Friday, August 1, 2014

The 2014 Chess Olympiad

Hola!  It's here, at last. 

I remember when Susan Polgar was pushing for Tromso to be chosen as the situs for the next chess Olympiad, seems like a scant few years ago. 

The next two weeks in the teeny world of chess will be filled with our equivalent of blood, sweat and tears, after what was, no doubt, the payment of a considerable amount of "compensation" [bribes] both to allow Tromso the right to host this Olympiad and to allow the admittedly illegal registration of the Russian Women's chess team on July 21st, far after the June 1st deadline for submitting full team rosters.  You can read Mark Crowther's remarkably sanitized version report of what happened here.  Perhaps it is the most reliable -- I don't know.  Personally, I smell filthy gutter sewer rot coming through the ventilation fan on my trusty Toshiba laptop, and that's saying something!  Someday, I may look up this stuff at Chessbase and see what its take is.  Sadly, I am left shaking my head believing that we will never know the full truth of the matter. I used to be a fan of Lahno -- emphasis on the past tense. Stupid, stupid girl.

As you know, I've been up to my eyebrows in this moving/downsizing thing and let me tell you, it is an absolute pain in the ass/arse/butt/bum/buttocks.  I've scant use for chess right now; I'm far more worried about where the hell to put the books that survived multiple purging processes in this house that is two-thirds the size of my former home.  Where DOES one park hundreds of books -- with no room for bookshelves?

Well, let's get back to chess and I'll stop feeling sorry for myself temporarily.  Who are the women on the American team, that's what I want to know!  And do we stand a snowball's chance in hell of medalling this year? (HA!)

Let me put it this way:

7. USA (RtgAvg:2405, Captain:KHACHIYAN Melikset)
1GMKrush Irina2474USA
2IMZatonskih Anna2466USA
3WGMAbrahamyan Tatev2366USA
4WGMNemcova Katerina2315USA
5WGMFoisor Sabina-Francesca2252USA

Good luck, chess femmes, you're going to need every ounce of luck you can get just to maintain that number 7 initial team ranking.

USA's chess dudes team -- wonder how much they had to pay Nakamura to show up?

6. USA (RtgAvg:2701, Captain:Donaldson John W)
1GMNakamura Hikaru2787USA
2GMKamsky Gata2706USA
3GMOnischuk Alexander2659USA
4GMAkobian Varuzhan2653USA
5GMShankland Samuel L2624USA

Sam Shankland?  He who so famously quit chess a few years back after he didn't like his whaa whaaa finish at the U.S. Chess Championships?  Did I wake up in Neverland?  Well, perhaps some of his chessboard derring-do ala Morozevich will come to the fore and he'll be a Grand Star on Board 5.  Fingers crossed.

Stay tuned.

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