Tromso Final

by Alejandro Ramirez
8/14/2014 – China kept its implacable pace and a last round win clinched gold. Hungary suffered but obtained the draw for a silver medal. India came out of nowhere, destroyed Uzbekistan and thanks to tiebreaks got bronze. In the Women's Russia's gold was never in doubt, despite Lagno's loss. China obtains silver and Ukraine holds on to third place. Last round report with all medal winners.

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Final Round

The race for the gold medal was decided surprisingly quickly today. China's Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi obtained winning positions before the second hour of play was over. Ni Hua held the slightest of advantages against Bartel and he hurried into a drawn endgame in which he could not really lose, while Wang Yue did his best to keep the position solid against Wojtaszek.

Ding Liren vs. Gajewski in board two of Poland vs. China

Ding Liren converted first against Gajewski in a very one-sided game, then Ni Hua sealed the draw followed shortly after by the split half point between Wojtaszek and Wang Yue. This gave China the gold as there was no way they could lose on board three:

[Event "41st Olympiad Tromso 2014 Open"] [Site "Tromsø"] [Date "2014.08.14"] [Round "11"] [White "Duda, Jan-Krzysztof"] [Black "Yu, Yangyi"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2576"] [BlackElo "2668"] [PlyCount "116"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [WhiteTeam "Poland"] [BlackTeam "China"] [WhiteTeamCountry "POL"] [BlackTeamCountry "CHN"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Bg5 Be6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. Qd3 O-O 11. O-O-O Be7 12. Kb1 Nd7 13. Nd5 Bxd5 14. Qxd5 { Basically the end of the opening and one has to ask what Duda had in mind when reaching this position. White's only advantage in this position is his hold over d5, but with the knight's bad position on b3 and no other real possibilities it doesn't seem like Black is in any kind of problems.} b5 15. Qb7 {The computer move; but a strange one. The queen is just too lonely in her queenside aggression.} Nf6 16. f3 Re8 17. c4 $6 {This move is too optimistic.} (17. Rd2 $11 Bf8 18. Rhd1) 17... Bf8 $1 {White doesn't have time to go pawn hunting!} 18. Qc6 (18. cxb5 {gets the queen trapped.} Re7 19. Qc6 Rc7 20. Qb6 Rc1+ $19) (18. c5 {was the lesser evil.} Re7 19. Qb6 Qxb6 20. cxb6 Rb7 $15 { but of course here Black is just up a pawn.}) 18... Qb8 19. Na5 (19. cxb5 Rc8 $19) 19... Qa7 $1 {Very powerful. The queen is trying to escape from b8 so that the queen on c6 remains trapped.} 20. c5 (20. Qb7 Qf2 21. Bd3 Reb8 22. Qc6 Rc8 23. Qb7 Rab8 $19) 20... dxc5 21. Qb7 c4 22. Qxa7 Rxa7 {Now Black is basically just up a pawn, but more than that the knight on a5 is in trouble.} 23. Rc1 Rc7 {controlling c6.} 24. Nb3 Rd7 25. Na1 Rd2 26. Rc2 Red8 27. b3 c3 $1 {White's position is hopeless. The only way to get rid of the rook on d2 is to take on that square and give Black a superb passed pawn.} 28. a4 bxa4 29. Bxa6 a3 30. Bb5 h5 31. h4 g6 32. Re1 Bb4 33. Rec1 Kg7 34. Ka2 Ng8 {Black can clearly take all the im in the world that he wants.} 35. Rxd2 Rxd2+ 36. Rc2 Ne7 37. Rxd2 cxd2 38. Be2 Nc6 (38... g5 39. hxg5 h4 {with Ng6 and Nf4 coming was also winning.}) 39. Nc2 Nd4 {not necessary but the opposite colored bishop endgame is hopeless as White's king is completely locked in.} 40. Nxd4 exd4 41. f4 d3 42. Bf3 {Duda,J (2576)-Yu,Y (2668) Tromsø 2014 [Robot 11]} Kf6 43. g4 hxg4 44. Bxg4 Ke7 45. e5 Kd8 46. f5 gxf5 47. Bd1 Ke7 48. h5 Kf8 49. Bf3 Kg7 50. Bd1 Kh6 51. Bf3 Kg5 52. Bd1 f4 53. Kb1 Kf5 54. Bf3 Kxe5 55. Ka2 Bf8 56. h6 Kf6 57. Bh5 Bb4 58. Kb1 f3 {Clinches the gold medal for China!} *

Wojtaszek's game did not quite matter by the second hour of play

Bartel played a Siclian, somewhat uncommon for him, but he did not reach any type of sharp position. The draw suited China just fine.

Hungary vs. Ukraine was also a very important match in the standings. The first two games to finish were Leko vs. Ponomariov and Almasi vs. Korobov, in both games Ukraine held their draw with black.

Things were tense as in both boards locked positions arose, but in both only Black could be worse. Rapport managed to hold his while Eljanov's position came down to this:

[Event "41st Olympiad Tromso 2014 Open"] [Site "Tromsø"] [Date "2014.08.14"] [Round "11"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Balogh, Csaba"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2723"] [BlackElo "2637"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/n3k2p/3p4/1p1PpPp1/1P2P1P1/pP1K4/8/1N6 w - - 0 41"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [WhiteTeam "Ukraine"] [BlackTeam "Hungary"] [WhiteTeamCountry "UKR"] [BlackTeamCountry "HUN"] 41. Nxa3 {Your engine might tell you that this is nearly winning for White, but the truth is that there is no good way to make progress. The sacrifice on b5 never works because as soon as White's king steps too far out of bounds, the h5 break creats a passed pawn for Black. White is absolutely forced to win to get a medal.} Kf6 42. Nb1 Ke7 43. Nc3 Kf6 44. Kd2 Kf7 45. Nb1 Kf6 46. Na3 Ke7 47. Kd3 Kf6 48. Nc4 $5 Nc8 (48... bxc4+ 49. bxc4 Nc8 50. c5 h6 {is probably also a draw, but Balogh does not want to distrub the status quo.}) 49. Na5 Kf7 50. Nc6 Kf6 51. Nd8 h6 52. Ne6 Kf7 53. Nc7 Na7 54. Kd2 Ke7 55. Kc2 Kf7 56. Kc1 Ke7 57. Kd1 Kf7 58. Ke1 Ke7 59. Kf2 Kf7 60. Kf3 Ke7 61. Ke3 Kf7 62. Kd2 Ke7 63. Kd3 Kf7 64. f6 {a last ditch chance. The knight on f5 will cost Black a pawn but nothing more.} Kxf6 65. Ne8+ Ke7 66. Ng7 Nc8 67. Nf5+ Kf6 68. Nxh6 Ne7 {now the knight on h6 is trapped.} 69. Ke3 Nc8 (69... Kg6 70. Nf5 Nxf5+ 71. gxf5+ Kg7 {was also completely drawn.}) 70. Nf5 Kf7 71. Kd3 Kf6 72. Ne3 Kf7 73. Nd1 Ke7 74. Nc3 Na7 {White simply can't make progress!} 1/2-1/2

Leko took an extra pawn from Ponomariov but his technique was not good enough. He was unable to convert a much better position.

Ponomariov held on, which was crucial for Ukraine

France vs. Russia was extremely close. Kramnik went all out against Vachier-Lagrave with a four-pawn set up against a strange King's Indian type of position. The game finished in a hard-fought draw in which White had the better chances. Karjakin uneventfully drew Fressinet, but somehow surprisingly Edouard lost his way in a position where he could have given a perpetual and Nepomniachtchi won a very important win. This win gave Hungary the Silver medal... Russia did not get bronze on tiebreaks.

Nakamura was not America's hero today

Everything went well for Azerbaijan in the last round. A clean opening by Mamedyarov put him in a strong advantage against Nakamura. Safarli was clearly worse against Shankland but the American missed his chances to win and the Azeri somehow held a draw. Radjabov drew Kamsky without problems while Onischuk never had chances against Mamedov. Mamedyarov then finished Nakamura off and it was Azerbaijan 2.5-1.5 USA.

Hammer helped Norway in a 4-0 clean sweep of the very weak team of Malaysia

Last but certainly not least in the competitors for medals was the match India vs. Uzbekistan. With any correct series of results either team could win a bronze. India struck first with a nice win by Sasikirian, and although Vakhidov returned the favor for Uzbekistan, Negi's position started to look great against Kasimdzhanov. The Uzbekistan lost his way in a complex knight and rook endgame and he ended up losing. Filppov could not break Sethuramana and the Indians won the match. In a last minute surprising turn of events India's last round performance was so good that they obtained the bronze medal!

Germany finished with a 2-2 draw against Australia, certainly a disappointing result for the Europeans. Fridman was the only full point scorer of Germany in the last round.

Aronian won another important game. Today he beat Navara on the white side of an exchange Slav while Sargissian won his game as well. Armania 3-1 Czech Republic.

In a battle of strong fourth boards Matthew Sadler split the point with Isan Ortiz Suarez. Cuba took the match against the strong English squad.

Spain edged out Vietnam thanks to wins by Vallejo and Salgado. Israel did the same against Croatia while Belarus surprisingnly defeated Bulgaria, a team that had a really good olympiad but did not finish as high as they should have.

The Netherlands squashed Parguay (not the strongest team, but certainly not one that should go down by 4-0) and surprisingly Peru annihilated Italy, and Caruana can consider himself lucky to not have lost (which would have made the final result of that match 4-0).

Final Standings

Rk. SNo Team  Pts   TB2   TB3   TB4 
1 7 China 19 422.5 31.5 155.00
2 5 Hungary 17 372.0 29.0 152.00
3 19 India 17 371.5 30.5 140.00
4 1 Russia 17 352.0 28.5 146.00
5 8 Azerbaijan 17 345.0 28.0 149.00
6 2 Ukraine 16 377.5 29.0 145.00
7 13 Cuba 16 361.0 29.5 145.00
8 4 Armenia 16 350.5 28.5 146.00
9 9 Israel 16 348.0 28.0 143.00
10 17 Spain 16 334.5 28.0 142.00
11 27 Belarus 16 304.5 27.0 136.00
12 11 Netherlands 15 367.5 29.5 148.00
13 3 France 15 357.5 28.5 151.00
14 6 United States of America 15 348.0 28.0 143.00
15 15 Poland 15 335.5 28.5 140.00
16 29 Serbia 15 324.0 27.5 147.00
17 33 Uzbekistan 15 320.5 25.5 149.00
18 35 Argentina 15 316.0 28.0 136.00
19 22 Peru 15 313.0 28.0 130.00
20 32 Romania 15 310.0 27.5 137.00

A surprising India wiggled themselves into Bronze and actually were only half a tiebreak point off from Silver! Congratulations to them! China was without question the surprise of the tournament and what an excellent result for the Chinese team. Hungary continues with their legacy of good results, and what a nice way to see Judit Polgar off... silver medal for her and her team!

Board 1
Rk.     Name Rtg Team Rp Games Pts. % RtgAvg
1   GM Topalov, Veselin 2772 Bulgaria 2872 9 6.5 72.2 2706
2   GM Adams, Michael 2740 England 2839 9 6.5 72.2 2673
3   GM Giri, Anish 2745 Netherlands 2836 11 8.0 72.7 2661
Board 2
Rk.     Name Rtg Team Rp Games Pts. % RtgAvg
1   GM Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son 2634 Vietnam 2843 10 8.5 85.0 2542
2   GM Balogh, Csaba 2637 Hungary 2839 9 7.0 77.8 2619
3   GM Ding, Liren 2742 China 2831 10 7.5 75.0 2638
Board 3
Rk.     Name Rtg Team Rp Games Pts. % RtgAvg
1   GM Yu, Yangyi 2668 China 2912 11 9.5 86.4 2602
2   GM Sasikiran, Krishnan 2669 India 2753 10 7.5 75.0 2560
3   GM Eljanov, Pavel 2723 Ukraine 2745 9 7.0 77.8 2525
Board 4
Rk.     Name Rtg Team Rp Games Pts. % RtgAvg
GM Sedlak, Nikola 2554 Serbia 2773 8 6.5 81.3 2515
GM Ortiz Suarez, Isan 2603 Cuba 2766 8 6.0 75.0 2573
GM Ni, Hua 2666 China 2723 9 6.5 72.2 2546
Board 5
Rk.     Name Rtg Team Rp Games Pts. % RtgAvg
GM Shankland, Samuel L 2624 USA 2831 10 9.0 90.0 2457
GM Moiseenko, Alexander 2707 Ukraine 2714 9 7.0 77.8 2487
GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2714 Russia 2650 9 6.5 72.2 2469

Women's Section

Russia's Kateryna Lagno got into severe trouble against Antoaneta Stefanova, while Iva Videnova also held her advantage against Valentina Gunina. With the fourth board situation unclear it didn't seem that the Russians would have an easy day, but it all changed around very quickly. Somewhere around the third hour of play Videnova blundered horribly and Gunina took a full point, Kosteniuk finished Nikolova off and Pogonina gained a big advantage. Pogonina took a draw to secure the gold medal and the match finished 2.5-1.5.

Kosteniuk quickly reached a great position against...

Nikolova from Bulgaria.

Videnova also did not use her position to the best of its potential

Ukraine vs. China was topsy-turvy. Zhao Xue held a strong advantage against Ushenina but she spoilt all of it and did not manage to win. Also with a strong advantage Ju Wenjun could not convert against Muzychuk. Zhukova-Guo Qi was always equal. The final game was between Muzychuk and Hou Yifan. The game was interesting but level through-out, and that sealed the fourth draw of the match, which was if anything lucky for Ukraine. This left China with the silver and Ukraine with the bronze by virtue of tiebreaks.

Zhao Xue had what could be called a winning position against Ushenina, but was not able to convert.

Georgia overwhelmed Germany taking them out of medal contention. Interestingly Georgia rested Dzagnidze to secure her gold medal, but that was quite fine as Georgia convincingly won 4-0, quite an unusual score so late in the tournament. There was actually another 4-0 score today as USA crushed Argentina in the battle to determine who would take top American team.

Ohme had a good tournament, but today was a tough day for the Germans

Krush helped USA wipe out Argentina today

Armenia edged out Spain, though importantly for medal standings Matnadze won her game. Kazakhstan beat the Czech Republic by winning every board except for the first.

Romania vs. India was a nail biter that went to the last moment. With three draws in the top boards it all came down to the last game between Gomes and Cosma. Black was pressing for most of the game, but at the end it was a draw and India and Romania split 2-2.

Pourkashiyan (left) is Iran's first board. In a bizarre decision (actually, complete incomprehensible) their second board Sara Khadem (her name is much longer, but it is commonly abbreviated it as such) was put in the line-up today. She lost and lost her silver medal on second board.

Final Standings

Rk. SNo Team Team  Pts   TB2   TB3   TB4 
1 2 Russia RUS 20 420.5 32.0 154.00
2 1 China CHN 18 406.0 32.5 149.00
3 3 Ukraine UKR 18 383.0 28.5 156.00
4 4 Georgia GEO 17 390.0 32.0 145.00
5 10 Armenia ARM 17 350.5 29.0 142.00
6 17 Kazakhstan KAZ 17 320.0 27.0 143.00
7 8 Poland POL 16 362.0 26.5 152.00
8 7 United States of America USA 16 339.5 29.5 139.00
9 12 Germany GER 16 304.0 26.5 143.00
10 5 India IND 15 380.0 30.5 143.00
11 6 Romania ROU 15 353.5 27.5 137.00
12 9 France FRA 15 351.5 27.5 157.00
13 11 Spain ESP 15 346.5 28.0 145.00
14 14 Bulgaria BUL 15 334.5 30.0 139.00
15 16 Netherlands NED 15 311.0 27.0 139.00
16 28 Mongolia MGL 15 307.0 29.0 131.00
17 18 Slovakia SVK 15 302.5 27.5 133.00
18 36 Lithuania LTU 15 291.0 27.5 126.00
19 20 Vietnam VIE 14 339.5 28.0 141.00
20 21 Iran IRI 14 328.0 30.0 129.00

Board Medals:

Board 1
Rk.     Name Rtg Team Rp Games Pts. % RtgAvg
1   GM Dzagnidze, Nana 2550 Georgia 2719 9 8.0 88.9 2353
2   GM Hou, Yifan 2661 China 2671 9 7.0 77.8 2447
3   GM Cramling, Pia 2500 Sweden 2659 11 10.0 90.9 2233
Board 2
Rk.     Name Rtg Team Rp Games Pts. % RtgAvg
1   GM Gunina, Valentina 2524 Russia 2651 10 8.0 80.0 2411
2   GM Khotenashvili, Bela 2494 Georgia 2589 10 8.0 80.0 2325
3   WGM Ju, Wenjun 2559 China 2564 11 8.0 72.7 2389
Board 3
Rk.     Name Rtg Team Rp Games Pts. % RtgAvg
1   GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2531 Russia 2639 9 7.5 83.3 2352
2   IM Matnadze, Ana 2385 Spain 2445 10 7.5 75.0 2252
3   WFM Frisk, Ellinor 2257 Sweden 2432 11 9.5 86.4 2110
Board 4
Rk.     Name Rtg Team Rp Games Pts. % RtgAvg
1   GM Zhukova, Natalia 2468 Ukraine 2512 10 7.5 75.0 2294
2   WGM Bartel, Marta 2359 Poland 2439 9 6.5 72.2 2273
3   IM Bulmaga, Irina 2354 Romania 2433 10 8.0 80.0 2176
Board 5
Rk.     Name Rtg Team Rp Games Pts. % RtgAvg
1   WGM Padmini, Rout 2318 India 2584 8 7.5 93.8 2124
2   WGM Guo, Qi 2453 China 2520 8 6.5 81.3 2243
3   WIM Dauletova, Gulmira 2252 Kazakhstan 2486 8 7.0 87.5 2024

Photos by Alejandro Ramirez, Pascal Simon and André Schulz

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Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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Corinne Corinne 8/16/2014 12:18
Two chess players died in Tromso. See the guardian's article:
Paul Goodwin Paul Goodwin 8/15/2014 07:38
It's pathetic to see some sour-heads making serious allegations of pre-arranged matches to sully a great performance by the Indian team, who deservedly won the bronze while the so-called heavyweights faltered by stumbling to weaker (compared to them) oppositions. So kudos to India for making the most from the pairings they got with a team devoid of its top two players.
gertrautenbach gertrautenbach 8/15/2014 04:10
I think China played brilliantly and tactically. They used draw-meister Wang Yue to neutralise the top board of each team and Yu and Ding to penetrate on boards 2 & 3. Well done guys.
Anandkumar Anandkumar 8/15/2014 02:22
@Camembert: I agree about India not meeting heavyweights. They were not the ones making the pairings and can only play against people they have been paired with. I do not hear anybody talking about how the FIDE president bullied the organisers to allow an initially disqualified russian women's team to play who eventually won gold.

Could you also point us to the article where chessbase mentioned pre-arranged matches. I would love to read about that.

salem abdel aziz salem abdel aziz 8/15/2014 01:24
the egyptian player bassim amin scored 8.5 from 11 by 77% why not take the gold medale on the first board?
Camembert Camembert 8/15/2014 11:10
India's performance is that they succeed to avoid heavyweight like Hungary, Russia, Azerbadjan, Ukraine, Netherlands, France, all this nations being in the first thirteen nations. In this lot, India just met two Cuba (lost) & Armenia (draw). And it's funny to see former Anand's second (Kasimdzhanov) loosing to Negi.
I just wonder how the the pairings were made ! Chessbase talked about pre-arranged match, we would like to know more about that.
Andy H Andy H 8/15/2014 08:04
Rodhill, so the one minute silence we had at the closing ceremony for the player did not happen. I am at the Olympiad so know!
RoddHill RoddHill 8/15/2014 02:25 has not reported the death of a player at the board in the Olympiad because no one died at the board or in the hall, as anyone can verify by having a look at the press release at
The organizers (and thus I assume do not know the current health status of the stricken player.
Andy H Andy H 8/15/2014 12:39
This is chessbase, you don't expect factual reporting do you? 8/15/2014 12:37
A player died at the board and you have said nothing. Would you have done the same if it had been Kramnik or any other top player? I am really upset for your silence about it. It doesn't say anything good of you nor about your feelings for all those people not top players. I won't buy anything else from you if this is the most you care about chess comunity.
Andy H Andy H 8/14/2014 08:07
A player died today at the board. Really puts things into perspective
JackCrabb JackCrabb 8/14/2014 06:42
A pity that Hungary got silver, they don't deserve any medal after having kicked Judit out of the team.
vedant goswami vedant goswami 8/14/2014 06:25
No details on India's performance??
pojose pojose 8/14/2014 05:59
"Interviewing Indian IM Tania Sachdev immediately after her game" Is it by mistake it appears everywhere?