Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Olympiads are still hard

I did actually get to play a game at this years Olympiad (keeping the streak alive!), although I did not initially intend to. As mentioned yesterday, it was against San Marino, which I've probably played more than any other team. While I suspect they were surprised by my appearance on board 4, I was more impressed by the appearance of their Board 1 player. He had only played 1 game previously, and I did not expect him to play. As a consequence I spent a while preparing for the wrong opponent, although team captain GM Dejan Bojkov was on the ball with the right prep for the right opponent. It turns out the San Marino turned up with male model Fabio on the top board. He had the long hair, the cool shades, and a cigarette dangling carelessly from his fingers. However he took a somewhat serious approach to the game, and as a consequence Stuart Fancy had to work hard for his win.
Helmut Marko scored his 4th win in a row on board 2, while Craig Skehan went down to what looked like a strong sacrificial attack, although it turns out that his opponent just had the attack, and did not require any sacrifices.
My game was unsurprisingly drawn, and in an unsurprising manner. I had a strong position in the middle game, and at one stage it looked like I was simply winning. However appearances can be deceiving, and there was no clear path to victory, At least I was able to recognise this in time, and realised I needed to work for a draw. After 4 and half hours of play my opponent agreed to a draw, meaning PNG won 2.5-1.5.

Press,Shaun - Cecchetti,Roberto [B22]
2012 Olympiad Istanbul, 03.09.2012

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