhere around move 83 when the position was still equal Kosteniuk claimed a three-fold repetition. The arbiters decided to make the moves on the board to check the authenticity of the claim. It took nearly half an hour to do that (check the video below to see how this transpired). At some point, Kosteniuk understood that her claim was wrong and was not happy with what was going around. This half an hour break surely took a toll on her.

 

The arbiters wanted to be 100% sure about the threefold repetition claim as the gold medal was at stake and this took a lot of time

The game resumed but Alexandra was not herself. She blundered immediately and lost the game. It was a humongous effort by Ju Wenjun who showed why she is the current World Champion. She could have taken a draw and no one would have told her anything as the position was drawish for so many moves. But she fought on. She persevered. For her team, for her country and they were rewarded with the gold medal. China tied for first place with Ukraine, but the tiebreak favoured the Chinese women. Spare a thought for the Russian women who fought so hard but had to be content with the fourth place.

A dramatic finale between Alexandra Kosteniuk and Ju Wenjun captured by ChessBase India

 

Coach of the Chinese team congratulates Ju Wenjun on her amazing tenacity and fighting spirit | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Chess is a gentleman's game. Yes, it was a hard match for Russia but Rublevsky ensured that he shook hands with coach Yu Shaoteng | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Ju Wenjun, the reigning World Champion, had done it! With a rating performance of 2661, she had helped China win the gold medal. Minutes after the game she was surrounded by media from all over the world. | Photo: Amruta Mokal 

Interview with Ju Wenjun and Lie Tingjie after they won the gold medal

The two matches which decided the medalists for the women's section of the Olympiad 2018

Final standings after round 11

Rk. Team Team
1 China CHN
2 Ukraine UKR
3 Georgia 1 GEO1
4 Russia RUS
5 Hungary HUN
6 Armenia ARM
7 United States of America USA
8 India IND
9 Georgia 2 GEO2
10 Azerbaijan AZE
11 Kazakhstan KAZ
12 France FRA
13 Spain ESP
14 Iran IRI
15 Vietnam VIE
16 Poland POL
17 Uzbekistan UZB
18 Belarus BLR
19 Slovakia SVK
20 Mongolia MGL

Closing ceremony

The top three spots in the open section went to China (centre), USA (left) and Russia (right) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The top three spots in the women' section went to China (centre), Ukraine (left) and Georgia (right) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

China dominated the Batumi Olympiad 2018 and took home the Nona Gaprindashvili cup which is the highest cumulative points of any country in both men and women's section | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The arbiters that formed part of the Anti-Cheating team at the venue | Photo: David Llada

The closing ceremony took place at the Adjara Art Museuem and was attended by many people, some standing in the balconies and enjoying the spectacle! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Batumi World Chess Olympiad came to an end. It was 13 days filled with chess and a lot of excitement. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Stay tuned for another article coming your way soon which has many more pictures of the closing ceremony and the medal winners.

We would like to thank GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly for providing high-class analysis throughout the Olympiad for the readers of ChessBase. Ganguly mentioned after the tournament:

"I often read reports on chess websites and I feel that the annotators make use of a lot of engines. My approach was different from this. I wanted to put myself in the shoes of the players and think for myself as to what I would do. The revelations while doing that are what form part of my analysis. I hope you enjoyed them and learnt from it."

We would like to mention that you can find more of Ganguly's analysis in the next issue of ChessBase Magazine.

Links




Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder of the ChessBase India website.
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lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/13/2018 06:35
@fgkdjlkag

I did not see your detailed proposal. If you have made such a proposal, you could point out the website, article and date it can be found or you could paste it. You have given a few details about it in your previous comment though.

I would like to clarify that my preference is not really my proposal, since it was the system successfully used at several Olympiads, not something new invented by me. This is why I consistently call it a preference. As about it changing the nature of the Olympiad to be a tournament of individuals, or an individual event, I do not quite agree. If the players do not help each-other in their preparation, then there are chances they will not perform as successfully. Also, the decision of whether to take risks would highly depend on the tournament situation of the team. If one has a safe draw, then he or she may take different decision on whether to take risks to possibly win if the team has already won 3 games than in the case when the team has already lost 3 games, or if the games are not finished yet. The potential decisions in different cases might be discussed by players in advance as well, in fact, I think it would be wise. One may be inclined to finish the game in a quicker manner in a draw to start the preparation of the team as soon as possible. In short, individualism and selfishness is not quite rewarding in a team event. Carlsen may win all his games, but if the other members of his team do not perform well, they will not score well, so, if the team wants to win or get a medal, Carlsen should help the others.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 10/13/2018 04:25
@ fgkdjlkag: About your discussion with lajosarpad, I was clearly under the impression to have read a precise suggestion about the Olympiad's tiebreaks on this page from you, but, as for me, I don't find any now. Perhaps one of your posts was lost somehow?
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 10/13/2018 12:21
Also in @lajosarpad's proposal, 4-0 becomes much more valuable than a 2.5:1.5 score.
In my proposal, which I am not sure is the best, but is better than the most recent system used, it would be extremely unlikely for there to be a tie after my tiebreak criteria were implemented, which is why I did not give more than 2 criteria since anything could be added and it would not make much of a difference, but if you want another criterion then individual board points would be #3 tiebreaker.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 10/13/2018 12:16
@lajosarpad, I already stated twice a detailed suggestion. If there are specific areas of misunderstanding, why don't you ask about what exactly you don't understand? Another time: If teams are tied based on match points at the end, resolve it with SB (without the exclusion of the bottom team as was done in the recent olympiad). The proposal also includes:

pairings must be done with the same 2 criteria (team points, then SB). eg, in the recent olympiad they used board points for pairings before SB, yet SB was used for final rankings ahead of individual board points (but behind match points)

I am not fond of your suggestion to use what I am calling board points for the final results, because that turns it into an individual event, not a team event. There is a huge amount of strategy around the team aspect and winning a match. eg just one strategy is a player intentionally playing for a win in a position that doesn't justify it because it would mean the difference between winning and losing the match. Another is strategic draw offers and acceptances.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/12/2018 04:51
@fgkdjlkag

I was asking for a detailed suggestion. Since you did not understand my question, I elaborated with examples. Since you haven't provided any hint to the exact system you would like to see so far, I cannot talk about it. I would very much like to talk about it, but without information it is impossible. Please, do not be offended, I am genuinely interested about your idea.

I do not have a preference of which SB system should be preferred. The only important thing for me about the choice of SB is to make sure the exact choice is known in advance for everyone.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 10/10/2018 10:32
@lajosarpad, I have no idea whose post you are reading/referring to. I never proposed a round-robin playoff; in fact I gave reasons against it. I specifically stated a proposal in more detail than you did. To summarize, use SB for pairings and for the final result, without excluding the bottom team. You did not specify which SB you favor. If you do not like the current system and want to change it, then you should define the exact terms you propose.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/10/2018 12:15
@fgkdjlkag

If you do not like the current system and want to change it, then you should define the exact terms you propose. Playing a tiebreak is a very vague criteria. A round-robin after the Olympiad could take very very long if there are, like 20 teams having the same score at the top, or even more. It would take 19 days, not counting the rest days. No other top tournaments could be organized in the month after the Olympiad in this case. And what if the round robin will be tied?

I am also not perfectly satisfied with the current system. I think the main criteria should be the sum of the points the players have collected in their individual games. That would reduce the probability of ties as well, of course, not excluding it. In case of a tie, match points would seem to be a good criteria to determine who was better. And if still tied, then SB points would almost guarantee a distinction. If still a tie, then the average of the performance of the players. But my idea does not include overwork.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 10/10/2018 06:45
@ fgkdjlkag:

- You say : "Yes, they must accept that China won gold (...)". But, in my opinion, when Aighearach says "You can call it "silver," (...)" and "It was a three-way tie, not a Chinese victory.", he precisely doesn't accept that China won gold.

- "Because tiebreaks have been used for many decades does not mean that it is fair." No indeed; it is one argument, but not a final one. But this system 1) treats all the participants in the same way, and 2) is directly related to each team's results. So I think that this system is fair, which doesn't mean at all that this is the best possible system; only that the result of this competition must be accepted.

In fact, the global meaning of my first post was precisely what you expressed yourself: "they must accept that China won gold", which I think Aighearach doesn't accept.

As for Carlsen, what I meant was simply that if you consider that a tiebreak win isn't a win, then Carlsen wasn't a legitimate Challenger, as he won the 2013's Candidates on tiebreak, which would mean that he wouldn't have been a legitimate Champion in 2013, and as he participated in the two next World Championships as the Champion, he wouldn't have been either a legitimate participant in these World Championships, and thus, in fact, not a legitimate Champion in any of the World Championships he participated in. But, obviously, if you consider that the Chinese won gold in these Olympiads, you must also consider that Carlsen won the 2013 Candidates, so I don't think that we really disagree on this...
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 10/10/2018 05:09
@lajosarpad, I am not sure what you are asking. From the comments on this and several other olympiad pages, it seems that many do not like the overall result being decided by a mathematical formula in the event of a tie. jsaldea12 suggested a round-robin playoff. However, I can see how that would be problematic because the end date of the olympiad would not be known in advance, and there are a lot of preparation for the closing ceremony, awards presentation, flights, reserving the venue, etc.

I see 2 ways that the tiebreak could have been improved. Firstly the organizers used individual team points to determine the pairings, yet sonneborn-berger was used for the overall standings. They should have used the same method for both, as pointed out by GM Aagaard. Secondly I do not like removing the bottom team for Sonneborn-Berger. It is an arbitrary decision.

@Raymond Labelle, the reason why the US was not rooting for Poland was because Poland beat USA and China beat Poland, so better results for Poland would help China in the tiebreaks, whereas good performances by the other teams the US defeated would help the US in the tiebreaks.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/9/2018 05:12
I am against playing tiebreaks in the Olympiad. But I wonder how should the Olympiad be decided in tiebreaks? Can someone describe the exact proposed system?
jsaldea12 jsaldea12 10/9/2018 03:25
Continuity on Match TIE Break point system in Chess Olympiad.

Let me clarify. The Chess Olympiad 2018 is over. Let it stand as is. What I am after is to improve the format of chess Olympiad in the future to be more realistic, accurate and simple to understand. One defect I noted in the present chess Olympiad 2018 is that the MAIN Basis of tie break (TB1) is the number of wins and draws of team in the preliminaries 10 rounds and last one round . Thus USA, China, Russia all have TIED 18. But this is wrong. The main basis should have been (TB3), the POINT system in which USA and Russia have both 29 points and China 28.5 points. But as I said, the best teams to have reach the FINAL stage to fight one another, play-off, using the format of rapid, blitz, speed chess which will not take more than 2 days, to decide who is truly the champion, and NOT on the basis of the their preliminary plays. because preliminary rounds are merely indicative for the teams to undergone selection until the best teams is selected for the finale, re-THE FINAL. Reiterating, as it turned out, the best selection are USA, Russia, China, Poland,. Let them fight another , play-off, round-robin or knock out (re-rapid, blitz, speed chess etc. will not take 2 days more) to decide who is truly the champion of the Chess Olympiad 2018. In all Olympiads, 100 meter dash, boxing, basketball etc. there is mandatory preliminary rounds and selection until the best is arrived for FINAL stage which does not depend on the PAST PERFORMANCE IN THE PRELIMINARIES. Hoping suggestion herewith will be adopted in the next Chess Olympiad 2020/.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 10/9/2018 04:14
@Petrarlsen, I do not see how your points are related to what @Aighearach said, which is that he considers it a 3-way tie for first. It cannot be denied that there were 3 teams tied for first, that is why a tiebreak formula was necessary. So what if the participants knew and agreed to the rules. Yes, they must accept that China won gold, but it does not mean that it is correct/ideal.

Because tiebreaks have been used for many decades does not mean that it is fair. Slavery went on far longer than many decades and no one considers it fair, nor could it have been considered fair many decades after it was implemented.

Carlsen might still be world champion if he did not win the Candidates 2013 on tiebreak, because he could (and likely would have) won the next challenger spot without a tiebreak.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 10/9/2018 01:28
@ Aighearach : I don't agree ; 1) All the participants knew the rules in advance ; if you play, you accept the rules. 2) In many tournaments (...and in particular many Olympiads...) and for many decades mathematical tiebreaks have been used - it isn't something new. Following this reasoning, in particular, Carlsen wouldn't even be World Champion, as he won the Candidates 2013 on tiebreak. It is possible to prefer another system, but to say that the Chinese didn't won the Olympiads is just completely indefensible.
Aighearach Aighearach 10/8/2018 10:57
You can call it "silver," but the US tied for 1st place in the tournament nevertheless.

It was a three-way tie, not a Chinese victory. The tiebreak being treated as more real than the chess results is a complete absurdity.

If they don't want a playoff they should just give all three gold, or give all three bronze. I'd actually prefer the latter to reward actual winning.
Rod Plant Rod Plant 10/8/2018 11:13
Thanks for the feedback guys. I take the point that risking a loss meant risking losing a medal too.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/8/2018 10:19
Congratulations to all the teams having a good performance. I would like to especially congratulate the Polish team, they were amazing.
jsaldea12 jsaldea12 10/8/2018 03:54
The match point system in chess is OK but not the best.
The match point system which decides the chess championship in Batumi, as well all teams performances is 0K but it is not the best. The current performance of chess teams should have been the one to decide the best team, not the past performances of the team, as in the match point system.. Thus, for the championship in Batumi, it would have been toward realistic and accurate measurement of the performance of the top teams, re-USA, China, Russia to decided by play-off , round robin or knock out, using the growing popular platform of rapid chess, blitz, speed. The match point system is complicated and difficult to understand, ordinary chess player are confuse, unlike the proposed set- up, the top three or four teams to play off ..it is simple and easy to understand, ordinary chess players can easily grasp and even non- chess player can follow with ease.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 10/8/2018 03:35
@RodPlant

I do not know the answer, but from the interview above Wesley was cheering for the teams US played agains (except Poland) - because it would have helped the US somehow in the SB tiebreak. I do not know exactly why. All these other matches were not finished at the time of the interview - there was still uncertainty on how the tiebreaks would go.
basler88 basler88 10/7/2018 05:41
Thanks for making the correction in the top three spots in the women' section!
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 10/7/2018 05:07
@Rod Plant, the tiebreak was changing in real-time during the last round based on the results of at least 10 matches. Since 4 games per match, that means at least 40 games are influencing the result. Impossible for the captain to keep track of 40 games to see what is happening. Even if he only uses results that are coming in to make predictions, he cannot tell the players to wait until enough information comes in because they are losing time on their clocks. In actuality, the tiebreaks had not been determined when the US-China match was already completed.

Also keep in mind the US was leading in tiebreaks before the round. Does it make sense to have the US risk losing their tie for first, and possibly winning on tiebreaks, to play all out for a win on one of the boards when the position doesn't justify it?
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 10/7/2018 03:00
thank you surya, for your annotated games .....
thirteen thirteen 10/7/2018 02:20
Really super videos, photos, verbal reporting and factual details. These chess players really are PEOPLE!
Can't get enough of this. Liked, very much the 'flavour' of the event, as filming passed through the crowded mixtures, showing the interest of the spectators as much as the different player approaches. Liked, very much the professional and experienced, personal opinion chat delivered too. Fun to watch! Insightful for the opportunity. Enjoyed the fight.
FramiS FramiS 10/7/2018 12:49
@RodPlant
It isn't very predictable, unless you have a real big lead against your rival. Especially the lowest opponent who is excluded can make a big difference.
For example you have won against a team A 2 1/2 : 1 1/2 who has 10 points and 4 :0 against a team B with 10 ponints before the last round. If team A loses and team B scores 1 point, then team A is exluded from SB and you get 44 points for team B in the SB score. If team B loses and team A draws , team B is excluded and you only get 27,5 in the SB score. The difference is 16,5 points . I am too lazy to look if in case of USA, China and Poland such scenario was possible before the last round. At least any win or loss for a team you beat 3:1 makes a difference of 6 points.

That example alone shows that the lead of 4 points of the USA team before the last round didn't mean anything.
yesenadam yesenadam 10/7/2018 11:31
Really great report, great pics, even great captions, thank u guys!! (I cant see the analysis, sadly, I assume it was good)
ketchuplover ketchuplover 10/7/2018 06:18
DL streak is now 88 classical games
Rod Plant Rod Plant 10/7/2018 04:01
I'm really interested in how calculatable the SB tiebreak system is or isn't. Couldn't the US and Chinese brains trusts have done a reasonable prediction of the scenarios if they drew? I.e. at what point could the US captain have told his team that 2:2 will NOT give us gold, we have to go all out for a win? Looking forward to hearing from anyone who understands this stuff.
Vieito Vieito 10/7/2018 01:29
Ding Liren not lost a single game in last 14 months? He lost against Mamedyarov in Norway last May 2018.
monghe monghe 10/7/2018 01:27
...and in the end, Math decided the winner.
basler88 basler88 10/7/2018 12:42
The top three spots in the women' section went to Russia (centre)??? Is this know how it works since the Russian took over the FIDE? Or is it just to please Putin? Hope I'm with both wrong!
Daniel Miller Daniel Miller 10/6/2018 11:25
What is the name of that incompetent arbitor who, in the Kosteniuk-Ju Wenjun game allowed the players to continue analyzing for minutes while she slowly played over the game next to them. Then she added two minutes to Kosteniuk's time when she was the one who made the false claim? It is incredible the mistakes she made with this much on the line. Is she related to someone in FIDE? How was she given that job. It could have stolen the medals from the Chinese. Does anyone know who she is?
amarpan amarpan 10/6/2018 09:47
And Hou Yifan did not even participate this time .....
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 10/6/2018 06:30
Anish Giri qualified Sam Shankland as a “weak link” of the US team in these Olympiads. Let's check that.

Sam was on Board 4 with a rating of 2722 – quite a high rating for Board 4 and thus, already a great contribution right there.

Sam’s rating went up as a result of the Olympiads. Sam played 10 games: 5 wins – 1 loss and 4 draws.

Not bad for a “weak link”, don’t you think Anish?
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