Sunday, September 19, 2010

2010 Chess Olympiad - Pre-Game This and That

A few notes:

I saw a report at Susan Polgar's blog and Chessdom on this story, and went to the source:

From Sunday Vision
(Run by The New Vision, which is a Christian ministry group)
By Phillip Corry

SPORTS Network ESPN will do a recording of the national team at the 39th Chess Olympiad due in Russia September 20 to October 4.

The American cable television network has taken keen interest in the team following the impressive display of the side’s youngest player Phiona Mutesi. The 14-year-old is on the ladies team set to make a debut at the World’s premier Chess show. [I saw a report elsewhere that Mutesi is 16 years old.]

Other players are Ivy Amoko, Mutesi, Joan Butindo, Grace Kigenyi and Rita Nsubuga Nansove.

Published on: Saturday, 18th September, 2010

So, someone to keep an eye on.

In addition to GM Koneru Humpy (India) not playing in the Olympiad, GM Pia Cramling is not listed on either of Sweden's teams.

I scrolled through the list of players in the Open (overwhelmingly male players) and found a handful of females:

GM Judit Polgar of Hungary, playing Board 3
GM Viktorija Cmilyte of Lithuania, playing Board 3
GM Zhu Chen of Qatar, playing Board 3
GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant of Scotland, playing Board 2
WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni of Luxembourg, playing Board 5

Popular acclaim has Russian Women #1 team as the one to beat:

Bo. Name Rtg FED
1 GM Kosintseva Tatiana 2573 RUS
2 IM Kosintseva Nadezhda 2565 RUS
3 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2524 RUS
4 IM Galliamova Alisa 2482 RUS
5 WGM Gunina Valentina 2465 RUS

Personally, I think Georgia is going to be the team to beat.  It comes in as number four on ELO average rating:

Bo. Name Rtg FED
1 GM Dzagnidze Nana 2534 GEO
2 IM Javakhishvili Lela 2451 GEO
3 IM Khukhashvili Sopiko 2422 GEO
4 IM Melia Salome 2439 GEO
5 IM Khotenashvili Bela 2464 GEO

Nana Dzagnidze had the amazing performance at the Jermuk Women's Grand Prix.  The Georgians won the Women's Gold at Dresden in 2008 (how quickly we forget). Ukraine won Silver and the fighting-chess-is-our-middle-name American women took home Bronze.  The highly favored Russian women finished in 4th place, out of the team medals.  Sure, the Russians will be out for blood.  Let's see what happens.

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