Monday, 4 August 2014

2014 Olympiad Day 2 - Settling in

The second day of the 2014 Olympiad saw most teams and players settle into a regular routine. However a few got caught out in the shift to an earlier start, with both Burundi and Alexander Beliavsky thinking is was 3pm rather than 2pm for the start time (lost games were the consequences).  
Day 2 was also a big day for a couple of reasons. For the host country it was the first appearance of World Champion Magnus Carlsen, in the Norway v Finland match. For Australia, both teams (Open and Women's) were on the top boards, with the Open team against Armenia, and the Women's team against Ukraine).
In the case of Carlsen, his game wasn't that straightfoward, with Finnish top board Tomi Nyback holding the draw. In fact all 4 games of that match were drawn, which was a good result for the outrated Fins. And to prove that chess is a spectator sport, straight after the Carslen game was drawn, a significant number of spectators left the stands and exited the venue!
Both Australian teams lost 1-3 to their significantly stronger opponents, but it was a good result any way. Against Armenia, the games looked even for a while, before the Armenian's took the upper hand in most of the games. But while Ikeda and Ly did eventually lose, Illingworth held the draw, while Smerdon fought back, and achieved his second draw against Lev Aronian at Olympiads.
The Women's team actually had a chance to tie the match, as they had the Ukranians on the ropes on the top 2 boards. But in the end draw agreements meant that the tournament 3rd seeds survived  a potential accident.
There are still plenty of teams on a perfect match point score (36 in total), and 8 teams who have started 4-0,4-0. So a few more rounds until the real leaders emerge, but even now, there are plenty of good matches to follow.

Smerdon David (2513) - Aronian Levon (2805) [B07]
WCO2014 Tromso (2.5), 03.08.2014

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